Yes, it is said that cats hear three times more than we do because they can hear sound with frequencies which are three times higher than humans. Cats can hear frequencies from 40Hz to 85,000 Hz (Dr Morris says it is up to an astonishing 100,000 Hz). Humans in their prime can hear sounds with frequencies up to 20,000 Hz. At retirement age this drops to around 12,000 Hz. Incidentally, dogs manage up to 35,000 to 40,000 Hz.
The reason for the cats ability to hear high pitches sounds is to detect mice sounds. The mice and other small mammals are their primary prey animal. It is the product of evolution per Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest.
A business called Pet Acoustics Inc. say that this acute sensitivity to sounds triggers feline behaviour stress in the human world. This is why they have created calming music for cats and dogs.
A PR release states that they have just conducted a three-month study (March 2021) to test the participating cats’ viral signs and behavioural patterns such as heart rate variability (HRV), pulse and activity levels. They played their music for 24 hours after no music for the same time. They used a Petpace smart collar to monitor the cats vital signs.
The music “significantly modified the physiological and behavioral state of each cat. The pulse and activity levels of all the cats tested was lower and the HRV was higher with the music….The most significant finding was the HRV, which showed a considerable elevation from the baseline, even more than what we saw with the pulse. HRV was lower when the sympathetic tone (fight or flight mode) was higher, and vice versa. Therefore, a calm animal should have a higher HRV.”
The used a portable Pet Acoustics Pet Tunes speaker which I believe is the same as the one for sale at modest prices, I have to add (cat pet tunes all-in-one miniature music player and speaker costs $69.99 – see picture above).
Well the bottom line is this: they say that they have scientifically proved their music works under controlled conditions. I have not tried their music on my cat but the price is attractive. It is worth a try if you are concerned about your cat’s anxiety particularly under noisy conditions.
Their statement that cats hear three times more than people is quite startling. I am unconvinced that it is true because can you convert an ability to hear three times higher frequencies with hearing three times more sound? Are most sounds at the middle range of frequencies? Or is there an equal distribution of ambient sounds across the range of frequencies? I don’t know but they argue that the latter applies. I’d like to see more work on that.