Cats have a wider field of view about 200 degrees, compared with humans’ 180 degree view. Cats also have a greater range of peripheral vision, all the better to spot that mouse (or toy) wriggling in the corner.
Cats are crepuscular, meaning they are active at dawn and dusk. That may be why they need such good night vision. Their eyes have six to eight times more rod cells, which are more sensitive to low light, than humans do.
In addition, cats’ elliptical eye shape and larger corneas and tapetum, a layer of tissue that may reflect light back to the retina, help gather more light as well. The tapetum may also shift the wavelengths of light that cats see, making prey or other objects silhouetted against a night sky more prominent.