Can Cats Move Their Eyes?

Cats’ eyesight is quite important.

Unfortunately, many humans believe cats’ eyes are fixed. In reality, cats’ eyes can move any part of their bodies.

However, their rapid eye movements cause them to charge into your desired photograph quickly. So, can cats move their eyes?

Cats’ eyes can move any part of their bodies thanks to the rapid movements in their eye muscles.

When cats look in one direction and then turn their head slightly in another direction, their eyes don’t follow them because they move so quickly that the brain can’t keep up.

This means that if you take a picture of your cat with your camera while looking in another direction, your cat will briefly appear stationary in the photograph while moving its head side to side.

As a result, many people believe cats cannot move their eyes at all.

However, cats’ eyes do move at a rapid rate, although their rapid eye movements cause them to miss most of the image they see in the process.

Can Cats Move Their Eyes?

The cats are unable to see things properly and they can’t concentrate on any one thing for a long time as this happened to the tigers too.

However, depending on the surroundings, the fur of cat is not normal composition because of the short and thin hairs with which they are born and this gives them the ability to run.

Cats’ eyes may seem to “go blank” or appear to lack emotion when motionless from lack of blinking.

It’s possible that these characteristics evolved because early cats were primarily hunters and were most active at night, when most prey is inactive and vision must be keen and perceptive to avoid being spotted by prey or predators.

You should see a kitten’s eyes look like white saucers as their vision is not fully developed yet.

Why Do Cats Change Their Eyes?

For Better Vision

Cats have forward-facing eyes that give them binocular vision and enable them to perceive depth.

This provides the cats with sharper vision, better depth perception, and wider fields of view than humans.

This also permits them to have far and near vision simultaneously.

An Unwavering Gaze Conveys a Message of Power or Hostility.

Because cats do not blink as often, their eyes stay moist for longer periods of time, in order to remain lubricated and to reduce glare and grit from accumulating in their eyes.

When they’re attempting to show dominance or readiness to fight, cats will fix you with a gaze that can seem unnervingly direct or seductive.

Other cats and animals will sense this threat and will likely retreat as far as they can to avoid its gaze and any aggression it may exhibit.

This is a regular occurrence in feral cats that live outside in colonies and must defend themselves against their own kind in order to survive.

Wide-open Eyes Signify Alertness in a Cat.

Cats will not put all of their functions on pause while they’re sleeping or when they just want to relax in their favorite spot.

When the cat’s eyes are wide open, it indicates that they’re alert and awake and able to pay attention.

To Communicate

The pupils of a cat’s eyes change size to show whether they’re feeling happy, sad, upset, or aggression.

You may observe your cat’s pupils getting smaller when they’re upset or angry, and how they get larger when they’re smiling or content.

Regulate the Amount of Light

A cat’s pupils contract throughout the day and night in order to control the amount of light entering the eye.

This prevents them from overexposing themselves to the sun or objects that may be dangerous or disruptive to them because of their position.

They must cover their eyes when it’s very bright to avoid overexposing them to harmful UV rays and glare, they will also squint when they’re viewing something up close to direct.

When a strong light is shined on a cat while it’s sleeping, its pupils will contract to shorten the beam of light and prevent overexposure and damage.

Why Don’t a Cat’s Eyes Move?

Does Not Have Space

When concentrating on a cat’s eye, you will see a large space that’s empty and has no muscles at all.

Eyeballs can’t move purposely since they have no muscles and no extra tissue in their orbit to move them around and away from the socket.

Lack Muscle

Cats have large eyes that are located farther apart than the eyes of other mammals.

They lack the muscles that let them move their eyes and can’t look in different directions at the same time.

Even if they are unable of looking in different directions at the same time, you can be rest assured that they still see everything equally.

Their eyelids move, allowing in more light or providing protection from debris and hazards that can harm them.

Aside from that, the pupil has an important role for cats, it acts as sunglasses to protect the retina from glare and allows them to see in low light settings.

All of this contributes to their ability to hunt at night and navigate their environment without being dazzled by light.

How Is The Cat’s Eye Adapted For Hunting If They Can’t Move?

Cats have well-adapted photoreceptors for hunting in low light conditions.

Cats are very precise hunters and visually oriented animals.

At the rear, they feature a layer called tapetum lucidum which reflects light back to the photoreceptors.

The membrane lowers the visual threshold by reflecting the light back to the cells helping them detect the faintest flashes from mice and other preys in low light conditions.

This improves the cat’s vision in the dark and allows them to have better night vision than humans.

The layer also reflects incoming light back into their eyes giving them the illusion of seeing in daylight which confuses its prey beneath its deadly claws.

The cat’s eyes shine in the reflection of light from its tapetum lucidum, which allows it to stalk its prey in the middle of the night without being seen.

When a cat is watching prey, it closes its eyes in search of better visibility; this makes them appear as though they are asleep which lures the prey under the cat.

When the cat is focusing its sight on the prey, its eyes appear to be dilated and glowing red.

In a cat’s retina, there are cells called rods and cones.

The retina detects any motion, such flickering motion is detected by rods and cones.

Do Cats Control Their Eyes?

Cats have the ability to control their eyes and aim them according to the target object.

Cats don’t have a lot of control to move their eyes at will like humans can; they move their eyes in combination with the movements of their neck, head, and body.

They can, however, employ the use of their eyelids, which help them to look in different directions and at various angles.

They have the ability to concentrate and gaze at things; this helps them to focus on objects in great detail.

They may dilate the pupil of their eye by closing their eyelids which improves their visibility in dim light conditions.

It is not easier for them to move their eyes if their noses are touching something because their noses are their only proprioceptors.

They are unable to look beyond their nose because they can’t rotate their heads like humans can which enables them to look behind them without moving their heads.

This isn’t to imply that they cannot move their eyes at all; they can, but with difficulty.

They are able to prevent people from seeing their pupils by closing their eyes completely when scared or angry or in order to show their mood or personality.

They may also dilate the pupil vertically, giving their eye a slit-like appearance.

Some cats have eyelids that are connected to muscles at the base of their skull to help them close their eyes.

This aids them when they are hunting because they can easily close one eye while focusing on their prey.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When They Eat?


Cats’ eyes are actually quite important to their survival in the wild or as pets.

The cat’s ability to move its eyes in any direction allows it to sneak up on small prey animals before attacking them or to stalk its larger prey before pouncing on it or batting it with its paws to kill it or get away.

Cats’ eyes are also an important way for them to see in the dark or at a distance when hunting nocturnal animals or patrolling their territory.

Therefore , the health and functioning of a cat’s eyes is essential for it to thrive and survive.

If you notice that your cat’s eyes are watery or red, swollen, or show other signs of discomfort or pain, contact your vet right away to take care of the problem and prevent it from worsening.