How Do Cats See

People often ask about how cats see. They want to know if cats can see color. Can cats see better than dogs? Or better than even humans? These questions have crossed my mind as well, so I did a bit of digging to find the answers. Now, remember that I’m not an expert. I have just done a little research and would like to share it with you. A lot of what I found was in very technical terminology. If fact, I had to use my dictionary and encyclopedia a lot more than usual.
Well, here we go! First question that is almost always asked is, ‘can cats see color’? The simple answer is yes. The explanation is that cats have two kinds of cells in their retina; cones and rods. Cone cells are responsible for color. Humans have more cone cells than cats, allowing them to see colors more vividly. There are two schools of thought about how cats see color. Some experts believe that cats only see shades of blues and grays, while others believe that they can also see shades of yellow. I have read in a few articles that, where humans see vivid hues, cats see only pastels.
The next burning question is how do cats see in the dark? The rod cells are responsible for light and movement. Because cats have as much as eight times more of them than do humans, they can distinguish objects in the dark more easily. Rod cells also allow cats to detect small movement from a great distance, which helps to catch that sneaky mouse.

A cat’s elliptical eye shape helps to catch more light through dilation. You may wonder why a cat’s eyes shine at night. It’s because of the tapetum, an iridescent film under the retina.
The last bit of information that I found intriguing is the cat’s vision. While humans ideally have 20/20 vision and can see 20 feet away, the cat has 20/100 to 20/200, making him nearsighted.
Of course, these are just a few facts about a cat’s eye. Below, please find some of the websites from which I have gleaned the above information.

Extension – Ask an Expert

LIFESCIENCE

Lynn Buzhardt, DV

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