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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 6:51 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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A bit of a odd one but I am curious..

So we moved our cats from UK to USA recently and when they arrived in the van (pet carrier) I was talking to the guy who was driving them and they probably could hear me as he opened the window on a car but they were quiet. When he opened the van and they saw me they went crazy, meowing and telling me all about it.

Just now, I saw a friend out and when I was walking back I stood outside the window where my cats were sleeping on the cat tree inside and looked at them and pretended to chat to them from outside, through the glass and they cheered up and started running towards the front door to greet me (never mind I just left for 3 minutes). This got me wondering if they can recognise better by sight than by hearing. Does anyone know?
Just curious :)

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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 9:18 am 
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My Darling boy Merlin always listened for me pulling up in the car, and would be in the hall to tell me with what he had been doing and demanding rubs when I opened the front door - If I was away then Mum would use my car, because of the parking permit, and he would be in the hall, but when he saw her he would walk off to the kitchen to wait for food!

When she hears anyone come in, Morgana will be peering round the banister from upstairs, and if she sees me, she will come down. If I call her, she will mew back sometimes, but she definitely verifies by sight! Mum is the only visitor I have allowed, so far, and she sees her, then stays upstairs!

Sight is definitely the 'safety' check.... :wink1:

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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 4:18 pm 
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I don't know the answer to that, but I was wondering the same thing yesterday when my cats were stalking a giant fly that got into the house. I could hear it buzzing and it was big enough to see when it landed. But boy you should have seen these two cackling and chasing this poor fly for hours racing around the house and leaping against the windows. At one point Grace was sitting on the stove looking into the hood overhead. She almost never goes on that counter and she refused to move. In the end Grace caught the fly and ate it.

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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 4:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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This is really interesting:

Hearing:

Cats have incredible hearing skills. In fact, they can hear sounds that even dogs fail to hear. With 2 satellite dish shaped ears, cats' range of hearing goes up to ultrasonic which is superbly high. Sound is measured by vibrations. The number of vibrations a sound produces per second is called Frequency with a unit measurement named hertz. Cats can hear 100,000 hertz as oppose to their canine counterpart that is receptive to a range from 35,000 to 40,000 hertz. Compare to cats, humans are totally out of their league with a paltry 20,000 hertz, trailing far behind.

Cats score 1.

Smell:

Cats have a fascinating sense of smell. They use their smell to sniff out the whereabouts of a mouse or food smidgens hidden underneath the fridge. Their nose is extremely sensitive to scents because there are approximately 200 million odor-sensitive cells in the nostrils which make cats an adept sniffer. With only 5 million odor-sensitive cells in humans, our ability to smell is pale in comparison. Cats do not only utilize their olfactory on locating food, but also use it as a medium to communicate. Cats have scent glands on the head and paws. Whenever they rub their head or paws against an object, it is as if they are leaving their business card for other felines to recognize and translate.

Cats score another one.

Touch:

Whiskers are an important apparatus for cats to get around. Did you know that besides the whiskers grown on their face, cats have whiskers on the backs of their front legs as well? The whiskers aid them in navigating in narrow or shallow areas and tell them whether the area is big enough for their body to get through. The whiskers work as antenna, approximating the measurement of a tight opening, giving them an idea whether they can squeeze through it. This ability provides them good judgment before their curiosity carry them away. Certain cats have short whiskers or even born without any whiskers such as Sphynx. The absence of whiskers does not impede them from performing their normal tasks, but rather they are as agile and nimble as other cats that have long whiskers. Humans, on the other hand, are not equipped with such natural ability to recognize their surroundings in such cognizant fashion.

Another point for cats.

Taste:

We all know that cats are persnickety about their food. Dogs on the other hand, would eat almost any treats you offer them. The reason that cats are fastidious eaters is because they only have 473 taste buds whereas humans have around 9,000 taste buds. This explains why cats rely so heavily on their smell when it comes to food.

Humans finally break their 0, score 1.

Sight:

Cats have superior vision. They can see things in a panoramic view due to their ability to dilate their pupils. Their excellent peripheral vision helps them capture the movement of a mouse or a bird in a much wider range than humans. However, like the humans, cats have a blind spot too. It is situated 4 -5 inches in front of their face, so sometimes they may not see the toy that is placed right underneath their chin. However, their whiskers will come in handy in case like this.

Final score goes to cats.

Cats WIN!!!


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 5:49 pm 
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To answer the OP's question: neither!

