Are Cats Colorblind?

There are so many things that would be helpful to know about cats. We can’t exactly just ask them our questions, though. Well, we can, but we humans don’t really speak cat. Fortunately, there are people out there who have explored some interesting questions about cats. For instance, have you ever wondered if your cat is able to see color? You may have heard in the past that cats and dogs are colorblind. This isn’t completely true, but it is partially true. Let’s explore what we know about vision in cats.

are cats colorblind

Things are Blurry for Cats

Wired published an article detailing what cats might see when they look at something. One really interesting thing they point out is blurriness. It turns out that cats don’t see all that clearly. And the reason is fascinating! Cats can actually see a bigger picture all at once. Humans, on the other hand, have a narrower range.

For example, if you’re looking outside at some trees, you see pretty clearly (unless you need vision-correcting lenses, of course). Your cat will see a wider scope of that same landscape. However, while your view is narrow and clear, your cat’s larger view is a bit blurry.

The article goes on to explain that distance matters as well. We humans could clearly distinguish something from as far away as 200 feet. In comparison, our feline friends would need the object to be 20 feet away to see it clearly.

are cats colorblind?

Photoreceptors in Cats

Now we know a bit more about what cats see. Other things come into play with our question of whether cats are colorblind. Even though cats have to put up with blurry eyesight, they do have some advantages. As cat companions, we know our furry friends have amazing night vision. That’s not just anecdotal. According to Wired, there are scientific reasons for kitty’s fantastic vision at night.

Cats’ eyes actually contain a lot more of something call rod cells. Put simply, these cells help your cat’s eyes see things in the dark. In contrast, human eyes contain more cone cells that help us pick up on colors and other features.

Cats Are Partially Colorblind

So do cats see colors? Or are they really colorblind? Experts actually used to believe that cats were much more limited in what colors they could see. Earlier, the theory was that cats could only pick up on two colors. Wired states that cats do see multiple colors–though their color vision is still pretty limited compared to humans. Cats are thought to be ‘red-green colorblind.’ Interestingly enough, that means they see more things that range from blue to violet or green to yellow. The name is  a bit misleading!

are cats colorblind?

Cats Can See Color

There you have it. Cats can’t really see the full spectrum of colors that humans can. However, that does not mean that your feline friend only sees things in black and white. Most likely, he or she can pick up on a few different colors, though the overall image may be rather blurry.

Want to know more on how cats see the world? Check out this next article here on

Did you learn anything new and interesting about our feline friends? Share this article with another cat lover that you know so they can learn something, too.

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