How Do Your Cat’s Senses Compare To Your Dog’s?

| Published on December 9, 2015

Our recent article How Do Your Cat’s Five Senses Compare To Your Own? showed us how much sharper our cats are than us– they beat us in nearly every category! In the comments on social media it became clear that many of you were curious about how your cat’s five senses compared to your dog’s. We’d never leave you wondering so here it is. The Battle of the Senses.

Spoiler alert: Cats rule, dogs drool.


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On average, cats have 200 million smell receptors in their nostrils, which helps them locate prey and decipher the scent-based clues left behind for them by other cats in the form of urine marking and pheromones. Some dogs, like Bloodhounds for instance, have been specifically bred to have extraordinary senses of smell with around 300 million scent receptors! The average cat, however, still has a slightly sharper sense of smell than the average dog.



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Cats are the clear winners when it comes to sight, a fact that’s probably clear if you’ve ever watched your cat hunt. Cats can see in a wider range of colors and shades than dogs, can see much better at close range, and have eyes that were designed to see well in dim light (thanks to their nocturnal hunting instincts).



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Cats and dogs both have many muscles in their ears that allow for swiveling, which helps them hone into faraway sounds. Dogs can hear very well– much better than humans– but cats can hear better. On average, dogs can hear frequencies up to about 45,000 hertz. Cats, however, can hear an impressive 100,000!



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Cats and dogs have comparable senses of touch. Both have deep rooted whiskers that they use to learn information about their environments. Whiskers, after all, are sensitive to even the slightest changes in movement and air flow, and can help cats and dogs sense potential predators and other dangers.



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Cats and dogs both have pretty crummy senses of taste, compared to humans (you have 9,000 tastebuds on your tongue). Dogs win this round, though, with 1,700 tastebuds compared to a cat’s 473. No wonder they don’t mind eating the same food every day!