It’s not uncommon for many pet parents to wonder what the world looks like through the eyes of their feline friend. However, what most are not aware of is that the structure of a cat’s eye is quite similar to that of humans, but their vision is adapted to purposes that are quite different from ours. Thus what they can actually see looks pretty familiar, but it is quite distinct from what humans see. Continue reading to find out cats see the world compared to humans.
Difference Between Human And Cat Vision
As consummate hunters, cats need to be constantly alert, with the natural capacity to accurately detect movement even with very little light. To be able to accomplish this, the feline population has to forfeit a good number of the finer details, as well as the color perception that humans enjoy. While humans are adept at viewing more vibrant colors in the day time, their furry friend has the edge with night and peripheral vision. Your kitty’s propensity to pounce on feathery or furry toys may have roots in their predatory instinct, but it has quite a lot to do with their feline vision, which is quite unique. When a cat’s vision is expected to function at its best is usually at night time, thanks to their surplus rod cells, which is eight times more than that of humans.
Are Cats Color Blind: Can Cats See Color
Though felines are known to have the edge in quite a few areas of vision, the reverse is the case with colors. The rods cells in the retina of a cat may surpass those of humans, but when it comes to cones, the human retina outnumbers the cat’s own by ten times. The cones are the light receptors that are known to work best under bright lights. While cats can detect motion better in the dark, humans can boast of ten to twelve times enhanced motion detection under bright lights, since bright-light vision comes under the functions of the cones.
Talking about color vision, the human population comes with three varieties of cones, which equips us with the innate capacity to decipher a broad range of colors, and with sensitivity peak at such colors as blue, green, and red. Though felines also have three kinds of cones, the quantity, as well as the distribution, differs. When placed under behavioral tests, kitties appeared not to be seeing the full range of colors that we can easily see as humans.
According to findings from a good number of experts, the color vision in felines is limited to just a couple of shades, which are grey and blue. There are still many researchers who are of the belief that a cat’s color vision has similarities to that of the canine population; however, they agree that the saturation of colors and richness of hues is less with the cats. It is common knowledge that the dogs see the world in lesser hues than we humans and find it impossible to distinguish between such colors as yellow, orange, red, and green. Conversely, fish in the water are capable of seeing ultraviolet wavelengths, which are way beyond a human’s visual capacity.
Can Cats See In The Dark
We refer to the entire feline population as crepuscular; what this means is that cats are most active at dusk and dawn. Their night vision is calculated at six to eight times better than that of humans, thanks to their generous rods, which functions as some form of photoreceptor in the retina. As the available light becomes dimmer, a cat’s elliptical pupils will continue to open wider. However, the pupils tend to contract under a bright light to a very tiny slit. According to findings, the cat does this in a bid to protect its retina from bright light, and when you consider the fact that a kitty’s retina is a bit too sensitive, you will better understand a cat’s vision.
Similar to several other animals that are known night hunters, the eyes cats are equipped with tapetum lucidum – this is known as a reflective layer of tissue which functions to bounce back any ray of light that happens to hit the backside of the cat’s eye via the retina and for another opportunity to be absorbed by the rods. This is exactly what is responsible for a cat’s glowing eyes, especially in the dark. Also, a cat’s larger cornea, elliptical eye shape as well as the tapetum, aid in gathering more light. What’s more, it is also possible for the tapetum to alter the wavelengths of light seen by a cat – this functions to make objects and preys which are silhouetted against a night sky to appear more prominent.
How Do Cats See The World?
The feline population comes with a visual field that far exceeds that of humans. Instead of the normal 180 degrees, a kitty’s visual field spans up to 200 degrees, though the feline’s visual acuity is sadly lacking. Thus things that humans can quickly resolve at 100 to 200 feet will appear to the cats as blurred as they can see clearly at 20 feet or thereabout. The reason behind this is that cats are not born with the muscles that work at changing the shape of the lenses in the eye, meaning that they are not endowed with the same sharp vision as humans.
This may not sound so great, but felines are compensated in the form of various photoreceptors in their retina, which gives them clear vision in dim light. The surplus rods in their retina has a way of refreshing very fast, allowing them to keep track of rapid movement. In conclusion, the feline population has a completely different perception of colors relative to humans, underscoring the fact that human-versions will always look more vibrant than the cat-versions. In fact, cats are generally believed to be dichromats, meaning that they can only see a couple of colors.