Surely you have noticed that cats see quite well in the dark and that they seem to detect movements very well. They have spectacular eyesight, the functions of which are largely attributed to their hunting skills. If you want to know how cats seekeep reading this oneHOWTO article because we tell you this and many more curiosities.
What Is Cat Eyes Like?
Cats’ eyes can take on different shapes and colors, many of which are striking and mysterious. However, its structure and functions are similar to those of humans, with the exception of some peculiarities such as the great reflective capacity of its retina. Here we tell you more about what are cats eyes like:
- dark vision: Although cats can see in the dark, the reality is that they need at least some light to see in dim light. However, their night vision is better than many animals and much better than humans.
- Eyes adapted for hunting: Cats’ eyes are huge compared to the size of their skull. This structure is repeated in all nocturnal animals and its reason is attributed to hunting. Cats have evolved and have adapted their bodies to hunt for more hours a day, so their eyes have increased in size over the years to give space to the structures they need to do so.
- Great sensitivity to light: The cornea and lens are large compared to the back of the cat’s eyes. In turn, the lens is separated from the front of the eye. Thanks to this constitution, the cat has an enormous capacity to capture light and, when it decreases, the size of the pupil increases to capture more of it.
- The reason why her eyes shine: another structure that is part of the feline eye is the tapetum lucidum, a bluish-colored coating found in many vertebrate animals. Located behind the retina, this layer is a membrane made up of reflective cells that allow more light to penetrate into the eye. It also increases the sensitivity of the rods, the light-sensitive cells. If you’ve ever wondered why your cat’s eyes sparkle in photos, here’s why!
- They don’t need to blink as often: cats have a third eyelid, a nictitating membrane whose function is to protect the eyeball. Thanks to this web, these cats do not have to blink to keep their eyes lubricated, something that is very advantageous when hunting, because they do not miss one!
Do you want to know all the secrets of night vision? In our article How nocturnal animals can see in the dark, we tell you everything.
How do cats see colors?
Many people believe that cats are not able to distinguish colors, while others claim that they have the same ability to see colors as we do. The truth is that they can distinguish colors especially green and blue, but not as sharply as humans do.
On the other hand, cats They have a greater field of vision than humans.. According to a study carried out by Nickolay Lamm, from the University of Pennsylvania, cats have a field of vision of 200º, while that of people is 180º. This means that they will be able to see more things at the same time. As for his peripheral vision, of 30º, it is also better than that of humans, of 20º. Unfortunately, having such large eyes, they have difficulty seeing far away and focusing.
What colors do cats see?
To develop all the visual abilities they need as predators, cats’ eyes had to give up other abilities during evolution. For that reason, they cannot distinguish colors well, nor can they see very well from a distance.
Cats have color-sensitive cones. green and blue, but cannot see shades of red, brown, and orange. Have you asked yourself how cats see people? Well, they see them with lackluster colors, with a predominance of yellowish and pale blue tones. In the dark, cats lose the ability to see colors, so their vision turns a dark sepia tone, almost black and white.
If it is daytime, you will be perceived as a bit blurry. However, during the night, they will see you with very good sharpness and with well-defined contours, as you can see in this photograph made by Lamm. You will not lose sight of him!
Curiosities of cats
As you have already seen, the eyes of cats hide great secrets, because there are more curiosities of these that will surely surprise you.
Are white cats deaf?
Some people think that all white cats are deaf, but is a mistaken belief. There is a gene called W, which determines albinism in cats. When this gene is dominant, a complete depigmentation of the animal’s coat is produced, masking its original color.
If a cat, by genetics, has acquired this gene, it will be white. At the same time, it could also be deaf, since deafness is linked to said gene. It is considered that if the albino cat’s two eyes are blue, there will be a higher possibility that it is deaf. If, on the other hand, he has heterochromia (one eye of each colour), the risk of being born deaf will decrease.
All cats are born with blue eyes
A curious and interesting fact regarding the eyes of cats is that absolutely all of them are born with blue eyes. Baby cats’ eyes will remain closed until their seventh day of life, at which point they will open, even though they will not yet be able to see. Your vision will only develop after a few weeks and the color of your eyes will be defined in a period of 12 weeks. If you want to know more about it, do not hesitate to visit our article When newborn cats open their eyes.
The eyes reveal the mood of cats
Keep in mind that the eyes are part of the cat body language and, to understand them, it is necessary to look at them. For example, when the cat has its eyes half closed and blinks, this usually communicates calm. If, on the other hand, his eyes are wide as saucers and he is staring at something without blinking, this may be a warning sign or that there is something that he considers a threat.
They are sensitive to rapid movements
Finally, cats perceive fast moving objects perfectly, but slow movements are perceived as if the object were not moving. This is due to their hunting instinct! Therefore, they are passionate about playing with lasers and other fast-moving toys, which helps stimulate their vision and exercise their instincts at home.
Cats’ eyes can also get sick. If you notice something strange in your pet’s eyes, don’t hesitate to take him to the vet immediately.
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