Does your dog ever start barking at nothing in particular? Have you ever caught your cat staring intently at something that you cannot see? Or maybe jumping at or playing with something invisible?
Did it ever make you wonder if maybe they see something we’re not?
Science confirms: it’s definitely possible.
They Really Do See More
Light is actually a spectrum of colors. Visible light is part of that spectrum. So is ultraviolet (UV) light. Human eyes cannot see ultraviolet light. But that’s not the case for other animals. Scientists have known for some time that insects, birds, fish, some amphibians, reptiles, and other animals can see UV light just fine. And now, a recent study has shown that dogs and cats can, as well.
Study leader Ron Douglas told LiveScience that:
“Nobody ever thought these animals could see in ultraviolet, but in fact, they do.”
What Purpose Does it Serve?
And now, scientists are wondering, why have cats and dogs developed the ability to see ultraviolet?
“The question is only being asked because humans can’t see it.”
After all, no one asks why humans can only see some parts of the light spectrum.
As far as other animals go, we do have some idea. Rodents use it to follow the urine trails that other rodents lay down to lead them to food. Bees and other insects use it to see colors or patterns on plants that can direct them to nectar. And reindeer use UV vision to escape predators. Polar bears blend in with the snow in visible light. In UV light, they are clearly visible.
But What Do Cats and Dogs See?
One person writes about an experience had as a child. Their grandfather just passed away, and the cat went off the wall, seemingly. He said:
“…Our cat named Double Stuff was batting at the air, meowing very strangely, and chasing something around the room, trying to jump at it in the air, looking at this thing on the ceiling.”
Was it the ghost of their grandfather? Or an insect? Or something different altogether?
Medium Bonnie Vent reports having seen her mother’s dog playing with unseen spirits. At the same time, Vent says that it’s always important to check for more ordinary causes of odd pet behavior before attributing it to the supernatural.
Still, it stands to reason that if dogs and cats can see things we don’t, that perhaps they see things that we don’t.
Check out this video, and judge for yourself.
Featured Image by Kadres via Pixabay/CC-0.