If you’ve ever found yourself in a staring competition with a cat, then you know that cats are the masters of not blinking. Cats have large eyes in comparison to their size, so you’d think they’d blink often, right? But such is not the case. Cats are intriguing little beings, so surely there must be a reason as to why they don’t blink nearly as often as we do.
If you’ve ever wondered why it is that cats don’t blink often, I have the answer for you below. Just keep reading!
You and your cat’s eye structure is quite different
Surely you’ve noticed before how a cat’s eyes will glow in photographs. Known as eyeshine, this occurs because your cat’s retinas and cones are the opposite of yours, and your cat’s eyes contain tapetum lucidum. And because the tapetum lucidum is significantly more reflective than the retina, the redness is muted and causes the ghoulish glare.
But what’s more interesting is that the tapetum lucidum serves to keep their eyes consistently moisturized, much unlike a human’s eyes which can easily become dry should we not blink regularly. So, basically, it’s just another way in which your cat’s superior anatomy is better than yours, simple human! But, in our defense, we are not predatory beings. And all that blinking that we do would make us pretty lousy hunters in the wild.
Director of Clinical Operations at whiskerDocs.com Dr. Shelby Neely tells PetMD.com,
“The purpose of the upper and lower lids is not the same for cats as it is for people, whose lids spread tears and keep the eye moist. While there are tear glands in the corners of the eyes that are always making tears, cats do not blink their upper and lower lids to clear the tears away. Instead, the tears evaporate after quickly cleaning debris from the eye.”
And that third eyelid that your cat has? Well, that serves to keep debris out of their eye and to protect those large and lovely corneas of theirs.
If you didn’t already realize by now, your cat is more of a slow blinker or a squinter. They aren’t much for rapid blinking like we humans exhibit. But the reason for that squinting is similar to why a human squints, because it allows them to concentrate on a fixated object in hopes of seeing it better. Your cat’s vision is by far the weakest of all their senses, and their whiskers and other senses are what allow them to navigate the world so well.
Did you learn anything new and interesting about our feline friends? Share this article with other cat lovers that you know so they can learn something, too.
Have you ever wondered why cats slow blink? As it turns out, cats slow blink at each other, too. Find out all about it here on cattitudedaily.com.