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What Noise Levels Are Healthy For Cats? (Updated: )

Cats have exceptional hearing; their hearing is far superior than ours, and they can hear sounds that humans cannot. Cats utilize their hearing to hunt, communicate with one another, and avoid danger from predators.

Additionally, cats can detect the ultrasonic noises that rodents use to communicate. When living with a cat, it is vital to consider the noise level.

Too much noise can cause stress and possibly impair hearing. Conversely, cats also utilize sound to communicate. What decibel levels are safe for cats? When it is peaceful, cats may rest and sleep.

In a world where we are always surrounded by noise, it is reassuring to know that another species loves peace and quiet. It is essential to limit your cat's exposure to continual noise, as prolonged exposure to noise levels exceeding 95 decibels can result in permanent hearing loss. Short, loud noises of about 120 dB can also cause hearing loss in your cat.

Read "What Noise Levels are Healthy for Cats?" on BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to learn how to protect your cat's hearing and create an appropriate acoustic environment.

What is the Hearing Range of Cats?

Frequency is the rate at which a wave repeats, and it is measured in Hertz (Hz). Hertz was the first person to successfully generate and detect electromagnetic waves. One hertz corresponds to one cycle per second. Kilohertz (kHz) is a unit of measurement equal to one thousand Hertz (Hz). It is frequently used to measure sound waves, especially in the context of music.

The audible range of the human ear is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. The hearing range of the domestic cat for sounds with a sound pressure level of 70 dB runs from 48 Hz to 85 kHz, making it one of the most sensitive mammals in terms of hearing. This indicates that cats evolved increased high-frequency hearing without losing low-frequency hearing.

Decibel Chart

Let’s examine the decibel levels of some typical noises. We’ve also graded their suitability for your cat’s delicate ears.

Sound  Decibels  Safe for Cats?
Normal conversation 60 Safe
Washing machine 70 Safe
City traffic (from within the car) 80-85 Safe, but may cause them stress
Vacuum Cleaner 60-95 Not if prolonged
Lawnmower 85-95 Not if prolonged
Leaf blower 85-95 Not if prolonged
Motorcycle 95 Not if prolonged
Car horn at 15 feet 100 Not if prolonged
A loud radio, stereo, or television 105-110 Not if prolonged
Shouting or barking at close range 110 Not if prolonged
Sirens at close range 120 Not safe
Thunder 120 Not safe
Jackhammer 130 Not safe
Power Drill 130 Not safe
Firecrackers 140-150 Not safe

Conclusion

In conclusion, appropriate noise levels for cats do not exceed 95 dB, and exposure to noise levels over this can lead to hearing damage in cats.

Their fragile ears might be harmed by excessive loudness and sustain long-term damage. To safeguard your cat’s hearing, maintain a comfortable noise level and provide them with lots of calm areas to retreat to.

Thank you for reading the BestForPets (bestforpets.org) post. Hopefully, the article on “What Noise Levels are Healthy for Cats?” will provide you with important information about how sound frequencies impact the health of cats.

What Are Decibels?

The decibel is a unit of measurement used to quantify the volume of a sound. Since decibels are logarithmic, a tenfold rise in noise level corresponds to a tenfold increase in decibels. A sound that is 10 decibels louder than another is 100 times as loud.

To protect your cat’s hearing, it is vital to be aware of the decibel levels of the surrounding noises and to take efforts whenever feasible to limit your cat’s exposure to them. Putting your cat in a place apart from loud sounds reduces their exposure to decibel levels that could be harmful.

What Are Some Sounds Above 95 Decibels?

Noises that exceed 95 dB might cause hearing loss in your cat. You’d be shocked at how frequently this level of noise may be heard within the home. At this decibel level, frequent everyday noise sources include power tools, lawnmowers, hair dryers, loud music, and vacuum cleaners. All of these sounds are inherently undesirable to your cat.

At this decibel level, they will grow irritated and attempt to flee. Now you know why: sustained exposure to noise at this level can cause cats to develop hearing loss. Human ears are similarly sensitive; you should use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones if you are exposed to these noises.

What Are Some Sounds That Exceed 120 Decibels?

Examples of noises that exceed 120 decibels include lightning, gunfire, and fireworks. These loud noises might cause hearing impairment to your cat. When lightning strikes, thunder may reach up to 120 decibels, making it one of the most intense natural noises. This is another reason why it’s crucial to be cautious during thunderstorms and spend as much time as possible indoors.

In extreme instances, gunshots can reach up to 140 dB in volume. This type of loudness can cause irreversible hearing loss in cats, as well as in people. Another typical source of noise that might harm your cat’s hearing is fireworks. If you anticipate thunder, gunfire, or fireworks, the most kind thing you can do for your cat is to place it in a calm area away from the commotion.

How Does a Cat's Ear Amplify Sound?

The external ear, also known as the pinna, is the most apparent component of a cat’s ear; it is huge, erect, and cone-shaped, and it captures and amplifies sound waves. For frequencies between 2 and 6 kHz, the ear of a cat may magnify sound waves by a factor of two to three.

Due to the vast number of muscles involved in the regulation of their ears, a cat’s pinna may spin up to 180 degrees to find and distinguish even the tiniest sounds.

Noise Levels and Stress in Cats

The blood pressure of a cat is elevated by loud noise. This is because your cat is living in an extremely stressful situation due to the noise. Pet owners typically underestimate noise levels and stress levels in cats. However, these two elements can have a substantial effect on the health and behavior of a cat.

There are a few basic steps pet owners may do to lessen their cats’ stress and noise levels. For instance, they can give a peaceful space for them to relax, away from noisy noises. Additionally, they can avoid using harsh language and tones when engaging with their cats. Pet owners may help their cats live happier, healthier lives by following these measures.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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