Are Cats Color Blind?

Are Cats Color Blind?

Are cats color blind? This is a question that has intrigued many cat owners over the years and luckily researchers are now helping to finally put this mystery to rest.

In this blog post, we will explore just what cats can and cannot see when it comes to their perception of color. We will look at the research behind whether or not felines are near-sighted when it comes to discerning hues and shades as well as delve into why they don’t need outstanding vision in bright light anyway!

Are Cats Color Blind
Are Cats Color Blind?

So grab your favorite feline friend (or a snack!) and let’s dive right into discovering the truth about cat eyesight: are cats color blind?

We all know cats are incredibly curious creatures, but did you ever think to ask if they can see color? While many pet owners may assume their cats’ vision is essentially black and white, there’s a lot more to the story. We’ve known for decades that cats have some level of color perception, though exactly what colors and how much varies somewhat from cat to cat.

By examining the structure of a cat’s eye and differences in behavior between species, we can gain insight into this intriguing topic – so let’s dive into understanding whether or not cats are truly color blind!

Are Cats Color Blind? Dichromatic in Cats

The answer to this question is a bit complicated, as cats don’t quite see the same range of colors that humans do. However, they are not completely color-blind either!

Cats have two types of photoreceptors in their retinas called cones and rods. Cones allow the eye to detect colors while rods provide night vision and motion detection. While cats have fewer cones in their eyes compared to humans, the cones they do have to allow them to differentiate between blue and green colors along with some yellows.

However, cats can’t pick up on red and orange hues like humans can since their photoreceptors are not sensitive enough in these areas of the spectrum. This means that cats are essentially red-green colorblind, meaning they can’t distinguish between these two colors as easily as other hues.

The good news is that cats don’t need to have impressive color vision anyway! Since cats generally hunt in dim lighting, their eyes have evolved to be more sensitive in low-light conditions, meaning they rely more heavily on their rods than cones. This means cats need better night vision rather than being able to differentiate between every shade of blue and green.

What Colors Do Cats See?

Cats can see a range of colors, from blues and violets to yellows and greens. However, cats don’t have the same color vision that humans do—they can’t distinguish between reds and greens as well as we can. Cats also have less of a need for bright colors since their eyes are better adapted to seeing things in low light, so their color palette is typically more muted than ours.

Cats have something humans don’t—the ability to see “ultraviolet” colors, or colors of light that are too faint or too short for us to see. This gives cats the ability to see objects and patterns not visible to us.

Cats also have tapetum lucidum, or a layer of cells in the back of their eyes that reflects light. This layer helps cats see better in dim light by reflecting more light into the eye and boosting their low-light vision. In brighter lighting, this layer turns off and allows cats to see colors more clearly.

Overall, cats may not be able to appreciate the same range of colors that humans do, but their unique vision still offers a lot of advantages. From detecting ultraviolet light to seeing more clearly in dim lighting, cats have a distinct advantage when it comes to seeing the world around them.

What colors do cats see
What colors do cats see?

Do All Cats See Color the Same Way?

No—the exact shades and amount of color that cats can perceive vary between species. For example, lions typically have more rods than cones in their eyes, giving them better night vision at the expense of color perception. On the other hand, domestic cats tend to have a higher ratio of cones to rods, allowing them to see colors more clearly compared to their wild counterparts.

The differences in color vision between species can also be attributed to their specific habitats and behavior. Cats that need better night vision due to living in darker environments will have a higher ratio of rods to cones, while cats that require more precise color detection for hunting prey may have a greater number of cones.

In short, cats are not completely color-blind, but their vision is still quite different from our own. While they may not appreciate the full range of colors that humans do, cats have evolved to take advantage of the unique advantages their eyes provide them with. From night vision to ultraviolet detection, cats’ specialized vision allows them to see things in a way that’s different from our own.

How Does a Cat’s Age Affect Its Ability to See Color?

Cats, like other mammals, experience a decline in their color vision as they age. Older cats may not be able to see certain colors or the intensity of color might appear differently to them. This is due to the fact that cats’ eyes have fewer cones compared to humans. Cones are light-sensitive cells that allow us to discern color, and cats have fewer cones than humans do. As cats age, the number of these cells further decreases, and their ability to detect colors is reduced.

In addition to the decrease in cone cells, older cats may also suffer from other eye conditions that can affect vision, such as cataracts or glaucoma. These conditions can impair a cat’s ability to interpret color and may contribute to the overall decrease in its ability to see colors.

One way to help your aging cat is by making sure they get regular veterinary checkups and eye exams. This will help detect any potential diseases or conditions that could be causing problems with your pet’s eyesight. Additionally, providing your cat with a diet that has adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals can help them maintain their vision as they age.

Overall, cats’ color vision is not expected to be as sharp or vibrant as humans. As cats age, there may be a further decline in their ability to detect colors due to fewer cone cells and other potential eye conditions. Making sure your cat gets regular checkups and a nutrient-rich diet can help them maintain their vision as they age and be able to see the world in its full colorful glory.

