My Cat Can't See Her Treat, Is Her Eyesight Bad?

Posted on 05 Dec 2015 23:00 by EricT

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Has this ever happened with your cat? She meows at you until you give in and give her some treats from the special bag, you drop one in front of her, and she doesn't seem to see it at all. She looks up at you like you just played a dirty trick and gives you a plaintive meow. You point at the treat. "Its right there!"

She just stares at your finger. Although I have read about cats being able to find hidden food when a human points to it, I have never seen a cat follow a pointing finger.

You move the treat a bit and she finally catches on and gobbles up the treat.

Is she going blind? Is she going senile? You put a treat right in front of her and she can't even see it.

You'll find the same thing happening with toys. A cat can be playing with a toy mouse and "lose" it right under their own noses.

Treats Don't Move

What happens to your cat happens to most all cats. First, a treat, or a toy, doesn't move. Cats are very attuned to movement. Even if a treat is a few feet in front of them, they would pick up on it much easier if it moved.

Cats Don't See Well Right Up Close

It is often reported that cats are nearsighted, or myopic. This is not exactly true, as it would mean they see objects close-up better than far away. They are not really near-sighted or far-sighted (short-sighted or long-sighted). The structure of their eyes, however, makes it difficult for them to focus on objects close up to their face. Some explain the difference by saying cats are nearsighted, but not close-sighted, in a bit of clever wrangling.

Cats Have a Blind Spot

Cats also have a blind spot just under their nose, or chin. So, yes, cats have a hard time seeing something that is "right under their nose."

I've actually witnessed my cat playing with a real mouse she caught literally lose sight of the mouse. The poor exhausted mouse just lay there under her nose, while she looked around in confusion. When the mouse stopped playing dead and tried to make a run for it, she was on it like lightning. At the time, I thought it was part of the game and she was "pretending" not to notice the mouse so that it would run, adding to the fun. But no, she really didn't see it for a several seconds.

So, you have nothing to worry about. Your cat's vision isn't going. Just make sure you put the treats about a foot in front of your cat, and perhaps a bit off to the side.

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