Are Cats Colorblind?

Sometimes we wonder what cats actually see; are cats actually colorblind? When they freeze and stare out the window, what do they see? When they look at us, what do they really notice? We dove into the eye realm of cats to give you three ways cat vision is different than ours!

A black cat with yellow eyes stares to the right. Are cats colorblind? Can they see at night? How well can cats see?

Night Vision

Cats have a higher ability to see at night, and in more detail. Cats have 6-8 times more rod cells than we do, which allows them to take in more light. We can adjust our pupil dilation to help let in more light to see, but not at the same clarity your cat will have. Much like the iPhone setting to adjust in light and dark, your cat has the ‘absorb as much light possible’ setting set automatically. Meaning they can not adjust their eyes as we can, and bright light will make it harder for them to catch details on items.

Up Close and Personal

Did you know cats need to be about 20 feet away from something to see it clearly? For the average human with 20/20 vision, we can see clearly up to 100-200 feet away! For them something far away may look blurry or blend entirely into the background. When something comes closer into clarity this is sometimes why cats can become laser focused on what is right in front of them.

All the Colors of the Rainbow

Humans have 10 times the amount of cones in their eyes than cats, which means cats can’t see as many colors, but they see a range it is just a bit muted. Cats on the other hand have more rods so there are pros and cons to both sides! Cats can see more colors than dogs, but are limited in their color spectrum to muted shades of what we can see. So yes, your cat Mr. Squeaky loves your new hair color…it just doesn’t look as drastic as you think.

Did you think cats are colorblind? What surprises you the most about the above? How well they can see at night? How close they have to be? Or that they can see as many colors as we can, just not as bright? Let us know below and leave a comment on what you would like to learn next! 

Want to learn more? Click here to learn how to keep your kitty happy!

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