Cats’ Response To Bird Calls Essay

1514 words - 7 pages

For years cats have had some kind of predatory behavior inside of them. Bird calls can be heard every day by humans and animals, but how an organism reacts to the sound of a bird can vary. Humans are able to identify more varieties of birds than cats, but cats are still able to distinguish between a local bird and a non-local bird. Cats respond more often to local birds than non-local birds, due to cats hearing local birds more frequently than non-local birds.
We first need to look at the predatory behaviors that occur in cats when local birds are apparent in their area. An experiment done by Peter Blancher tested the number of birds killed by house cats. Blancher set up his experiment so that house cats got a chance to hunt at least once a day. After the experiment, he concluded that house cats are responsible for 100-350 million deaths per year in Canada alone (Blancher, Peter Avian Conservation Ecology ,N.p. 2013. Web. 19 Mar, 2014). The experiment showed that house cats have predatory instincts and behaviors despite being inside a house for most of their lives. The behavior occurs when a cat sees or even hears a bird or other prey; cat’s poses these behaviors despite being an indoor or outdoor cat.
Stimulus response is a neurological energy pattern that is apparent when light or sound and is registered by the senses inside the organism. These energy patterns can help determine the organism’s behavioral reaction towards the specific light or sound. Kelly McGinnis tested thirty-two cats responding to different bird calls; one local bird call and two non-local bird calls. She hypothesized that the cats would be able to respond better to local birds compared to non-local birds. She found that the cats responded more to the local bird calls than the non-local bird calls and supported her hypothesis. (McGinnis, K. 2007. Domestic Cat’s Response to Bird Calls. In usc.edu. Retrieved March 19, 2014). The test showed that the bird calls triggered a stimulus response in a cat towards the birds. The cats had a better and faster stimulus response towards the local bird calls instead of the non-local bird calls; because a cat is used to seeing, hearing, and hunting a local bird in its area than a non- local bird call. In humans it is the same. A person in the city is used to seeing a car and hearing its horn blare and therefore exhibits a lower response of startling than a person who lives on a farm.
A key factor in a cat’s ability to hear and hunt birds and other prey is their keen ability to hear the bird or prey. A cat’s ear is composed of three parts: the inner ear, the middle ear, and the outer ear. The outer ear contains the pinna and the ear canal. The pinna is what you mainly see when you look at a cat’s ear; it is cartilage that is covered in skin and fur. The pinna is shaped so that sound can be trapped and funneled into the inner ear. Cats have thirty-two individual muscles in each ear which give them the ability to move each ear...

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