The way cats see the world raises many questions. For example, they are known to see better than us in the dark. But beyond this aspect, cats see the world very differently from us.

Whether it’s colors, near and far sight or field of vision, everything is different in cats.

The 9 characteristics of cat vision

Here are the main characteristics of the way cats see the world and all the differences that our dear felines have with us and that explain a lot in their behavior.

1. Their field of vision is wider

The rest of us see 180 degrees, that is to say that our central and peripheral vision covers what is in front of us and on the sides. We also see from top to bottom on what is in front of us or at our level.

But for cats, it’s different, because their field of vision is 200 degrees, so they can see slightly behind them. This is very useful for them in the wild, if a threat arises behind them, they can see it before it reaches their level, which is then sometimes fatal.

It’s this wide field of vision that means he often sees you coming even when you’re slightly behind but quietly and without them needing their sense of smell to detect you.

2. They see up to 8 times better in the dark

Cats see better in the dark than we do. Cats’ eyes have evolved over centuries to help them hunt at night and maximize the time they can spend hunting.

Nowadays, cats naturally see six to eight times better than us in the dark, which is also one reason why outdoor cats ask to go out at night, which is more favorable for them to hunt.

3. Their eyes are bigger

The eyes of cats are very large, much larger than the average animal compared to all animals and reflects their sight superior to the vast majority of animals, whether terrestrial or marine.

4. Cats see blurrier during the day.

If cats see in the dark much better than us, it’s the opposite during the day when they see blurry, especially from afar. Although felines and humans have the same type of vision cells for distinguishing colors and color tones, they are not distributed in the same way. Cats’ eyes have more rods, responsible for black-and-white vision, and fewer cones than we do, responsible for distinguishing colors in bright light.

The differences don’t end there, as the rods in their eyes don’t connect directly to an ocular nerve and connect to each other.

It is this factor that allows them to see better in the dark, when it is dark but not totally black. But on the contrary, their daytime vision is more blurred than ours.

5. Color vision in cats

Cats show no interest in colors, colors are especially important in humans, unlike all mammals, moreover, smell and hearing predominate in cats.

Cats do not have the red cone and do not see red or pink, nor do they see bright or saturated colors.

They are only made to see red, green and blue.

6. Their near vision is very poor

Having such large eyes makes it difficult for cats to see up close, explaining some of their clumsiness. Their eyes are unable to distort nearby objects, making near vision very poor. You can also see that your cat smells nearby objects rather than scrutinizing them as we might do.

7. They see badly from afar

And yes, in addition to seeing badly what is very close to them, their sight from afar is not good either and they are considered myopic. This is why cats sometimes stare away after hearing a noise and seem to be completely lost.

For us the source of the noise is obvious, but they will have to concentrate and get closer to determine the cause of the noise.

8. They see fast movements better

Seeing rapid movements with precision is essential for them when hunting to pounce on the prey with precision. This is enabled by their rods which determine the fusion frequency of their flicker. If you play with a cat, you quickly see that its reflexes are incredible compared to ours.

9. They see slow movements less well.

If cats can see slow movements, they see them less well than us, because it is not useful to them in the wild. The eyesight of cats depends on how useful they can be in the wild. A slow movement being generally harmless, they will see it less well.

And if an animal like a snake comes close, their sense of smell will pick it up, although the mere sight of something that looks like them, like a cucumber , can make them jump in fear.

The most common questions

Curious about how cats see the world? That’s good, here are the answers to the most common questions about cats’ eyesight.

What colors do cats see?

Cats have quasi- dichromatic vision , only really perceiving the colors yellow and blue very well and very poorly distinguishing certain colors that are totally opposite from our point of view, such as red and green.

Do cats see TV?

The cat sees television especially if the movements are fast. Hence their interest in certain programs with a lot of action, especially if they feature animals. If the movements become calmer on the screen, he will show his disinterest.

Cat’s vision: The final word

The cat’s vision is very different from ours and explains many differences in behavior. It is adapted to their needs and is not as preponderant as with us, their sense of smell being their most useful sense.

It is thus considered that despite its ability to see at night, the cat is color blind, myopic nyctalope.