The Jacobson: The Ecology Of The Human Body

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Pet owners know that the dog has a strong sense of smell. But, cat owners know that their pet feline has a distinct ability to distinguish odors. The cat’s nose has “45 to 80 million microscopic olfactory receptors,” Sidney Stevens wrote in her article for the Mother Nature Network. Though dogs have around 149 million and 300 million receptors, your feline has more than 5 million smell receptors compared to you.

Also, your feline can smell through its mouth. The vomeronasal organ, also known as the Jacobson’s organ, is located in the roof of their mouth behind its front teeth and this organ is connected to its nasal cavity. You may have seen your cat breathing through its mouth sometimes and your cat looks like it is smiling or grimacing. “This is called a flehmen response, and it’s how your cat draws odors into its vomeronasal organ for processing,” Stevens mentioned. The nose and the Jacobson’s organ can detect two different kinds of odors. The nose can identify smell in its environment, like food aroma. On the other hand, the Jacobson’s organ can recognize the smell of pheromones, these are “chemical substances that communicate social, territorial, and sexual information,” Stevens explained. Each cat has its own pheromone signature that it secretes from the glands between its eyes, corners of its mouth, between the pads of its paws, and at the base of its tail.
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Your cat uses its sense of smell to find food, mark its territory, and to communicate with other cats, especially if you have a multi-cat

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