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Dog and Cat Vision

September 16th, 2011 Pets

Vision is an important aspect of the human experience, but have you ever wondered what kind of world your dog or cat sees? Extensive scientific research has found that although our furry companions' eyes are anatomically similar to their owners, there are differences in how they perceive their surroundings.

Dogs and cats aren't colorblind. They have fewer specialized cones than we do, but still enough to pick up some color. Remember that kid in school who was red and green colorblind? Well, man's best friend has similar difficulties distinguishing between the two. Cats see a lot of blues and greens and can tell the difference between contrasting colors. Both animals perceive images in a slightly faded tone compared to us.

Like humans, both pets have eyes that are near the front of their faces, which gives them depth perception and binocular vision that enables them to accurately judge distance. Dogs have the best vision when it comes to field of view. When they look straight ahead, they can see 240 degrees, as opposed to cats, who see 200 degrees and people, who see 180 degrees.

These two notorious rivals are both farsighted. Dogs can't focus on anything closer than 10 inches and cats are only a little better. Both rely on motion rather than focus, which makes them strong predators.

Cats and dogs have good peripheral vision. Felines can make extremely fast eye movements, which enables them to see and follow an object closely. Both of our four-legged friends can see focused objects at a distance, even in their peripheral vision. Dog breeds with longer noses are better at hunting because of a specialized group of cells on their retinas. Shorter nosed dogs have eyes that enable them to focus more on close objects. Don't be surprised if your Pomeranian watches T.V. every now and then.