A Closer Look at Your Cat’s Eyes
Here is a great little video from the Cat Channel about why cats’ eyes make them such good hunters.
The video describes 3 special features that give cats certain advantages when hunting for prey – or just perhaps their favorite toy whilst you are sleeping at night.
- Cats’ eyes have pupils shaped like slits (as opposed the round kind found in humans) and this directs more light right to the retinas in the back of the eyes, where images are formed.
- The retina holds the “tapetum lucidum,” a layer of tissue which reflects light and helps to intensify night-vision capabilities.
- The third feature is, quite literally, the third eyelid. Officially known as the “nictitating membrane,” it protects cats’ eyes from debris and, when they’re hunting in the wild, from the dangers of tall pointy leaves of grass and other vegetation. It also helps to spread fluid that periodically secretes from the extra tear duct that cats have. This fluid rinses their eyes and protects them from bacteria.
Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-cats-have-an-inner