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What Cats and Dogs Can See that Humans Can’t: You Won’t Believe it!

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By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell    February 25, 2014 at 03:10PM / (20) comments

Have you ever felt that your cat or dog can see something you don’t? Well, you may be right, according to a new study.

 

Cats, dogs, and other mammals are thought to see in ultraviolet light, which opens up a whole different world than the one we see, the study explains.

 

Seeing the World in Ultraviolet Light

 

UV light is the wave length beyond the visible light from red to violet that humans can see. Humans have a lens that blocks UV from reaching the retina. It was previously thought that most mammals have lenses similar to humans.

 

Scientists studied the lenses of dead mammals, including cats, dogs, monkeys, pandas, hedgehogs, and ferrets. By researching how much light passes through the lens to reach the retina, they concluded that some mammals previously thought not to be able to see UV actually can.

 

"Nobody ever thought these animals could see in ultraviolet, but in fact, they do," Ron Douglas, the study leader and a biologist at City University London, England, told LiveScience.

 

What purpose does being able to see UV light serve for animals such as reindeer, rodents, and other mammals? It allows reindeer to see polar bears, for example, which would be invisible in regular light because they blend in with the snow.

 

UV light also allows mammals to see urine trails. This would be helpful for prey animals, such as cats and dogs, to find food in the wild.

 

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Image: INTVGene via Flickr

 

Article originally appeared on Pet360.com

Comments  20

Leave Comment
  • hmmmm...
    02/25/2014 06:51pm

    I've always wondered if my cats could see things I couldn't :)

  • 11/14/2014 06:50pm

    But it still doesn't explain what my cats "suddenly" see what's behind me!

  • 12/06/2014 05:19pm

    I've been learning about "ghost hunting" because I live in a haunted house, and from what I understand, some of the newer equipment they're now using scans the ultraviolet spectrum because they've found it can capture evidence they were previously unaware of. So this may very well explain what your pet is seeing when it stares behind you! Or maybe your pet is just hearing a bug lol.

  • 03/15/2015 12:34pm

    balaams donkey in the bible seen the angel, and Balaam never. The donkey tried to avoid walking on, because the angel was standing in the middle of the road. The donkey kept pulling away, and Balaam kept beating it. then the angel made himself known to Balaam, and wanted kill him for beating the donkey. but I wonder if that is why the donkey seen him, and the human never.

  • Photo illustration
    04/26/2014 05:13pm

    How interesting that you used the photo of a blind cat for your illustration.

  • 05/05/2014 10:13am

    I don't think that is blind cat.. .I think the picture colors were edited :)

  • 10/03/2014 01:04pm

    Psssst - go to Photoshop, click on Image, then Adjustments, then Invert - it is a photo of a black cat with green eyes and gray-black whiskers.

  • 02/18/2015 02:00pm

    It's not blind

  • Blindness in Cats
    05/06/2014 01:54pm

    The colors may have been adjusted (the entire photo is sloppy), but the pupils are are totally expanded, which occurs in taurine deficiency and several genetic and medical disorders. This cat is blind.

  • 05/07/2014 01:50pm

    Cats eyes also dilate when a flash goes off when their photo is taken. Dilated eyes do not always mean a cat is blind.

  • 05/09/2014 09:07am

    Wouldn't a flash cause the pupil to constrict instead of dilate?

  • 05/09/2014 10:46am

    That's a picture of a black cat with green eyes. The colors have been inverted.

    Here's what happens if you switch it back.

    [img=147x110]http://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o533/feinicstine/xultraviolet-cat-2jpgpagespeedicGvPQvE6TFV_zps9b410795.jpg[/img]

  • 07/02/2014 12:19pm

    You're quick to jump to conclusions, so will I, you're a moron. I don't recall ever seeing a cat with a white nose and white tear ducts, but who knows what world you're living in.

    The picture colors have been inverted.

    The cat is black: http://snag.gy/nIPyx.jpg

  • UV cat
    07/14/2014 07:42pm

    The picture is of a cat as seen in ultraviolet light. :)

  • Interesting!!!
    09/17/2014 12:04pm

    Yes,it does seem that the picture was altered,but the article was very useful.Does anyone agree or are you just gonna argue over a cat picture?

  • You mean my dog can actua
    09/28/2014 01:35pm

    You mean my dog can actually see urine on the ground? How about ghosts? Can my dog see ghosts?

  • 12/06/2014 06:47pm

    Do, but he can see dog urine :)

  • Silly people!
    11/16/2014 06:35am

    You people are silly. The image wasn't edited, the entire picture was simply inverted.

    It's a black cat, with yellow eyes.

    http://i.imgur.com/EHq2237.png

  • they do indeed
    04/01/2015 09:14pm

    Almost all of my dogs have demonstrated an awareness of something I cannot see, to the point of distraction. They watch open doors, reacting often to ???. They go down hallways with trepidation, looking, anticipating to see something they'd rather not see. However, one of my dogs was particularly "insightful". My "hyper-obedient, do whatever was commanded, needed to be by my side" dog was my constant companion. One day, when walking on trails in remote woods, we walked everyday, she stopped cold. Could not be dragged, coerced, ordered, enticed to go one more step. I took heed. We went the other way. She resumed her typical frenetic adventure. One evening, going to our cozy room where we'd spent hours of days, she refused to even enter the room. Paws planted could not be dragged. Wouldn't look up, nearly cowered, had to be carried dead weight into the room. This remained a near disturbing mystery until I learned that the construction we were doing on that room, in our 100 yr old home, could well be a trigger for paranormal activity. I'd say, the trigger was pulled.

  • they do indeed
    04/01/2015 09:14pm

    Almost all of my dogs have demonstrated an awareness of something I cannot see, to the point of distraction. They watch open doors, reacting often to ???. They go down hallways with trepidation, looking, anticipating to see something they'd rather not see. However, one of my dogs was particularly "insightful". My "hyper-obedient, do whatever was commanded, needed to be by my side" dog was my constant companion. One day, when walking on trails in remote woods, we walked everyday, she stopped cold. Could not be dragged, coerced, ordered, enticed to go one more step. I took heed. We went the other way. She resumed her typical frenetic adventure. One evening, going to our cozy room where we'd spent hours of days, she refused to even enter the room. Paws planted could not be dragged. Wouldn't look up, nearly cowered, had to be carried dead weight into the room. This remained a near disturbing mystery until I learned that the construction we were doing on that room, in our 100 yr old home, could well be a trigger for paranormal activity. I'd say, the trigger was pulled.


 
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