Why Do Some Cats Have Round Pupils?

If you’ve ever gazed into a house cat’s eyes and wondered why they don’t look like yours or even like those of big cats like tigers, you were onto something.

“A surprising thing we noticed from this study is that the slit pupils were linked to predators that were close to the ground,” co-author William Sprague, a postdoctoral researcher in Banks’ lab, said in a statement .

What kind of cats have round eyes?

The Chartreux is a cat breed with round eyes that seem to be always alert and ever expressive. A national treasure in France, the Chartreux cat has a uniform blue-gray coat, and its eyes are also somewhat standard in color, ranging from copper to gold.

Do all cats have round pupils?

Interestingly, not all cats have vertical pupils. Lions and tigers, for instance, have round pupils like your dog. So, most of the time, your cat’s pupils are slits, meaning that he or she is content and relaxed.

Instead of having circular pupils like humans, they have vertical slits which can adapt quickly and can open and close like the aperture of a camera.

They can open their pupils super-wide, allowing even small amounts of light into their eyes so they can see on dark nights, while also being able to squeeze them down to a tiny slit during the day. Since larger predators are further away from the ground than their shorter counterparts, such as the domesticated cat, their eyes don’t have to pull as many tricks to focus in on a target.

“There are so many exceptions to the rules the authors think to have discovered, that there must be much more to pupil shape than being predator or prey, big or small,” Ronald H.H.

I dont know about you, but I could look at cat eyes all day long. Theyre mesmerizing, dazzling, and it seems as if no two set of eyes are ever exactly the same. When it comes to cats, we know that their eyes differ from our eyes when it comes to what they see and the way in which their eyes are structured. And one of those things that differ from us, as well as most big cats, is that house cats typically have eye slits when it comes to the shape of their pupils. Keep reading to find out the reason why it is that some cats have round pupils.

Live Science explains that pupils which have a vertical-slit shape are most common in animals which are nocturnal predators who find success hunting by ambushing their prey. Once you understand cat behavior well, youll be amazed find how in sync their bodies are when theyre feeling a certain way.

My mother is a Cat Lady in training. Because she has severe allergies and asthma, the last and only cat she lived with in my lifetime was nine lives ago way back when I was in high school. That changed three years ago when my sister rescued a tiny, tailless, longhaired black kitten who was malnourished and had broken and missing teeth. Mom and Blue have developed a routine and bonded in the comfort of a favorite chair. Learning to live with her new feline housemate, Mom often asks why do cats questions. One of her questions after closely observing Blue as she sat on the chair arm was, Why do cats have vertical pupils? Good question, Mom.

Animals with horizontally elongated pupils tended to be plant-eating prey species with eyes located on the sides of their head; for instance, deer, sheep, and horses. After regulating the pupil to the right opening for the environmental light, ambush predators must accurately gauge the depth to efficiently pounce on their prey.

Lifestyle Adaptation

Round pupils were linked to “active foragers,” taller animals such as wolves, lions, and tigers, that chase down their prey. Animals with horizontally elongated pupils tended to be plant-eating prey species with eyes located on the sides of their head; for instance, deer, sheep, and horses. This shape and placement gives these animals a panoramic view so they can scan for danger in all directions while grazing.

Stealth Mode

Like the aperture in a camera, the pupil’s function is to regulate the amount of light that enters the eye by constricting (closing) or dilating (opening) the pupil. Constricting circular pupils, like humans have, use ring-shaped muscles but vertical-slit pupils have two extra side muscles that more strongly open or close the pupil, allowing a larger change of area. The vertical slits in cats undergo a 135-fold change in area between constricted and dilated states while humans have only about a 15-fold change. Researchers say this ability gives cats the dynamic range to help them see in dim light without being blinded by bright sunlight.