Cats nibble houseplants as a substitute for eating grass, which is perfectly natural behavior. Eating grass is like taking medication, it’s nature’s way of inducing vomiting. The reason why cats need to regurgitate (vomit) is to rid their digestive system of those painful hairballs that accumulate from grooming. Because they can’t stick a paw down their throat to do the job, they instinctively seek out grasses or plants. Since they’ll eat almost anything green, it’s important that cats don’t have access to toxic plants. You can make sure that your cat is safe from poisonous plants by buying special grasses for cats sold at pet supply stores. They will also love parsley, sage, thyme, and lavender.
How Well do Cats Hear?
The dog has a greater range of pitch than a cat, but the cat’s hearing far exceeds a dog’s when it comes to picking out high-pitched sounds. The cat has brilliantly adapted to hunting by lurking and listening for the tiniest sound, the smallest rustle, or the tiniest squeak. His keen hearing also lets him know the precise direction and distance of his victims. He can hear up to an amazing 100,000 cycles per second, which happens to be about the same pitch made by a mouse’s squeal. A cat’s hearing capability is five times greater than humans, a dog has only one third of the hearing ability of the cat. The cat’s sound sensitivity could be one of the reasons why many people mistakenly believe that cats have extrasensory or supernatural powers. He can hear ultrasonic sounds that precede a noisy activity such as an earthquake.
How do Cats Predict Earthquakes and the Weather?
For centuries, the Chinese looked to cats for early warnings of earthquakes. Scientists monitoring earth tremors in California say that cats sense them long before the most delicate of instruments can. An old wives’ tale may have some basis in scientific fact. It says that a cat passing his paw over his ear signals an oncoming storm. The reason may be that the cat is trying to massage away the annoying sensation of electrical waves that pass through the air when a storm is building. Before a storm strikes, there’s an enormous buildup of electricity and the air becomes highly charged with particles that are thought to influence brain chemistry. Naturalist Ivan Sanderson thought the cat’s astonishing ability to flee from an area before an earthquake strike is really a result of his super sensory perception, a highly sensitive way of hearing that lets him pick up noises inside the earth.