How do cats sense the world?
Why are their form of seeing and sensing the world different from human beings?
The features of creation in cats’ eyes are one of the evidences of the perfection in Almighty Allah’s creation. Our Lord created cats’ eyes with the control and coordination features compatible with the needs of these beings. In one verse, the perfection in Allah’s creation is told as such:
“He is Allah – the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him.He is the Almighty, the All-Wise.”(Surat al-Hashr, 24)
Cats’ Night Vision Is Very Strong
Cats can easily distinguish colors like green, blue and red. However, the actual superiority of their eyes is that they are created for night vision. Cats’ eyelids open up at nights; so in environments of low light, the colored layer of the eye called the iris makes the pupil larger (covering more than almost 90% of the eye) and allows more light to come in. In environments with high levels of light, this system works in the opposite way to protect the retina, the pupil narrows and turns into a thin line.
There is a layer that does not exist in humans. This layer just behind the retiana reflects the light. Since the light that falls on this layer is reflected back, light passes two times through the retina. Therefore, cats can easily see in low light, and even in dark environments the human eye cannot see in. The reason that cats’ eyes shine under light in the dark is this layer. This layer is made up of tapetum lucidum crystals that reflect light. Thanks to these crystals, the light that falls on the back of the eye is reflected back to the retina. Some of the reflected light turns back from the lens, and causes the eyes to shine at night. Thanks to this structure, the amount of light the eye can see in the dark is increased, and more precisely, available light is better used. Therefore, cats have better vision in the dark. This is not a form of bio-luminescence, because the light is not produced by the animal, but is a result of light being reflected back.
Another reason that cats can see well in the dark is that there are more rod cells than cone cells in their retinas. As it is known, rod cells are sensitive to light only. They form a black or white image depending on the light that comes from objects, but they are sensitive enough to work even with little light.
Thanks to these special rod cells, all cats can easily hunt at night. As it is seen, Allah created the most appropriate eye structure for their living conditions and nutritional needs. Cats’ eyes have markedly different structures and characteristics in line with their own needs. This is one of the unique examples of Allah’s art of creation. Our Lord’s unique science of creation is revealed in one verse as such:
“The Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.(Surat al-Baqara, 117)
Cats’ Visual Field Is Very Wide
In addition to cats’ perfect vision at night, their visual field is also much wider than that of humans. Whereas mans’ visual field is limited to 160 degrees, cats can easily see up to 187 degrees. With these characteristics, they can easily detect threats. This characteristic of the eye is another example of Allah’s art and manifestation on beings in different ways. As it is told in the Qur’an, these creation characteristics are a form of example (lesson) for believers:
“There is instruction for you in cattle…”(Surat an-Nahl, 66)
Cats’ Eye Structure Is Different Than Men
In cats’ eyes, there is a third eyelid called the “ nictitating membrane.” This membrane is transparent, and moves from one side of the eye to the other. As such, cats can blink their eyes without completely closing them. This third eyelid prevents the cat’s eye from being harmed while hunting. Moreover, it ensures materials such as dust and such keep away from the surface of the eye and that the eye stays moist; this is because cats do not constantly blink their eyes like humans. If cats blinked their eyes all the time to keep their eyes moist like humans, this would cause a great hardship for them while hunting. Not blinking their eyes is a perfect advantage Allah created for these beings.
Cats’ Eyes Are Sensitive To Movements
Cats cannot see close-range as clearly as people do and cannot focus on objects close to them. But our Lord granted sensory hairs with a very strong sensory mechanism to these beings. Cats can easily detect close-range thanks to their sense of smell and sensory hairs. Even though these beautiful beings cannot see close-range, they can very clearly sense distances between two and six meters. This distance is enough for them to be highly efficient hunters.
Another characteristic of cats’ eyes is that they are created sensitive to movement, are panoramic, and in accordance with long-distance visual acuity . Cat’s eyes and brains separate every movement, and everything moving frame by frame. Its brain can also sense more images than ours. For example, they can easily see electronic signs that we cannot detect on a television screen. This is a special talent Almighty Allah granted to all felines. This is because the essence of cats catching their prey is based on the principle of easily distinguishing moving objects.
The Detail and Variety Almighty Allah Created In Cats’ Eyes Is Flawless
Cats’ eyes are created with superior characteristics just like the eyes of all other beings. When the structure and characteristics of the eye are examined individually, it is seen that these eyes with different functions are one of the best examples of Allah’s art of variety. This variety cannot be explained by claims like mutation or natural selection. Almighty Allah granted the most suitable eye type according to the living conditions and nutritional needs of these living beings.
Acquiring knowledge about the amazing system created in the eyes of these beings is an opportunity for a person to see the power and knowledge of Allah Who created him and to appreciate His omniscience. What falls on a person after seeing this truth is to thank Almighty Allah, Who created the entire universe and to behave in the way that will please Him. Our Lord defines those who refuse His verses as “cruel” in one verse:
“Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before?…”(Surat al-Kahf, 57)
Cats are created in the most ideal way for their environments. They need to breathe, eat, hunt and defend themselves to stay alive. Therefore, they must see the world around them and distinguish their prey and their foes. Thus, they need very specialized eyesight to see their environment clearly. However, Almighty Allah, Who is the Lord of all worlds, granted flawless characteristics like special eye structures, shapes and visual sharpness to these beings. Our Lord’s creation of special eyes for cats is a source of lesson for believers as revealed in the Qur’an:
“And there is certainly a lesson for you in your livestock….” (Surat al-Muminun, 21)
The characteristics of cats’ eyes function with the laws defined by our Lord. Allah created these eyes and every detail they possess without any prior example. It is revealed in the verses that our Lord is the Creator of all things:
“Allah created every animal from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever He wills. Allah has power over all things.” (Surat an-Nur, 45)