How Do Cats' and Dogs' Sense of Smell Compare to That of a Human?

Cats’ and dogs’ senses of smell are much greater than that of human beings. In fact, a cat’s sense of smell is estimated to be 14 times stronger than the average human's, and a dog’s sense of smell is thought to range from 1,000 to 1 million times more powerful than a human's. Olfactory receptors are proteins that are located within the nose and are responsible for helping the brain process odors. The average human nose contains 5 million olfactory receptors, and cats' noses have as many as 80 million. Dogs’ noses are thought to contain as many as 300 million olfactory receptors.

More about cats and dogs:

  • The average lifespan of a cat is about 14 years, while the average dog lives 11 years.
  • Domestic cats have been found to be able to travel at speeds of 30 miles per hour (48.28 km/h), and the fastest dogs clock in at about 40 miles per hour (64.37 km/h).
  • Dogs’ senses of smell are so strong that they have been found to smell the chemical changes that occur during the earliest stages of cancer in humans.
More Info:

Discussion Comments


There's actually a kind of shrimp with fifteen color receptors, whereas most humans have only three. What it really makes you wonder about is all the colors we're missing out on - what they'd look like and be called.


It's not just cats and dogs, but a lot of animals have a keen sense of smell. It's amazing how much greater it is than ours. In fact, imagine if humans had that kind of sense.

Post your comments
Forgot password?