How Can I Stimulate My Cat’s Vision?

There are several ways you can help stimulate your cat’s vision and provide them with visual stimulation. One way is to create an environment with plenty of different colors, shapes, and objects. This will give your cat something interesting to look at and explore. You can also use toys or interactive games to encourage your cat to use their eyesight.

Another way to give your cat visual stimulation is by giving them access to a window or balcony. Watching birds and other animals in the environment can be an enjoyable experience for cats and will help keep their eyes active. Additionally, providing your cat with stimulating activities such as laser pointer games or hide-and-seek can also help keep their vision sharp.

No matter what activities or stimulation methods you choose, making sure your cat’s eyes are healthy and strong is the most important thing. This means providing them with regular check-ups and a balanced diet so that their vision can stay sharp for as long as possible. With proper care, cats of any age can continue to explore the world and appreciate its colors.

FAQs of Are Cats Color Blind

What color do cats see humans?

Cats see humans in shades of gray, blue, and yellow. They also have a better ability to detect movement than humans do.

Are cats color-blind like dogs?

No, cats are not color-blind like dogs. Cats have an advantage over dogs in that they can see a wider range of colors than dogs can. This is because cats possess more types of photoreceptors (rods and cones) in their retinas, allowing them to see more shades and hues than dogs. So while dogs can only see in shades of blue, yellow, and gray, cats can also pick up on shades of green and ultraviolet light.

This is why cats are often seen to be attracted to certain colors or objects that may not even be visible to humans. In addition, cats also have a larger field of vision than dogs, allowing them to better judge distances and movement. So if you’re looking for an animal that can see color, cats are the way to go!

Can cats’ vision improve with age?

Cats’ ability to see colors may decline as they age due to fewer cone cells and other potential eye conditions. However, with regular check-ups and a nutrient-rich diet, cats can often maintain their vision throughout their lifetime.

Are cats bothered by the dark?

Cats have much better night vision than humans due to their larger pupils and increased number of rods, which are light-sensitive cells used for detecting movement in dim lighting. However, cats may still be uncomfortable in the dark due to the lack of color and other visual stimuli.

Can cats see TV?

Cats can see the moving images on a television. However, they may not be as interested in watching TV as humans because their eyes cannot detect all of the colors and details that we can pick up on.

Cats can see television, but the way they view it is quite different from how humans do. Cats don’t watch TV shows or movies like we do. Instead, cats are more likely to be attracted to the movement of items on the screen. They may also respond to things that make noises, such as birds chirping or dogs barking. If you’ve ever seen your cat sitting close to the TV, staring at it intently, she’s probably responding to something that caught her eye or ear. So while cats can’t enjoy a Netflix movie night as we do, they can certainly appreciate some of the sights and sounds of television! 

But beware: some cats may become overly excited when exposed to too much TV, so it’s best to monitor your cat’s behavior and make sure he or she isn’t overstimulated. It’s also important not to leave the television on when you’re not around as this could lead to safety issues if your cat decides to explore inside the TV. 

Can cats see humans in the dark?

The answer is yes, cats can see in the dark. Cats have a lot of light-sensing cells in their eyes called rods which allow them to see even when there is minimal light. Cats can detect movements and shapes up to six times better than humans can in the dark. Additionally, cats also have a reflective layer in their eyes, called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see better even in near-darkness. So while cats may not be able to see colors perfectly in the dark, they can still make out shapes and movements with ease. 

However, it is important to note that cats are essentially night vision-adapted animals. This means that their vision is most acute at night when there is very little light. As a result, cats can appear to be visually impaired during the day if it’s too bright for them.


After looking at the evidence from scientific studies and anecdotal accounts of cats’ behavior, it appears that cats are not completely colorblind. They may have a limited ability to see some colors, but they cannot distinguish between most hues in the way humans do. Therefore, it seems that cats cannot be considered “true” colorblind animals. However, cats may still be able to differentiate between certain colors and shades, such as red and green.

In conclusion, there is no definite answer to whether cats are color blind or not. While some studies have suggested that cats may be able to distinguish between colors, others suggest that they are not. Furthermore, the exact degree of color vision in cats is still unknown. Ultimately, more research needs to be conducted in order to better understand how cats perceive colors and determine if they are color blind or not.

It is important to note that just because cats may not be able to distinguish between all the different colors humans do, this does not mean they cannot enjoy their environment, play with toys and recognize their owners. Cats may not be able to see the vibrant colors of a sunset, but they can still find joy in their world.

We hope this post has helped to answer the question of whether are cats color blind. Cats may not be able to see colors in the way humans do, but this does not make them any less special and loved. As always, if you have any questions about your cat’s vision, please consult with a veterinarian for further advice.

Share the post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Rate this post

Connect with me via

To provide you with the expert assistance you need, Vet Ranch with licensed veterinarians can answer your health-related pet issues. For the purpose of sharing knowledge with each other, we have jointly created this website, where you can get useful information from us and also where we expand our knowledge through your comments from you.