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Cat Vision & the Serpia Filter

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Cat Vision & the Serpia Filter

Cat Vision 1
Cats can see almost as well as humans can, and at times better. Cat vision is designed for detecting motion, useful for hunting. Like humans, cats have binocular vision, although not as well tuned as in humans. This means a cat most likely sees in 3-D; very useful for judging distance. Cats have an elliptical pupil which opens & closes much faster than round types and allows for a much larger pupil size. This allows more light to enter the eye.

Cats appear to be slightly nearsighted, which would suggest their vision is tailored more for closer objects, such as prey, that they can capture within running distance. Objects farther than several hundred yards rarely interest a cat.

A cat relies on its extremely sensitive hearing and directional ear movement to locate the general location of prey, then targets and captures the prey using its keen eyesight. Cat vision is adapted to capture even the slightest movement. This makes the cat one of the most successful hunters on land.
Cat Vision 3
Cats also have a mirror like membrane on the back of their eyes called a Tapetum. It reflects the light passing through the rods... back through the rods a second time, this time in the opposite direction. The combination of elliptical pupils and the Tapetum permit cats to see extremely well in near darkness.

The picture on the left is how a human would see in near darkness and on the right, how a cat would see. In low light, like night, color and hue are not perceived, only black, white and shades of gray.

Cats have both rods and cones in the retina. Rods are the receptors that the eye uses for night time viewing and sudden movement. Cones are used during the daytime and process color information. Cats have more rods than cones, as compared with humans, making cat night and motion vision superior to humans.

Cat Colour Range
Cats responded to the colors purple, blue, green and yellow range. Red, orange and brown colors appear to fall outside cats colour range and are most likely seen as dark to mid shades of gray.

Cats appear to see less saturation in colours than do humans, meaning cats do not see colors as intensely or vibrantly. Purple, blue & green appear to be the strongest colours perceived by cats.

The research done by Kitty Show was important not only in verifying cats can and do see colour, but to what degree. This is especially important when viewing TV screens. TV creates the image seen by lighting up 3 colours- red, blue and green.

In a cats case, red is seen as gray. So now we have gray, blue and green. This shifts the colour balance, similar to humans viewing a TV with the tint adjusted to the green side. It would "camouflage" or "mask" colours involving shades of green, brown and yellow, making those objects hard for us to see. For Cats, the "masking" would be red, brown and gray. So.. to compensate for this, Kitty Show created the "Serpia Filter".
Cat Motion View
This filter shifts the colours/hues of red and brown to purple and violet. These are some of the strongest colours cats can see. Now.. cats can see all the commotion with little or no masking.

Understanding how cats see also suggested the subjects selected for Kitty Show movies. Cats hunt by motion. Certain types of motion causes certain reactions from cats. Backgrounds, scene changes and such are not what cats are most interested in. It's the motion of the prey.

The easier cats can see the prey, along with the right kinds of motion, the more likely a cat will respond.

Cats watching movie