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Can Cats Hear a Dog Whistle?

Can cats hear a dog whistle? Dog silencers are used when training dogs; they produce a sound which, according to trainers, helps reduce or eliminate negative behaviors in dogs. Though humans cannot hear these sounds, they are audible to dogs, cats, and other animals.

And though cats have better hearing than dogs, they don’t seem affected by the dog whistle. But cats usually hide their discomfort well, and you will not know for sure. Therefore, instead of using the dog whistle, you can try other humans, safer and effective methods of controlling the canine. Find out why your dog has behavioral problems to be able to formulate effective solutions.

What you should know about the Dog Whistle

The dog whistle is also known as Galton’s whistle or the silent whistle. It emits ultrasonic sounds inaudible to people, but other animals such as cats and dogs hear. Normally, they are an important component of training and were invented in 1876 by Francis Galton. In his book, “Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development,” Francis Galton describes his experiments to identify the sound frequencies that animals like cats and dogs could hear.

In human beings, children have a maximum hearing range of 20kHz in children. And as they become middle-aged adults, this decreases to 15-17 kHz. On the other hand, the cat has a hearing range of 64kHz, while the dog has a 45kHz hearing range.

Research suggests that this higher hearing range was designed for the animals to hear even the lowest sounds made by prey, such as rodents.

The dog whistles have a frequency of 23-45kHhz, which is higher than the human being’s hearing range. But you can adjust some to the human being’s range.

How Do Dog Whistles Work?

Dog whistles are devices designed to emit noises in the hearing range of dogs (23-64kHz). It is an unpleasant noise that forces dogs to abandon some behaviors. It is one of the tools of positive punishment, and with the unpleasant stimulus, the dogs will lessen or eliminate a negative behavior. It denies the dogs the stimulus which increases these negative behaviors, and over time, they will learn to lessen it.

For instance, if your dog is constantly barking, the owner may use a whistle every time it barks. Eventually, the dog will relate the negative whistle sound to barking and bark less when the owner uses it.

It comes in hand with negative reinforcement, which is delaying the unwanted stimulus to increase a behavior. And when it stops barking, the owner stops using the whistle. ‘therefore, the dog will avoid barking so that you will not use the dog whistle.

Do Cats Hear Dog Whistles?

Unlike dogs, cats can have better hearing than dogs. Therefore, they will hear the sounds, but it will also depend on the dog’s cycle. If you use a silent dog whistle, you may think that only the dog hears, but actually, even the cat can hear you. And if you blow continuously or hard, then you may scare it or damage its hearings.

And therefore, if you are a dog owner, then it’s also important to take care of other species such as cats through our actions. This is the question in the minds of many dog owners, and now you know the answer, always whisper sensibly to avoid boring your cat.

To test whether the effects of the dog whistle, use it while near other animals. This will help you know their effect and adhere to the correct working practices. Also, note that the whistle is audible enough for both humans and animals, even if it seems silent.

Do Cats Hate Dog Whistles?

Since cats’ ears are more sensitive than the ones for dogs, they likely hate it too. This is because the sounds are unpleasant, and though we are not certain, we have good reasons that they hate it.


Dog whistles were invented to help dog owners or trainers to lessen negative behaviors in dogs. Though the cats can hear these sounds based on their high hearing range, they do not respond to them. But they choose not to even though the sounds irritate them. Therefore, it’s important to use alternative methods of discouraging dogs’ negative behaviors without using the dog whistle. This helps you to avoid punishing your cat for the dog’s mistakes.

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