Are Cats Color Blind?

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As a cat owner, you might be surprised to know that your cat sees the world differently than you do. That is because cats are believed to be ‘trichromats.’ In simple words, a cat’s sight is similar to the sight of a human who suffers from color blindness. There are specific colors that can be seen in the cute and cuddly felines.

So, in case you think that your cat can see the exact colors as you do, you are mistaken. There exists a major difference between the human vision and cat vision which arises in the ‘retina.’

What colors can cats see?

A wide range of studies has been carried out to ascertain the exact colors that can be seen by cats. In spite of this, there is no complete agreement on the answer. Cats are not able to see deep and rich tones like human beings. That is because felines do not have a high number of cones in their retina like human beings. As per research studies, the images that are seen by cats mainly consist of muted shades of yellow and blue that are mixed with varying shades of grey.

Cats’ eyes are designed for hunting

One of the basic functions that cats are meant to do is hunting. The eyes of cats are designed in a way that enables them to hunt in the dark and not to see vibrant colors.

The eyes of humans are meant to see things with a high degree of detail from 100 to 200 feet. But cats, on the other hand, can only see things clearly from about 20 feet. As a result, it enables the eyes of felines to perform the intended function, i.e. ‘hunting’, efficiently. And so, even though certain colors remain mute for cats, it does not affect their hunting ability.

Cats have a unique vision

There are various reasons why felines view the world differently than humans. Their ability to see a broad spectrum of colors might be limited, but they have other visual advantages that give them an edge over human beings.

  • Wider Visual Field

Even though humans are at an advantage as they can see a wider range of colors, cats have a solid vision in their own right. Cats might be able to see a limited set of colors, but they have a wider visual field of 200 degrees as compared to the average human vision field, which is only 180 degrees. That is what makes them highly alert creatures.

  • Color Vision

Generally, people have the misconception that cats cannot see any color. However, this is a completely wrong notion. The eyes of cats are meant to see a limited range of colors only. Some shades might seem normal to your eye, but they might confuse your cat. For instance, the shade of purple could seem like a different shade of blue to the cat. The photoreceptors of cats are mainly sensitive to the wavelengths in particular color ranges. This technically, makes cats able to view only a few specific shades of colors, just like a person who is color blind.

  • Exceptional night vision

Indeed, felines are not designed to perceive a diverse range of colors like humans. But cats have excellent night vision which enables them to see in high precision even when the surrounding is dark. Felines have an iridescent membrane – tapetum, which functions as a mirror. It is for this reason that cats can see in only twenty percent of the light as compared to humans. But still, many cat owners prefer to buy the Cat Chaser Pointer Light Toy as it helps the felines to chase and hunt efficiently by using their vision.

The difference in human and cat vision

ColorCan view limited colors or shadesCan view a wider range of colors or shades
Visual FieldCovers a wider areaCovers a smaller area
Night VisionExcellent visibility at nightPoor visibility during the night time

How does the ability to view color help felines?

The color that can be seen by your cat plays a major role and influences its ability to see movements. Even though the role of color is not significant, still, it still helps cats’ vision to a slight degree. That is possible as they can detect movement when color waves overlap. So, when a bluebird hops over brown dirt, the color might play a vital role and help the cat to hunt more efficiently.

What are the ways to stimulate a cat’s vision?

A cat’s eye is specifically designed so that it can be the perfect hunter. You cannot do much to increase the range of colors that it can see. But some ways can help you to stimulate your cat’s vision.

  • You can use a laser pointer light to play with your cat. This interactive toy will not only keep your feline companion engaged, but it will also stimulate its vision and enhance its agility. Cat owners these days prefer the Rechargeable Upgrade Pet Training Exercise Chaser Tool to improve the sight of their cats. The tool can also enhance their ability to perceive movement.
  • Instead of giving food to the cat in a boring food dish, you have to think out of the box. You can hide the food in different places all around the home so that the hidden hunter in your cat takes charge.
  • A fun way is to play videos for your cat while you are not able to spend time with it. This approach could act as a great way of stimulating its auditory and visual functions. You can get a wide range of videos online that can help stimulate your cat’s eyesight.


Hopefully, through this article, you may have got an insight into how cats see the world around them, especially in terms of colors. Cat owners must know what colors can and cannot be perceived by their cats. You can introduce interactive games that can stimulate their vision and make up for the restricted ability to view varying colors.

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