How do the pupils in a cat’s eyes operate to see movement and panoramic views?

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Cats enjoy a much wider field of vision than humans, taking in more than 187 degrees while most of us are confined to 160 degrees. Their ability to see panoramic views is paired with a high degree of sensitivity to movement.

Essentially, the pupils of a cat’s eyes act like a camera, and the animal’s brain is an editing machine. Felines separate every movement, going through a view frame by frame if you will, and separating out much more information than humans perceive.

Cat’s do not have good close range vision, and in fact can’t focus well on objects near their face, but at a distance, their visual acuity is superb, and near radar-like for moving objects.

Additionally, the feline binocular field — the amount of overlap in the vision of both eyes — is 120 degrees. This gives them excellent depth perception, which hones their aim to a fine point for pouncing on prey.

All of these characteristics, augmented by a protective third eyelid, and a special reflective layer behind the retina to enhance night vision make the feline eye a marvel of specialization.

So, the next time your cat is staring at “nothing” on the ceiling? You might want to rethink that.

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