We all know that cats can see so well at night. Have you ever thought about the reason behind that? It’s their Night vision ability. This ability enables them to navigate in the dark.
Before getting into kittens night vision ability, let us know about what is night vision and how it works in cats and humans?
What is Night Vision?
Night vision is the natural ability to see in the dark and the low light environment; it is completely black and white. Many nocturnal animals have a spectacular night vision. Night vision is also called a Scotopic Vision.
Night Vision Ability In Cats vs Humans?
Have you ever thought about kitties’ or cats’ night vision ability and how they hunt their prey, even in a dark or dim environment? Sometimes we are stumbling around in a dark room to see what’s in front of us, but they don’t. Because of tapetum lucidum- a light-reflecting surface helps animals to see better in the dark. It gives the cats superior night vision. Yes, the human eye lacks a tapetum lucidum, so they have poor night vision compared to many animals.
Night Vision in Cats
Cats have the most distinctive eyes rather than other animals in the world. They have an excellent ability to see in the dark compared to humans. The massive difference between humans and cats is the “Retina”.
The Retina is the layer of cells lining the back wall inside the eye. This layer senses the light(Photoreceptors) and sends signals to the brain that are translated into the images that we see.
The two main types of photoreceptors are cones and Rods. Rods assist with night vision and peripheral, and cones assist with day vision and color perception. About 96% of light receptors in cats’ eyes are Rods. It refreshes more quickly than Cones for giving faster vision for cats.
Do Cats and Humans have the same vision?
Cats have a better range of peripheral vision. Cats’ vision is similar to a Human who has a color blind. The biggest difference between human beings and cats is “Retina.” A unique reflective structure in cats’ eyes is called the Tapetum Lucidum, located behind the retina. Humans and Cats are thought to be trichromats, but not in the same way that humans are.
The average visual acuity in humans is 20/20, while cats’ visual acuity is 20/100-20/200. That means a cat can view at 20 feet, but an average human can see at 100 or 200 feet.
Cats can see roughly one-six times better in dim light, which can detect light at low levels than humans. Cats have a lower concentration of cone receptors and higher concentration rod receptors, but in humans, it’s vice-versa.
Humans have three kinds of cones that let them see Blue, Green, and Red. Also, the cats have three types of cones that detect the colors of red, green, blue, and pink. These colors may seem more green, while purple looks like another shade of blue.
Can cats see in the dark?
Cats cannot see in absolute darkness, anymore we can. Still, they are much better adapted than humans for seeing in low levels of light. Cats are crepuscular, which means they are active at dawn and dusk. Maybe they need such a good night vision. Their eyes have six to eight times more rod cells, which are more sensitive to low light than humans.
Humans can see objects clearly at 100 to 200 feet away, but cats need no more than about 20 feet away to see those same things sharply. Cats can see so well in the dim light due to the designs of their eyes. Cats also have a greater range of peripheral vision; all these traits help cats catch those tiny, fast-moving mice.
Also, cats can seem to have limited colors but not the same as vibrant colors humans can. They can see blue and yellow best, red and green fade into grays.
Cats have a slit-shaped pupil; this shape allows the cat to hunt in darkness and bright daylight. Depending on the light, their pupils constrict or dilates.
Moreover, cats own elliptical pupils that differ maximum, allowing them to capture light as much as possible. They also have reflective cells under the retina, which form the tapetum. This tapetum lucidum gives the cat a shiny eye appearance and improves their capacity to see in dim light. The tapetum lucidum is one of the best reasons for cats to see so carefully at night.
Cats eye and Ultraviolet
The UV light is a type of light on the spectrum that many animals can see. Unlike humans, cats also have the ability to Perceive the ultraviolet light, a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This lets the animals see wavelengths that are invisible to human eyes. Studies say that cats, dogs, reindeer, and other mammals are also able to see UV lights.
Although the cats’ ability to perceive the ultraviolet light is not fairly as intense as that of bees and birds, it can help them distinguish prey invisible to us.
When do Kittens get night vision ability?
All the kittens are born with Eyes shut, and Ear canals closed. They are completely blind. Kittens normally open their eyes after seven -Ten days. At first, the retina is poorly developed. Two weeks of aged kittens’ eyes are fully opened with a baby blue color. Their vision will be poor, and they will not be able to see long distances.
Their vision clears up around five weeks, but the sight is not fully developed until the 10 th week. After ten weeks, their vision becomes very clear and focused. Older kittens and adult cats have an amazingly precise vision. Moreover, the kitties’ can see many things that the human eye can’t.
The Tapetum Lucidum, a light-reflecting surface, helps the animals to hound in the dark and to see better. It gives the cats their superior night vision. Human eyes don’t have this layer. A kittens’ tapetum lucidum is blue-gray at birth, transitions to blue by four months, and matures to yellow, orange, or green.
All about the Kitten's night vision ability
Cats have a range of binocular vision, and it is why they’re such remarkable hunters. Cats have better night vision, and they are nearsighted. They cannot focus well on distant objects.
A cats’ night vision isn’t super powered as most would expect; their eyes are still incredibly intelligent. Kittens and cats find their own way around the house during night time. They are most active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular).
Cats have the supernatural power to see in the dim light, because of rods. They have 25 rods per single cone in each eye, more sensitive to low light than humans. Cats’ eyes are specialized to see in the dark and dim light, and it helps them during twilight times of dawn and dusk when they like to hunt.