Cat Senses: Are They Superior to Humans?

cat senses

If you were to engage in a battle of the senses with your cat, do you think you would prevail as the champion? Don’t underestimate cat senses, this could be a very close call.

If you know your cat well, you know that he has a natural instinct to trace smells, stalk prey and recognize any weaknesses he might have to that he can better prepare himself for potential danger ahead.

With his amazing cat senses, he can safely scout out his surroundings and almost immediately know whether friend or foe waits in his presence. He can also determine if any objects are ahead of him, far beyond what any human could see.

However, if you are not convinced you could realize a higher score than your cat on the “sense-abilities” scale, then consider this information:

What’s That Smell?

Cats have a strong sense of smell and will quickly assess what, if anything, is an assault on that sense.  They use this strong sense of smell to locate pieces of food that are trapped underneath the fridge or to determine the exact location of that pesky mouse.

Within their nasal passages, cats have 200 million odor-sensitive cells working for them.  Humans boast only five million of those.

In addition to using this strong sense of smell to find food, cats use it to communicate by rubbing their head or paws against an object, leaving their scent as their “calling card” for other cats to recognize and translate.

Did You Hear That?

Cats have supersonic ears and can hear sounds that even dogs miss. Their range of hearing goes up to the ultrasonic level, which, let’s just say, is really, really high!  Cats can detect sound at 100,000 hertz, whereas dogs can only hear up to 35,000 – 40,000 hertz. Guess what?  Human can only hear sounds in a range up to 20,000 hertz, so, basically, you are falling far behind your cat in this category.

Does This Feel Safe?

Whiskers on their faces and backs of their front legs give cats instant feedback on whether an area is large enough for their body to get through.

Whiskers act as antenna, stopping that innate curiosity before it gets them into trouble. As for us, the lack of such equipment does not allow for the natural ability to recognize our surroundings in such a clear way.

Does This Taste Funny?

Good news!  You can finally outrank your cat here!  Because cats have only 473 taste buds, they tend to be rather particular when it comes to their food.  Humans have approximately 9,000 taste buds.

Do You See What I See?

Even Superman cannot out-perform cats. With their superior vision, cats can see things in a panoramic view because they can naturally dilate their pupils.  Their peripheral vision is also extraordinary, allowing them to quickly capture the movement of a mouse or a bird.

However, cats do have blind spots, and theirs is located about four to five inches from their face, which may explain why they might not always see that toy that is right in front of them.


With a 4-1 lead, cats win! Yes, cat senses are at a superhero level, but I bet you wouldn’t want it any other way.

The saying “cats rule” has a new meaning!

(Sources: and Cat Behavior Book by Arden Moore.)

Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.