Categories: senses

Blind cat searching for food uses his nose like a blind person uses a white cane

Blind cat uses nose like a blind person uses a white cane

This video is not hugely significant in the grand scheme of domestic cat life on the planet but it is interesting to see a blind domestic cat using his nose to track down food. He scans from left to right as if he is a blind person using a blind person’s white cane.

Blind people use the white cane to employ their sense of touch in a safe way to locate obstacles and find the open path ahead. It is a scanning process from left to right. It seems that blind cats use their noses in a similar way but rather than the sense of touch they use their sense of smell to guide them.

This blind cat behaviour provides a glimpse of what is happening in the head of the cat. The source of the food smell is not 100% clear to the cat. It is somewhere out there in a circle about a yard across. That’s how sharp his ‘sight’ is using his sense of smell. It is less sharp than if he was using his eyes. This might give us an insight into how domestic cats use their sense of smell to locate prey.

The primary feline senses for locating prey are sound and sight, backed up by smell. Between sound and sight it is possible that the cat’s auditory skills are more accurate than their visual skills.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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