Can cats see colors? A question that many cat owners have wondered at one time or another. Dogs have their fine nose, we humans rely mainly on our eyes. But the vision of a cat and that of a human is very different. In this post, let’s find out what exactly cats can see and how they perceive their environment.
Can cat now see colors? In a nutshell – yes, cats can see colors and distinguish them from each other. However, they also have a certain type of color blindness. The human eye has three so-called cones, which perceive the three primary colors red, green and blue. Cats, on the other hand, have only two cones. They are particularly good at detecting blue and yellow hues. Cats see red only in shades of gray. But they can perceive many more shades of gray than we humans can.
How do cats see? This is how they perceive their environment
We humans have an approximate field of vision of about 180 degrees. The field of vision of cats, on the other hand, is larger and amounts to ca. 200 degrees. So they can see a little more without having to move their heads than we humans can. For this purpose, a cat’s eye has six to eight times more rods in the retina than the human eye does. The retina is a multi-layered nerve tissue located on the inside of the eye.
In the retina, light is converted into specific nerve impulses by sensory cells (photoreceptors) and transmitted to the brain by nerve cells. A cat’s eye has six to eight times more rods in the retina than the human eye. These rods are responsible for light sensitivity in the eye. In other words – cats can see much better in twilight and darkness than we do.
And this is the strength and special ability of cats eyes, as they can still see well in low and dim light conditions to hunt in low light conditions. As you may know, our beloved house pets are nocturnal animals.
For this, light sensitivity is much more important than color perception. So cats can see colors, but they are not relevant in darkness. Because without light there are no colors.
When it comes to the visual acuity of cats, we humans have an advantage here. Cats are more short-sighted than we are. If we and the cat look at something from the same distance, we may still see it sharply, while the cat perceives it as blurred. We can see objects in 30 to 60 meters distance still sharp. However, in cats the range is not more than 6 meters to see the same things sharply.
How do cats see in the dark?
In full darkness, cats see just as little as we humans do too. Cats need some light to see in the dark, but compared to us, they only need one-sixth the amount of light.
That velvet paws can see at night, in full darkness, is just a myth. This is probably due to the fact that cats can still see in very low light conditions, while we humans can no longer recognize anything.
Conclusion to – can cats see colors
Cats can see colors, but not like we humans do. Their eyes are specialized to still see well at night and in low light conditions. Cats are predators, active mainly at dusk and dawn. Therefore, it is very important for our kitties to identify all moving objects in a flash, even in low light conditions.
So the next time you see the colorful rainbow from a distance, you can be sure that your beloved animal can see it too. Your cat will not be able to see all the colors, but will certainly recognize the yellow and blue hues!