can cats see color

Can Cats See Color? – Myths And Reality

Cats are one of the most common animals that we see everyday. But can Cats see Color? The house hold cat we see is a member of the big family of feline, and there are about 60 feline species.

Can Cats See Color?

The domestication of cats was recorded from the historic sites dating to the fifth century. Cats are well known for their behavior and their ability to hunt for rodents and keep the area free from pests.

The vision of a cat is one of the most discussed subjects and has only been identified during the modern age. The question can cat see color or do they see the world only in black and white?” had lead to many myths and superstition during the early ages.

Some had believed that a common cat is blind and relays on other means like vibrations and hearings to find its way around. Others have believed that a cat has an excellent vision, but their sense of color is not as good as humans.

Lets find out which of the two factors are true.

Myths and superstitions related to cat vision

In olden days it was believed that most of the cats were color blind and they could only see the world in black and white. The way cats used to understand the world was mainly believed to be through their other senses like hearing and smell.

There was also some belief pointing to the color of the eyes of the cat determines which color they are blind to, i.e. which colors they can’t see.

Modern age and the cat’s vision

The myth had confused many scientists and they set to find the truth whether a can see colors or not.

The result was surprising and controversial to the myth as they showed that a household cat could see all the colors like a human , the only difference is that the vision of cat is not able to see about 35 percentage of the colors, they can see the other 65 percent.

They also found that a cat can see more colors than a dog and also have a very large field of vision similar to owls.

As for the color of the eyes, they found out that they are same for a type of cat and they don’t have any role in their vision; they are a protection from predators as their eyes look very dangerous when a light source is shining at them during the dark.

Night vision of a cat

Cats are one of the few animals that can see in the dark. Can cat see color? It is so exceptional during dark times that they have better sights than any animals.

Cats can see clearly during the dark with just one sixth of the light we humans needs to have a slight vision during dark.

The formation of a cat’s eye

A cat’s eye is specially formed and is highly different from a human’s eye formation; they are uniquely programmed and built with a different ratio of rods and cones.

The human eye has this ratio in the form of 4:1, while cats have this in the ratio of 25:1. This makes the cats night vision six times more powerful than the human vision and helps them navigate through the dark even if humans can’t see.

Another specially built feature for the cats eyes is their eye lens, which is much larger than humans eyes to allow many large amounts of light to let them see much more effective in the dark.

This also makes them have very sharp and strong power for long distances and hence their eyes are finely tuned for long distance sights, just like that of a predator.

Colors present in a cats vision

Cats can see most of the colors that we humans can see, this is limited to the shades of colors which we can see and this number of shades a cat can see compared to a human is a very large difference.

The special features of a cats vision is the ability to see colors which are higher than that of the human vision spectrum; this means that cants have the ability to see colors beyond violet and surpass us into the ultra violet color category.

The ultra violet vision is helpful for cats as this helps them identify their territory and also find if weather a stranger has entered their category and what action needs to be taken to keep them and their family safe.

Cons and Rods

In simple terms, rods and cons are present in of the many layers of the retina and have specific functions. The rods are specialized for differentiating black and white; this means the more rods are present the better the creature can see in the dark.

And for cons they are what tells us the colors and are necessary for daylight as there helps us differentiate between the colors and understand which is which. The more cons a creature has are proportional to how vibrant the vision will be for that creature.

A cat can hunt in the dark very effectively thanks to the increased ratios of cons; this helps them to see very clearly in the dark and avoid any mistakes that can occur during the hunt in plain darkness.

Limitations of a cat’s vision

While humans can see up to 60 meters or more, the cat’s vision is very limited and can barely see up to 6 meters. This is due to the lack of muscles to change the shape and focus length of the eye lenses inside their eyes.

Another question is that how can cats see color and the limitation of a cat’s vision is that they are trained for fast-moving objects and he is the reason why they can catch rodents easily. This also means that some slow-moving objects which can be traced with our naked eyes appear to be stationary for cat’s eyes.

A study found that a cat’s usual sense of understanding is not through sight, as they mostly rely on a unique smell one gives off to understand them.


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