Happy Purring?

Why and How Cats Purr

Did you know that cats are not the only creatures that purr?  Mongooses, hyenas, racoons, civets*, and even Guinea pigs have been known to purr.  Another interesting fact is that while mountain lions and bobcats can purr, they cannot roar.  And creatures that can roar (like lions and tigers) cannot purr.  The reason for this is that most big cat’s laranxes are not stiff enough to purr and cats which do purr have the opposite problem.  While most people think that cats only purr when they are happy or content, that might not always be the case.  Sometimes cats purr when they are in distress such as going to the vet or recovering from a wound or illness.  Also, Queens with kittens tend to purr more than usual.  All cats tend to purr more when in contact with humans.  So pet your cat and especially kittens in order that they can be happy and sociable.  Plus you get to hear them purr.

 (*A lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa,)

Rude smell

Olfactory Bulbs

Olfactory Lobes (Photo credit: pinkcigarette)

English: "Golden girl" – Horses (unk...

English: “Golden girl” – Horses (unknown breed, Isabelle or Palomino coloured): Mare with a foal, somewhere in Surrey, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Concerning horses sense of smell.

Horses have an acute sense of smell.  Along with hearing this is one of the main ways that horses take in information about their surroundings.  There are a number of different and important ways a horse uses its sense of smell.  Since horses are equipped with a strong olfactory lobe, (the lobe that controls hearing in the brain) their sense of smell (though no one is sure) is said to be hundreds of times better than a human’s sense of smell.  Because of their strong sense of smell, horses can sense predators from miles away.  The sense of smell also plays a big role in the horse’s complicated social structure.  When horses greet each other they touch noses to take in each others scent, and horses can also learn to recognize each other by scent alone.  In a herd of horses, mares and foals learn to find each other by smell even in a large group.  When you are first introduced to a horse, the most polite thing to do is let the horse sniff the back of your hand.  This tells the horse that you are not a predator and will make the horse more agreeable to being handled.  So the next time you are with a horse, put out your hand and don’t be rude!

Fortunate Eyesight

Eye of a Horse (Andalusian)

Horse’s eyes are very complex.  Although they have a wider field of vision than humans do, horses cannot see very much detail and have a hard time seeing depth and sensing how far an object is from their bodies.  Consequently horses also have many blind spots in which they cannot see at all.  Directly behind and in front of a horse are the biggest blind spots. Which is why you should never walk up behind a horse unless you want to get kicked and why a horse might lift it’s head when you try to pet it’s muzzle.  The horse does not want to get away from you, on the contrary it just wants to see you better!  Most blind spots are determined by the shape of the Horse’s head.  Horses with broad heads decrease the blind spot directly in front while a horse with a thinner head decreases the blind spots on either side.  A horse’s eyes are very sensitive to movement which is why they get spooked so easily.  This is because in the wild, horses have to be on guard all the time for mountain lions, bears, and wolves.  Concerning horses and guarding, a horse’s night vision is superb.  This is so that the horse can see any predators trying to sneak up on them at all times.  Considering color, scientists have not proven whether horses see color or not, but most believe that horses see a few shades of green and/or blue.  Horses may have great night vision and movement detection, but all the blind spots and lack of depth perception really makes me feel fortunate to have human eyesight.