New Research on Feline Vision


Experts now believe that cats can see into the ultraviolet spectrum, which means that they can see some things that we can’t. Scientists discovered a long time ago that birds, fish and insects can perceive a wider range of light and color than human beings; but the new research extends the list to cats, dogs and certain other mammals, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

This new information can explain some of our cats’ strange — or misunderstood — behavior, for example, your cat may stare intently at something you can’t see because the light the object is reflecting is outside your ability to perceive it.

The ability to see ultraviolet light can help cats to be better hunters by helping them to distinguish prey that would otherwise be hard to detect. For instance, we may not be able to perceive a white rabbit in a background of white snow, but because the rabbit fur and the snow reflect ultraviolet light differently, the rabbit would likely be very obvious to a cat.


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