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When you’re alone at home, maybe you’re used to turn the sound up to full blast, in order to achieve a perfect imitation of the singer of the latest fashionable hard rock band…
But have you ever wondered if this habit suits your cat? In a word, do cats like loud music? And what can be the effects of too much sound volume on our feline friends?
So… Do Cats Like Loud Music?
I think you guessed it because the answer is so obvious: NO, cats don’t like loud music.
Why? Well, that’s what we’ll see in the rest of this article.
The Cat’s Hearing
The cat’s ear is extremely sensitive and far surpasses that of humans. Cats use it to hunt. In fact, since cats’ prey communicate through very high and very low pitched sounds, it is very important for them to have a fine hearing.
When his ears move, it is because they are oriented to better capture and isolate a sound, in the same way that a radar would do.
The cat’s ears move independently of each other, and orient themselves at 180° thanks to the 30 or so muscles they are equipped with.
The cat’s sense of hearing is so fine that the animal is quite capable of isolating a very discreet sound from an improbable cacophony and identify it. For him, no confusion is possible.
But how does this ear work to pick up surrounding noise as well?
What Makes the Cat’s Ear So Incredible?
The cat’s middle ear includes the stirrup, anvil, hammer and three ossicles. The latter are located in a sound box whose wall is extremely taut (much more than that of its master) and consequently, they react much better to the vibrations of the eardrum.
Thus, when a sound reaches the auricle of the cat’s ear, it is directed towards the eardrum. In the middle ear, it is transformed into mechanical vibrations and then, via the inner ear, these vibrations are transmitted to the nerve cells of hearing.
Because of the strong reaction power of its ossicles, the cat has no difficulty in isolating a particular sound even if it is drowned among many other noises. Its inner ear acts as a filter and each sound is analyzed, both in terms of its nature and distance.
The cat’s hearing and ability to locate sounds is much better than that of humans.
The highest frequency that adult animals can hear is about 50,000 hertz, and young cats can even perceive sounds up to 100,000 hertz, while we can only hear high-pitched sounds up to 20,000 hertz.
In older cats, this frequency decreases rapidly, which is noticeable, for example, if they no longer hear the ultrasonic dog whistles or the cries of bats.
Dogs also hear less well than cats, with a hearing range of up to 40,000 hertz.
Cats also have a head start on us in terms of the intensity of perceived sounds. When a sound is audible to us, a cat is able to filter it out and only hear it at 1/1000 of its intensity.
In order to avoid unmanageable background noises from all sides, cats sort out those that interest them. For example, mice constantly emit a low whistle in order to stay in contact with their fellows.
In addition to this, they are able to perceive whistling sounds from a distance of 20 meters. As the cat gets older, its hearing diminishes, but it remains so good that it could very well do without its sight completely and rely only on its hearing and touch. A blind cat is therefore never disoriented.
The cat’s ears are equipped with so many muscles that he can move them independently of each other, and thus direct them directly towards the source of noise. These movements are automatic for the cat, his ears move by reflex.
What Implications Does This Have for Cat Owners?
Because of its hunting technique, it has always been important for the cat to perceive even the lowest sounds.
Although many domestic cats no longer have to fight and hunt to survive, the cat’s hearing has remained very sensitive.
It perceives ultrasounds before we can realize that something unusual is about to happen. Even when he sleeps, his ears are always on alert.
But the consequence of this excellent sense of hearing is obvious: Cats hate loud music and hubbub.
They can also hear extremely high-pitched sounds from electrical devices, such as televisions, that are not audible to us.
Watch out for your four-legged friends when using electronic equipment. Even when a sound doesn’t bother us, it can be unpleasant to the cat’s ear. So don’t be surprised if your cat seems tense, for example, while you vacuum.
The Consequences of a Too Loud Music on the Cat’s Ear
Music That Is Too Loud Can Damage a Cat’s Ear
We all know that listening to music that is too loud can cause irreparable damage to the human ear. But what about cats?
From a scientific point of view, the military can give us an answer. Indeed, in order to examine the consequences of exposure to loud noises (such as those from a gun, for example), researchers from the U.S. Army have developed a model based on cats’ ears.
Why cats? Well, quite simply because the cat’s ear is designed to attract sounds directly into the ear canal, allowing it to pick up even the tiniest noises such as those of a small rodent walking on the ground for example.
What they discovered is that the cochlea, or inner ear, where sound is processed, is rapidly damaged when exposed to sounds ranging from 1 to 16 KHz.
The sound used for the experiment is that produced by an M-16 rifle shot, the intensity of which is comparable to the sound of very loud music.
Music That Is Too Loud Can Cause Stress for the Cat
Music set at a very loud volume can cause a sudden increase in stress in the cat.
This is because the cat hates to be surprised by an unusual event in its daily routine. They are not prepared for this violent and unexpected event from which they cannot escape.
The slightest small change in the cat’s habits can cause him to panic.
Disturbance of the Cat’s Activity on the Potty
When the cat is disturbed by loud music, it can happen that he changes his habits and no longer defecates in the litter box.
Don’t be surprised if your cat leaves you a small gift in the middle of the living room!
This can happen especially with uncastrated males, who mark their territory by urinating everywhere.
When they feel threatened by loud music, they may start urinating as a self-defense mechanism. Besides, if you are looking for a way to prevent your cat from urinating anywhere, take a look at this method.
The bladder is a major organ in case of stress, hence the frequent uncleanliness. Chronic stress can thus promote the development of urinary disorders.
In addition, due to the overproduction of cortisol in the body caused by stress, the cat’s immune system becomes more fragile and sensitive to infectious diseases.
What Can You Do to Avoid Disturbing your Cat with your Loud Music?
If possible, move your cat to another room before turning up the volume all the way up.
Close the room door to mute the sound. This will make your session a little less spontaneous, but be sure that your feline companion will thank you (in his own way)!
And then if you get into the habit of fooling around at regular times, maybe kitty will eventually get used to the idea and accept this strange habit from his master.
Taking Care of your Cat’s Ears
For the small feline to keep its fabulous sense of hearing as long as possible, it is important that its master takes care of its ears.
In any case, care must be taken to avoid ear wax plugs, which are favored by the L-shaped ear canal of the cat, which does not really facilitate the evacuation of this wax.
As a result, earwax ends up accumulating, which can, in the long term, cause infections, including repeated ear infections.
This can result in problems with the eardrum and may lead to hearing loss to a greater or lesser extent.
A small routine visit to the veterinarian is essential to regularly check the good condition of your cat’s ears because they are quite fragile.
It is also necessary to clean them periodically with a specific product recommended by the veterinarian, using a nozzle designed for the animal’s ears. Of course, cotton swabs are to be avoided at all costs.
How About You? Does YOUR Cat Like Loud Music?
Now it’s your turn: have you ever had any fun experiences with your cat when you turn the music up? How did he react? Don’t hesitate to tell me everything in the comments!