It’s been said that domestic cats still have three paws in the jungle. After all this time of living with humans, they’re still very much in touch with all of the instincts they’ve inherited from their wildcat ancestors. Even though most domestic cats don’t have to hunt for their meals, they will still spring into action the moment they sense a mouse or fly. That’s because your cat is literally built to be a great hunter.
Here are 7 traits that help when she’s on the prowl:
#1 – Sense of smell Your cat has 200 million smell receptors in her nose (compared to the 5 million in yours). All of those tiny receptors help her sniff out the presence of a mouse before she even sees it.
#2 – Fine-tuned sense of hearing
The range of a cat’s hearing allows her to hear pitches at a much higher frequency than you can hear. Her swiveling ears also allow her to hone in on the exact location of a scuttle or squeak.
#3 – Speed An average cat can run almost 30mph when motivated! That’s a lot quicker than most animals cat choose to prey upon. It’s a lot quicker than you, too; a well-stretched human athlete maxes out at around 22mph.
#4 – Night vision
Your cat has a reflective layer behind each retina that helps pull in more light in dimly-lit environments. That layer gives her great night vision so she can hunt and stalk when her prey is at its most vulnerable.
#5 – Quiet and sneaky If you have multiple cats, you’re probably very familiar with the sneak attack. Whether they’re sneaking up on a fellow cat, a mouse, or an inanimate toy, cats are able to slink around in a way that’s nearly undetectable by unsuspecting prey.
#6 – Quick reflexes
The phrase “cat-like reflexes” became popular because your cat’s reflexes are actually quite remarkable. Their lightening-speed reflexes allow them to land on their feet when they fall, zoom away from predators, and quickly correct directions when they’re on the hunt.
#7 – Whiskers
Your cat’s whiskers are deeply rooted and have plenty of nerve endings, making them very sensitive to changes in the environment and air current. Your cat can use the ability to detect changes in the air current to help her sense if there’s another hidden creature lurking around.