As majestic as cats are, the one thing that attracts us the most about them is their eyes. Although certain features might differ from one feline breed to another, they are equally enticing and out of the ordinary. Your cat can have large round-shaped eyes or even almond-shaped ones. They can be beautiful bright amber or a royal dark green. Regardless, we can all agree that cats have one of the most beautiful eyes among animals. But, apart from beauty, what else is so special about them?
Let us learn more about the things that make your cat’s eyes special.
How do cats use their eyes?
The cat’s pupil’s size and shape are determined by the way they use it and the amount of light that gets in. Normally, when we wish to see in the dark, our pupils tend to expand to allow more light to seep in. On the other hand, when it is bright, our pupils start to become small in order to prevent any overstimulation.
The same is applicable for cats as well, but the accuracy is better. As per research, it has been confirmed that the vertical pupils in domestic cats & other predators allow a wide range of accurate muscle movements with scope for additional light to make its way into the eyes.
Thin pupil slits, as compared to the circular ones, tend to be a huge game-changer. This allows a huge versatility between the pupil’s dilated and constricted states. So much so that they can undergo about 135 times to 300 times change in surface area during the process.
In comparison, human pupils can only increase their pupil area by 15 times. As cats tend to hunt at night, they are at an advantage as a larger amount of light can pass through the pupils.
So, let us learn some interesting facts about your cat’s eyes.
1. Better Near-Vision:
A feline’s vision works best when its prey is about 2 to 3 feet away and not farther. Cats hunt by moving close enough to their prey so that they can easily pounce on them. This is why a better near-vision allows them to be a great hunter.
2. They Can’t See In The Dark:
Now, this might seem like a contradictory statement, given that cats are nocturnal by nature. However, this is as true as the fact that the Earth exists. Let us be clear. Cats can see well than us in low-light conditions but not when it’s completely dark. Their better visibility is possible due to the fact that cats pack in a higher number of rods as compared to cones in their eyes.
You can check this by getting them a moving toy and setting it up in a low-light area. Note their reaction time to this toy, and you will know for sure how fast they are. A great toy you can use is the Gigwi Interactive Toy Mouse. This brown cat toy has an electronic design that moves automatically, mimicking a real mouse.
3. Cats Aren’t Colorblind:
Most of us think that cats cannot see all colors just like dogs. However, this is a complete myth. The only difference between cats and humans is the fact that they perceive colors differently than we humans. They tend to appear muted. They can easily distinguish the blue color, and the one that they cannot distinguish easily is red.
4. Faster Reaction Time:
Like us humans, a cat’s pupils react to darkness or light by constricting or expanding depending on the intensity. However, the reaction time is way faster than that of the human pupil. This faster reaction time allows the cats to change their vision as per the light available in the area.
5. Their Eyes Indicate Emotions:
As they say, eyes are a door to the soul. This applies to the feline community as well. If you notice cats with wide pupils, it is indicative of an extreme emotional state like fear or excitement. On the contrary, if you observe that your cat’s pupils are narrow, it usually indicates that they are angry.
6. Eyes Indicate If The Cat Is Deaf:
Just like any other animal or human being, it is possible for a cat to become deaf or be born with this condition. You can confirm whether a cat is deaf by looking at its eyes, unless, of course, the deafness was accidental and not genetic or health-related.
If your cat’s eyes are blue with a white-colored coat on top, it is a type of genetic anomaly that leads to deafness. Another way to confirm if the cat is deaf is by checking the colors of both eyes. If they have a benign health condition termed heterochromia, you will notice that one of their eyes is blue while another is green or amber.
Now, it isn’t always necessary that these cats would be deaf. But, they mostly are on the ear that is on the side of the blue eye.
7. Glowy Eyes:
If you have ever photographed cats, you will notice that their eyes glow. This glow might seem a bit eerie, but it is normal. This happens because the backside of a cat’s retina is coated with cells that resemble a mirror. This allows them to absorb a good amount of light for better visibility. This coating is termed tapetum lucidum.
So, when you click your cat’s picture, the light from the flash is reflected back on the lens, which gives it a shiny eye appearance.
Features Of Cat’s Eyes
|Third Eyelid||Cats feature an inner 3rd eyelid to protect it from damage or dryness|
|Pupil Shape||Elongated or round (can vary depending on the breed)|
|Constriction/Dilation Range||135 to 300 percent
|Milky Eye||Denotes cataract
|Color Visibility||Blue- high visibility; Red- low visibility
Cats can be intriguing creatures, and you always learn something new about them. Although science has come so far, there is still a lot to learn about the feline world. The fact that they are such amazing hunters comes from the fact that their eyes absorb light better than ours. Although they don’t seem as emotional by far, they do show that from their beautiful, deep eyes. So, the next time you feel that you aren’t able to understand what is going on with your cat, make sure you gaze at their eyes to learn something about them and understand their emotions.