Why There Are Pockets in Cats’ Ears

Most people that have seen cats have noticed that they have little pockets on their ears. But few people really know what they are for.

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you why there are pockets in cats’ ears.

The features of cats’ ears

Cats have such sharp hearing that they can determine the location of a sound source with an accuracy of up to 5 degrees. Also, thanks to their hearing, cats can not only determine the location but also the size of the thing that’s making the sound. Their ears can turn 180 degrees and detect even the quietest sounds made by their prey. They can hear a big range of sounds from high to very low frequencies.

Cats’ ears consist of 3 parts: the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. The outer ear is a triangle auricle that detects and sends sound waves from the hearing canal to the middle ear. The small bones located there send vibrations into the inner ear and the cat hears a sound.

The pocket we’re going to talk about now is at the base of the auricle and is called Henry’s pocket.

What Henry’s pocket is for

Experts are not quite sure yet on why there are pockets on cats’ ears but they have several theories:

  1. Henry’s pockets help cats determine the exact location of a sound. The pockets help them be more effective hunters and also avoid encounters with bigger predators.
  2. The pockets help them detect other sounds, especially during hunting when the ear is at an angle. When the ear moves, the pocket makes the sound stronger, sends it to the ear canal, and detects the location even more accurately.
  3. The pockets make cats’ ears more flexible and make it more comfortable for them to move their ears. When expressing their emotions, like fear, anger, joy, etc. cats use their ears. The idea is that Henry’s pockets help them move their ears easier.

Other animals that have pockets on their ears

Cats are not the only animals that have Henry’s pockets. These pockets are there on some dogs, bats, and fennec foxes. It’s interesting that all of these animals have very good hearing and really flexible ears.

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