Cat eyes are remarkably similar to human eyes in some ways, and so totally different in others, so it’s hardly any wonder that there are so many misconceptions and myths surrounding them. Today, I’m going to break down exactly what the experts think your cats can and can’t see, and what make their eyes so different from our own.

Shall we get stuck in?

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  1. Are Cats Color Blind
  2. What Colors Can and Can’t Cats See
  3. What Colors Do Cat’s Like and Don’t Like
  4. Cat Vision vs Human and Dog Vision
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Are Cats Color Blind

No, cat’s aren’t color blind. That is a common misconception, though.

Cats can see some colors, but they don’t see quite the array of colors that humans can see. It is also unlikely that they can see the colors in quite the way that we can. Their eyes are built slightly differently, which means that they can’t see as many colors, but they can see quite well in close-up conditions. They are near-sighted, so they can’t see far away things. A cat has to be six meters away from something that a human would be able to see from up to 30 meters away.

Cats can only see better in the dark than we can, needing only one-sixth of the light that humans need to make something out, according to studies.

Unfortunately, because of their inability to make out green and red hues, the limited color perception could pose risks in certain situations, especially if they ingest something toxic or harmful. For instance, a cat might not be able to differentiate between a potentially dangerous substance and its surroundings if it's in color shades similar to what they can see. Careful monitoring it important, and modern technology such as pet cameras can make pet parenting a much easier process.

What Colors Can and Can’t Cats See

So, here’s the thing: research shows that scientists just can’t agree on exactly the list of colors that cats can see. Some believe that cats don’t see many colors at all, but others disagree wholeheartedly. Science is constantly evolving, so I’ve no doubt that the answer to this question will change over the years.

The ability to see colors is down to one of two cells in the eye: the cones. The other cells are known as rods. Humans have cones, and so do cats, which indicates the ability for cats to see some colors. They have fewer cones than we do, though. Our eyes contain ten times the amount of cones of cat eyes, so it is universally acknowledged that they don’t see as many colors as humans.

It is unlikely that cats can see shades of pink, but it’s not impossible. To their eyes, it probably looks green. It is also thought that some purple tones are more likely to appear blue to felines. Brown likely appears as orange, and white probably appears as yellow or gray. Some experts think that the sun looks blue, green, or a mixture of the two to cats.

As a side note, blue is thought to be a cool, calming color for cats and dogs alike, so maybe wear blue the next time you interact with them? Alternatively, you could leave a blue toy or blanket in the room, walk away, and watch how they react on your interactive pet camera. Watching your furry friends for a while will tell you a lot about them!

What Colors Do Cat’s Like and Don’t Like

The experts that are firmly on the side of cats seeing color believe that they can see and process shades of gray, yellow, and blue. There are plenty of TikTok videos that depict dogs watching the children’s show, Bluey – and the colors in the show are mostly blue and yellow.

Veterinarians and scientists believe that three colors are difficult for cats to see and/or process, and the same also applies to dogs:

  • Green;
  • Red;
  • Orange.

For that reason, vets believe that humans are, essentially, red-green color blind and unable to distinguish between the two.

Cat Vision vs Human and Dog Vision

Dogs and cats are said to have two types of cones in their eyes that work as receptors for color. Humans, on the other hand, have three types. Experts believe that human eyes can see and process around one million different shades and colors. Dogs and cats, though, only have a range of 10,000, maximum.

As Vet Peter Carlos shows in his video on TikTok, a cat’s iris is a different shape to human or dog eyes. Humans and dogs have a round iris, but cats have a vertical one that often reduces down to a tiny slit. Vet Dr. Paul Miller says that the vertical slit offers advantages such as better depth perception and better iris constriction to avoid the retina becoming damaged from bright daytime light.

Cats have better eyesight at night than both humans and dogs, too. Dr. Miller believes that, in dim light, humans can probably see up to seven times better than cats. Dogs have a larger visual field, though. They can see 240 degrees, cats have a visual field of 200 degrees, and humans are trailing behind with 180 degrees.

If your cat suddenly appears to have visual changes, such as blindness or an inability to tell one color from another out of nowhere, you should seek medical attention. If you’re subscribed to Petcube’s Emergency Fund, you have the opportunity to send pictures or a video to your online vet, with the few taps of a button, and get either the peace of mind you need, or a nudge in the right direction to start treatment.

Not just great for the 24/7 vet access, the Emergency Fund also provides up to $3,000 of emergency care cover for up to six pets in your home – all for just $29 per month. You can get an excusive 27% discount if you learn more using this link. It’s my way of saying thank you for reading the blog!


Can kittens see in the dark?

Kittens don’t open their eyes until around 8 to 14 days after they are born, and all of them are blue to begin with. Research shows that their regular eye color will develop by around 7 or 8 weeks of age. By the time eye color has changed, kittens can see at least six times better than our human eyes, according to Michelson Found Animals. Just like their adult counterparts, however, they can’t actually see all that well in the dark. They tend to hunt at around dusk and dawn, when the daylight is fading, and they do need a little light to be able to see well.

What colors can cats see?

Cats can see shades of yellow, gray and blue. If you’ve ever seen the TV show, Bluey, you’ll know what I mean. Green can work if it’s closer to the blue spectrum than green, and it’s best to avoid things like orange, some extreme shades of yellow, bright or bold green, and red.

What is a favorite color for cats?

If you’re buying a toy for your pet to play with, the color won’t really make much of a difference if kitty isn’t impressed with the actual toy itself. It needs to catch their attention, and if it doesn’t… well, it doesn’t. Yellow and blue colors along with tones of gray are best, but the ‘wrong’ color won’t put your cat off.


In conclusion, cats can see some colors, but not all. They’re also near-sighted, better at seeing in the dark than humans and dogs, and have irises perfectly built for hunting. Although different from human eyes, cat eyes still require the same care and attention, which includes regular checkups with your vet.

As always, you can always contact one of Petcube’s 24/7 vets if you have questions!

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