How Do Cats See

People often ask about how cats see. They want to know if cats can see color. Can cats see better than dogs? Or better than even humans? These questions have crossed my mind as well, so I did a bit of digging to find the answers. Now, remember that I’m not an expert. I have just done a little research and would like to share it with you. A lot of what I found was in very technical terminology. If fact, I had to use my dictionary and encyclopedia a lot more than usual.
Well, here we go! First question that is almost always asked is, ‘can cats see color’? The simple answer is yes. The explanation is that cats have two kinds of cells in their retina; cones and rods. Cone cells are responsible for color. Humans have more cone cells than cats, allowing them to see colors more vividly. There are two schools of thought about how cats see color. Some experts believe that cats only see shades of blues and grays, while others believe that they can also see shades of yellow. I have read in a few articles that, where humans see vivid hues, cats see only pastels.
The next burning question is how do cats see in the dark? The rod cells are responsible for light and movement. Because cats have as much as eight times more of them than do humans, they can distinguish objects in the dark more easily. Rod cells also allow cats to detect small movement from a great distance, which helps to catch that sneaky mouse.

A cat’s elliptical eye shape helps to catch more light through dilation. You may wonder why a cat’s eyes shine at night. It’s because of the tapetum, an iridescent film under the retina.
The last bit of information that I found intriguing is the cat’s vision. While humans ideally have 20/20 vision and can see 20 feet away, the cat has 20/100 to 20/200, making him nearsighted.
Of course, these are just a few facts about a cat’s eye. Below, please find some of the websites from which I have gleaned the above information.

Extension – Ask an Expert


Lynn Buzhardt, DV

Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs (Blackmoore Sisters Mystery #1

Dead Wrong is the first of a series of cozy mysteries written by Leighann Dobbs.

 Fiona, Morgan, Celeste,  Jolene Blackmoore and their cat,  lived in the family home in the small town of Noquitt, Maine.  One day, when Morgan was getting her coffee, she had words with Prudence, a despicable woman who especially didn’t like the sisters.  The next thing she knew, she was in jail for killing Prudence.

The sisters fretted over how they would get the money for Morgan’s bail.  In walks Belladonna.  This lovable cat has her own special way of helping to clear Morgan’s name.  

When the sisters try a little sleuthing on their own, they meet with nothing but trouble, until a handsome deputy comes to their rescue and uses his professional detecting training to help the girls.

Dead Wrong is a fast read, as well as a charming story. I love the characters and will continue the series to find out what trouble the girls get into next.

“My Cat Hates My Vet” by Amy Shojai

This book is written in the usual style of Amy Shojai who, as you know, is one of my favorite animal behaviorist.   It covers what to do when your cat has trouble with all of the stages of going to the vet, or anywhere else.

“My Cat Hates My Vet”  starts out with the first stage…getting her used to the carrier.  Amy suggests a few different carries, depending on the size of your cat.  For example, the carrier should have plenty of room for her to move around comfortably.  Getting your cat used to her carrier as she rides in the car may not seem like a big deal; but for those who have heard the heart-wrenching mews of a scared kitten, or the ear-splitting yowls of a mad cat while driving, know that this is not the case.  IT IS A VERY BIG DEAL!!

Ms. Shojai also suggests helpful tips like taking your cat into the vet when there isn’t anything wrong.  You do this to let the cat know that the vet and staff are not the enemy, and it is sometimes a fun place in which she can romp and play.  This way, there is less anxiety when she needs to go for her checkups, etc.

As usual, I found Amy’s “My Cat Hates My Vet” informative, as well as entertaining.    I give it 5 stars and wholeheartedly suggest it to any cat guardian.