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How Do Cats See?

Saturday, October 4, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

cat eyesIf you stare at your cat and blink, there’s a good chance that she will blink back. I believe that one way that cats communicate is with their eyes. In shelters, if you blink very slowly at a feral cat, it usually calms them down. Cats can use their eyes to intimidate prey or even each other. When my cat Mollie sits and stares at my younger cat Millie, Millie will dash across the room and hide. Cats have excellent peripheral vision. You get up at night and are stumbling for the light switch but your cat is navigating around the furniture and having a bite to eat without any problem. They have vertical irises and excellent night vision. Sometimes my cat will start to pounce on the floor. I see nothing but they see a tiny bug moving very fast through the carpet. We may have better color vision, but cats can detect motion much better than us. Cats also have a third eyelid which protects their eyes as they stalk prey under branches and underbrush. This eyelid is on the inside corner of the eye. It’s not completely certain which colors a cat can see best but cats do have beautiful eyes and many times people will choose a cat based on the color of their eyes. So why is your cat so good at catching that bug or cat toy? That’s because of it’s excellent eyesight and ability to detect motion much better than humans.

Remember, your pets count!

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