Your cat keeps staring at you and staring at other things. Those eyes look so intense, and you’re probably always wondering what’s on its mind as it continues to stare. But have you ever thought what your cat sees when it’s looking at you? We know that animals see things and colors a little different from the way we do. So, what is a cat’s vision like? Let’s try and understand.
The retina has it all
The most significant difference between a human eye and an animal’s eye is the retina. The retina is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye that contains photoreceptor cells called rods and cones. The rods are responsible for peripheral vision and night vision. They detect light and shades of gray. The cones, on the other hand, are responsible for day vision and detecting color. Cats have a high quantity of rod cells and lower number of cone cells. That is why they can see well even at night, but their perception of color is different from us.
Humans, on the contrary, have more cone cells and fewer rod cells, giving us poor night vision but a better perception of color. A cat’s cone receptors can only interpret colors in the shades of blue, gray, and yellow, according to scientists. They cannot differentiate between reds and greens at all. New research has suggested, though, that cats may be able to see certain colors that the human eye can’t- colors in the ultraviolet spectrum.
Though cats may have excellent night vision and light detection abilities, cats cannot see things that are too far away. Humans have a vision of 20/20, while cats have 20/100 or 20/200. This means that something that a human may see clearly from 100 feet away is not visible to a cat unless it is about 20 feet away from the object. So, cats are near-sighted. Anything farther than their range of vision appears blurry to them.
Cats do have a slightly wider vision than humans, though. While our vision has a field of 180 degrees, for cats, it is about 200 degree.
How will knowing this help you?
Now that you know what colors your cat can perceive and how far away it can see, you can make better decisions for it. For instance, you now know that your cat will respond better to blue and yellow colors so these are the colors you should go for when buying toys for it.
You also know now that to be visible and get its attention, you have to stand close to your cat where it can see you better. You can also understand better when your cat is startled or alarmed by something. Knowing how your dear kitty sees the world, gives you a better perspective too.