Cats Can See Better Than Dogs
When it comes to close-up vision, cats can see a lot better than dogs – although dogs seem to win when it comes to seeing things from far away.
“Dogs are still known to respond to motions from up to a mile away, [while] cats are thought to be only able to focus on an object up to 20 feet away,” says Dr. Carol Osborne. However, this vision makes cats excellent at detecting quick bursts of movement nearby – an important trait if you’re a hunter.
Cats also have special adaptations that allow them to see better in low-light situations than a human or a dog, according to Dr. Grace C. Park, medical director at Second Chance Animal Shelter in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“It is estimated that cat eyes can absorb six times more light than human eyes due in part to their very large pupils,” says Park. “Also, cats have a very well-developed structure in the back of the eye on the retina called the tapetum lucidum, which is a very highly reflective structure that works like a mirror to reflect all light that enters the back of the eye.”
This means cats do require some light to see in the dark, but they can see relatively well with just a small amount of light, Park explains.
“Dogs possess the same structures that cats do but they have a less developed tapetum lucidum, resulting in poorer night vision compared to cats,” she adds.