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What Does the World Look Like to Cats? Now We Know

Anna is a lifestyle writer who spends way too much time with her two dogs. When she is not writing, she is probably gardening, reading, tripping over dog toys, or trying to acquire more farm animals than she really needs.

Cats view the world differently than humans, but how might surprise you

My cat begins her day like Simba, surveying her territory, and is purringly content that all she sees will one day be hers — if it isn’t already. Sometimes, as I prepare her meals, clean her litter box and remain sitting in uncomfortable positions until my legs fall asleep for fear of disturbing her, I wonder how she has come to this conclusion.

Does she see the world differently than I do? Am I missing something? What does the world look like to cats, anyway? Thankfully, scientists had the answer to my questions.

More: 25 random cat behaviors finally explained

Cats have a broader range of vision

Cats literally have a broader worldview than their humans. We see 180 degrees, they see 200. I can only assume that those extra 20 degrees let them see a world where cats are the supreme beings and we are merely their lowly caretakers.

Cats can see color, just not much

We earn some points when it comes to color, however. Thanks to the higher number of cones in our retinas, we see more colors than cats. That is not to say that cats cannot see in color, only that the colors we see are more saturated, whereas the colors they see are comparable to a person who is colorblind. In other words, while you are concentrating on matching your wardrobe or distracted by a beautiful blue sky, your cat is plotting world domination.

More: 11 things your cat would definitely tell you if he could

Your cat may need glasses to drive

You might think that mighty hunters like cats would have better visual acuity than humans, but you would be wrong. On average, we have 20/20 vision, while cats have between 20/100 to 20/200. This makes sense when you think about their lifestyle, however. They are far more focused on what is right in front of them — namely their owners, who may or may not be opening a can of fresh wet food, and unsuspecting prey.

More: 12 surprising (and sometimes creepy) signs that your cat doesn't actually hate you

Awesome night vision

My theory is that it all boils down to what happens after dark. While you are dependent on lights, cats roam the darkness doing who knows what thanks to the high number of rods in their retinas.

Plus, cats understand physics

Now that you know what the world looks like to cats, let me throw you a curve ball. Not only is your cat super-focused on its immediate surroundings, undistracted by bright colors and enjoying extra peripheral vision, but they may also understand simple rules of physics according to a study by researchers from Kyoto University in Japan.

Cats understand cause and effect. They can make logical connections based on sound, which is probably how they predict where prey might hide, and it also has disturbing connotations for owners. Yes, it is possible that your cat really did mean to trip you.

More: Video proof that cats are basically invincible

World domination aside, the most startling difference between how cats see the world and how we do is how little difference there actually is. Sure, we can see farther and with more color, and they can see better in the dark, but for the most part, the world looks fairly similar. Which means I'll have to go back to the drawing board if I really want to figure out why my cat rules the roost.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Cats view the world differently than humans, but how might surprise you
Image: shark_toof/Instagram
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