It is said that animals see differently from humans. They can’t distinguish colors or details well, they see better in the dark or in the light, but how is the world seen through the eyes of cats? We do not know exactly, but in this article we have gathered some information that scientists consider to be correct.
- Cats can see very well in the dark
Cats can see very well in the dark, even six times better than humans. This does not mean that cats can see in total darkness, but they see in very dimly lit places. There are two factors that help kittens have this ability. First of all, cats’ eyes have more rods than we do, which means they can detect more light than we do. Second, cats have a tissue behind their eyes called tapetum lucidum. It reflects light into the eyes and gives the cat a “second chance” to see it. Also because of this fabric, the eyes of cats shine in the dark.
2. Cat pupils can be elongated vertically and round
Unlike the eyes of people whose pupil has a round shape, changing only its size, in the eyes of cats the pupil also changes its shape. It becomes elongated vertically when the light is strong and round when the light is weak. This helps the cats to protect themselves from too much light, which would damage their eyesight. Also, the pupil in the eyes of cats changes its size much faster than in humans. It is also interesting that in large cats, such as lions, the pupil of the eyes remains round as in humans during the day. At the same time, they have poorer vision in the dark than cats, which is why they hunt more during the day.
3. Cats can’t really distinguish colors that well
Cats’ eyes have fewer cones than we have, which limits their ability to see colors. Scientists believe that cats can distinguish blue and yellow quite well, but they cannot tell the difference between red and green. In general, cats see colors much less intense than we see them.
4. Cats don’t know much about details
The fact that the cat’s eye has more sticks and fewer cones than us, limits them to see the details as well. Many researchers believe that cats can see well in the distance. The lens of the cat’s eyes does not change shape to compensate for closer focus and they see best at a distance of 0.5 m – 1 m.
5. When they are born, newborn kittens do not see
Kittens are born without the ability to see. Only after about 7-14 days do they start to open their eyes, and after 5-7 weeks they fully develop their sense of sight.
6. When they are small, all kittens have blue eyes
By the age of 6-7 weeks, all kittens have blue eyes. Only then their color begins to change, and at the age of 4 months we can see the final color of the kitten’s eyes. The iris, the colored part of the eyes, contains melanocytes. As the eyes mature, these melanocytes begin to produce melanin, a pigment that gives the eye its mature color. The final eye color is given by the number of melanocytes that exist and the amount of melanin they produce.
7. The eye’s pupil indicates the emotional state
A narrow pupil may indicate anger or irritation, while a wide open pupil may indicate fear or emotion. Did you notice this in your kitten?
8. Cats do not need to blink often
Unlike humans, cats do not need to blink often to moisten their eyes. However, they tend to blink more often as a way of communicating.
9. Blue-eyed cats do not have melanin in their iris
When we look through a simple glass window, we see everything clearly through it. But if we look at its edges, we will notice that they are slightly colored in blue or green.
The same thing happens with blue-eyed cats. They do not have pigment cells in their irises and because the eye has a rounded shape, light is reflected through this rounded surface and produces the color blue.
Cats can develop a syndrome called “heterochromia” which means that a cat can have 2 different eye colors, but this won’t affect its health in any way.