DO CATS SEE COLORS?
The question if cats can see colors is not cut and dry. Some say that cats are dichromatic, and some say they are trichromats.
Cats with dichromatic vision have two types of receptors in their eyes. The receptors are light-sensitive cells in the eye's retina used in color vision. Having only two types of receptors restricts a cat's color vision. Cats can solely see one or two colors (such as blue and yellow), which means that the colors red and green appear to them as shades of grey.
Cats with trichromats vision have three receptor types (light-sensitive cells in the eye's retina) used in color vision. Unlike humans, that can see a broad spectrum of colors, a cat's idea is similar to a human who is color blind. For example, cats can see shades of blue and green, but reds and pinks can be confusing.
Despite extensive study, the essential nature of feline spectral sensitivity is still unresolved. Most electrophysiological studies have demonstrated two receptors called cones within the cat's retina. Still, a few studies, however, have detected a third receptor.
WHAT IS A CATS PERIPHERAL VISION?
A cat's peripheral vision means seeing things outside of the direct line of sight without turning their heads; the ability to see out of the corner of their eyes. Cats share a binocular vision with humans, with eyes that face the front like us. However, cats have a wider field of view (peripheral vision) than humans, helping them spot objects of interest from the sides. Cats can see 200 degrees (30 degrees on each side) compared to our 180 degrees (20 degrees on each side). Cats partially depend on identifying things by motion, so the ability to spot movement from the side is essential.
What is a CATS visual ACUITY?
A cat's visual acuity (VA) is a measurement of the eye to distinguish shapes and the details of objects at a given distance; it's a term that refers to the ability to focus. Cats only have about 20-40 percent of the visual acuity of humans. While an average human visual acuity is 20/20, a cats' visual acuity is from 20/100 to 20/200. A cat needs to be at 20 feet to see what a moderate human can see at 100 or 200 feet. Cat uses small ciliary muscles to contract and relax the eye lens, allowing the lens to focus on nearby and far distant objects. Unfortunately, these muscles and the ability to focus on near and far things appear to be limited in cats. Cats' cannot depend on their vision the same way we do. Because of their limited visual acuity, cats will also heavily rely on their other senses, such as smelling and hearing.
Do cats have night vision?
Like humans, cats cannot see in the dark when there is absolutely no light available. However, cats have better vision than humans in lower light conditions; due to "tapetum luccidum." Besides cats, many animals have the tapetum, including dogs, deer, cattle, ferrets, and horses. Humans don't have this, and neither do some other primates.
The tapetum lucidum is a reflector system in the eye. Conceivably, it acts to further increase the visual sensitivity of the eye at low illumination levels. In low light conditions, a cat can dilate its eyes far beyond what humans can take in light. This process is responsible for the eerie glow of cats' eyes in the dark.
As you have read, cats have a few limitations and a few advantages for their sight. Although cats may depend on senses other than vision to experience the world, eyesight still plays a vital role in their quality of life. However, one crucial thing you should take away from this article; is don't play hide and seek with your cat at night; you will not win.
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.