Guess where you will find Henry’s pocket on your cat or dog.
I bet many of you have played absentmindedly with your cat or dog’s ears and have thumbled with that cute little flap behind their ears. That little slit is called “Henry’s pocket” Yes, it does have a name!
There are three theories why our pets have them.
One theory is that Henry’s pocket may help animals to accurately locate a sound. This is essential for a predator to give it a better chance of detecting prey, as well as predators they need to avoid.
Another theory is that the pocket helps enhance sounds. When a cat or dog angles its ear, the pouch helps to make the action more efficient. Each ear has muscles that allow a cat or dog to move them independently. This makes it possible for a predator to move their body in one direction while pointing the ear in another direction.
The third theory is that those cute little slits help dogs with a Henry’s pocket flatten their ears, but cats don’t fold their ears like canines do. However, the slits might add a little more flexibility to the ears and make it easier for cats to express their discomfort, fear, anger or contentment by the position of their ears.
Of course, it’s always possible that the slit has absolutely no function whatsoever, but that’s probably not the case. Survival is dependent on efficient adaptation, so there likely is a reason for the pocket that hasn’t yet been discovered.
What is certain about Henry’s pocket ticks and fleas love to hang out in it. So check the little pocket when examining your pet for parasites.