Can Cats Hear Dog Whistles – Interesting Facts


Is your cat reacting strangely to your dog whistle? Or are they not responding at all? Can cats hear dog whistles? What can cats and dogs hear anyway? All this and more, as we briefly explore the hearing range of cats, dogs, humans, and everything in between!

can cats hear dog whistles

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What Exactly Can Cats Hear?

Well, we should all know by now that a dog’s range of hearing really is something to marvel at. A dog’s ears are incredibly sensitive, sure, and can hear for kilometers all around.

Cats, though, can perceive sounds that are even higher than a dog can. The actual range of hearing goes from around 45 to 60,000 hertz. Compared to the range of a human – 20 to 20,000 hertz – it is almost pitiful. Anything past 20 hertz will just appear to be a piercing, high-pitched whistle.

Cats can even perceive sounds that are 4-5 times further away than a human can detect. That is a heck of a burden, especially when we know that cats really are listening.

Given these hard facts, it is not hard to see why some cats respond to dog whistles. They can hear them, after all, so if they are not responding, they are simply choosing to ignore it. Unless the dog in question needs its ears cleaned out.

After all, cats have their own priorities besides those of their human owner. This is one of the main appeals of a cat over a dog, the idea that cats are at least a little more independent and able to function better without the intervention of their owner.

It is a pleasure all its own to imagine your furry friend strutting about the neighborhood in this way, going about their business separate from you. This is, of course, a nightmare to some others who like to know where their pet is at all times.

And that is okay – perhaps in these instances, a dog would be better suited to your purposes.

Can Cats Hear Dog Whistles


The reason dogs and cats can hear these high-pitched sounds is due to their ability to detect sounds in the ultrasonic range. This range is named thus mostly because it is beyond the hearing capabilities of humans.

The hearing range of a dog will reach peaks of about 45000 hertz, cats even hear as high as 65000 hertz. Seeing as the range of the dog whistles under the microscope today is usually between 23000 – 54000, it is no wonder they can have such an effect on them.

It is all relative, of course. Some cats and dogs will respond strongly to some sonic signals whereas others will not. The personalities of these animals are replete and multifaceted, and there is no one tell-all method to understand all of them in one stroke.

Can Cats Hear Dog Whistles

Last Whistle

So, there you have it!

Hopefully, this has cleared up any questions you had about what cats, dogs, and humans can hear in relation to one another. Perhaps you will now think twice before shredding it out on the flute at some point, knowing well that it might cause your furry friend some sonic grief.

We also have a post on a cat’s smelling over a dog’s, so check it out!


What animals can hear dog whistles?

While dogs are the primary target audience for dog whistles, other animals that can hear high-frequency sounds might also be able to hear them to some extent. Cats, ferrets, rabbits, foxes, rodents, bats, and certain birds can hear the whistle.