Can a Cat Hear What Humans Hear?

Beasley. Note position of ears which are pulled to the side which denotes some anxiety.

Beasley. Note position of ears which are pulled to the side which denotes some anxiety.

Beasley. Ears pulled forward. Looks very interested

Beasley. Ears pulled forward and pupils dilated. Appears interested but also a bit frightened.

A cat’s hearing is far superior to that of a human. On the low end of the scale, the cat and the human are about the same. When a sound becomes high pitched and goes all the way up to 64 KHZ, cats have humans and dogs beat, for their hearing is extremely acute.

If you are a reader who owns a cat/s or the cat/ owns you, watch the movement of the ears. Cats are able to move their ears forward, backward, or to the side to pin point a sound. The ear movement enables the cat to locate its prey within inches even if the sound is more that 3 feet away.

Cats also move their ears to denote anger or fright. The ears will be to the side of the head and almost

I’ve used Beasley, one of my favorite cats as the examples here. I ‘ve always said that cats have expressive faces since they use their ears and eyes to denote fear, anxiety, anticipation, happiness or when generally not pleased with what’s happening.



Beasley, 7/2015

Beasley, 7/2015  Waiting for his bowl of food. Ears forward in anticipation.



Beasley not looking happy as he watched me prepare his medication. Head is down, pupils dilated. Seems to be frowning.

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16 thoughts on “Can a Cat Hear What Humans Hear?

  1. sunshinysa says:

    As i was saying… I have 2 boys and i love them. Thank u for this post. Sometimes when i speak of my pet babies… and peoples eyes glaze over…
    I know they will not be a part of my life. I choose my pets over people.

    • Hi Sunshine, hope you don’t mind but I give everybody a nick name and if I don’t know it. I take it from your site name or email address. Anyhow I don’t become friends with anyone that does not have a pet. I am like you, I love my pets and will take them any day over most people. In fact friends that I am in contact with all have a dog or a cat or both. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate you.

      • sunshinysa says:

        Hi 🙂 Im all my special people call me sunshine.
        All my people have pets. I have distinct reservations about people who do not have them. Now i have 2 stray kittens. They are my babies. They help me when i grt dept

        • Alrighty then, Sunshine. I have changed your name to Sunshine in my other comment. I hope you don’t mind but I am having great trouble with my right eye at this time. I had surgery Thursday for cataract and my eye is not doing very well. I was seeing double on Thursday and Friday and I took the eye patch off a bit ago so I could wear my glasses for a brief while and of course the glasses no longer fit my eye sight. But I am seeing a flickering light in the outer corner of my right eye and that is not good. I will get back to replying to your comments when I am seeing better. Will likely have to return ahead of time to the eye Surgeon on Monday.

  2. dtills says:

    Beasley is adorable! I am looking at my cat (Monti) right now, she is not a nice little girl to most people but we love her! love your site-so much info!

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting. It’s nice to know that you like the photos of Beasely. He has been ill with lymphoma for over two years and had about a year of chemo therapy and then I had to stop the med because it was destroying his kidneys He is still hanging on but has lost a lot of weight. I give him a dab of hemp oil to keep his appetite going. He also gets B12 every other day which I inject into the portal of the sub cu fluid line. The fluids are given every day and that is also helping to keep him alive. It will be very hard for me when he must be put down. He is always by my side.

      • dtills says:

        Wow, I had no idea! He really looks pretty healthy especially in light of what you just told me. Hope he is doing ok today😊

        • Dee Dee the last two pics in the post were taken about one year after his diagnosis. If you compare the other photos in the beginning of the series you will see that he was still healthy and did not have lymphoma then. In the last two pics he has visibly lost weight since his face is not as full and his expression is not as perky. I don’t think I had started him on hemp in the last two photos. He is about 5.8 lbs now but looks alert and is a happy cat. He is eating ok and some days he eats pretty darn good. He is lying next to my left side as I type this while I am propped up in my bed. He has survived longer that what the veterinarians say, which is around 300-400 days- I think. I need to go back and read that site again about lymphoma prognosis. I just don’t believe a time limit can be put on every illness or disease and I have been determined to keep him around as long as I can give him the supportive meds that help keep the cancer at bay.

