A cat’s eyes are one of its most distinctive features and they can vary significantly from one breed to the next. They range from large round eyes to almond shaped eyes and from pale blue to bright amber or dark green. While you may have admired the beauty of a cat’s eyes before, you have probably never thought about this part of their body in great detail. If you are a cat lover, you might be interested to read the following ten fun facts about cat eyes.
1. Range Affects Their Vision
How far away something is affects how well a cat can see it as their vision is better at certain points. Their vision is at its best when something is between two and three feet away from their faces.
2. They Cannot See in the Dark
Cats are often perceived as night animals that prowl around in the dark hunting and strolling down darkened streets. Therefore, it may surprise you to learn that cats cannot actually see in total darkness. However, they can see better in low light than humans because they have a higher rod to cone ration. Big cats have greater difficulty seeing in low light than domestic cats.
3. Cats Are Not Colorblind
You might have been told that cats are colorblind, but this is a myth. They simply perceive colors in a different way to humans and they often appear more muted. The color that they can distinguish the best is blue, while red is the least distinguishable color for cats.
4. Their Pupils React Faster Than Humans
Just like humans, the pupil of a cat eye will react to lightness and darkness by expanding and constricting. The pupil of a cat eye will react much quicker than the pupil of a human. This helps their vision to adjust to changes in the light faster.
5. Cat Eyes Can Indicate Their Emotions
If you look at the eyes of a cat, you can get some indication of the way they are feeling right at that moment. Wide pupils are indicators of heightened emotions, such as excitement or fear. On the other hand, a narrowed pupil is usually a sign of anger.
6. Eyes May Indicate Deafness
It is probable that a cat is deaf if it has a white coat and blue eyes. This is a form of genetic defect. Some white cats will have one blue eye and one eye that is another color, such as amber or green. This is a benign condition called heterochromia. These cats are usually deaf in the ear on the same side of the body as the blue eye.
7. There is a Reason Why Cats Eyes Glow in Photographs
If you have ever taken a photograph with a cat in the picture, then you might notice that its eyes have an eerie glow to them in the photo. This is because the back of the retina in cat eyes is coated in mirror-like cells that allow them to make the most of the light. This is called the tapetum lucidum. When a camera flashes, it reflects the light back and gives the impression of ‘eye-shine’.
8. They Have Less Peripheral Vision Than Dogs
People often believe that cats and dogs will have a fairly similar level of vision. However, cats actually have an advantage over dogs in terms of their vision. A dog’s pupil is round while a cat’s pupil is slit-shaped and has a more complex set of muscles controlling it. A cat’s eyes are better at rapid movement than those of a dog and their vision relies more on contrast and degrees of brightness than canines.
9. All Kittens Have Blue Eyes
Just like humans, kittens are born with blue eyes and this does not necessarily indicate the color of their eyes in the future. The majority of cat eyes become shades of hazel or amber. However, there is a vast range of eye colors found in cats, including green, yellow, and brown.
10. Cats Have a Third Eyelid
All cats have a third eyelid. This is located between the cornea and the regular eyelids and its purpose is to provide extra protection for cat eyes. At the base of the third eyelid, there is a gland that produces tears.