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Our neighbour's cat comes into our garden quite often. Unfortunately she suffered an injury to one eye leaving her blind in that eye.

I have no problem with her coming into the garden, but I'd prefer it if she didn't kill the birds that come to feed.

So this got me wondering, does having only one eye significantly reduce a cat's hunting ability, or does it only have a marginal impact?

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Not having binocular vision will make judging distance more difficult. But just like humans, cats will try to find ways to work around that limitation, using size cues to estimate distances. There will obviously be loss of vision to one side, which again mar or may not be an issue depending on what/where/how they hunt. How successful they are will probably vary from cat to cat.

Think about how much or how little your own life would be affected if you had to wear an eye patch for a while. After a week or two you'd probably have compensated well enough for most purposes. And you don't have feline hearing or sense of smell to assist you.

  • So you're saying you think it would only have a marginal impact in the long term? – Richard Corfield Jun 9 '15 at 13:48
  • If the cat doesn't starve while learning to compensate, then yes, I suspect it's a marginal effect. Though I suppose it might also affect ability to distinguish well-camouflaged prey. But this is all conjecture; I know of no studies. – keshlam Jun 9 '15 at 14:12

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