Cats can see almost as well as humans can, and at times better. Cat vision is designed for detecting motion, useful for hunting. Like humans, cats have binocular vision, although not as well tuned as in humans. This means a cat most likely sees in 3-D, as do humans, which is very useful for judging distance.
Cats appear to be slightly nearsighted, which would suggest their vision is tailored more for closer objects, such as prey, that can be captured within running distance. Objects farther than several hundred yards rarely interest a cat. Cats also have the ability to jump from as much as six feet onto a narrow window ledge without touching the window, a feat which requires not only excellent balance, but precise distance judgment as well..
Cats have both rods and cones in the retina. Rods are the receptors that the eye uses for night time viewing and sudden movement, while cones are used during the daytime, and process colour information. Cats have more rods than cones, as compared with humans, making cat night and motion vision superior to humans..
In low light, like night, colour and hue are not perceived, only black, white and shades of gray. Cats have an elliptical pupil which opens and closes much faster than round types and allows for a much larger pupil size. This allows more light to enter the eye. Cats also have a mirror like membrane on the back of their eyes called a Tapetum.
It reflects the light passing through the rods, back through the rods a second time in the opposite direction. The result is a double exposure of the light, which permit cats to see well in near darkness. The yellowish glow you see when you shine a light into cat eyes at night is light reflecting off the Tapetum membrane.
Although a cat cannot see in total darkness, a partly cloudy night sky with some stars will provide enough light for cats to hunt and see movement, even in the cover of most brush. At night, a cat also relies on it’s extremely sensitive hearing and directional ear movement to locate the general position of prey, then targets and captures the prey using
it’s keen eyesight..
Do cats see in colour?.
It’s believed that cats do see in colour, although not exactly the way people do. In tests, cats appeared to distinguish between the low to mid light wave spectrum (higher frequency), meaning cats responded to the colors purple, blue, green and yellow range. Red, orange and brown colours appear to fall outside cats colour range and are most likely seen as shades of gray or purple..
Cats appear to see less saturation in colours than do humans, meaning cats do not see colours as intensely or vibrantly. Blue and green appear to be the strongest colors perceived by cats. However, tests suggest that cats can distinguish between more shades or levels of grey than can humans.
Information from Arcamax