Smell is the uber sense for cats, for recognition and other things. That is why they spray, rub against things, put their nose in other cat's behinds, and why it is such a big deal to them when a member of the household doesn't smell "right" (like was at the vet's office). They can instantly turn from best friend to worst enemy. It's also why something like feliway works, and they have such a strong reaction to catnip. They can see, touch, hear etc., but they'll ignore all those senses if someone/something doesn't smell right. Similar with food. It's why it's such big deal to cats if they have their sense of smell compromised due to illness. They may stop eating completely(!) because they don't trust those other senses to the same degree.

Yes, they do have better low-light vision than humans, but they see in lower resolution and not as many colors. I've read that some researchers think that they are somewhat nearsighted relative to humans. Their sense of taste sucks relative to humans also (like Sherry said). Remember that when trying to fix appetite problems! It's really smell, smell, smell with cats.

I think it's more like:

smell: +++ for cats
hearing: ++ for cats
seeing: + for humans
taste: ++ for humans
touch: my guess (haven't read anything about this one) is ++ for humans (mainly due to our hands). I can't imagine that being covered from head to toe in a fur coat would help their sense of touch either. They have so little surface area with exposed skin. Yea, they have whiskers, which are interesting, but really not that versatile. I'd take our sense of touch over cats!

I'd take our senses over what cats have, but of course cat's senses are much more specialized and much much better for what they need them for: hunting.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:32 pm 
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jodonut99 wrote:
My Darling boy Merlin always listened for me pulling up in the car, and would be in the hall to tell me with what he had been doing and demanding rubs when I opened the front door - If I was away then Mum would use my car, because of the parking permit, and he would be in the hall, but when he saw her he would walk off to the kitchen to wait for food!

When she hears anyone come in, Morgana will be peering round the banister from upstairs, and if she sees me, she will come down. If I call her, she will mew back sometimes, but she definitely verifies by sight! Mum is the only visitor I have allowed, so far, and she sees her, then stays upstairs!

Sight is definitely the 'safety' check.... :wink1:


That is very interesting. Actually, in our previous condo, they would listen to the sound of the elevator stopping on our floor and would sit back down when they realised it was not my husband but would run towards the door if it was him so I guess they recognise by sound too but perhaps they were not sure (having been through a lot of handling while travelling) and were being quiet until they saw me.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:33 pm 
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CMYKjill wrote:
I don't know the answer to that, but I was wondering the same thing yesterday when my cats were stalking a giant fly that got into the house. I could hear it buzzing and it was big enough to see when it landed. But boy you should have seen these two cackling and chasing this poor fly for hours racing around the house and leaping against the windows. At one point Grace was sitting on the stove looking into the hood overhead. She almost never goes on that counter and she refused to move. In the end Grace caught the fly and ate it.



ha ha ha Nina eats flies too, she is so happy when she gets a juicy one :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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brianj12 wrote:
To answer the OP's question: neither!

Smell is the uber sense for cats, for recognition and other things. That is why they spray, rub against things, put their nose in other cat's behinds, and why it is such a big deal to them when a member of the household doesn't smell "right" (like was at the vet's office). They can instantly turn from best friend to worst enemy. It's also why something like feliway works, and they have such a strong reaction to catnip. They can see, touch, hear etc., but they'll ignore all those senses if someone/something doesn't smell right. Similar with food. It's why it's such big deal to cats if they have their sense of smell compromised due to illness. They may stop eating completely(!) because they don't trust those other senses to the same degree.

Yes, they do have better low-light vision than humans, but they see in lower resolution and not as many colors. I've read that some researchers think that they are somewhat nearsighted relative to humans. Their sense of taste sucks relative to humans also (like Sherry said). Remember that when trying to fix appetite problems! It's really smell, smell, smell with cats.

I think it's more like:

smell: +++ for cats
hearing: ++ for cats
seeing: + for humans
taste: ++ for humans
touch: my guess (haven't read anything about this one) is ++ for humans (mainly due to our hands). I can't imagine that being covered from head to toe in a fur coat would help their sense of touch either. They have so little surface area with exposed skin. Yea, they have whiskers, which are interesting, but really not that versatile. I'd take our sense of touch over cats!

I'd take our senses over what cats have, but of course cat's senses are much more specialized and much much better for what they need them for: hunting.


