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How Can Cats Turn Their Ears So Many Ways?

Cats are able to turn their ears in so many ways because they have 32 muscles in each ear. That's more than five times the number of muscles in a human ear. These muscles allow each ear to move up to 180 degrees and independently from one another.

Cats are alert animals and they use their ears to follow various sounds. A cat's ears will be upright when there is a sudden noise that catches his or her attention. If a cat is in an aggressive mode, such as when getting ready to pounce on a bird, another cat or a human, his or her ears will take a backward position. Rapid ear movements and independent ear movements may be signs that the cat is confused or afraid.

Cat owners often become familiar with their cat's ear movements and what they mean.

More about cats:

  • Cats have better hearing than dogs; they can hear low pitch and high pitch sounds equally well.

  • Cats use their whiskers for navigation and to measure space relative to their own size, which is why obesity can cause a cat to miscalculate an opening and get stuck.

  • Indoor cats live at least three times longer than outdoor cats.

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