Cats are very sensitive creatures who can see things that humans cannot. This has led to people questioning whether or not cats can see infrared lights.
Infrared light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that cannot be seen by humans because it has a wavelength longer than the wavelength of visible light. However, this begs the question: can the same be said for cats?
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about whether or not cats can see infrared. So, if this is of interest to you, read on for more!
Can Cats See Infrared?
No, just like humans, cats cannot see infrared! Cats have a superior vision at night when compared to humans, as well as a wider view angle.
A cat's field of view is around 200 degrees, which is wider than our view field. However, neither cats nor humans can see infrared.
The reason cats cannot see infrared is that they are warm-blooded mammals. It is a lot more difficult for mammals who are warm-blooded to be able to see infrared.
This is because if they could see infrared, then they would see it with a significant amount of interference from their body heat. They would see the world in terms of temperature, instead of seeing the world in terms of color.
Not only that, but the ability to see infrared would actually harm your cat's eyes. This is because any overexposure to infrared will cause the eyes’ internal temperature to rise, which causes lasting damage.
However, even though cats cannot see infrared, they can in fact detect it in the form of heat. Cats are able to find warm spots to lie in just about anywhere.
How Do Cats See?
A common misconception about cats is that their love of shiny objects and laser pointers can be attributed to their hunting instinct. In fact, it has more to do with the way cats see the world.
Cats are more colorblind than humans. However, they do see the world in some colors, even though those not colors do not appear as rich as they do to other animals.
Let’s check out how cats see in more detail below!
Creatures Of The Night
Cats can actually see in the dark extremely well. This is the reason why they are more active at night and early in the morning, as opposed to the rest of the day when humans are most active.
The reason cats can see so well in the dark is simple. They have a significant number of rods in their retina, which allows them to be more sensitive to motion in darkness and dim light.
Additionally, a cat’s eyes will glow in the dark because of the layer of tissue that will reflect light onto the retina. This tissue is called the tapetum. Because their eyes reflect this light, they can collect as much light as possible. And so, their eyes will glow in the dark.
Seeing The World In Color
Cats best humans when it comes to night vision. However, their color perception is not nearly as good. Cats do not see as many colors on the color spectrum as humans do. This is due to the physical structure of their eyes.
Human eyes have many more cones, also known as light receptors when compared to cat eyes. Cones work best in bright light, so humans are able to see motion in bright lights around twelve times better than a cat can.
Not only that, but humans have more than one type of cone in their eyes, which permits us to see a broader spectrum of color, particularly when it comes to red, green, and blue. This is known as being trichromatic.
Cats are trichromats, too. However, the distribution of their cones varies. So, they cannot see the full range of the colors like humans can, and the colors will not appear as rich.
However, all of this means that cats do see in some color. They typically see the world in grey, yellow, and blue. However, cats will find it difficult to distinguish between colors that are extremely bright, like red and green. Generally, cats will see red and green as grey.
Cats do not have visual acuity because of their perception of colors. This means that their clarity of vision is slightly lacking. So, they do not have the muscles in their eyes that allow their lens shape to alter, meaning their image perception is not as sharp.
This makes cats close to being near-sighted. In other words, they need to be closer to an object to be able to see it clearly.
Humans have an angle of view of around 180 degrees. The angle of view of a cat is broader, around 200 degrees.
The visual field of a cat is wider because their eyes are situated more to the side of their head, which allows them a much better peripheral vision when compared to humans. So, cats are able to see what is in front of them, below, above, and to the side with ease.
What Animals Can See Infrared Lights?
Here is a list of animals that can see infrared light!
These animals can see infrared light because they are cold-blooded.
Just like humans, cats cannot see infrared light. This is because they are warm-blooded, and the ability to see infrared light would actually harm their eyes.
Not only that, but the ability to see infrared light would interfere with their body temperature because they would begin to see the world in terms of heat instead of color. Only creatures who are cold-blooded, like snakes, fish, and bloodsucking insects can see infrared.
Cats cannot see color, as well as humans, can, seeing the world mostly in shades of yellow, grey, and blue. However, cats have exceptional night vision and have a 200-degree field of view.
We hope this article answered all of your questions about cats and infrared light!
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.