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Veterinarian Proves It: Cats See Better in the Dark

Rich F. Sanchez, DVM of the Royal Veterinary College built a cool maze to prove if a dog or cat has better night vision for the BBC program "Cats v Dogs: Which is Best?"


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No surprises here: Cats see way better in the dark. But Liz Bonnin, host of the BBC show “Cats v Dogs: Which is Best?” wanted to find out how much better they could see, and put together a test with the help of a local veterinary college.

Bonnin went to the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom to talk to Rich F. Sanchez, DVM, CertVOphthal, DipECVO, FHEA, MRCVS.  Dr. Sanchez is a senior ophthalmologist and a Lecturer of the Ophthalmology Service at the college. He created a maze for his test subjects — a dog named Fen and a cat named Oedipus — that they would have to navigate in complete darkness. Once they reach the end, they get a food reward.

It ends up taking Fen 43 seconds to get through the maze, being guided by the voice of his owners. Oediupus, however, takes 5 seconds.

Watch it here:

You may know why cats see so well in the dark, but do your clients? Give them this fun tidbit from the Catster.com article, “Four Cool Facts About Your Cat’s Eyes:”

Our feline friends can see well in just one-sixth the light we require because of two important factors. First, cats have a lot more rods than we do, which means they can detect much more light than we can. Second, cats have a layer of tissue at the back of their eyes called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light within the eye and allows the cat another chance to "see" it. The tapetum lucidum is also what makes cats’ eyes shine in the dark.
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