Can Cats See Color?


Can Cats See Color?


How many times we ask ourselves if cats can see distinct colors? Do they make a distinction between a yellow ball from the red one? Or, are they completely indifferent toward colors and color blind? Can cats enjoy the beauty of nature and its color in a similar way as we can? Or, maybe their world consists of all shades of gray? And if they can, what colors they actually see? According to several studies, cats do not see the world in black and white. They are able to see colors, but in slightly different ways than humans. According to scientists, a difference between the human’s and cat’s vision is based on their types of retinas. Namely, retina, as a back layer that contains photoreceptors is responsible for our vision. The photoreceptors come in two forms – cones and rods. Different types, quantity, and distribution of these two groups of receptors make humans see things more vividly than cats. They also see sharper images and are better at seeing distant things than their furry friends. On the other side, cats have better night vision, because they better operate on a dim light. Scientists speculate that this trait is because of their survival instinct. This type of vision enables them to be better hunters, thus helping them to navigate best on dusk and down. Their nearsightedness, night vision, and wider visual field make them perfect for chasing prey and polish their hunting skills. To learn more about cat vision, the following excerpt from the article “Do Cats See in Color or Black and White?” tries to explain can cats see color and in what way.

Can Cats See Color?

A Cat’s Eye

The abundance of cones in a cat’s retina means that they can see in dim light. Night vision is six times brighter than that in people. Their pupils also are specialized for letting in light and can get much larger than the human retina. When the cat’s pupil contracts, it becomes a vertical slit. Slit pupils are seen in animals that are active in day and night. The cat’s lens also is much larger than the human lens, also allowing more light. The smaller human lens can focus light over a range of distances, but the cat lens cannot. This is why it is believed cats have trouble focusing well up close. The hunter’s eye gives up fine detail for the ability to see in the dark.

What Colors Do Cats See?

He can’t tell you what he sees, but a cat does have cones, which are responsible for color vision. Cats have a type of color blindness that some humans have, called deuteranopia. Translation – they can see blue against other colors, but tend to mix up red, green and brown. People with this condition see reds, greens and browns as various shades of gray, but they can see yellows and blues. Maybe this is why your kitty is so interested in that tropical aquarium full of yellow and blue fish!

As we have seen, cats cannot see all the colors, but they certainly can enjoy the vividness of nature. Moreover, they are equipped with an ultraviolet light sensitivity that helps them navigate through their territory and territories of other cats. Mother nature gives them the very vision that is well adjusted to their lifestyle.

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