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Are Cats Color Blind?

Can cats see color the way humans can?

Most people can see a huge variety of colors including minute shades of each. It's easy to imagine that all creatures see the world the same way we do, but that's not necessarily the case. Have you ever wondered what your cat sees when looking at colorful scenes? Can she tell her green ball from her blue one?

How Does Vision Work?

Light bouncing off an object within a cat's field of vision hits the eye's outer layer (the cornea), where it is focused and then travels through the liquid (aqueous humor) inside the eye and then through the pupil. The pupil can get larger or smaller to let in more or less light, and a cat's pupil can get bigger than a human's, to let in more light.

The light travels through the lens next, where it is further focused so it can continue to go through and land on the retina. That's where the rods and cones (the photoreceptor cells that sense and help interpret light) reside.

How Do Eyes See Color?

Cones are the cells in the retina responsible for determining an object's color. There are three types of cones that help see red, blue, and green and combinations of those colors.

Which Colors Can Cats See?

There has been a lot of research done on the question of which colors cats can see, and there is still not one hundred percent agreement on the answer. Cats can see blue and grey, and some scientists believe they can also see yellow.

However, cats are not likely to be able to see red or green well, and they don't see colors in as rich and deep of tones as we do. That's because they don't have as many cones as humans do.

Cats also don't see things as crisply as we do.

Are Blue-Eyed Cats Color Blind?

The color of a cat's eyes doesn't seem to be related to how many cones they have, and it probably doesn't affect how they see color. However, white cats with two blue eyes are more likely to be deaf than other cats.

Can Cats See in the Dark?

Cats can see better in dim light than humans. That works out well because they are crepuscular. That means they are most active during the twilight hours of dusk and dawn.

The reason cats see better in dim light and see movement better (even at great distance) than humans is because they have more rod photoreceptors in their retinas than we do.

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How to Care for a Blind Cat

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