How Do Cats See The World A Lot Differently Than We Do
What exactly does the world look like to your purring pet?
Studies on the feline eye show that cat vision differs quite a bit from human vision. Cats have better night vision and are better than us at following fast-moving objects. But the colors they perceive are less vibrant and the images they perceive are of lower resolution.
Pittsburgh-based artist Nickolay Lamm recently brought this research to life in a series of fascinating illustrations — which he created after consulting with the clinical team at the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school, as well as with Dr. D.J. Haeussler of The Animal Eye Institute in Cincinnati and Dr. Kerry L. Ketring of All Animal Eye Clinic in Whitehall, Mich. Check out his photos:
“I think these images do a good job of illustrating the difference in colors seen, resolution, and night/day abilities that make cats different from us,” Dr. William Crumley, ophthalmology service chief at PennVet, told The Huffington Post in an email.
Lamm’s images reveal one particularly striking difference between human and feline vision: cats have a visual field that spans a whopping 200 degrees, as compared to 180 degrees in humans. Differences in peripheral vision are also illustrated by the blurriness at the edges of the images. And, the fact that humans have an edge in seeing color also stands out.
Why Do Cats See What They See
Cats are equipped with the visual accommodations that allow them to survive and thrive in the wild. Seeing well in dim light and picking up slight movements in the forest at great distances improve the cats hunting ability. These assets also help a cat know when he is the prey and needs to flee.
Knowing how and what your cat can see will help you make good choices for him. For example, you should keep your cats color range in mind when shopping for toys. He will enjoy yellow and blue toys more than red ones. And youll understand why he suddenly becomes alert while sitting on the windowsill as he hones in on a bird flying 50 yards away. Youll also know that to get his complete attention, you should stand directly in front of him where his range of visual acuity is greatest.
“Your cat will enjoy yellow and blue toys more than red ones.”
And the next time you are lucky enough to be graced with a rainbow in the sky, rest assured that your cat can enjoy it, too. He wont see ALL the colors of the rainbow, but he may see a bit of yellow and blue. And that will be just fine for him!
What Do Cats See Through Their Eyes
This is an interesting question because it brings up both physical sight as well as how cats perceive the world around themselves.
We know more about the former than the latter, so I am going to talk about that.
People think cats are great hunters, with acute senses and sharp vision but actually, cats have pretty bad vision.
So, what do cats see through their eyes? Cats cant see the same richness and saturation of color we can. They can see blues and greens quite well, but reds and pinks look more green to them, and purple looks bluer. Theyd be closest to a red/green color bind human. Compared to humans, cats are very nearsighted.
Cat vision vs human vision: Not nearly as good as a humans vision in general, though quite a bit better than a dog they see much more detail than canines.
The video below address the physical aspect of what cats see through their eyes:
Possibly their vision is comparable to a T. Rex in Jurassic Park, a fact which would likely please most cats.
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Can Cats See When It Is Pitch Black
While youre stumbling around to find a flashlight, your cat can be pouncing and hunting around your feet!
Why do cats have such excellent night vision?
Cats require one-sixth of the light that we humans do in order to see in the dark, they are unable to see in pitch black conditions.
This is because their eyes still require even the smallest amount of light to function and are able to sense their surroundings, which is not possible with absolute pitch blackness.
Cats Eyesight Is Still Incredibly Sharp
Because cats cant see all of the colors humans can, you might be inclined to think that their eyesight is worse than oursbut thats not the case at all. What they lack in color distinction, they make up for in other areas. One area where cats out-see humans is depth perception, which aids their instinctual ability to hunt and track prey.
They have a better-known specifically, night vision. They can see much better in the dark than humans can because their eyes are designed to allow more light to reach their retinas, says Dr. Lugones. After all, cats are crepuscular , which means that theyre most active during the dusk and dawn hours. Per Business Insider, they need a sixth as much light as humans do to see. Heres an even more thorough answer to the question Can cats see in the dark?
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Other Ways Cats ‘see’ In The Dark
A cat uses other senses that help it “see” in the dark, sort of like bat echolocation. Cats lack muscles used to change the shape of the eye’s lens, so Mittens can’t see as clearly close up as you can. She relies on vibrissae , which detect slight vibrations to build a three-dimensional map of her surroundings. When a cat’s prey or favorite toy is within striking range, it may be too close to see clearly. A cat’s whiskers pull forward, forming a kind of web to track movement.
Cats also use hearing to map surroundings. At the low frequency range, feline and human hearing is comparable. However, cats can hear higher pitches up to 64 GHz, which is an octave higher than a dog’s range. Cats swivel their ears to pinpoint the source of sounds.
