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How Cats See Color

By Jane SmithLast update: 2023-03-20

Some toys like laser pointers, bright plush toys, and shiny wrinkled balls. Overall, all of these toys are brightly colored, but they may not take advantage of what the cat is seeing. If you're a regular person, you know that cats love to chase, pounce, and catch all sorts of things. Their ability to catch that nasty fly or grab your ankle as soon as you get out of bed is instinctive. Therefore, you should choose a favorite toy because it is red which is not something a cat is born to do.

While cats don't see as many colors as we do, they have the amazing ability to notice small, fast movements with a much wider field of vision. So how do cats see color? We will learn some concepts below.

How to recognize color blindness in cats?

Color blindness has nothing to do with the ability to see, instead referring to the ability (lack of) to distinguish colors.

For others, it is difficult after an eye injury or illness to perceive shades of color or compare colors. Due to color blindness. Cats do not lack eyes.

In general, humans and cats both have two types of color receptors in their eyes: cones and rods. The cones process daytime vision and color perception. The rods deal with what can be seen at night and the ability to see from side to side and around (peripheral vision). Each cone detects the wavelength of light. Humans have three cones and are therefore able to detect the entire spectrum of light. Cats only have two cones which can limit the spectrum of light they can see.

What makes a color pop?

Color will be distinguished by nerve cells in the eye. The retina of the eye has two types of cells - rods with cones. The ability to distinguish colors is determined by the presence of special color-sensitive cells called "cones". Sometimes human and cat eyes have three types of cones that can identify combinations of red, blue, and green. Sometimes humans have 10 times more cones than cats, so humans appreciate color variations more than cats. According to scientific observations, cats do not perceive the full range of colors that humans can. Some scientists believe that cats only see blues and grays, while others argue that they also see yellow just like their dogs.

How does a cat's vision compare to human vision?

Just because cats don't appreciate the full spectrum of colors that humans do, it doesn't mean they can't perceive different colors. They just might not see the "true" color of an object. In addition, cats are also less sensitive to changes in brightness, so they are not able to perceive colors in rich, vibrant tones.

Besides color perception, cats and humans also have visual differences. In some respects, cats' vision is not as sharp as human vision. Cats are more nearsighted. When looking at an object from the same distance, the object may be clear to us but blurry to our cats. If a person sees an object clearly from a distance of 100 feet, it will be blurred for a cat. The object won't be sharp until the cat is closer to it, about 20 feet away.

What does a vision of a cat look like?

If a cat's vision and color perception are different from how humans see the same objects, this does not mean they are impaired or affected in daily life. With no real sense of color depth or brightness, the cat's visibility will be strong in other ways.

Other visual differences between humans and cats?

Cats will have another visual advantage. Cat's eyes are located more on the sides of the head, which allows them to have a wider peripheral vision than we do. The trade-off is that the range of vision is smaller so cats don't have depth perception.

Cats, on the other hand, have maximally dilated elliptical pupils, allowing as much light in as possible. They also have reflective cells under the retina, forming the tapetum. Tapetum gives cats a "light-eyed" appearance and also improves a cat's ability to see in dim light.

So when compared to humans, cats see better in dim light (sunset and dawn) and detect movement more accurately."

Cats also have more rod cells in their retinas. The rods are responsible to detect the motion, even small movements at great distances. So when compared to humans, cats see clearly in dim light (sunset and dawn) and detect movement more accurately.

Why do cats see what they see?

Cats have visual comforts that allow them to survive and thrive in the wild. Seeing clearly in dim light and recognizing slight movements in the woods at a distance improves your cat's ability to hunt.

From there, knowing how and what the cat can see will help you make good choices for it. In particular, it should be noted when buying toys. Cats will prefer yellow and blue toys to red toys. And will understand why cats suddenly become wary of sitting on the windowsill when they notice a bird flying 50 yards away. Often the cat will prefer yellow and blue toys to red toys.

What is a cat's favorite color?

We easily know that because cats cannot see the richness of colors, they are completely color blind. But that is simply not true. Think of it this way: a cat's vision is pretty much a reflection of a human being colorblind. They can sometimes see shades of blue and green but often have difficulty distinguishing between red and pink.

The way to treat this condition, should determine the cat's personality - the type of toys that cats are attracted to color.

If you notice that your cat is not interested or reacts differently to colorful toys, it could be a result of how they perceive objects. Toys or objects that are blue, green, or yellow will stand out and entice your pet.

What colors can cats see?

As we know, cat vision and human vision are different based on several factors; an abundance of colors that cats cannot see, the ability to perceive depth, and the ability to see an object.

What factors that can drive this difference?

It's the retina, a layer of tissue at the back of the eye (in both humans and cats), that contains cells called photoreceptors. Photoreceptors play an important role for translating light rays into the images we see. Simply put, light rays are converted into signals that are processed by nerve cells, which then send those signals to the brain. And that's what gives us an image.

To break the process further, the photoreceptors are divided into two types: rods and cones.

The cones help cats see during the day and perceive colors, while the rods handle the cat's peripheral and night vision. Since then, some have found that cats have a higher number of rod receptors and a lower number of cone receptors.

How to take care of a cat's eyes:

While eye problems in cats tend to be less frequent or more prominent than in other animals, infections or eye problems in cats tend to take longer to recover and can often occur throughout the lifespan. life. Some of the symptoms of underlying infections can reduce your pet's risk of chronic pain and infection.

Common red signs that can look out for:

  • Red or swollen eyes
  • Clouds or eye color change
  • Weep
  • Frequent blinking or squinting
  • If the owner can see the third eyelid


Aside from some of the common signs mentioned above, it is important to consult your veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis and provide adequate treatment. Knowing how to recognize any potential concerns about your cat's vision or eye health is important. On the other hand, including other animals, cats are susceptible to eye problems, so with this knowledge, you can determine how cats see color.

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