What colors do cats see?

Cats see in color like humans but they are color blind like some color blind people. The most common form of color blindness in people is known as red/green color blindness. It is similar for domestic cats.

Cats eyes are designed to pick up movement in low light conditions because they mainly hunt at dusk and dawn, resulting in light sensitive eyes. However, their eyes focus less well resulting in a less sharp image and the cat registers colour less well.

Cats see “blue and yellow colors, but not red, orange or brown” (source: Popular Science). In a previous post on this subject I stated that cats were “red color blind or perhaps red-greed color blind”, which is more or less the same thing. However people are not sure how good a cat’s color vision is. In the past experts have stated that cats were colorblind.

We don’t know for sure how cats see things. We don’t know how their brain translates or reads this ‘color blind’ image. It may compensate for all we know.

To summarise, in plain language:

PROPERTY CAT HUMAN
Colour Weaker colour than humans, can’t see red, orange or brown or red or are red/green color blind  Good colour – better than cat
Peripheral  Very good 200º  Less good than cat at 120-180º
Sharpness  Average – worse than human  Good – better than cat
Night vision  Excellent – much better than human  Much worse than cat

You can see a page on how cats see compared to us by clicking on this link.

Sources: As mentioned in article and Wikipedia. Image created by Michael.

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What colors do cats see? — 1 Comment

  1. Hmmmm, interesting that my Paka loves her green blankie most. Also her green cocoon. I’m going to have to watch them all now!!

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