Thanks Sherry and Brian. Wow, never actually knew about the smell (I knew but not to what extent it is important to them) but it figures. I often have to sprinkle Temptations on food before Nina will eat it (and then she eats it without a problem) and she also turns on Kalinda after a vet trip (you are right there, as if a demon entered).
We had one episode where Kalinda looked like she is having a stroke (later I researched and I think she temporarily fainted as she sat in the wooden box with her head over it and went to get up and probably realised she cut her own blood supply) so we bundled her in the car straight away to the vet's where I authorised all sorts of tests so she stayed for a blood test and some scans (more than a yearly quick visit). Luckily they found nothing and they said if it repeats they know it may be epilepsy but she never had anything like that again. When we came home, Nina really turned on her for almost a whole day. Luckily Kalinda was given some valium after her ordeal and really didn't care about anything else than food as she experienced severe munchies :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Cats always return home from the vet with new smells that turn off any other cats. I am so happy that the episode with Kalinda has not escalated. I had to remove all the wastepaper baskets in our bathrooms because Raiden would want to stick his head in and it would cut off the air to his trachea and he would start choking. He NEVER learned, thus, they are gone.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Tinny wrote:
Thanks Sherry and Brian. Wow, never actually knew about the smell (I knew but not to what extent it is important to them) but it figures. I often have to sprinkle Temptations on food before Nina will eat it (and then she eats it without a problem) and she also turns on Kalinda after a vet trip (you are right there, as if a demon entered).
We had one episode where Kalinda looked like she is having a stroke (later I researched and I think she temporarily fainted as she sat in the wooden box with her head over it and went to get up and probably realised she cut her own blood supply) so we bundled her in the car straight away to the vet's where I authorised all sorts of tests so she stayed for a blood test and some scans (more than a yearly quick visit). Luckily they found nothing and they said if it repeats they know it may be epilepsy but she never had anything like that again. When we came home, Nina really turned on her for almost a whole day. Luckily Kalinda was given some valium after her ordeal and really didn't care about anything else than food as she experienced severe munchies :mrgreen:


On a rare occasion when I had to take Lily to the vet, I'd take Noha as well because I knew he would be a problem when she came back home. Happened twice when Lily got out and when she came back (with funny smells all over her) Noha had big issues for hours and hours. So I preferred he kept her company at the vets rather than staying home.

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:19 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Sherry wrote:
Cats always return home from the vet with new smells that turn off any other cats. I am so happy that the episode with Kalinda has not escalated. I had to remove all the wastepaper baskets in our bathrooms because Raiden would want to stick his head in and it would cut off the air to his trachea and he would start choking. He NEVER learned, thus, they are gone.


Oh dear :(
Yes we were happy to find out this was a one off. She recovered after few seconds but looked like she was having a stroke - side of her face went weird. The vet said they have different symptoms for stroke to humans. Later I researched it and thought it sounded like fainting. But it scared us so much. Luckily, she had all the bloodworks and scans they could do so at least I know she is healthy :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:20 pm 
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ttl wrote:
Tinny wrote:
Thanks Sherry and Brian. Wow, never actually knew about the smell (I knew but not to what extent it is important to them) but it figures. I often have to sprinkle Temptations on food before Nina will eat it (and then she eats it without a problem) and she also turns on Kalinda after a vet trip (you are right there, as if a demon entered).
We had one episode where Kalinda looked like she is having a stroke (later I researched and I think she temporarily fainted as she sat in the wooden box with her head over it and went to get up and probably realised she cut her own blood supply) so we bundled her in the car straight away to the vet's where I authorised all sorts of tests so she stayed for a blood test and some scans (more than a yearly quick visit). Luckily they found nothing and they said if it repeats they know it may be epilepsy but she never had anything like that again. When we came home, Nina really turned on her for almost a whole day. Luckily Kalinda was given some valium after her ordeal and really didn't care about anything else than food as she experienced severe munchies :mrgreen:


On a rare occasion when I had to take Lily to the vet, I'd take Noha as well because I knew he would be a problem when she came back home. Happened twice when Lily got out and when she came back (with funny smells all over her) Noha had big issues for hours and hours. So I preferred he kept her company at the vets rather than staying home.


Actually not a bad strategy :)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 pm 
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i think brianj12 has the best point here. Scent would appear to be the most obvious for cats, hence the rubbing and spraying.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:41 pm 
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Scent is probably #1 for a cat as cats with vision still rub and spray!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:45 pm 
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maybe that settles it then, cats smell stuff haha!! :biggrin:


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