Unique features in pets that make them special!

Dogs and cats are not just special because they have a special place in your heart. They also have many abilities that come from their unique features that humans just don’t have. Let’s dive in to learn more about their superpower! 😻✨


👃 Nose

As you may already know, a dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000 to 100,000 times
better than us humans. But did you know that sniffing is also a form of communication for dogs? It all begins with an organ called ‘Jacobson’ or ‘Vomeronasal’. It’s an organ that is located inside the upper part of their mouth. Its function is to detect chemical scents, especially Pheromones which enable dogs to sense other dog’s emotions.

Inside their nose, there are these cells called ‘Olfactory’. They are primarily located in the nasal cavity. The more Olfactory there are, the better a dog’s sense of smell would be. While humans have only four square centimeters of tissue lining, dogs have 125 to 150 square centimeters of it.

👂 Ears

Dogs not only have a good sense of smell but also good hearing as well! The average dog can hear 4 times better than an average human. They can hear higher pitch sounds and can detect a frequency range of 6 to 45,000 HZ whereas a person can hear the range of 64 to 23,000 HZ.

Another thing that helps with their hearings are their ear muscles. They’ve got 18 muscles that help control the direction of their ears, to follow sounds and help express body language so humans can understand them.

👀 Third Eyelid

Did you know that dogs have three eyelids? The third one is called ‘Nictitating Membrane’.

It’s found under the other eyelids inside the corner, near the nose. Its function is to protect the eyeballs from scratches or in response to inflammation.


👅 Tongue

Even though cats value their freedom and like to go out, they would never forget to dedicate some of their time to groom themselves.

This stems from their predator instinct to clean their traces after hunting. Their tongues are covered with little spines that are made from a type of Protein called ‘Keratin’ and they function like a brush.

🐱 Whiskers

Cats are still considered as a member of the big cat species, the predators. Whiskers are one of their hunting weapons but since these house cats don’t have to hunt for food anymore, whiskers have become tools for them, to help understand the surrounding environments.

Whiskers are special organs that are deeply embedded and connected to the nervous system. It helps cats locate and estimate size of things or distance such as when they’re walking in a narrow space or when they’re walking in the dark. 

👁 Pupils

This particular part of cats, we can obviously see! It’s their ‘Cat eyes’ or the slitted pupils. According to scientists, cats have slitted pupils because of their predator ancestors. Compared to others in the big cat family that have normal circular pupils, cats are very small so the vertically slit pupils help them see wider and give them the deeper perception of the ground.

Cats are nocturnal, inside their pupils contain more photoreceptors, 6 to 8 times more than that of humans. It helps them see in the dark. But unfortunately, it also means that their vision during the day is not as good because of this amount of photoreceptors. During the day, it’s too bright and there’s too much sunlight so cats will have slitted pupils and at night their pupils will return to their normal shape, which is round. 

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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