Dear Christopher Cat
My brother’s rock band practices at our house, and I’m afraid the loud music will hurt my kitten’s hearing. Can you give me some facts so I can convince my brother to practice in the garage?
We cats have very sensitive hearing, and it’s easily damaged by too much noise.
To determine how much noise is too much, it’s important to consider both the intensity and duration of the sound.
Intensity is measured in decibels (dB). A song bird sings at about 40 dB, while normal human conversation takes place at 60 to 70 dB.
A Walkman set at a volume of 5/10 plays at about 94 dB.
From three feet away, a power saw registers 110 dB and a gunshot 140 dB.
Symphonic music peaks at 120 to 137 dB. Amplified rock music starts at 115 dB and commonly reaches 150 dB.
Studies in cats have shown that short-term exposure to 120 dB – or long-term exposure to just 85 dB – causes hearing loss.
You humans say sound measuring 125 dB causes pain. Short-term exposure to 140 dB – or sustained exposure to 90 to 95 dB – can permanently damage hearing in people.
Share this information with your family, and remind them that both cats and young people have sensitive ears.