what colors can cat see

The allure of cat eyes is something that can not be conveyed in words. The mesmerizing windows to the souls that just not captivates you with its gaze but also takes you around the fascinating realm of perceptions. Amidst the kitty vision tales, there is one question that intrigues the cat lovers most is what colors can cats see?

Ever sat with your cat dressed in an outfit that matched their fur coat and wondered if our furry bundle of joy recognized the similarity. To unravel the answer we need to understand that cats perceive the world through a different lens, one that is characterized by a limited number of hues. Prepare to uncover the captivating world of cat eyes and learn what colors can cats see…

The physiology of cat eyes

cat eyes

The cat's eyes feature tapetum lucidum, elliptical pupils, rod cells and cone cells. Also, they have binocular vision just like humans which provides depth perception and accuracy as both the eyes work together. 

Tapetum Lucidum

It is a layer of tissue located behind the retina, helps in reflecting light that passes through the retina back into the eye and enhances the night vision.

Pupil Size and Shape

Cats have elliptical pupils that can contract to a very narrow slit or expand to a wide circle. 

Rod Cells

Cats have a high density of rod cells in their retinas, which are specialized photoreceptor cells responsible for detecting low levels of light.

Cone Cells

While cats have fewer cone cells than humans, they still possess them. Cone cells are responsible for color vision and detail perception in bright light conditions.


Color palette of cats

Do cats see color
  • Do cats see color? 

Yes, cats can see colors but not like humans. We humans have trichromatic vision that is three types of cone cells sensitive to red, green and blue wavelengths of light whereas cats have dichromatic vision which means they have two types of cones sensitive to blue and green.

  • How many colors can cats see?

It is challenging to estimate the exact numbers of colors that cats can see. But due to their dichromatic vision, they are able to distinguish the shades of blue and green. One can say that cats' color vision encompasses a fraction of the colors that humans can perceive.

What color can cats see?

can cats see color

What colors can cats see?

Can cats see the color red


Can cats see the color pink

Not effectively

Can cats see the color green


Can cats see the color blue


Can cats see the color orange

Not effectively

Can cats see the color purple


Can cats see the color yellow



How do cats use their color vision?

cat color vision

→ Hunting: 

With the color vision cats can easily spot their prey particularly in low light conditions. While cats detect motion and hearing to locate their prey, having a color vision also helps in identifying potential targets efficiently.

→ Camouflage Detection: 

The color vision in cats can help them in differentiating objects and backgrounds that helps in finding  potential hiding spots for prey or detect predators. And this also helps in detecting any camouflaged prey or potential threats.

→ Detecting Movement: 

The vision of cats helps them in detecting movements against different backgrounds. Though cats are unable to see the colors like we humans do but still with their color vision they can perceive variations. This helps them in finding their prey easily.

→ Navigating their Environment: 

Cats color vision not only helps them in hunting or detecting their prey but it also assists them in navigating their surroundings effectively. The color variation provides additional visual cues to discriminate objects especially during dim lights.

Myth busting: 

Can cats see in the dark myths

Can cats see in the dark?

Cats can see in low light conditions much better than humans. The large pupils, reflective layer and rod cells enhance their ability to see in dim light but they can not see in complete darkness. 

Can cats see colors like humans? 

No, cats do not see colors as humans do as they have only two types of cone cells. They have difficulty perceiving colors along the red spectrum, such as red, orange, and pink, which may appear muted or grayish to them.

Can cats see spirits?

There is no scientific evidence to support the belief that cats can see spirits or ghosts. While cats may exhibit behaviors that seem unusual or mysterious, these behaviors can typically be explained by natural factors such as heightened senses or curiosity. 

Are there colors only cats can see?

Though cats have a different range of colors that they can see in comparison to humans. There aren't any specific colors that only cats can see.

Final thoughts!

With this guide we not only uncovered the mysteries behind cat’s color vision and found the answers of “can cats see in color”,  “what colors can cats see” but also debunked various myths related to cat’s vision. So as we end our exploration we can summarize that colors cats can see are the shades of blue and green. They are unable to perceive colors like red, orange, and pink; these shades may appear muted or grayish to them.

As we bid farewell, let’s marvel at the mysteries of cat eyes and the boundless wonders they hold. For in the world of cat vision, every shade tells a story, every hue whispers a secret, and every gaze beckons us to embrace the beauty of the unseen. 

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May 08, 2024