Are Cats Colorblind?

Do you know that the vision of cats compare to us is completely different? We may be looking at the same thing but the vision differs.  Many cat parents are curious about how their cat sees their world! They want to know if it is as colorful and clear as a normal human sees. Every day we get to see different colorful things around us and enjoy seeing them. Cats are also able to see colors but they might be different from what you see. It doesn’t mean cats see black and white. Even if they do see colors it is not as vibrant as humans see them. In this blog, we are going to talk all about the cat’s vision like how a cat is able to see color and how it is different from humans’ vision.

Do Cats See Color?

An eye is able to see color due to the presence of two types of photoreceptor cells in the eye. The retina of the eye has cells called rods and cones. These cells in the eye have their own functions. The rods are responsible for low-light vision and help detect movement even in dim lighting. The cones are active in the presence of higher light levels. It helps distinguish color and provides sharp vision. There are also three types of cones that detect red, green, and blue hues, and the combination of these colors. Humans have ten times more cones compared to cats. So, humans are able to see different kinds of colors more vividly than cats. This doesn’t make cats color blind but they can’t see color as vividly as the humans. However, as opposed to human beings, cats have a high concentration of rod receptors which allows them to see well at night.

What color can cats see best?

Due to the presence of fewer rod cells, cats are unable to see some colors whereas they are able to see some colors with blue hues nicely. Some colors the cat is able to see are blue-violet and yellow-green. Usually, cats have hard time detecting colors with red hues. They are able to see the shades of yellow, gray, and blue tints. They are unable to see a red tint at all. So, cats do not chase after the red laser light because of the color but rather they are attracted to the fast and bouncing movement of the light. Now you get it.

How Good is Cat’s Vision at Night?

Cats are most of the time active at night. Due to their predator instincts, they are more active at night than they are during the day. One of the reasons cats are usually active is their excellent night vision. Their ancestors were able to hunt their prey even in the low light. Although most cats like the indoor ones do not need to hunt for food. They still have the ability to see nicely at night. They can adjust their pupil however they want to have a good vision of their surrounding. Like, their pupil dilates or expands in case of low light to allow more light to enter the eye. Though they are not equipped with the direct night vision capabilities they have an enhanced ability to see in the dark.

Cats Vision Care

Cats are quite dependent on their vision. It helps them survive and live healthy life. The cats are dependent on their vision for navigating and being aware of their surrounding. So, it is important for cats to have a healthy vision. Here are some ways you can keep the cat’s vision healthy.

Providing Nutrition

Good nutrition plays a great role in the health of the cat. If you are mindful of your cat’s nutrition then you can improve your cat’s vision. Include foods that help promote the well-being of the wye. Include foods that are rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, and other beneficial nutrients. This prevents the cat’s eye health from diminishing and keeps it healthy for a long time. This also increases the life expectancy of your cat.

Providing Exercise for Cats

Cats are active animals and require different kinds of stimulation to stay healthy and happy. One of the ways is by keeping them busy with toys. We can find different toys depending on the stimulation that you want to provide them. For the stimulation of vision, we recommend you use a laser toy. As mentioned above cats are not attracted to the bright red color of the laser but to the movements of the laser. This makes the cat’s eyes engaged in one place and provides enough exercise for the cat. It helps strengthen the cat’s vision and keep it healthy.

Regular Eye Cleaning

We all know that cats are one of the cleanest animals and can clean themselves. They groom themselves most of the time but sometimes they cannot reach some areas. One of those areas is the eye. Sometimes cats cannot reach those areas ad it stays dirty. Like the eye produces discharge, which is normal but if not cleaned then it can irritate the eye. So, provide extra help in keeping them clean. You can simply use a clean cloth and warm water to clean the eye. First of all, sterilize the cloth you are going to use and then wet it with warm water. Then gently rub away the dirt and discharge collected in the eye area of the cat. You can also use a cotton swab to clean the corners of the eye.

Annual Health Checkup

Take your cats for their health checkup every year. Annual routine check-ups help ensure that your cat is healthy and fit. It will also help find any complications in the early stage and then seel the right treatment right away. The vet doctor will also check for any signs of discomfort in the eye area of your cat, redness, cloudiness, or any sort of unusual discharge on the eye. The loss of vision does not usually happen at once but it increases gradually. So, knowing the cause can help you to care for your cat’s vision.

Difference between Cats Vision and Human Vision

As mentioned above cats’ visions are completely different from ours. We might be looking at the same thing but the color vibrancy, clarity, and other things may not be the same. Here are a few differences that can be seen between cats and human vision.

Visual Field

Compare to the human visual field cats have a bit wider visual field. A human has a visual field of 180 degrees whereas a cat has a visual field of 200 degrees.

Visual Distance and Sharpness

A human’s vision is more clear and sharper than that of a cat. The clearness of the vision is referred to as visual acuity. A human has visual acuity of 20/2o. A cat has visual acuity anywhere from 20/100 ore 20/200. So what does this acuity number means? If a cat has visual acuity 20/100 then it means that a cat has to be at a distance of 20 feet to see what a human being is able to see at 100 feet. So, if a human being and cat stay in the same place and look at the same distance, then the cat’s vision will be more blurry than the human’s.

Color Vision

Humans are trichromats, which means that they have three cones that allow them to see three colors, red, blue, and green hue.  Cats are also called trichromats but the color they’re able to see is not the same as that of humans. Cats’ vision is quite the same as that color blind people. What appears to be red or pink might appear in different shades of green to the cat, and purple might look like another shade of blue. The cat also sees the color as less vibrant than the human is able to see.

Night Vision

Cats might not see color well but they have the ability to see even in the dim light. The presence of a structure called tapetum acts like a mirror that reflects light that passes between rods and cones. This gives these photoreceptors to pick up the small amount of light available at night. This is also one of the reasons why their eyes glow at night. So, cats have better vision at night compared to humans.

In Conclusion,

Cats are not colorblind. They have their own specific set of colors that they are able to see. Even if they are unable to see the colors like the humans, their ability to see at night cover up for that.  
Arun Sapkota

Arun Sapkota

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