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How Do Cats See The World?

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Reliable Info About How Do Cats See

Is It True That Cats Are Color Blind?

Have you ever tried to imagine how cats see or how the world appears through a cat’s eye? Although cats have amazing accuracy when it comes to motion detection and focusing, their vision is relatively more pastel and less vibrant than that of human eyes. So, are cats color-blind? The simple answer is Nope.

Are you aware that a cat’s eyes can see different colors, not just white and black? Although the cat’s eyes have a limited color range compared to that of the human eyes, they can perceive several colors apart from the white and black colors.

Nickolay Lamm is the first person to create an art of photos that can compare the cat’s vision of the world with an average human eye.

are cats color blind


How Do Cats See The World?


I remember asking my vet if my cat could see a red rat during a colorblindness test but instead of reacting to the rat’s object as if she had seen something strange, she just began glaring at me before she resumed licking her belly. This uncooperative test left me wondering how someone can figure out how cats see the world they live in.

There are two major studies aimed at testing the cat’s vision. One is through the green/red test, where the scientists use a single-color LED lasers pointers to determine how the cats will respond to such colors. Scientists have concluded that the cat’s color vision has a color gap of approximately 505 nanometers, especially for the bright green. This makes a perfect comparison model for the green-red colorblindness with that of a human eye.

Besides, scientists have successfully counted the number of light receptors known as rod and color receptors known as cone cells. Although a cat’s eye has a limited variety and number of cone cells, the rod cells (light receptors) seems to be excellent compared to those of a human eye.


how do cats see the world

Why Do Cat’s Eyesight Not As Strong As That Of Human Eyes?

Are you aware that human vision is more powerful compared to that of most mammals? Color vision depends on particular neurons found in the eyes’ retina known as the cones (color-sensitive cells). There are three varieties of cone cells in a human eye, with some women having four types.

Besides, a human eye has about ten times more cones than that of a cat’s eye, making it possible for us to see a more colorful world than cats do. Moreover, cats have two types of cone cells; thus, they do not see a more colorful world as we do.

The more cones allow humans to see a super bright world of over a million colors in men with only three types of color receptors cells and over 10 million colors, especially in women with four cone types. Initially, scientists classified cats as “dichromats”; a name was given to animals that can only envision two colors because of their only two types of cones; hence their vision was compared to “dichromatism”, aka color blindness in persons.

Several scientists consider that a cat’s eyesight is limited to green, gray, and blue spectrum, while others hold that cats’ vision is capable of recognizing yellow hues.

how do cats see humans

The Question Is, How Do Cats See Humans?

As mentioned above, the cat’s vision is limited to certain colors, which means your clothes’ color determines how your cats see you. For instance, if you are wearing red clothing, your cat won’t recognize your clothing color, but instead, it will perceive as a black object.

On the other hand, if you are in blue/ green attire, your cat vision will be in a position to identify your clothing color. It is important to note that the cat’s visual fields are relatively wider as they span approximately 200 degrees compared to the 180 degrees in humans.

However, their visual acuity is relatively poor about that of humans. This means that objects that a human eye can sharply focus at a close distance of about 150-200 feet will look blurry in cat’s eyes since they can see items at a distance range of not more than 20 feet.

Due to the various types of photoreceptors found in a cat retina, their vision is excellent in dim light rather than in bright light.

do cats see color

How Do Cats See In The Darkness?

Remember, the cat’s vision has an advantage when it comes to night vision. This night vision is particularly more powerful because cats have approximately seven to eight times more powerful light receptive (rod) cells than humans. This means that cats will have relatively clear vision in a low light condition compared to humans.

Note that rod cells are responsible for motion detection even in low light, which is critical in a cat’s family for hunting at dusk and dawn. Another added advantage contributing to a powerful night vision of cats is their pupil’s shape. For instance, during constriction, a cat’s pupil appears like a narrow slit, and during dilation, their elliptical pupil can easily dilate to their eyes full size.

This dilation of the eye’s elliptical pupil is an excellent way of letting in more light in a low light condition, thus enhancing their vision compared to human eyes. Another amazing adaption in the cat’s family is their extraordinary-looking glowing eyes. This glowing of their eyes is due to a special neato structure known as the Tapetum lucidum, which is located behind their retina.

The main purpose of the Tapetum lucidum is to mirror any light passing through the cons and rod cells, thus enhancing light absorption even for the second time that would not have been captured otherwise. The glowing in a cat’s eyes we notice during the night is due to the light bouncing off this Tapetum structure.

A green glow is most common in many cats, although Siamese cats can have a yellow glow while white, blue-eyed cats can display a blood-red sheen. Typically, feline photoreceptors are usually adapted to two primary wavelengths, namely the greenish-yellow and blue-violet ranges. In simple terms, cats won’t recognize the green-red color on your clothing but instead will see them as a black object.

If you want to read more about – how do cats see or cats in general, you can read here.

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