Are cats color blind?

Have you ever thought about how does your lovely cat can see you? Does he see your new red T-shirt or maybe like his colorful toys? Or maybe he is completely color blind? Today we are going to find the answer. Read the article and learn more!


Are cats really color blind?

One of the reasons why people love cats so much – they have magical, fascinating eyes, wide open and extremely expressive for an animal. Even among the fashion trends of make-up “cats eyes” are always the most popular - eyes summed up with the arrows to make the appropriate form. The beauty of cat's eye is mainly due to their size – cats’ eyes are bigger compared to body size. This is due to the nocturnal cat’s lifestyle, and a unique device of their eyes due to the same reasons.

READ ALSO: Can cats see in the dark?


What colors do cats see? Do cats see the same as people? What the world looks like for the furry companions of the man, and what are the features of cats’ vision?

It used to think that they can't distinguish colors and the world for them is black-and-white but rather consisting of various shades of gray. Today, however, scientists are inclined to believe that cats still have color vision, though not as bright and contrasting as that of human or higher primates. The purrings have lowered perception of the green spectrum, but they do distinguish the many variations of gray. There is a reason – first of all, in nature, green has the grass, tree leaves and another vegetable world, and the cats are not interested in it. Secondly, their prey – mice and rats – has a gray or gray-brown color, that is the primary distinction of these shades. Thirdly, nightlife leaves its mark, because "at night all cats are gray," and the world is not so bright.


Probably, everyone had to see the glow of cat's-eye as the result of the flash or just from the dark room. This phenomenon is due to the presence of a special reflective layer, tapetum, in the retina. Thanks to this layer, the sensitivity of nocturnal animals increase significantly, for example, cats has it seven times higher than humans. What is interesting, you can judge the color of their iris with this glow, – usually, an ominous red glow observed in blue-eyed cats, and the natural green – yellow eyes.


Because of this arrangement of the visual organs, cats see very well in low light, bright light is unusual for them, in such circumstances human vision is superior to a cat’s. Despite a popular belief, cats can't see in complete darkness, because the light is necessary for the vision of any creature. Such misconception appeared because the cats’ sense of touch is well developed; using the vibrissa (mustaches) they really can avoid obstacles, even in total darkness.

However, our vision has some similarities with the cats’ – for example, like humans, cats’ vision is binocular (it is also called stereoscopic). This means that the pictures that sees each of cat eyes, overlap and add up to one, in contrast to animals with monocular vision, who can see two different images. It is disappointing, but here the cats have the advantage of their range of vision is 20 degrees wider than the human – their 200° against our 180°.

The cat is a predator, and an ambush predator, so it should quickly and accurately determine the speed, direction, and nature of a moving object; it is imperative to a cat. In this regard, fluffy hunters are better at seeing moving objects, especially those that runs in a horizontal rather than a vertical plane.


 And of course, we cannot ignore the excellence of the cat's pupil. Unlike a human, cats’ pupil is not round but split, although it could purchase in an oval or round shape in the dark. In bright light, it is very compressed, and this protects the sensitive cat's eyes from retinal damage and discomfort. In the dark, on the contrary, it expands, absorbing the slightest rays of light.

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