Hey Cat Ladies: Ever Wonder What Your Furry Buddy Sees?

A set of photos from artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm compares the way we see the world with the way our cats do

Ever wonder what your cat’s thinking when he stares at you with such plaintive eyes? (Probably: "Feed me.") Well, we may never know what truly motivates our mysterious kitties -- but now we might have a chance to understand what they’re actually seeing. That’s because artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm has put together a set of photos that compares the way we see things with the way our cats see them.

To make sure his representation was accurate, he worked with a whole slew of experts -- Kerry L. Ketring, DVM, DACVO of All Animal Eye Clinic, Dr. DJ Haeussler of The Animal Eye Institute, and the Ophthalmology group at Penn Vet -- and he based the images on known facts about cats’ vision. For instance, did you know that their visual field is wider than ours? And they can see as much as eight times better than us in low light? And that humans can see things sharply much further away than cats can? Check out the comparison images (human vision up top, cats' below) for more insight on what’s behind your beloved furball’s eyes (other than, “bowl’s empty again”):


Cats' visual field is wider than ours.

Nickolay Lamm

They see 200 degrees to our 180. 

Cats see distance objects less sharply.

Nickolay Lamm

What a normal person sees without blurriness at 100 to 200 feet, a cat would need to view from just 20 to see clearly.

Cats don't see colors the way we do.

Nickolay Lamm

Cats probably see blues and yellows -- like color blind humans -- with some greens as well.

Cats pick up movements much faster than humans.

Nickolay Lamm

That's useful in chasing small animals during a hunt. Or in Times Square, you might say.

Cats don't see red.

Nickolay Lamm

Check out how the foreground object almost disappears.

Cats have way better night vision than we do.

Nickolay Lamm

...but you knew that from the way they scurry around in a dark house while we feel our way along tabletops and walls to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Cats' world comes alive at night.

Nickolay Lamm

Our retinas have many more cones, which means we see great during the day with lots of vibrant colors -- but cats squarely have the advantage over us after dark.


Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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