        • dtills says:

          The best of luck to you! We had an orange cat, Opie, who was about 14 when he passed. In the end he had thyroid cancer and kidney disease. He was too sick for most of the drugs so we made the decision to make him as comfortable as possible, while still letting him have some quality of life. It was tough to watch him go downhill but he still lasted longer than his prognosis. I guess they never really know when the disease will get them. Beasley may have quite a long run with this yet!

        • Dee Dee, I am so sorry that you lost Opie to cancer. It seems that most cats die from either cancer or renal disease, a fact of a pet’s life that we can not escape. My heart has been broken so many times after losing a pet, yet I continue to rescue animals because I love them so much and they of course have helped me tremendously when I have been down and out. That you for the kind words re: Beasley. He is holding his own right now.

  3. Yvonne, your photos of Beasley are captivating. My first cat’s name was JT Beasley and she lived for 21 years. I miss her to this day. I love to watch the facial expressions on ZuZu and Roxie and have noted that they do seem to understand what is happening around them – even anticipating something to happen. I must go on to your post about declawing cats, now. We acquired Roxie when she was 3 and she had been declawed. The vet seems to think it’s why she is so frightened when we take her for her annual physical.

    • Thank you Clare. My Beasley is not long for this world. He was 15 last August. I’ve been treating him for lymphoma for past 15 months and before the official diagnosis I was feeding and giving meds for Irritable Bowel Disease. I love him so much but for the past 3 weeks I stopped the chemo med for it was making him sicker. It worked for a time but then… that is how cancer goes. I am sick about it but there is nothing else to do except give sub cu fluids and some B12 in the fluid line. I am getting ready to do that. He has barely eaten for the past 2 days. I am sorry to unload all this on you.

      You were so fortunate to have JT Beasley for 21 years. That is a remarkable age.

      • Yvonne, All of my cats lived long lives, but never long enough as you can attest right now. Pet your Beasley and sing for her. It helps. I am glad you wrote me about this. It brought back memories of my Beasley and I wish I’d sung her a last song. So, Take care and write whenever you want. I’ll be think of the both of you tonight. Clare

        • Claremary, I am at last replying to you comment about Beasley. I am superstitious and did not want to write more about Beasley but then I began thinking that I’m acting crazy- so I try to put negative thoughts from my mind. Beasley is still with me but he is half the weight he was 2 1/2 years ago. I’m giving him sub cu fluids and stopped the chemo because it can severely damage internal organs. He was looking pretty awful on Leukeran. His renal function is not good, therefor the sub cu fluids. I also add about 0.1-0.2ml of B12 in the line portal so that he gets quicker absorption. He gets hemp oil to keep him eating. You have been fortunate to have all your cats live a long time -my oldest it 19 now and one is almost 18 years and several are 17 and then 15. I can no longer sing but I hold him and he sleeps next to my rib cage most nights. He is such an expressive cat. I watch him often during the day as I lay in bed. He was a source of comfort several days ago when my afib kicked in and I lay in bed sicker than a junk yard dog. I also had Influenza A at the same time(tested positive in ER) I finally called an ambulance to take me to ER for treatment of the afib. In about 40 minutes the abib had been reigned in. I was there 5 hours. During the time I was so sick, for 3 days, Beasley lay on my chest and watched my face. I do love this cat. 🙂

        • And, now, I love him, too. I wish both of you more time together and healthier days ahead. Have a peaceful day, Yvonne.

        • Thank you, Clairemary. Beasley is a very special cat. I still have him but he’s not quite been himself for the past few days I gave him some injectable B12 and the vet gave him some Convenia. I hope that will perk him up. Thank you for the good wishes.

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