Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Kitty Ears & Furnishings

Goodness knows I have my fair share of cat ear headbands, but what about real cat ears? No, I don't collect those, but I am fascinated by them.


My friends Kevin and Emily have gorgeous cats with amazing ear hair. Cat ear hair is called "ear furnishings" by cat fanciers. It insulates their ears from dirt, bugs, and direct sound and I wanted to feature their kitties in this blog.

They say cats have 32 muscles in each ear so they can ignore you. The truth is, sure they can ignore you, but can also rotate their outer ears aka pinna 180 degrees to pinpoint where a certain sound comes from! They can turn independently from each other, and when they move they can increase their hearing range. Their hearing is even better than dogs hearing and they can detect low and high pitch sounds just one tenth of a tone apart. This allows them to figure out how big or small their prey is or hear predators coming after them.


Kurt & Space Ghost ignoring you.

They have little slits at the base of their pinna, called Henry's pockets, but no one has figured out what they are for.


Space Ghost and Stormaggedon. You can kind of see Space Ghost's ear pocket on the left.


Their ears are critical in balance. They have fluid in their ears and tiny hairs that tell your cats brain which way they are moving. It's how they always land on their feet. 


Space Ghost landing on his feet.

They show emotion through ear placement. 


Space Ghost and Kurt showing interest in what you have to say because their ears are facing you.

Finally, unless your cat has a ear problem don't try to clean them, they are self cleaning and sensitive.

Interesting fact...65-85% of white cats with blue eyes are born deaf and it's caused by a mutation in the ear. Scottish Fold and American Curl have funny shaped ears and those are caused by a mutation in their genes.

What do your cats ears look like? You can read more about cat body parts in my other blogs: Kitty Noses and Kitty Jellybeans.

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