How fast do odours travel?

  Graham. 13:42 11 Jan 09
Locked

When I get up in the morning, my cat normally stays asleep on the bed. At some random point in time downstairs, I will open a pouch of food for her. Within milliseconds, I hear her jump down onto the floor and she comes ambling down the stairs.

I remember reading that it is all to do with atoms colliding in air. Can anyone quote any figures for the speed?

  lotvic 13:49 11 Jan 09

I think it depends on how fit the cat is ;o)

  Legolas 13:53 11 Jan 09

I think it is more do do with the familiar sound of you opening the cat food that gets the cats attention. My cat is the same when he hears me opening the cupboard door and lifting his food he is through like a shot.

  AL47 13:58 11 Jan 09

our cat loves those pouches, shes always mewing round your feet :)

  Graham. 14:00 11 Jan 09

No, it's not a sound prompt. Since I noticed, I've been careful not to give any signal other than the odour.

  Graham. 14:01 11 Jan 09

Oh, it's your cat?

  Stuartli 14:17 11 Jan 09

A cat's hearing level is up to five times that of a human and the ability to turn its ears through a half-circle also boosts its hearing.

It also has an advantage in having a sense of smell up to 14 times better than us.

So no one should be surprised if their cat suddenly turns up unexpectedly when there is food around or is being prepared...:-)

  octal 14:20 11 Jan 09

I wouldn't discount the cats hearing because they have a very acute sense of hearing. I the morning when they are outside and are due to be fed, the slightest chink of the saucer and they come bombing across the neighbours fences, and that's through the double glazing.

  octal 14:22 11 Jan 09

That's the sound going through the double glazing, not the cat, in case you are wondering.

  spuds 14:55 11 Jan 09

Senses, sounds and perception perhaps. Bit like the dog waiting at the door 5 minutes before the owner arrives home.Or someone having a trained dog, that senses when a person is going to have a fit or other medical problem.

The only problem with a dog 'sensing a fit', is the dog cannot sense its own. I have a dog that as fits, and is on daily medication. But this doesn't prevent us or the dog 'catching it in time' and well before it commences.

  pcmags 16:00 11 Jan 09

Our cat moves very quickly when ever we open a can of tuna!

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