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Cat Sense: Fact About Smell, Sight, Sound, Taste and Touch

Smell Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell. A cat will always sniff its food before eating and scent marks are an essential part of feline communication. Cats also have a unique mechanism at the top of their mouth, which enables them to make a special analysis of air molecules. A domestic cat's sense of smell is about fourteen times as strong as a human's but not quite as good as the dog's.

Sight Average cats have a visual field of view estimated at 200°, versus 180° in humans, with a binocular field (overlap in the images from each eye) narrower than that of humans. Cats have excellent night vision and can see much better than us even in a badly lit environment, though they cannot see in total darkness. Sight is key element in a cat's hunting ability. While a cat's general vision is poor (much duller than a person's) because of the particular structure of their retinas, cats have an exceptional ability to see movement.

Sound Cats can hear sounds that are three times as high than the ones we can. Cats in fact use their hearing for preying , for example for deciding whether a mouse hole is inhabited or deserted. Humans can hear frequencies from about 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz, dogs from about 20 hertz to 40 kilohertz, and cats from about 30 hertz to 60 kilohertz. The shape of the ear is designed to funnel sound down to the middle ear, where the tympanic membrane and three small bones called auditory ossicles transmit vibrations into the inner ear.

Taste Cats use their sense of taste to determine which foods are good for them. Cats are also not very sensitive to the taste of salt. Some experts say that this is because they get all the salt they need from their meat-based diet. Compared to humans, the cat's sense of taste is weak. We have 9,000 taste buds, while they have only 473. The preferred temperature for feline food is 86 degrees Fahrenheit--the same temperature as the cat's tongue.

Touch Like us, cats have touch receptors all over their body. These nerve cells transfer sensations of pressure, temperature and pain from any point to the brain. The most sensitive places on the cat's body, where the nerve cells are concentrated, are the face and the front paws. This is because these are the most important body parts the cat uses while hunting. The cat's whiskers are the most sensitive of all. The special hairs, called vibrissae, are set deep within the skin and provide the cat with sensory information about the slightest air movement around it - a valuable tool for a nocturnal hunter.

Today cats are no longer suspected of supernatural powers. Cats can hear sounds that we can't hear, see things that we can't see and smell and feel the world around us in ways that we can never grasp.

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