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Making sense of the world around them

Cats are incredible creatures and you may have noticed that they are incredible agile and light on their feet. When you drop your cat off at a Cheltenham Cattery whilst you are away for a week, you may see them looking around every corner of the pen that they are going to be staying in, sniffing and looking around at everything. This is one of the most amazing features of cats, their incredible use of their senses.

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Here are some interesting facts about how cats use their senses.

Taste – surprisingly a cat does not have a very sophisticated sense of taste. They do use their mouth to enhance their sense of smell which is why you will sometimes see your cat opening their mouth whilst smelling something new or complex. But when it comes to their taste buds they have surprisingly few with just around 473 combined to our 9,000 taste buds.

Smell – this is the most enhance sense that a cat has and is the main way in which they identify their environment around them and the people in it. Compared to our 5 million odour sensors cats have a staggering 200 million of them. This is why your cat will sniff anything and everything. It is the way in which they identify one another and their loved ones. It is also why you need to be incredibly careful of any scented products that you use in your household as this can upset your cat.

Touch – this sense is how cats show and receive affection which is why your cat will purr loudly when you rub behind their ears, under their chin or in any other spot that they enjoy. A cat that is very happy will often knead the person or thing that they are sitting on and even dribble with happiness. Each hair that is on the cats body have thousands of nerve endings attached to it which is why they find so much pleasure in touch and also why stroking their fur the wrong way can cause them pain and discomfort.

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Sight – if you have ever seen a cat looking back at you in the dark you will assume that they have incredible vision. However it is thought that it is actually 10 times less effective than our own eyesight. It is the structure of the eye that compensates for this.

Hearing – cats ears appear to twitch even at the slightest sound and this is because 27 different muscle connect to them and they can rotate around 180 degrees. Cats can, in fact, hear frequencies that are higher than those that dogs can hear. Incredibly cats can also detect the direction a sound is coming from by using the time delay between it reach each ear.

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