Cat’s eyes and behaviors

Most cats’ eyes are greenish-yellow to gold. A deep green or brilliant copper color is usually found only in pedigree cats who have been bred selectively, though it occurs occasionally in non-pedigree cats too.

To possess the eyes of a cat would mean wearing glasses for reading. Cats are long-sighted, and objects directly in front of them appear fuzzy and unclear. To compensate for this, their peripheral vision is extremely acute and able to detect the slightest movement some distance away.

In relation to their bodies, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal. The common belief that cats are color blind is false, as recent experiments have revealed that cats can see blue, green, and red. Cats have a third eyelid called the nictitating membrane, though it is rarely visible. If it can be seen, it is sometimes an indication of ill health.

Cats cannot see directly under their noses, which is why they often cannot find food on the floor. Contrary to popular belief, a cat cannot see in total darkness, but its vision in reduced light conditions is better than that of most animals. A cat can see some six times better at night than a human and needs only a sixth of the amount of light that a person does to make out the world around it.

The reflective ‘cats’ eyes’ that are placed on roads to aid driving at night are so called because a cat’s eyes can appear to glow in the dark. This reflection occurs when even a small amount of light strikes the inner lining of the eye called the tapetum lucidum. This portion of the cat’s eye maximizes the light available and is invaluable to a feline predator when hunting at night.

The eyes of a Siamese cat appear red in the dark. The reflective area in the retina lacks pigment, and the red color is on account of the blood vessels present there. As in the human eye, a cat’s pupils contract and enlarge depending upon the amount of light, but whereas our eyes retain a circular shape, the cat’s pupils narrow to vertical slits when in a bright environment.

A cat’s mood can be seen in its eyes. When frightened or excited, a cat will have large, round pupils. If you’re feeling brave enough to look, an angry cat will have narrow pupils.

How a kitten is treated in its early years will affect its personality in the years to come. A cat exposing its belly is a trusting cat. Cats will lick themselves after being handled to get rid of the human scent. Cat families usually play best in even numbers. Where possible, cats and kittens should be acquired in pairs.

Like humans, cats can get bored – they will show their boredom through excessive licking, chewing, or biting. Cats will bury their feces to cover their trail from predators. Cats with long, lean bodies are more likely to be outgoing and more vocal than those with a stocky build.

Dead mice in the house? It is thought that most cats bring their prey into their owners’ homes to protect it from other predators, and from an instinctive urge to return it to the nest for the young.

A cat will use scent glands near its ‘cheeks’ to mark people as well as furniture, so make the acquaintance of a cat (and garner its approval) when entering their territory.