How Do Cats See The World?

We talk about the bird's-eye view, worm's eye view, and even use fish-eye lenses to make things look weird. But have you ever wondered what cat's eye-view looks like?
How Do Cats See The World? - KittyNook Cat Company

Cat lovers are enchanted with the charm and the secret of cat eyes, but we never talk about what the world looks like in the eyes of a cat. Instead, we speak of the bird's-eye view, worm's eye-view. We even use fish-eye lenses to make things look weird. How about cat's eye-view?

Can cats see colors? Have they got night vision? Thanks to artist Nikolay Lamm and the series of images he made, we have an idea of what cat eye-view is like! Let's shed some light now, shall we?

Can My Cat See Better Than Me?

Cat parents sometimes get the feeling that their furry baby can see something that they can not. Often this is true, but not for the reasons you might believe.

how do cats see the world
Visual field of humans vs. visual field of cats
Photo by Nikolay Lamm

For starters, cats have a broader visual field--about 200 degrees, compared to humans' 180-degree sight. Cats likewise have a more comprehensive peripheral vision range, which might be the reason why they always find that toy mouse wriggling in the corner.

Do Cats Have Night Vision?

how do cats see the world
Human night vision vs. cat night vision
Photo by Nikolay Lamm

Despite what you may have seen, read, and heard, cats do not have night vision. Cats, however, are crepuscular: this means that they are most active at dawn and dusk. Cats have excellent night vision. This is because felines' eyes have 6 to 8 times more rod cells that are more sensitive to dim light than human eyes, which means they see in the dark six to eight times better than human vision.

how do cats see the world
Human night vision vs. cat night vision
Photo by Nikolay Lamm

Cat vision is also great in the dark because of the "mirror layer" behind their retina. If a rod in a human retina does not "see" the light, it gets soaked up into the black layer behind the retina. However, if the light has not struck a rod in cats, it will reflect off the mirror layer and be bounced. This results in the light now having a second chance to strike a rod and see objects and more.

These incredible mirrored eyes are why pet cats can see stuff walking around the area that you can't see, like bunnies. (not something scary)

How About The Spectrum Of Colors That They See?

how do cats see the worldHuman color perception vs. cat color perception
Photo by Nikolay Lamm

It's a misconception that cats see the world in black and white, but your feline friend certainly does not see the same color spectrum as you. On the one hand, felines technically are color-blind because they can not see all colors; on the other hand, cats can see some low-key colors.

The human retina has around ten times extra cones, the light receptors that operate best in bright light, then felines' eyes have. People likewise have three types of cones, permitting them to see a broad spectrum of shades, with sensitivity at red, green, and blue.

how do cats see the world
Human color perception vs. cat color perception
Photo by Nikolay Lamm

The physical structure of a pet cat's eye also prohibits them from seeing the rainbow. People have three photopigment receptors; felines only have two. This results in a different color perception than with humans. Cats are limited with their shade acumen, meaning that colors that would seem too bright to us are a lot more pastel-like to the pet cats. This different view in the range of colors and saturation of colors are the cone cells at work again. Cats are terrific at seeing the world in shades of gray, and they succeed with blues as well as yellows. However, much like human beings who are considered color-blind, cats have difficulty distinguishing reds and greens. Red, in particular, is simply seen as "dark" by your cat.

What About The Predator Vision?

Our feline friends are scheming as well as are accurate hunters of prey, a skill for which they can thank their feline eyesight. Their visual acuity enables them to see even the tiniest activity or well-hidden shape. Cats (like average human beings) have a restricted field of vision. However, they make up for it with a strong image and the positioning of their eyes. Because their eyes are faced forward (like humans), cats can identify the precise distances between themselves and their victims. This guarantees accuracy as well as success in besting a challenger.

Feline Vision Versus Hearing: Is One Stronger?

how do cats see the world
With all the fantastic qualities of pet cat vision, you may be stunned to find out that a cat's eyesight is not their sharpest sense: It's their hearing.

Cat's sense of hearing is so sharp that a feline up to 3 feet away from the beginning of a sound can determine its area within a few inches in one-hundredth of a second.

There are a lot of pet cat misconceptions and also misunderstandings. While biology clarifies much of what's so strange about how they see the world, there are still plenty of abnormal feline behaviors that make them the enigmatic animals all of us enjoy. Between seeing, hearing, and their aesthetic skill, it's no marvel why cats rule the world!
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Ed @ Mon, Mar 01, 21

I’ve often wondered if cats see into frequencies humans can’t: like infra-red or ultraviolet. I often see them looking at things (intently) that I cannot see.