Cats naturally see at night. That’s why its eyes are built to perceive even very weak light. Your pupils can open very wide, so much more light can fall on the retina than humans. As in humans, there are two types of light-sensitive cells in the retina: cones primarily responsible for the perception of colors, and rods that respond to light-dark stimuli. In cats, rods that are much more sensitive to light are particularly active. Like other nocturnal animals, cats also have tapetum lucidum; A layer behind the retina that reflects light that hits the uvula like a mirror. That’s why cat eyes glow in the dark when light falls on it.
Biggest eyes among pets for their size
Cat eyes are not only more sensitive to light due to chopsticks, they can also catch light better. When the light is bright, the pupils that are closed as slits open in the dark and form circles with a diameter of 1.5 cm. Cats have the biggest eyes among our pets for their size. With wide-open pupils, they collect the remaining light particularly efficiently.
And a third trick nature uses to help cats see in the dark. Light passing through the retina is reflected by a special layer called the “bright carpet” (for all Latinos: tapetum lucidum) and sent back to the retina. Cones and rods receive the same light twice – first from the front, then from the back. The “shining carpet” also makes cats’ eyes shine in the spotlight. “Shining carpet” is not a unique selling point for cats. It is also now available as a light amplifier in horses, cattle and most dogs. Depending on the composition of the crystals and color pigments, the eyes reflect green, yellow or rather blue. Rabbits and humans do not have tapetum lucidum. Either way, the eyes turn red in the photo flash. These are reflexes from blood vessels.