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Can Cats See Color? Viewing the World Through Your Cat’s Eyes

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Since we know that dogs view their world in varying shades of black, white, and grey, it is a natural to wonder if a cat’s vision is the same. With their eyes known to possess six to eight times more rod cells than their canine or human counterparts, they are able to sense the presence of light at far lower levels. But how does this apply to color? When it comes to the shades of the rainbow, just how much color can a cat actually see?

A Cat’s Vision and Moving Objects

If you are the proud owner of a cat, you are all too familiar with your fave feline friend’s penchant for attacking your feet and chasing feathered toys. While much of this behavior can be attributed to the natural hunting instinct of the cat, it may be that their sense of vision also plays an important role.

The field of vision of a human being is limited. Cats possess the ability to view things from a vantage point of 200 degrees as opposed to only 180 degrees in their owners. While our own peripheral vision also has boundaries, cats have much greater flexibility in this regard and are able to easily detect moving objects from a greater distance.

Cats operate on a different timetable than human beings, being their most active early in the morning and late in the evening. This helps to explain their ability to navigate their world well when it is dark outside. They are extremely sensitive to low lighting conditions, making them able to see things more clearly than human beings who struggle to view anything when darkness descends.

The shape of the cat’s eye also assists him with his ability to see well. The cat’s eye is elliptical in shape. This allows the eye to have an additional layer of tissue which helps to reflect light into the retina, making it easier to process. The additional rod cells also make it simpler for cats to detect motion.

Cats and Color

When it comes to viewing color, the human eye possesses ten more cones. These cones assist human beings with seeing clearly in bright light conditions. Unfortunately, cats do not possess this unique capability, making it difficult for them to detect the crispness associated with color differentiation.

In addition to this, the human eye contains three different varieties of cones which enable the ability to detect a wide variety of colors. Cats also possess three types of cones; however, which ones they have and in which number can differ from cat to cat. What is known for certain is that though cats can detect some variation of color, they do not see the full complement of hues that human beings do.

Some scientists assert that cats can see shades of blue and greys. Their vision is similar to that of a dog’s in that they have no ability to distinguish between finer shades of color.

Though cats view their world a little differently than we do, one thing is for sure, their eyes were designed specifically to help them with their function in society. With the ability to detect moving objects from a great distance and during the peak parts of their day, cats have the perfect vision for keeping the rodent population near their homes to a minimum. Since mice are typically shades of blue or grey, they see all the color they need to to get their job done.

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