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July 30, 2012 at 3:18 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Are Cats Colorblind?

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Nope!

Many people believe that cats only see in shades of gray, but this is not true whatsoever. Cats CAN see color. However, they do have difficulty seeing certain colors.

A cat’s eyes contain cells in their eyes just like we do that respond well in dim and bright light. Rods help them to see in low light conditions. Cones help them to see in high light conditions.

Cones are also responsible for sensing color. To be able to view a full range of color, one needs to have three different kinds of cones. Most humans’ eyes contain each type of cone. In rare instances people may not have one kind. This condition is called "deuteranopia."

Unlike most humans, every cat only has 2 of these cones so in a way, all cats exhibit "deuteranopia." They can see certain colors, but have a problem distinguishing others.

Specifically, cats have cones that are most sensitive to blue and green light. If a color falls under either of these spectrums, a cat will be able to see it! Unfortunately, they lack thecone that is able to see red. So, they often confuse colors on the red spectrum and see them almost as a brown.

Cats CAN See:

  • Blues

  • Purples

  • Greens

  • Yellow and

  • Greys

Cats CAN'T See:

  • Reds

  • Pinks

  • Oranges (Looks like brown to cats).

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Sources:

http://www.ccmr.cornell.edu/education/ask/index.html?quid=165

http://blogs.catster.com/cat_tip_of_the_day/2009/02/09/shades-of-gray-are-cats-color-blind/

http://www.cathealth.com/vision/feline-vision

Photo Credit:

Tambako the Jaguar

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