Can Cats See Color? Or Are They Colorblind?

cat lying down with eyes wide

(Picture Credit: Mike Clark)

Have you ever wondered whether cats can see color? Or if they’re completely colorblind?

Sure, it might sound like a strange question, but there’s actually a lot of science going on that shows that cats do not see as many colors as us humans do.

The short answer is yes, cats can see some colors, but not the same range that we can. Let’s dig into how cats see and which colors their eyes can detect.

What’s The Science Behind The Colors Cats Can See?

Scientists often use the rainbow as an example to show how cats see color. When we humans spot a rainbow, we see the seven “Roy G. Biv” colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

But when a cat looks at a rainbow, they don’t see the same full range of colors. What’s the reason behind cats seeing fewer colors than humans?

Well, science has shown that color is detected by the eye’s nerve cells. Each retina includes photoreceptors called cones and rods. Cones are way that we pick up on color, but because humans have ten times as many cones as our feline friends do, we’re able to view a much wider range of color.

This has led some scientists to speculate that the range of colors that cats see is limited to green, blue, and possibly yellow.

It’s also said that cats often see red colors as much greener in hue than we do.

How Do Cats Make Up For Seeing Fewer Colors?

kitten looking at play area

(Picture Credit: Mike Clark)

While cats can’t see the same wide range of colors that humans do, a feline’s retinas actually contain around six times as many rods as ours, which allows them to have markedly better vision at night.

This is because the rods help the eyes detect motion, which is also why cats make for such shrewd hunters.

Additionally, due to the way a cat’s eyes are positioned closer to the sides of their head, their peripheral vision is enhanced. A human can see a visual field of 180 degrees, but a feline can view their surroundings up to 200 degrees wide.

You can also help your cat keep their vision in good shape with regular vet checkups. If you have concerns about your cat’s eyes, ask your vet about supplements that can support feline eye health.

Did you know that cats view the world in fewer colors than humans? Which colors do you suspect cats can see well? Let us know in the comments section below!

Click the bold links in the article to support our content! CatTime is a participant in the Chewy Affiliate Program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Chewy.com.