Yes, cats can hear more frequencies and from farther distances than humans. Cats can hear sounds that are 4-5 times farther in distance than humans can hear. Cats are also able to hear higher frequencies than dogs, although they are slightly worse at hearing the lower frequencies.
The ears of a cat are almost always moving. Cats use their hearing to constantly evaluate their surroundings. In the wild cats use their sensitive hearing to hunt their prey. When within 3 feet of the source of a sound, cats can pinpoint within inches, the location of that sound. Imagine a mouse trying to find cover in a field. The mouse makes a tiny sound while moving through the grass. A cat will know exactly where to pounce. Hearing plays a huge role in making cats such effective hunters.
Sensitivity to high pitched sounds also helps mother cats to hear their kittens cry. In the wild, this is a valuable tool because the mother cat must leave her kittens to hunt. Hearing her kittens cry alerts the mother that she is needed by her kittens.
Cats can also rotate their ears up to 180 degrees, allowing them to detect sounds that surround them. This is valuable to a cat’s safety because they can hear predators or potential danger. It is really tough to sneak up on a cat, unless they are in a deep sleep. You may notice that during a catnap, your cat’s ears will still rotate, picking up the sounds of their environment.
As in humans, cat hearing often declines with age. As cats grow older their ability to hear high frequencies diminishes. Cats can also be partially or totally deaf. Deafness in cats can result from an illness of the ear or cats may be born deaf. Domestic cats who suffer from impaired hearing or deafness can lead full, healthy, and happy lives!