Why cats have such strange haunting eyes??
When you look at your kitty, especially in dark, have you ever wondered about their strange, somewhat scary eyes? Cats have some of the most unique eyes in the animal world. They are very different from human eyes as instead of having circular pupils, they have vertical ones. These vertical black apertures in the centre of their eyes can adapt quickly and can open and close like the aperture of a camera.
The shape and size of the pupil determines the amount of light entering the eyes. When it is dark, the pupils expand to let more light enter the eyes so that our vision gets enhanced. The cats’ eyes do the same but with much more finesse.
The pupils of the cats allow for a wider range of muscle movements and thus more light can enter their eyes, enabling them to see more clearly in the dark. Since cats are nocturnal and they would hunt at night before being domesticated, they needed better vision in the dark.
The thin vertical slits in cats are capable of undergoing a 135-300 fold change in area between the constricted and dilated states. So in the day time the cats can squeeze their eyes to a tiny slit while being able to open them super wide on dark nights. For the purpose of comparison, human pupils can only change their pupil area 15 fold. This should be able to give you a clear picture of how brilliantly the cats’ eyes work.
That is why they can see with only one-sixth of the illumination we need to see.
Some interesting facts about cats’ eyes
- # The normal human vision is 20/20 and that of a cat is 20/100. That is why they have a clear vision for far off objects but things closer up may seem blurry.
- # Cats are not colour blind although they cannot see as many colours as a human eye.
- # Cats cannot see directly under their noses because their close up vision is pretty blurred. You can test it by dropping a treat directly under their nose and you will see the cat root around it a bit before finding it.
- # Some cats have one blue and one green or gold eye. A white cat with such a combination is most probably deaf on the side with the blue eye. White cats with both blue eyes are deaf in most cases.
- # Cats have a reflective tapetum in the back of their eyes known as tapetum lucidum. It is responsible for the eerie greenish-yellow glow of their eyes when caught in lights.
- # Though cats need less illumination to see in the dark as compared to humans, it is us who have better special visualisation than them. Typically, humans have more cones in their retina than cats which accounts for more visual acuity and hence ability to see sharper images.
- # Cats have an inner third eyelid, called a nictitating membrane, which protects the eye from dryness or damage.
- # Interestingly, a cat’s mood is reflected by its eyes. The changes in pupil size can determine how the cat is feeling right then. An angry cat will have narrowed pupils. In contrast, when the cats are excited or frightened, they will have wide open eyes with large pupils.
- # Among the rarest eye colouring in a cat is dichromatic colour. In such cases, the eyes will have a combination of two distinct colours within both eyes. This is caused when the cats have different melanin levels in distinct section of their irises.
Being a cat parent, it must be interesting for you to know these facts about their eyes. Stay tuned for more because at Waggfluence we love to share facts that will make you know your pet better.