At Meyou, we’ve long been convinced that cats are extraordinary animals. And if we look at their physical abilities, it’s not hard to see why. In some instances, they can seem positively “superhuman”! Our feline friends are streets ahead of us in a lot of areas. Here are just a few examples.
They can see in the dark
In terms of vision, cats may not see colours as well as us (they see everything in muted shades), nor is their eyesight as sharp as ours, but they do have a wider visual field: 260° (200° plus peripheral vision of 30° on each side) compared to 220° for us humans (180° plus 20° on each side). They also have the advantage when it comes to seeing in the dark: their nocturnal vision is between 6 and 8 times better than ours. If you’re curious to see what the world looks like through your cat’s eyes, artist Nickolay Lamm has created a series of photos that demonstrate feline vision. The results are astounding!
They can jump (really) high
Agile and light on their paws, cats can easily jump 1.50m – that’s 5 to 6 times their height! They are equally impressive when it comes to jumping long distances. On top of their powerful muscles, they are particularly well “equipped” for this kind of exercise: their tail helps them to balance, they have pads to help soften impact on landing and an extremely effective inner ear to help them regain their balance in a fraction of a second.
They have an incredible sense of smell
While they may not have our palate in terms of taste, cats have a better sense of smell than even the best perfumer. It’s hardly surprising when you consider that they have over 20 million nerve endings in their nasal passages, compared to “only” 5 million in humans. This means that their sense of smell is 50 to 70 times more powerful than ours. Thanks to a unique scent organ (the vomeronasal or Jacobson organ) in the roof of their mouth, they can also “taste” smells and identify pheromones present in the air.
They have great hearing
While they may not have a musical ear, cats have a much finer sense of hearing than ourselves. They can hear a wide range of sounds, in particular low-frequency sounds, and unlike humans who are limited to 20kHZ, they can hear ultrasound frequencies of up to 50kHz. Another advantage cats have is that they can move their pointy ears independently to identify the source and distance of the sound in question.
They can run (very) fast
Cats are capable of running 100 metres in 9 seconds, which means they are pretty good sprinters! Their average speed is 40km/hr and they can reach peaks of up to 50km/hr (the world record among humans is 44km/hr and is currently held by Usain Bolt). However, cats are not suited to long distances as they lack endurance and tire quickly.