Can Cats See Color?


We humans certainly know that there’s a lot going on in the lives of cats and dogs that differs from ours. And though we likely have a vague idea that our feline friends aren’t viewing the world exactly the way we are, we may have found ourselves wondering, “Can cats see color?” (And, of course, “Can dogs see color?” too.)

Can cats see color?

First of all, cats certainly don’t see the world in black and white. “Cats see in color, but they can’t distinguish between colors the same way humans do,” explains Michelle Lugones, DVM, a veterinarian with Best Friends Animal Society. This has to do with the biology of their eyes, specifically with the cone photopigments. These are pigments that form part of the eye’s photoreceptor cells, which serve the purpose of turning light into signals. Because “humans have three cone photopigments [and] cats only have two cone photopigments,” the way they see the nuances of color differs.

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