Can Cats See Color?

Have you ever looked into a cat’s eyes and wondered what the world looks like through the cat’s eyes? If you’re like most cat owners, you probably have a house full of brightly colored toys for your cat. But can cats see color?

Technically, cats can see color, but they probably see colors differently than humans do. Cats may not be able to see all the colors in a rainbow. The most significant difference between cat vision and human vision is in the retina (photoreceptors). A cat’s vision differs in several ways from humans. The world of a cat is not entirely white and black.

In this post, you can read more about the question can cats see color. Also, you can learn about other differences between human and cat eyesight. Have you always want to know what the world looks like through the eyes of a cat? At the end of the post, there is a link to a series of photographs to illustrate what various scenes might look like to a cat.

Can Cats See Color?

Color is discerning by the nerve cells in the eye. The retina of the eye has two main types of cells: cones and rods. The ability to identify colors is determining by the specialized color-sensitive cells called ‘cones.’

Feline and human eyes have three types of cones that can identify blue, red, and green combinations. People have ten times more cones than cats do, so they appreciate more color variations. Scientific research has shown that cats cannot perceive all colors the way humans can. Some scientists believe that cats only see blue and gray, while other scientists believe that cats can also see yellow.

Cones are responsible for differentiating colors, but bars also have a special. Bars detect movement and light levels. Cats have more rods than humans. This gives them an edge when it comes to identifying moving objects or seeing in low light.

People can see all the colors in a rainbow; cats probably can’t. Cats also don’t see the richness of hues and color saturation that people do. That doesn’t mean a cat’s world is in boring black and white. A cat’s vision is somewhat similar to that of a human who is color-blind. Cats can see shades of blue-violet, yellow, and some green, but pink and red can be confusing.

Other Cats Vision Differences

There are other differences between human and cat eyesight. Cats are more near-sighted than we are. A faraway object will be blurry for cats but sharp to humans with good vision. Humans have better depth perception, but cats have better peripheral vision. The biggest difference between cats and humans is cats can see very good in dim light. People cannot always see well in dim light.

Cats have a wider range of peripheral vision because they have eyes that are set more on the head’s sides. The interaction is a smaller range of visual acuity, so cats do not have the depth perception that humans have.

They have elliptical pupils that expand to a maximum, which allows the eyes to receive as much light as possible. Cats also have reflective cells under the retina that form the tapetum. The tapetum gives cats the ‘shiny eye’ appearance and also improves their eyesight in low light.

Cats can more accurately detect motion and having more rod cells in the retina than people. The rods are responsible for detecting motion, even small movements at great distances. When compared to humans, cats see better in dim light (dusk and dawn) and more accurately detect motion.

Nearsighted

Thanks to the many cones, humans can see with much higher resolution, with a greater range of vibrant colors. Cats can see objects clearly and sharp at a distance at no more than about 6 meters. Humans can see objects clearly at 30 to 60 meters away.

Cats don’t have the muscles to change the shape of their eye lenses. As a result, they cannot see things as well as people can, and the objects must be further away.

And though your cat may be better at picking up a mouse or bird or something, there are many slow-moving things that humans can detect with their eyesight, but that looks stationary to cats.

What Can Cats See?

Cats have their tools to survive in the wild. A good vision in dim light and catching small movements in the forest at a great distance improves the cat’s hunting ability. Catching small movements in the woods at a great range and seeing well in low light improves the cat’s hunting ability. These tools also helping cats to know when they are prey and need to flee.

If you know how and what your cat can see, you can make good choices, for example, you can / must take into account the color range of your cat when you want to buy toys. Your cat will enjoy blue and yellow toys more than red toys.

If your cat is sitting on the windowsill and suddenly sees a bird away, you know why your cat is suddenly alert. If you want your cat’s full attention, you must stand directly in front of your cat, where the range of visual acuity is greatest. Your cat will enjoy blue and yellow toys more than red ones.

Have you always want to know what the world looks like through the eyes of a cat? Artist Nickolay Lamm has created a series of photographs to illustrate what various scenes might look like to a cat. Nickolay not only took into account the way a cat’s eyes function, but he also used input from ophthalmologists and veterinarians. The results – which you can see here – are fascinating!

cat eye

What Colors Do Cats See Best?

Green is making by combining yellow and blue. Yellow, a color your cat cannot see, and blue is a color your cat can see. Your cat can only see blue and green. The green that a cat sees doesn’t look the same as humans do. It’s muted because the cat sees yellow differently.

A cat sees yellow things as a shade of blue or green because there is a blue and yellow light in anything green. The cat can’t see the yellow but can see the blue color. And the effect of blue and yellow (a color your cat can’t see) is what a cat would observe as green.

When your cat sees a purple object, your cat will see the color blue. Since purple is making from red and blue, your cat can detect those blue hues. Your cat can identify some of the colors in a purple or object because they each contain a color your cat can see.

When your cat sees a red object, your cat can’t see it because red does not have blue or green tones.

What Color Toys Are Best for Cats?

When it comes to color, pattern, and shape preference, every cat is different. Also, when it comes to toys, every cat has a favorite. Cats can see colors but very different than humans. Specific colors may attract your cat more than others as well.

The colors your cat sees are dull and not so bright. Certain colors are much more prominent for cats than others. Orange and bright green are two examples of more prominent colors.

Your cat only sees shades of blue and green. If the cat toys are green or blue, your cat will see a muted version of that blue or green hue. If an object is yellow, your cat may see it as a shade of blue or green. Cats can see shades of blue-violet, yellow, and some green, but pink and red can be confusing.

So if you want to buy toys for your cat, the best way is to buy toys with the colors blue or green!

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have learned something about can cats see color. Scientific research shows that cats cannot perceive all colors the way humans can. Cats can see color, but they see us and other things in a very different light than humans. The biggest difference between cats and humans is cats can see very good in dim light. People cannot always see well in dim light.

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If you like this post, then you may want to look at some posts in the Cat Life part of this website, since this post is also part of it.