It must be said right away: the eyes of cats do not actually glow in the dark, that is, they do not emit light, as many still think. They just reflect the beam hitting them. This is due to a special layer of cells in the shell of the animal’s eye. It is called tapetum lucidum (Latin tapetum lucidum) and works on the principle of a mirror. Light passes through the lens and cornea and, reaching the fundus, is reflected from the tapetum.
By themselves, cat eyes will not sparkle. You can easily check this by placing your pet in a dark room with no lights or windows. It is unlikely that you will be able to see his eyes.
Glowing eye color
Most likely, you have noticed that the eyes of different cats glow in the dark in different ways. The most common shades are yellow, green and turquoise. But blue eyes (for example, Siamese cats) turn red in the dark. Why is this happening?
It’s all about tapetum again. Outwardly, it resembles mother-of-pearl and consists of guanine crystals, which may contain various pigments. It is these pigments that are responsible for what color the cat’s eyes will glow in the dark.
And not just cats.
Not only cats have tapetum lucidum, although these animals are its most striking owners. This layer of cells is found in almost all mammals, including dogs. True, a person does not fall into this category, and the red-eye effect in people in photographs is associated with the work of the retina, which reflects light. Since it is covered with a huge number of blood vessels, the reflected light takes on a red tint. In simple terms, it is the blood that colors the eyes of people in the photo.
How do cats see?
The cat is a typical nocturnal hunter. And again, the tapetum is partly responsible for twilight vision! It makes the eyes of animals sensitive to dim light and allows them to see in the dark. By the way, it is believed that cats see in the dark ten times more clearly than humans.
Another feature of cat vision is that they have farsightedness. Best of all, animals see objects at a distance of 6-10 meters. But everything that follows, alas, becomes fuzzy for them. By the way, if you offer a cat a treat and put it right under his nose, the pet will take time to find it. Animals do not recognize nearby objects well, in this case they are guided by smell and hearing.
Perhaps the most interesting question is: do cats perceive colors? For a long time it was believed that pets see the world in black and white. However, it is not. Recently, scientists have shown that cats do perceive colors, although not in the same way as humans. They see shades of blue and green well, but red, orange and yellow are poorly distinguished.
How to test a cat’s eyesight?
For a pet to be healthy and have excellent eyesight, its eyes must be looked after. A couple of times a month they should be wiped with a sterile swab dipped in boiled water or chamomile decoction. A new swab is used for each eye. Wipe from nose to ear.
- It is worth paying attention to the symptoms of visual impairment in pets:
Cloudiness and redness.
Fall of the third century.
Bulge of the eye.
Tearing, discharge, itching.
In no case should you self-medicate. This can lead to partial or complete loss of vision in the pet. In all cases, consultation with a veterinarian is necessary.