Cats also rely on scent to understand their environment. The feline olfactory epithelium has twice as many receptors as that of a human. Cats also have a vomeronasal organ in the roof of their mouths that helps them smell chemicals.
Ultimately, everything about feline senses support crepuscular hunting. Cats don’t literally see in the dark, but they come pretty close.
Cats Can See In The Dark Sort Of
So, lets cut right to the chase: can cats see in the dark?
Turns out, they canat least much better than we humans can. Cats have the ability to pick up on more detail in the dark than humans can, says Dr. Zay Satchu, chief veterinary officer of Bond Vet, a pet health start-up opening tech-enabled urgent care and walk-in vet clinics across New York City. This means that in the dark when we look around and can barely make out the structure of our bed moments before we bump into it, cats can very comfortably see the shape, texture and other finer details.
So the evening hours arent exactly clear as daylight for cats, but they can pick details up a lot better than we can in low lighting.
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Can Cat See In The Dark
The myth which cats can see in the dark is an exaggeration.
Cats cant see in total darkness but they can see way better than us in the dim light.
Have you ever notice the eerie glow on your cats eyes when you shine light into their eyes or when they look at you in the dark?
The glowing effect is the direct result of a reflective membrane called tapetum lucidum.
The tapetum is located at the back of the retina. It collects and reflects light which enters the eye to re-stimulate the retina.
This provides more opportunity for the retina to collect visual information in reduced light environment.
In addition, cats have more rods than humans in their retinas.
Rods and cones are light receptor cells. Cones primarily work in lit environment and is responsible for detecting colors and detailed viewing.
On the other hand, rods work primarily in dim light environment and is responsible for motion detection.
With all these in place, cats only need th illumination level and use twice as much available light as humans.
As domestic cats are night vision keen, they have elliptical pupils which help them to reduce the amount of light entering their eyes in lit environment.
The pupils open and close much faster than humans round pupil.
It can also open wider than round pupils, so that more light can enter the eyes when there are not enough light around.
Comparing The Eyesight Of Humans Cats And Dogs
The human eye is incredibly complex. It can receive vast amounts of visual information and has the ability to differentiate between millions of colors. On a clear and starry night, the human eye can see nearly 50 miles away. Of course, we arent the only species with impressive visual acuity but how does the performance of our eyes stack up to that of our feline and canine friends?
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Cats Are Somewhat Colorblind
Cats arent colorblind in the sense that they see strictly in black, white, and shades of grey.
Yet, your four-legged friend does have trouble picking up on certain colors in the spectrum, specifically shades like red, pink, brown, and orange. This color blindness is due to a lack of cones in their eyes, approximately one-tenth of the number of cones we humans have.
So if youre standing far off in the distance and the color of your clothing isnt easy to distinguish from whats behind you, your cat may not even realize youre there at first.
Why Does My Cat Have Cloudy Eyes All The Time
If a cat has this, the eyes appear rather cloudy within the pupil of the eye and clients often come in assuming their cats have cataracts. In reality, it is usually nuclear schlerosis and while the eyes look cloudy to us as we look in, the cat sees perfectly well. However, that usually occurs in both eyes at the same time.
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Is There Any Truth To Predator Vision
Our feline friends are sly and accurate hunters, a skill for which they can thank their cat eyesight. Their visual acuity allows them to see even the smallest movement or well-hidden shape. Cats have limited peripheral vision, but make up for it with their strong vision as well as the placement of their eyes. Because their eyes face forward , cats can determine the exact distance between themselves and their prey, ensuring accuracy and success in besting an opponent.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has An Eye Problem
Watery eyes, frequent blinking, squinting, and pawing at their eyes, may all be signs that their eye is painful. Cats also have an extra eyelid, which is called the nictitating membrane. If this extra eyelid is visible, then something is most likely wrong. You should then: Examine the eye to see if you can recognize the cause.
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Trading Light For Color
All the rods in the feline retina make it sensitive to light, but this means there’s less room for cones. Cones are the eye’s color receptors. While some scientists believe cats, like humans, have three types of cones, their peak color sensitivity is different from ours. Human color peaks in red, green, and blue. Cats see a less saturated world, mostly in shades of blue-violet, greenish-yellow, and gray. It’s also blurry in the distance , like what a near-sighted person might see. While cats and dogs can detect motion better than you can at night, humans are 10 to 12 times better at tracking motion in bright light. Having a tapetum lucidum helps cats and dogs see at night, but in the daytime it actually reduces visual acuity, overwhelming the retina with light.
