Cat and dog eyes

Cats and some dog breeds make exceptional hunters. This is down to their sensory capabilities, including that of sight. Here we explore cat and dog eyes to understand what makes them so special.

Both cats and dogs have strong perception of movement, much higher than our own. For example, we receive images about 16 times a second, allowing us to watch films. Cat and dog eyes are able to receive about 50 images per second, which is how they can spot movement from so far away.

Cats, and to a lesser degree dogs, also have an anatomical peculiarity: there is a reflective surface behind the retina that increases their sensitivity to light. This makes objects appear up to six times more luminous at night, thus making them able to spot prey from far away. This peculiarity is also responsible for that glow-in-the-dark look we often see!

In the eye, cats and dogs have more batons than cones; batons are responsible for black and white vision while cones are responsible for seeing in color. Therefore, cats and dogs are said to be slightly colorblind (although not fully). In this way, the spectrum of colors they see is smaller than our own. According to research studies, they see blue and yellow relatively well but less so red and green.