What colors do cats see?

One of the reasons why people like cats so much is their magical, bewitching eyes, wide open and extremely expressive to the animal. Even among the fashion trends of makeup, the eyes “under the cat”, let down by arrows to give the appropriate shape, are always popular. The beauty of cat's eyes is largely due to their size - of all domestic animals, it is in a cat's eyes that are largest in comparison with body size. This is due to the feline nightlife, and the special arrangement of their eyes is explained by the same reasons.



What colors do cats see? Do cats see people the same way? What does the world look like for fluffy companions of humans, and what are the features of cat's vision?

Cats have color vision, but not as bright as humans.

It used to be that they could not distinguish colors, and the world for them was black and white, or rather, consisting of various shades of gray. However, today scientists are inclined to believe that cats still have color vision, although not as bright and contrasting as that of humans or higher primates. The purr has a reduced perception of the green spectrum, but they really distinguish many variations of gray. This has its own logic:

  • Firstly, in nature, grass, leaves of trees, and other plant worlds have green color, and he is not at all interested in cats.
  • Secondly, their prey - mice and rats - has a gray or gray-brown color, and this is the main difference between these shades.
  • Thirdly, the night lifestyle leaves its mark, because “all cats are gray at night,” and the world around is not so bright.

Probably, everyone had to see how cat's eyes glow as a result of a flash or just from a dark room. This phenomenon is associated with the presence of a special reflective layer behind the retina - tapetum. Thanks to this layer, the photosensitivity of nocturnal animals increases significantly. Let's say that in cats it is 7 times higher than in humans. It is curious that by the way cat's eyes shine, one can judge the color of their iris - as a rule, an ominous red glow is observed in blue-eyed cats, and ordinary green in yellow-eyed cats.

In connection with a similar arrangement of the visual organs, cats can see very well in low light. At the same time, bright light is unusual for them, in such an environment human vision surpasses cat's. Contrary to popular belief, cats cannot see in complete darkness, because light is necessary for the sight of any creature. This misconception has arisen due to the fact that cats have a well-developed sense of touch. With the help of vibris (in the people - mustache) they really can cleverly avoid obstacles even in absolute darkness.

However, our vision with a cat has some similarities - for example, like in humans, it is binocular in cats (it is also called stereoscopic). This means that the pictures that each of the cat's eyes sees overlap each other and fold into one, unlike animals with monocular vision, which see two different images. It's a shame, but here cats have an advantage - their viewing radius is 20 degrees wider than in humans - their 200 ° versus ours 180 °.

A cat is a predator, and the ambush predator, therefore, it is very important for her to quickly and clearly determine the speed, direction and nature of a moving object. In this regard, fluffy hunters better distinguish between moving objects, especially those that move in a horizontal rather than vertical plane.

And of course, you can not ignore the wonderful device of a cat pupil. Unlike humans, in cats it is not round, but slit-like, although in the dark it can take an oval or round shape. In bright light, it contracts as much as possible, and this protects sensitive cat eyes from damage to the retina and discomfort. In the dark, on the contrary, it expands, absorbing the smallest rays of light.

The author of the article: Oleinikova Alyona, artist and lover of cats, especially for our site

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