Are Cats Colour Blind? All You Need To Know

As pet parents, we have all wondered whether our feline friends can actually see color as humans do, or perhaps they are color blind. If you have ever bothered to scrutinize your kitty’s eyes, for this reason, you would have observed their structure is quite distinct from that of humans. Consequently, you would begin to wonder if your furball inhabits a world where things are either white or black.

It is no longer a secret that animals and humans see color differently. Even among the human population, there are people who see color better than others. Those people who are disadvantaged at distinguishing colors are referred to as color blind. When some people look at the rainbow, in the sky, the colors may appear unclear and blurred; this has left people wondering whether the same thing is applicable to the members of the feline population.

What Does Color Blindness Mean?

Typically, color blindness means an inability to differentiate some colors from others. Reports from National Eye Institute say that color blindness comes in types and the most common among them is the one that interferes with a person’s ability to differentiate red from green. The type that doesn’t allow the sufferer to differentiate yellow from blue is not as common as the first one, but there is a third one that is even rarer, which only allows the sufferer to see only white and black; this type is referred to as monochromatic.

Since the cones in a cat’s eyes are more sensitive to yellow and blue wavelengths of light, they will not be able to see some colors such as orange, red, or brown. This has similarities with humans suffering from red-green color blindness – your feline friend will only see red hues as orange color, but this cannot be described as being color blind.

Do Cats See Color?

Yes, members of the feline population do see color. While the answer is yes; however, they are not able to see all colors due to their eye structure which is quite distinct from that of human beings. On their own part, researchers have done a lot of studies on which colors can be properly seen and interpreted by the felines, but still, we don’t have a hundred percent agreement on these findings. There is a unanimous agreement that kitties are capable of seeing grey and blue, but we still have some dissenting scientists who are of the opinion that cats are also capable of seeing the yellow color.

On the other hand, it is very unlikely that cats can see green and red well, and they lack the capacity to see these colors in deeper and richer tones as humans do. This inability of the felines to properly see and interpret these colors doesn’t make them color blind, it is only due to the fact that they lack the necessary cones to accomplish that. However, the case is different with human beings. Also, kitties lack the capacity to see things as crisply as humans can.

How these four-legged friends perceive color has been a long-standing topic among researchers and the emerging findings have been pretty amazing. While it has been established that our feline companions are not capable of seeing all colors like humans, their world is not completely white or black. In fact, cats inhabit a pretty colorful world.

How It Is Proven That Cats Are Colour Blind

Color Blind
The structure of a cat’s eyes is different from that of humans – source

At a point in time, scientific studies concluded that the felines are color blind; even today, this misconception is still upheld by so many people. However, recent studies have proved that cats are not capable of seeing the full spectrum of color in the same way as humans, but they are not totally color blind. We now know that the felines can actually see some colors, but they lack the degree of vibrancy that humans have.

The light receptor cells we have in our eyes are responsible for distinguishing colors. That part of the eye called the retina comes with two major types of light receptor cells in both humans and animals; these cells are referred to as rods and cones.

The rod cells are responsible for perceiving motion and light while the cone cells function with colors, their key job is to allow creatures to differentiate between one color and the other.

Now coming down to the basics, the human population is found to have more cone cells than their feline counterparts. In fact, research has revealed that the amount of cone cells in the eyes of humans is 10 times higher than what is obtainable with the felines, this may be why the cats were initially thought to be color blind. This advantage allows people to see more color variations relative to cats. Cones come in three types for distinguishing green, red, and blue.

Evidence also abounds that kitties have trichromatic vision. However, there are researchers who are of the opinion that the felines only possess blue and green cone cells. What this means, in essence, is that when a cat is confronted with pink and red colors, they appear as grey, but green and blue come with more vibrancy.

So, to proffer an answer to the question are cats color blind? The correct response is that they are close to being labeled color blind. The sight capacity of a kitty is comparable to that of a color-blind human.

Read Also: Tortoiseshell Cat: Breed Information And 5 Fascinating Facts

Do Cats Recognize Human Faces?

According to National Geographic studies centered on feline genetics, cats began hanging around people because they were interested in lynching the rodents that accompany human society. Though they have been co-existing with humans for years, the feline basic genetic makeup has stood the test of time and has not altered much from their wild cat existence.

Unlike the kitties, the domestication of the canines was at the instance of humans who desired certain character traits in dogs because they need assistance with some specific tasks. This led to a drastic change in the genetic makeup of dogs which in turn, engendered the development of a closer bond between humans and dogs. As such, reading the facial expressions of humans became beneficial to the canine population.

Distinct from the pups, kitties were never involved in carrying out some direct tasks for humans and thus, never had the need to pay close attention to the expressions on the faces of people. Though studies have proved that the felines are adept at recognizing human emotions, they can’t read faces, nor can they recognize people.

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