Cats appear to be fearless creatures. With their sharp claws and teeth, they should be able to overcome any obstacle in their way by just threatening the enemy. However, the reality is different, and cats have their own fears that a pair of teeth and claws can’t get rid of – sounds.
If you’ve been a cat owner for as long as you can remember, you’ve probably encountered a situation where your cat started bouncing around like a ball when hearing certain noises. Whether it’s something as loud as a lawnmower or just trivial bag rattling, cats show a particular sensitivity to certain noises.
Do you want to know the sounds that are making your kitties freak out so you can prevent their exposure to them? Read on to find out more.
Why Are Cats So Sensitive to Noise?
It should come as no surprise to you that animals have amazing hearing capabilities. Dogs, for instance, have amazing hearing, and you know how easy it is for them to notice everything around, even during their sleep.
However, cats are in a league of their own when it comes to hearing capabilities. Humans, for example, can hear from 20 to 20,000 Hertz. A cat, on the other hand, can hear sounds from 45 to 60,000 Hertz. In other words, felines have an outstanding hearing, which is why they are so sensitive to certain noises.
Cats are excellent predators, and their hearing is one of the factors contributing to their amazing performance as hunters. Basically, they can rotate each of their ears separately, which is of great help, as it allows them to detect any potential prey or predator.
Their external ears are made up of the canal and ear flap, while the middle one contains the auditory small bones and the eardrum. Now the inner one – that’s another story. Its structure is what helps create such outstanding hearing capabilities and allow cats to be excellent predators. It contains semicircular canals of fluid and the cochlea. The former helps them balance, while the latter helps to hear.
What Sounds Do Cats Hate?
If you don’t want your cat to develop PTSD, it’s essential to know the sounds that make them either arch their back or hide under the furniture. So, here’s a list of the noises that summon fear inside your kitties:
- Sudden Sounds
Let’s be honest: it even happened to you to be so focused on something, that a quick and sudden sound has startled you. Cats are no different in this respect, and abrupt sounds will scare them as well.
For example, sounds such as whistles or doorbells are enough to wake your kitty up from the deepest sleep and make it jump. After all, they have much better hearing compared to us, so it’s no surprise that strong, sudden sounds will agitate them. In addition, your pet might enter into fight-or-flight mode if they have no idea what the sound was and where it came from. They could associate these sounds to danger, hence why they are ready to fight once the noise occurs.
- Hissing Sounds
Has your cat ever taken a fighting stance as soon as it heard spraying aerosols or anything of the sort? Hissing sounds are most of the times associated with dangerous situations, which is exactly why your cat is ready to attack at their hearing.
Aerosols and similar things usually resemble a hiss, and this is a sure way to make the cat agitated and feel like a predator might wait for the right moment to strike. Your cat must feel happy and safe at all times, not like your home is a high-risk area where danger is imminent. Therefore, make sure there’s nothing in your house that makes your kitty freak out.
- High-Frequency Sounds
You already know that cats can hear noises at a much higher intensity than our ears are able to detect. For that reason, they are blessed and cursed at the same time, as they are not only able to hear whether a predator’s around but also hear sounds that are inaudible to us and only make them uncomfortable.
When you turn on any electronic device, it emits high-frequency sounds that your felines can hear. However, it annoys them terribly, and you’re doing them no favor if you turn them on. Some of the devices creating irritating high-pitched sounds are remote controls, television screens, and computers.
If your cat reacts whenever you’re using one of these, maybe it’s time to keep the volume to a minimum, so the little fur ball can walk around and sleep in peace.
- Loud Noises
It should go without saying that cats hate loud noises, and if you were thinking of blasting some music with strong bass, you should think twice. Unless you have another room that your cat can use while you’re having a dance party, loud music is a no-no – that if you don’t want your pet to hate you.
A commonly known thing about cats is their hate for vacuum cleaners. These machines resemble the devil in their eyes, and they run for the hills whenever you are doing household chores. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t be shocked if your kitty has an arched back whenever your appliance starts sucking up the dirt on the floor. As you’re already aware of, cats are much more sensitive to noise than we are. So, if you need to yell to make your spouse or children hear you while vacuuming, then you can be sure the sound is too much for your kitten to handle.
Lawnmowers are included in the same category, so make sure your cat is not outside while you’re doing the work, or that it’s just far enough from the device to feel safe.
Sure, there are loud noises that you have no control over, like thunder, motorbikes or sirens, but it’s better to limit what you can control and ensure a worry-free life for your cat.
- Plastic Bag Rustle
A very common occurrence is a cat becoming frightened when hearing bag rustle. Whether you’re eating something out of a plastic bag or looking for old things, bags are very noisy and can make anyone irritated, including cats. And let’s be honest, they can’t be blamed – plastic bags don’t make the most pleasant sounds, and if it is so annoying for humans, you can only imagine the intensity for a cat ear.
Therefore, if you notice your cat’s eyes widening and their back arching at the sound of plastic bags, you know what’s causing the reaction.
Do Cats Hear Ultrasonic Sounds?
Ultrasonic sounds are sounds of high-frequency that the human ear can’t detect. You already know that humans can hear from 20 to 20,000 Hertz. Well, sounds that are above that are considered ultrasonic, and you won’t be able to hear them.
Conversely, you’re already aware that cats can hear up to 60,000 hertz, which means that they have the ability to hear these high-frequency sounds. This skill can be very helpful for them in nature. Some animals like bats, mice or other rodents emit ultrasounds, and this ability to hear them is what makes cats such tough hunters to deal with.
How to Avoid Frightening Your Cat
Although you can’t always prevent the occurrence of certain sounds, sometimes you can prevent your cat from coming in contact with them, so it can live peacefully. Here are some things you could do to ensure a nice environment for your four-legged friend:
- Don’t Make Clicking Mouth Noises
One of the sounds cats totally dislike is mouth clicking. It can really frustrate them, so if you don’t want to come in contact with some sharp claws, you’d better refrain yourself from making these sounds.
- Close Your Windows
Cats usually have favorite places they like to lie in, and if you live in an area where sirens and motorbikes are a common occurrence, it can be annoying for your kitty. Because of that, you should consider closing the windows in these areas, so your pet can feel happy and safe.
- Take Your Cat to Another Room
You can’t leave your floor full of sand, dust, and dirt, which means that the vacuum cleaner will have to be used quite frequently. As the fear for vacuum cleaners is a known fact about cats, you should take your kitty to another room while you’re doing the job. This will prevent it from going into fight-or-flight mode.
- Consider Reusable Fabric Bags
If up until now you’ve been using plastic bags when you went shopping, maybe it’s time to switch to reusable fabric ones. This way, you won’t have to worry about frightening your cat. It’s also safer for the environment, so it’s a win-win.
Felines have much better hearing than us, and some noises can make them freak out. Knowing what these sounds are could help you find out why your cat was acting strangely at certain times and you can also prevent scaring your cat in the future. Once you become aware of the things presented in this article, your kitty will be happier.