Categories: Cat Anatomy

Are Cats Color Blind?

Photo by Tscherno (Flickr)

The answer is no but their ability to see colour is limited. The cat’s retina is made up of two types of light sensitive cells; rods and cones. The rods enable the cat to see black, white and shades of grey.

The cones provide the color vision. There are many rods and few cones. The cat can see well in poor light but color vision is limited.

In fact the cat has a “reduced ability to see fine detail and a variety of colours”1. The cones that are in the retina react to light waves within the green and blue regions of the spectrum. The retina contains very few cones that are sensitive to the longer light waves such as red.

For this reason people say that the cat has “dichromatic vision” – vision in which only two of the three primary colors are perceived. The three primary colors are; blue, green and red1.

The cat’s eyes are adapted for crepuscular (dawn and dusk) hunting. The cats eyes are specialized to see movement.

References:

1. The Cat, Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health by Linda P Case.

Are Cats Color Blind? to Cat Health Problems

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Are Cats Color Blind?

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Nov 30, 2011Primary colours
by: Anonymous

There are two sets of primary colours. One set is blue yellow red as mentioned, which is used primarily in art ie dyes, pigments (subtractive combination). The other set Is blue green red, used to refer to the primary colour of lights ie CRT displays (additive combination)


Oct 09, 2011Primary colors
by: Anonymous

Your site says that the primary colors are blue, green, and red. Primary colors are colors that cannot be obtained by mixing two colors. Green can be obtained by mixing yellow and blue. The primary colors are blue, yellow, and red.


Sep 27, 2010tit
by: Anonymous

I want to thank all the visitors to this site who contribute to our understanding of the domestic cat and to their proper care. Without these contributions this site would not be what it is….Michael


Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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