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Home > Cats > Do Cats Dislike Certain Colors? Feline Vision, Facts & FAQs

Do Cats Dislike Certain Colors? Feline Vision, Facts & FAQs

cat sitting in the grass

Everyone knows the idea that the color red will anger a bull, but is there something comparable for cats? In all fairness, the first thing you should know is that red doesn’t have anything to do with why bulls get angry during bullfights. The movement of the muleta, or bullfighter, and the pain and fear that the bull is feeling are actually the reasons why bulls react the way they do to red.

Does that mean that cats don’t react to certain colors, though? Well, no. Although there is actually no scientific evidence to back the idea that cats may react negatively to any color.


Can Cats See Color?

tricolored cat playing with cat toy
Image By: Christian Bodhi, Pixabay

Cats are not colorblind and are capable of seeing a wide spectrum of colors. However, their color vision is significantly less developed than that of humans. The majority of the color spectrum that cats can see falls within grey, yellow, and blue shades, and these colors are usually less vibrant than they are in human eyesight.

In fact, cats actually primarily see colors that appear on a high-frequency spectrum, which includes colors like purple, blue, green, and maybe some yellow. Cats can see black-and-white colors, though. This is because black is actually the absence of color and light. White is comprised of all colors on the visible spectrum and their wavelengths, but it lacks its own wavelength, which means that white is primarily related to light and not color.

What About Reports of Cats Hating Certain Colors?

cat lying on the sofa playing with green ball
Image Credit: Natalya On, Shutterstock

You can find just about any type of story and anecdote on the internet, including stories of people’s cats seemingly reacting to specific colors. You brought home a yellow placemat, and your cat viciously attacked it every time they saw it sitting out? That doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat hates the color yellow. Think of all of the other yellow things your cat encounters in their daily life, from toys to clothing to flowers. Do they react similarly? Likely not.

Your cat is likely reacting to something else pertaining to the item itself. This can be the general appearance of the item, the smell that the item came home with, or a similarity of the item to something your cat has had a negative experience with in the past. Keep in mind, too, that since your cat sees colors differently than you do, they may discern patterns in items in a different way than you might.

What About the Cats and Cucumbers Craze?

cat plays with cucumber
Image Credit: tugol, Shutterstock

If you logged online a few years ago, you couldn’t avoid seeing videos of people surprising their cats with a cucumber on the ground. Usually, the reaction of the cat was one of aggression, surprise, or fear. This had nothing at all to do with the color of the cucumber and everything to do with the shape and in some cases, the sudden appearance of the cucumber.

Cats naturally have a fear of snakes, which is an instinct that developed from tens of thousands of years existing in places where snakes were a present danger. It’s believed that cats show a fear or surprise response in the presence of cucumbers because they associate the general appearance of it with being a snake.

Also, you’d probably be startled if a cucumber suddenly appeared on the floor behind you!


In Conclusion

There is no evidence to support the idea that cats hate certain colors. In reality, cats have poor color vision, especially compared to that of humans, so your cat is not likely able to decipher the vibrancy and tones of certain colors. If your cat seems to react strongly to something, it’s less likely to be related to the color of the item and more likely to be related to the overall appearance of the item or your cat’s previous experiences.

Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

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