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What can dogs and cats hear that we can't?

Pet’s ears come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing cats and dogs have in common, is how much better they hear, compared to us humans. Let's take a look at just how much better our pets hear than we do... 

maine coon cat

Dogs can hear sounds up to 4 times further away than we can. Dogs also hear a wider range of higher frequency sounds than we can. We can hear sounds up to 20,000 Hz (that symbol stands for Hertz, which measures frequency). Dogs can hear sounds up to 50,000Hz!

It's not just higher frequency sounds. Dogs can also detect much quieter sounds than we can. The volume of sound is measured in decibels (dB). A child can barely hear 0dB (our hearing gets less sensitive as we get older). Sounds quieter than our hearing range get a negative dB rating. In the right Hz range, dogs can hear sounds between -5dB to -15 dB. That means they can hear sounds not even loud enough for our ears!

Those impressive ears can hear so much better than us for a few fascinating reasons...

siberian husky puppy running

Extra muscles

Our ears have just 6 muscles and we can only move our ears a small amount, if at all. Dogs ears are controlled by up to 18 muscles and can tilt and rotate their ears toward the source of the sound. Some dogs even have ears that act like a funnel, and amplify sounds.


Dogs and cat’s hearing is extra sensitive to help them hunt. Their ancestors preyed on small animals such as rodents. Our pet’s ears have the ability to hear even tiny animal’s squeaks. Human ears are more tuned to hear the human voice.

Cats win this one

Your cats hearing is even better than your dogs! Cat are equipped with an impressive 30 ear muscles.

People often joke that their pet's ears are ‘painted on’

They may not always come when called, or do as they’re told, but one thing all pet's ears have in common, is the ability to hear food from a mile away.

Especially when that food is Nutrience Subzero.

Subzero combines the best of both worlds. Chunks of freeze-dried, raw meat, combined with the convenience of kibble. Multi-protein formulas to appeal to even the fussiest feline and pickiest pooch. An ancestral-based, protein-rich recipe they’ll come running for every meal.

Every bowl of Nutrience gives your pets a complete and balanced meal to nourish health from the inside out. From the tip of their tails to the tips of those impressive ears (whatever they may look like).

Learn more 

Browse the Nutrience Subzero range for Dogs

Browse the Nutrience Subzero range for Cats

Find your local Nutrience Stockist (over 140 stockists nationwide!)