While newborn tigers are born with closed eyes, when the eyes do open, which typically happens about 10 days after the tiger is born, their eyes are blue. Most tigers lose this coloring as they age, though some tigers, such as white tigers, can have blue eyes into adulthood. For those adult tigers whose eyes do not retain their blue hue past infancy, this iris is typically a golden yellow color.
Like other cats large and small, tigers have very acute night vision. These animals have evolved to have fewer ocular cone cells than rod cells, which means they can see well in the dark, but don't have much in the way of color vision. Tigers also have two-part eyelids with upper and lower lids, much as humans have. When shut, these lids completely cover the eyes and help protect the big cat's eyes from damage. Unlike humans, tigers have a third eyelid, a moisturizing membrane that is intended to help the cat retain its vision in dusty conditions.
Another feature tigers have in common with other cats is the presence of whiskers. Tigers use their whiskers as sensory tools that work in concert with their eyes to help the animal understand its surroundings. Tigers also have binocular vision, which presents the animal with a three-dimensional image.Learn more about Large Cats