Washington: A new research has found that common house cats can see things that are invisible to us.
Everything from psychedelic stripes on flowers to flashy patterned feathers on birds are likely detectable by cats and certain other animals, while humans remain oblivious to such things.
We are also-perhaps luckily-missing out on seeing a whole world of urine markers blanketing the landscape.
The secret behind the feline vision "superpower" is ultraviolet light (UV) detection.
The new paper found that cats, dogs and certain other animals see this form of light that is usually invisible to humans.
A reindeer, a cat and a dog could therefore probably see a white-furred animal, such as a bunny, hopping through a snow blizzard, while most people would just see a blur of all white.
Co-author Ronald Douglas, a professor of biology at City University London specializing in the visual system, and co-author Glen Jeffery, a professor of neuroscience at University College London, determined that cats, dogs, rodents, hedgehogs, bats, ferrets and okapis all detect substantial levels of UV.
Douglas said that it has been known for nearly a hundred years that many invertebrates, such as bees see UV, adding that birds, fish, and some reptiles and amphibians were added to the list in more recent decades.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.