A Delightful New Study Shows How Different Pets View Their Surroundings

updated Jan 24, 2021
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Attention, pet parents: HomeAdvisor has created a series of delightful renderings that document just how animals perceive their surroundings. Because human vision and pet vision differ quite significantly, the digital marketplace sought out to research just how certain animals perceive colors and depth of field in a home setting. We have all, at one point, probably been curious as to how our furry friends view their surroundings, and now, thanks to these digital renderings, we have some insights. 

HomeAdvisor examined seven household pets (dogs, cats, goldfish, snakes, tarantulas, parrots, and chameleons) to determine how each would perceive the same room. Below is an image of a living room from the perspective of humans. 

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Now compare the image above to the varying viewpoints of the pets in the same room below. The renderings will truly put things in… perspective.

Dogs

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It’s a common misconception that dogs see in black and white, but they do, in fact, see colors—just fewer colors than most. Per HomeAdvisor’s research, dogs see different variations of just yellow and blue, resulting in this muted rendering above of grayish brown, dark yellow, light yellow, grayish yellow, light blue, and dark blue.

Cats

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Like humans who are colorblind, cats can see shades of blue and green, but reds and pinks don’t come out quite the same. While the average person has a visual acuity of 20/20, a cat’s visual acuity can range anywhere between 20/100 to 20/200, resulting in a wider field of view. 

Goldfish

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While human eyes can perceive only three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and its ensuing mixture variations, goldfish can actually perceive four primary colors. Per the research, a goldfish’s visual spectrum includes UV light, making them perceive light better than humans. As such, goldfish can easily spot movement. 

Snakes

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As it turns out, snakes can not see very well in broad daylight. Snakes can perceive shapes, but as the image above suggests, the details are a bit more fuzzy. (This means they have fairly good nighttime vision.) 

Spiders

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No surprise here, but spiders have poor vision. What do you expect from a species with eight eyes? Per HomeAdvisor’s research, spiders depend on the hairs on their many legs and body to orient themselves to their surroundings. While they have long been considered to be colorblind, new research suggests they can actually perceive other spider’s colorings.

Parrots

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Like goldfish, parrots can perceive four primary colors. With eyes that can rapidly change focus, birds are considered visually dependent. As chronicled above, birds can see ultraviolet light and have enhanced visual acuity due to their different eye mechanisms. 

Chameleons

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Not only do chameleons have the ability to absorb, transform, and re-emit color, but their visions are a thing to behold, too. Chameleons have a visual system that allows them to see in almost 360 degrees. While they could perceive a lot of color, there’s little contrast. 

For more information about the resources used for the pet research, visit HomeAdvisor‘s blog.