How Cats See In Dim Light
A cat’s eye is built to collect light. The rounded shape of the cornea helps capture and focus light, eye placement on the face allows for a 200° field of view, and cats don’t have to blink to lubricate their eyes. However, the two factors giving Fluffy the advantage at night are the tapetum lucidum and the composition of light receptors on the retina.
Retinal receptors come in two flavors: rods and cones. Rods respond to changes in light levels , while cones react to color. About 80 percent of the light receptor cells on a human retina are rods. In contrast, around 96 percent of the light receptors in a cat’s eyes are rods. Rods refresh more quickly than cones, too, giving a cat faster vision.
The tapetum lucidum is a reflective layer positioned behind the retina of cats, dogs, and most other mammals. Light passing through the retina bounces off the tapetum back toward the receptors, commonly giving animal eyes a green or gold reflection in bright light, compared to the red-eye effect in humans.
Siamese and some other blue-eyed cats have a tapetum lucidum, but its cells are abnormal. The eyes of these cats shine red and may reflect more weakly than do eyes with normal tapeta. Thus, Siamese cats might not see in the dark as well as other cats.
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What Makes A Color So Colorful
Color is discerned by the nerve cells in the eye. The retina of the eye has two main types of cells–rods and cones. The ability to differentiate colors is determined by the presence of the special color sensitive cells called cones. Human and feline eyes have three types of cones that can identify combinations of red, blue, and green. But because humans have 10 times more cones than cats do, humans appreciate more color variations than cats. In scientific observations, cats do not appear to perceive the full range of colors that humans can. Some scientists believe that cats see only blue and gray, while others think they see also see yellow like their canine counterparts.
Cats Are Notorious Night Owls So We’ve Long Thought That They Have Excellent Night Vision But Is This Actually True Find Out Everything You Need To Know About Your Cat’s Night Vision With Our Guide
Cats seem to do all of their best hunting at night. Many cat owners are familiar with being woken up with little gifts such as a mouse or possibly even a sock or the hyperactive run around the house many cats have in the middle of the night.
These night-time antics pose the question: can cats see in the dark? Many people believe that felines are nocturnal and so can see in the dark perfectly, but it may surprise you to learn that cats are actually crepuscular. This means that generally theyre more active around dawn and dusk.
So, if theyre not actually nocturnal, how good is cats night vision really? Keep reading to discover the secrets behind your four-legged friends intelligent eyes.
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What Does It Mean When A Cat Opens Its Eyes Wide
Cats open their eyes wide when they are alert. Exposing wide-open eyes to potential injury can be a sign of great trust. For example, cats that head-butt your cheeks or do the same to a friendly dog indicate calm trust, and perhaps even love. Cat eyes that stare unblinkingly from a distance can be a sign of control, dominance, or even aggression.
And You Said Something About Their Eyelids
Cats have the same two eyelids as we do but they have a nictitating membrane.
Their upper and lower eyelids function the same way ours do, helping to spread tears around the surface of the eye, keeping it moist, clearing the surface of dust and particles and blinking reflexively to protect the eye.
The nictitating membrane, also sometimes referred to as a third eyelid, is located under their standard, outer eyelids and moved from the inside corner of the eye .
This structure slides up when needed to protect the eye from scratches or when the eye is inflamed.
I see this mostly when they are sleeping:
Cats travel quickly through low obstacles, such at tall grass or bushes, and these membranes can protect their eyes from damage while still being translucent enough for them to see through.
Cats eyes are both like and unlike ours, both familiar and strange.
They have adapted structures and changes which make them uniquely suited to the life of a cat and uniquely beautiful.
For information on cat tears or cat eye discharge, read our article here!
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It Could Explain Some Of Our Cats Odd Behavior
When your cat seems to be staring at something you cant see, it may not be ghosts it could be something that we cant see simply because the light the object is reflecting is not within our ability to perceive. Also, man-made optical brighteners are sometimes added to paper, cosmetics, and even laundry detergent, so we could have created a world that looks like a bad acid trip for our feline friends.
Horse Vision Vs Human Vision
Horses, like dogs, cannot perceive the difference between red and green. They also have a similar rate of vision to a dog, at 20/60. Horses, like most flight animals, boast an impressive 350 degrees of monocular vision. This is due to the position of their eyes on the side of their head and allow them to see almost all the way behind themselves.
Horses have more rods than humans, a high proportion of rods to cones , as well as a tapetum lucidum, giving them superior night vision.
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