Can Cats Move Their Eyes?

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There are some eye colors that are rarer than others. Even cats, who typically have blue eyes, can have some other variations of the color that are one-of-a-kind and give a sense of wonder.

On top of that, cats’ weird-looking eyes don’t make their eyes special. People have different assumptions about cats, and what they see differs from humans’ as well. 

Yet, the view is still quite similar to human eyes. The following tips and information can help you know more about cats’ eyes and if their eyes move.

Can Cats Move Their Eyes?

The most important thing about a cat is its eyes. Cats can’t move their eyes at all, but they are able to dilate their pupils depending on the environment. 

This can make it seem like cats are moving their eyes back and forth or dancing. But it usually only happens when there’s something wrong with the cat, so you should consult a doctor immediately.

Unlike humans, cats are unable to focus and see colors. However, they have the ability to see in the dark.

For example, their vision is less than human eyesight. Moreover, they are unable to move their eyes either side to side or continually. Eye movement can also be caused by illness.


Cats can’t move their eyes independently. Their eye structure doesn’t allow it.

The reason cats can’t move their eyes independently is that they need to move their head instead.

Cats are unable to look around without moving their heads, unless they have eye disease.

Without moving their head:

Absolutely not, cats cannot move their eyes without moving their head.

It’s common for artificial intelligence (AI) to be characterized as intelligent and capable of creativity. AI may not see the same colors as humans, but they are not completely colorblind.

Apart from that, they can dilate their pupils. This happens when they’re too excited or shocked. They cannot see things on their side or in their back without moving their head.

Side by side:

Cats cannot move their eyes left to right. It’s more like sometimes the cat unintentionally shakes his eyes. 

The effect can be that it looks like the cat’s eyes are moving back and forth from one side of the head to the other.

It’s a disease that makes them unable to move their eyes from side to side.

Do Cats Control Their Eyes?

Have you ever wondered why cats have pupils that change in size from round to slits? This is possible because cats can control their eyes to make their vision clearer. 

Cats do not have much ability to control what they see, even though they can see at least four times better than humans.

Humans have to use some basic ways of controlling their eyes, like with looking at things and keeping their eyes on them.

They have a pupil and they can adjust it according to the environment. They also move their eyeballs, so they can focus on things better. 

They cannot see a lot of colors because as some other species, humans only have three kinds of cone cells. They can see red and blue which is one kind of primary colors.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of these nocturnal creatures is that they can dilate their vertical pupils. 

This means they have a better idea of what’s around them, which is perfect for when they are looking for something specific.

At the same time, some cats can have very scary-looking eyes. That’s because their pupils are vertical slits meaning that they need less bright light than humans to see anything.

How Far Can Cats Move Their Eyes?

Cats can see up to 6 meters away. That’s their distance limit, so it’s difficult for them to see things properly beyond that.

As a cat’s vision becomes increasingly limited as it moves farther away from an object, the cat can control its eye movement to look and focus on that object.

Furthermore, the movements of the eyes are not excessive here and there. That’s why the movement of their eyes is mostly caused by disease.

Cats can see things at a distance of 25 cm (about 10 in), with this being the longest distance they’re able to see. Closer distances become blurry in their vision.

Additionally, cats can only see well during the daytime. When it gets dark outside, their vision can become blurred. 

Unlike humans, they retain the ability to see during the night and this distance won’t affect their view.

Why Don’t A Cat’s Eyes Move?

Cats are restricted in how much they can move their eyes. Some people believe that their unique eye structures will give them better vision or a better view of the world.

The opposite is true with cats. The eyes of a cat provide some facilities for viewing things, but the cat can only observe a less colorful, blurry environment.

Unlike humans, cats are unable to move their eyes from side to side or up and down. However, if they can, it is considered a disease. Some of the reasons why cats’ eyes do not move are listed below.

Lack muscle:

Cats have big eyes that provide limited vision, since no muscles control the movement of their eyeballs.

Although they cannot move their eyes, they are still able to control them. Thanks to the movement of their eyelids, they can focus on objects and shapes better.

Additionally, the pupil can dilate or constrict in order to adjust for light and focus. Both of which helps a cat get better sight.

While most animals can move their eyes, cats are no different. However, moving their eyes can be a sign of a health problem like an infection or fever.

Does not have space:

If you’re looking at a cat’s eye, you will see that it has no room to move. This means that the eyeball can’t move intentionally either- because there is no muscle in the eye.

The research is not clear on whether this method of gauging a person’s interest is a good indication, however.

If The Eyes Of A Cat Move Back And Forth, What Does That Mean?

A disease named nystagmus includes one or two of a cat’s eyes moving back and forth quickly. This can be an indication that the cat has an eye disorder.

It indicates the cat has a neurological disorder. The cat can’t control its bodily movements

The symptoms can show up in a few hours, so it’s easy to diagnose. Unlike many other diseases, it does not take a long time for the symptoms to appear.

However, vomiting is a possible side effect of the cat. In turn, balance problems may cause incoherent movement in any animal.

Although rare, symptoms of this disease can produce similar results in pets. As a result, you should consult a vet in order to diagnosis the condition and start the proper treatment. This illness can also happen as a result of trauma.

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

Although a cat may not be able to move its eyes, it is still able to focus on its prey. Well, an animal’s eye has one of the most complex mechanisms in the entire body. 

When an animal looks at something, the view goes to their eyes and they make a mirror image of it. It then gets passed on to the brain.

Cats have an interesting characteristic, which is their ability to see things that people can’t, like in the dark. This is so they can hunt and eat their prey even at night.

When predators see their prey, their pupils dilate to ensure the focus is on them. This allows them to better watch for prey and hunt them down. 

Dilated pupils are essential for for hunting animals who hunt other animals. Even though their eyes are immobile, they can independently scan for prey with them. 

Everything else is out of their peripheral vision, including the trees and grass around them. 

Cats, as they can only see a certain distance away, will move to follow their prey or find a new one.

How Do Cats Avoid Eye Injury When They Can’t Move?

Although cats cannot move their eyes, they can move their eyelids and pupils. Pupils allow cats to concentrate on specific things and help create a good mirror image in the cat’s brain. Depending on what they’re doing, pupils can dilate or contract.

Eyelids can move quickly to avoid injuries as well as react to changes in their environment. Additionally, they are quick because they use the nervous system.

This is not the same case as well. Apart from moving eyelids and quick response, they cannot avoid eye injury.

Though the eye has a complicated mechanism, it also has strong defenses. There are layers of cells that don’t let infectious elements invade.

Final Thoughts

Overall, a cat cannot move their eyes in the front of their head. One way they can adapt is by changing the size of their pupils. 

A cat also only has a limited vision, so they can’t see much far or near either. But their pupils will go through changes according to what it needs to see at the time.


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