Have you ever seen your dog looking for his toy? How about the cat staring at you, like they can see in your soul? Then, you may have wondered which animal has the best eyesight. Well, I was curious too. Read on to see what I discovered about who sees better- cats or dogs.
Sometimes, it can seem like our pets have superpowers – how else do they hear that tuna can opening from two floors away, or find their way around that sofa when it’s pitch dark? The ability for our cats and dogs to see things in different ways than we do is especially amazing, and it’s natural for us to compare the abilities of our feline friends and canine companions, of course. So who can actually see better – cats or dogs? Let’s find out.
Natural Abilities and Larger Pupils in Their Eyes
Both cats and dogs have natural abilities that have evolved over thousands of years because of their need to hunt their own food and escape from other predators. Their eyes have much larger pupils than our own, which can expand enormously to allow far more light to enter their eye and reach the retina (the membrane on the back of the eye).
Difference in Species
There are some pretty interesting differences between the visual abilities of these two types of pets, however.
While both cats and dogs have eyes that face forward, cats have far better binocular vision and depth perception than dogs. Cats can also see things that are closer to them in sharper focus, while dogs can’t focus well on things that are much closer than around ten inches which might explain why they can detect that mouse half a foot away in the grass, while your dog might not be able to find their ball when it’s right in front of their nose!
Just to up the ante, though, your pooch can see over a greater field of vision compared to their feline colleagues; without turning their heads, they can see 240 degrees around them, versus 200 degrees for cats.
Special Layer of Reflective Cells in Eyes
Have you ever seen the shine that flashes from your pet’s eyes at night? That’s caused by a layer of special reflective cells in the back of their eyes called the tapetum lucidum – this layer reflects any light that enters the eye back onto the retina, which means that our cats and dogs can find their way up the stairs in the dark far better than we can.
Night Vision of Cats and Dogs
Cats have dogs beat paws down in the night vision category, however – they’re twice as better at seeing the world around them with very little light to work with.
Seeing Color by Dogs and Cats
Finally, let’s take a look at how our pets see color; while they aren’t able to see the riotous rainbow that humans can, both cats and dogs do see color (yes, really!).
Cats see more in shades of blue and green, and notice radical contrasts and patterns more, while dogs tend to perceive the world in shades that range from blue to yellow (similar to people who are red/green color blind), and are better at differentiating different shades of grey.
So do Cats or Dogs See Better?
Well, in the end, the answer is: it depends. When it comes to wide range viewing and noticing motion, your canine companion will probably win the prize. If you need to see in the dark or detect rapid tiny movements nearby, however, a cat is probably the best animal to be.
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