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Home > Cats > Are Cats Color Blind Like Dogs? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Are Cats Color Blind Like Dogs? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

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Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are not completely color blind, but they do have a more limited range of color vision than humans do. The ability to differentiate colors comes from the presence of special light-sensitive cells (photoreceptors) called cones located in the retina. Cats have three types of cone cells in their eyes, which are sensitive to blue and green light. This means that they can see a range of blues, greens, and yellows, but they probably cannot see reds, oranges, or browns.

So, in a way, cats are similar to people with red-green color blindness. Read on below to find out more.


Are Cats Color Blind?

Cats lack the ability to differentiate red colors (like many animals). Their vision is very similar to dogs, who also cannot see red or green well.

It is important to note that the way that cats see color is still not fully understood. Some researchers believe that cats may be able to see a spectrum of colors similar to humans in daylight, though less vibrant, and that their color perception may be more nuanced than we currently think. However, it is clear that cats have a more limited range of color vision than humans do.

That said, cats do have much better night vision than people. This is because they have a large number of rods, the second type of photoreceptor cells in their retinas. These cells are in charge of vision in low-light conditions. Moreover, cats have a reflective layer in the back of their eye, the tapetum lucidum, that reflects light twice, allowing them to see more clearly in low light conditions. That’s why their eyes shine at night when they catch the light.

Cat’s eyes are also more sensitive to movement than our eyes. This is one reason why they are so good at hunting. They simply see fine movement much better than we do. Their eyes are located on the front of their heads, a feature found in predator species. This means that they have a large binocular visual field achieving excellent depth perception.

siamese thai blue eyed cat
Image By: catinrocket, Shutterstock

What Colors Can Cats See?

Even though cats have three types of cone cells, they are thought to lack the ability to see red color. They can see blue, green, and yellow, though. Therefore, they aren’t completely blind to all colors.

It’s also thought that they can see more shades of green that we cannot see, though we aren’t exactly sure how this works. We don’t completely understand vision, including how our vision differs from others.

They have a more muted palette of colors than humans. However, it is fairly similar to other predatory animals, including dogs.


What Colors Can Cats See vs. Dogs?

Cats and dogs have a similar range of color vision, but there are some key differences. Dogs have two types of cone cells in their eyes, whereas cats have three. Dogs are thought to be unable to distinguish between red and green shades. Numerous studies in cats have failed to prove rich color vision. This is due in part to the lower number of cone cells in their retinas, which means that their color vision can’t be as rich as it is in humans.

Dogs also benefit from the reflective layer that cats have, the tapetum, which allows very good vision in low-light conditions. Additionally, cats’ eyes are more sensitive to motion than dogs’ eyes. This is why cats are so good at hunting small prey. They can see the slightest movement of a mouse or bird, even in low-light conditions.

With all that said, the differences between cat and dog vision are extremely subtle. They probably see differently, however, we don’t completely understand how or why.

Tabby with white cat
Image Credit: Paul Hakimata Photography, Shutterstock

Can Cats See TV?

Yes, cats can see TV. However, they do not see it in the same way that humans do. Because of how the photoreceptors work in the cat’s eyes, they are unable to see a continuous image. Instead, they perceive individual flickering images when watching TV.

Some cats will also watch TV shows that feature other cats. This is because cats are very social animals, and they enjoy watching other cats interact. However, it is important to note that not all cats are interested in TV. Some cats may find it boring or even annoying.

If you are considering letting your cat watch TV, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the TV is not too bright. Cats’ eyes are more sensitive to light than human eyes, and too much brightness can be uncomfortable for them. Try to find shows that feature animals or objects that your cat is likely to be interested in.

Cats tend to be most interested in shows with fast-moving objects. That’s why some cats like to catch the mouse on a computer screen!



Cats are not truly colorblind, and neither are dogs. They just cannot see the same colors as we do, as they lack the ability to distinguish between red and green. Therefore, their vision is a bit different than our vision. But they are not completely color blind and can see many different shades.

That said, we don’t completely understand how cats see colors. It appears that they can see some greens that we can’t see, which is confusing, given that they do not have red cones. We don’t completely understand how they see and probably won’t in the near future.

Featured Image Credit: cocoparisienne, Pixabay

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