photo of cat staring

Recent studies by the artist Nickolay Lamm have provided us with insight into what your cat thinks of your outfit. Do you want to know what your favorite feline sees? You should! And maybe next time you ask, do I look good in these pants?, Kitty can chime in with an opinion.

This article will discuss how your cat sees things when it looks out the window. So let’s begin, shall we?

Night and Day Vision

No, not some military gadget. Contrary to popular belief, cats do not see in total darkness. However, Fluffy happens to have much sharper night vision than you. So, one point to the felines. Yayyyyyy!!!  Your friend Boots has more rods in their retina than you do, making it possible for them to see images better, sharper and clearer at night. Oh ye humans, do not despair!  Your day vision is superior to your kitty’s. Blurry and unclear describes a cat’s day vision.

Visual field

The area that eyes can see straight ahead is what is known as the visual field.

The cat eye happens to do better than a human’s here- 20 degrees wider for the cat!

Here is what you should know: your cat’s visual field is 200 degrees while you and I will have to be content with 180. Sad face

This means that cats see more with the corner of their eye than we do. All the better to spot an unsuspecting mouse doing its thing off to the side while looking straight ahead. So the next time you try to blindside your cat, take note of this information!

Color perception

Your cat is color deficient. This doesn’t mean that it sees in shades of grey and white, it’s not that dull, but the world as we know it is just various shades of blue and green for your cat. The pink toy you bought her is seen as green, while purple is blue.

So when next you think of getting a “rainbow” for your darling cat, know that it’s just green and blue. It’s that simple for them!

Cats are Myopic

And you are probably not. Cats can’t see objects further than 20 feet away (6 meters), while a healthy human eye can see objects 100 to 200 feet (30 to 60 meters) away.

You should also note that cats are limited as to what they can see up close because they have limited control over their pupils unlike you and I that can dilate and contract our pupils.

Spotting Movement

Cats are hunters, so their eyes are hunter’s eyes. While you and I can pick up slow-moving objects; it is not so forthe cat. They are better at noticing darting and fast-moving objects. If only the mouse could read, it would learn to avoid darting around Tabby!  Because of the shape of a cat’s face and the way his eyes are set, he may find side-to-side movement across his field of vision more stimulating than close-to-far movement. Remember this when you play with your cat! Side to side movement may be more fun!

The Third Eye

Your kitty has a special, extra eyelid called the “nictitating membrane” that sits in between the lower lid and inside corner of the eye. It is something like if you had two lower lids sitting on top of each other, only one is offset towards the center of the face. This extra lid works to keep eyes moist, and sweeps particles like dirt or dust from the cornea. When kitty is napping, the nictitating membrane closes while the outer lids stay open, perhaps to act as a shade. When snoozing kitty is awakened by a sound, the nictitating membrane flicks back to the inside corner of the eye.

Bottom line

Cats can see better at night than we can, and they see very well in dim light. They also have better peripheral vision. They don’t see colors as well as we do, but being hunters, they can spot a moving target in a flash!  Keep these things in mind when you play with your cat. They will appreciate it!

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