How do cats see? Cat eyes are similar to human eyes, but evolution has focused their eyesight on improving the hunting activities of these animals, which are born predators.
Like a good hunter, cats need to understand the movement of things around them in low light conditions, and they don’t have to distinguish a wide range of colors to survive, but it is still not true that they only see in black and white.
In reality, they see worse than us when it comes to focusing on objects up close. However, they have a greater field of vision at long distances and can be seen in the dark.
If you want to know how cats look, continue reading this article by PeritoAnimal, where we will show you some essential points to consider when knowing how cats see.
1 – Cats have bigger eyes than us
To fully understand how cats see, we must refer to the cat expert and scientist at the University of Bristol, John Bradshaw. He claims that cats’ eyes are more significant than humans due to their predatory nature.
The fact that the predecessors of felines (wild cats); needed to hunt so that they could feed and prolong this activity for a maximum of hours a day made their eyes change and increase in size. Being more significant than humans, in addition to being located in front of the head (binocular vision); to encompass a larger field of vision as the good predators they are. As a result, cats’ eyes are huge compared to their heads compared to our proportions.
2 – Cats see 8 times better in dim light
Due to the need to extend the hunting time of wild cats at night, the predecessors of domestic developed night vision between 6 to 8 times better than humans. They can see well even in the slightest light; and this is because they have a more significant amount of photoreceptors in the retina.
Cats also have a complex ocular tissue called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light after it has absorbed a substantial amount and before it reaches the retina; giving them sharper eyesight in the dark and making their eyes glitter in dim light.
So when we take a picture of them at night, cats’ eyes sparkle. Therefore, the less light there is, the better see compared to humans. Still, on the other hand, felines see worse in daylight due to the tapetum lucidum and photoreceptor cells, which cause their vision to be limited when absorbing; lots of light during the day.
3 – Cats see more blurred in daylight
As mentioned earlier, the light receptor cells responsible for cats’ vision are different from ours. Although both cats and humans share the same type of photoreceptors, cones for distinguishing colors in bright light and rods for seeing black and white in dim light. These are not evenly distributed; while in our eyes, they dominate the cones, in the eyes of they dominate the rods.
And not only that, these rods do not connect directly with the ocular nerve and, as a result, directly with the brain as in humans. Instead, they relate first to each other and form small groups of photoreceptor cells.
In such a way that the night vision of cats is excellent compared to ours, but during the day, the opposite happens; and it is have a blurred; and less sharp vision because their eyes do not send to the brain, through the nerve. Ocular, detailed information about which cells have to stimulate more.
4 – Cats don’t see in black and white
In the past, it was believed that cats could only see in black and white, but this myth is now history, as several studies have shown that cats can only distinguish some colors in a limited way and depending on the ambient light.
As already mentioned, the photoreceptor cells in charge of perceiving colors are the cones. Humans have 3 different cones that pick up red, green, and blue light; on the other hand, they only have cones that capture green and blue light.
Therefore, they can see the cool colors and distinguish some warm colors like yellow, but they don’t see the red color; which sees it as a dark gray. They can also not see colors as vivid and saturated as humans, but they see some colors like dogs.
Light is another factor that affects a cat’s vision, something that makes the less light there is, the less the cat’s eyes can distinguish the colors; so cats only see in black and white in the dark.
5 – Cats have a wider field of view
According to artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm of the University of Pennsylvania. Cats have a broader range of vision than people who performed a study on feline eyesight; with the aid of many feline ophthalmologists and veterinarians.
Humans have a 180-degree field of view, whereas cats have a 200-degree lot of view.-Although it appears minor, it has a degree field of view, it’s a significant number when comparing visual range.
6 – Cats don’t focus too closely
Finally, we must consider the sharpness of what cats observe to understand better how they see. Because people’s peripheral vision range on each side is less than cats’. They have better visual acuity when focusing on objects at close range. (20° compared to their 30°).
That’s why we humans can focus sharply up to a distance of 30 meters; and cats can go up to 20 feet away to see objects well. This fact is also due to their having bigger eyes and having fewer facial muscles than us. However, because they lack peripheral vision, they have a greater depth of field, which is critical for a predator.