Ever had that creepy feeling when you’re in the company of a cat and its attention is caught by something but there doesn’t appear to be anything there? A cold shiver ambles up your spine as they stare intently at what seems to be nothing. What could it be? Are they seeing other-worldly apparitions we can’t see with our boring human eyes?
No, don’t be silly, But cats do have very different eyesight to humans and it’s likely they are simply looking at different shades and shadows our eyes don’t pick up. Scientific research has revealed that cats have wider periphery vision than humans, with a 200 degree visual field compared to our 180 degree vision, but you might be surprised to learn that their daytime eyesight is actually poorer than humans.
Cats Eyes Compared to Human Eyes
Cats see fewer colors and less detail in the bright light of day than we do, which might lead to them finding interesting things to stare at where we just see a wall. We can see it clearer, so it’s just a wall to us, but if our vision was a little blurrier and a little less defined then we might find ourselves staring at random blotches and splodges for longer than necessary as well. Cats’ eyesight comes into its own at night time though, where they don’t lose so much detail in the shadows as we do. Artist Nickolay Lamm released a series of pictures last year comparing the view of a human to a cat’s and it’s quite astonishing the difference between a cat’s daytime detail and their night vision.
Evolutionary Balancing Act
Most probably an evolutionary result of their preference for hunting at night, their poorer vision during the day is due to their eyes adapting to see better in the dark, though their daytime eyesight is still pretty impressive when you consider the instant blindness that happens to a human wearing night-vision goggles when you shine a light at them. Many purely nocturnal animals have also developed excellent night vision but at the expense of being practically blind in the daylight. Cats have found a happy medium, even if that happy medium does result in a few random nothings being stared at.
Human & Cat Eye Crossover
Unfortunately, wearing a pair of cats eye colored contact lenses isn’t going to give you improved night-vision; only eating your carrots as a child will do that. But the good news is that with the superb contact lens material used nowadays, you don’t have to suffer any vision impairment either. Ladies can hog the limelight at a fancy dress party or costume convention by decking themselves out in head-to-toe black leather or latex, arming themselves with a cat o’ nine tails whip and wearing these amazing cats eye contact lenses to become the ultimate Catwoman.
Men can get in on the act as well, recreating the famous Thunder Cat heroes like Lion-O and Panthro using cats eye contact lenses, depending on how hairy or bald you are. You can also use cat eyes contacts to affect a reptilian appearance, should you desire to masquerade as a high level Scientologist for an evening. So while we can’t acquire the superior night-vision of a cat, affecting the appearance of cats’ eyes with colored contact lenses is one of the best ways of creating a costume that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Just don’t go climbing any trees after a few drinks as the firemen who rescue you won’t be as sympathetic when you get stuck.