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Behind Feline Vision – Do Cats Have Favorite Colors?

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Have you seen your whiskered buddy fixate on that blue feather wand while ignoring the nearby red squishy ball? It probably makes you wonder—do cats have favorite colors? The answer is far more than a yes or a no. Let’s discuss the science behind their vision and the colors that tickle their fancy.

Human Vision vs. Cat Vision – What’s the Difference?


Let’s peek into cats’ eyes to understand why they seem to have color preferences. Human eyes have two types of cells that detect light: cones for color vision and rods for light and dark detection.

Humans are trichromatic, which means we have three cones in our eyes. Our cones can perceive three primary colors: red, blue, and green. Hence, we see objects in these color or any shade with a hint of these hues. On the other hand, cats are dichromatic, so they only have two cones in their eyes. As a result, they only see shades of blue and green. But they’re not entirely colorblind. They can still see some yellows but won’t see the full range of colors.

You might ask, if cats can’t perceive red, why do they chase those red laser pointers all the time? While it’s true that they may not see red the way we do, it can appear grayish in their eyes. However, they have more rods than us, so they are more sensitive to light and motion, which attracts their attention. The unpredictable movement of laser pointers taps their hunting instincts, so even a wiggling gray blob will unleash the inner predator within.

Do Colors Matter to Cats?


If color isn’t a cat’s strong suit, do colors even matter? Not as much as you’d think. While cats see greens, blues, and some yellows, their choices don’t depend heavily on them. As mentioned earlier, cats are inborn hunters. They detect motion and contrast, which helps them stalk their prey, making them excellent predators. So, while your cat might be leaning towards a specific color, what attracts it the most is how objects move and stand out in their world.

Does Color Psychology Apply to Cats?


Does color psychology work on cats if color doesn’t matter to them? Before we answer this question, let’s define color psychology. It refers to how colors affect our moods and behavior. For instance, painting the living room blue can make us feel cool, calm, and collected.

So, to answer whether or not color psychology works on cats, there’s a slight possibility, but it’s not as clear-cut as with humans. As mentioned earlier, colors don’t matter to cats, so the chance that hues can affect their mood may be slim. However, there are much bigger factors affecting their mood and behavior. The familiar scent, cozy hiding spot, and consistent routine impact their mood more than the color on the wall.

Even if you give your cat a blue cat bed or paint its wood cat tower green, these colors will not calm your anxious feline. If constant loud noises occur and strangers enter your house, your cat will still feel stressed—no matter the color of its surroundings!

Picking the Right Toys and Accessories


While your cat can’t perceive red, brown, and orange toys, that doesn’t mean you should toss them out. Yes, color may not be the top priority when choosing the right cat toys and accessories, but it still plays a role in catching your fur baby’s interest. Since cats can distinguish blue, green, and yellow, these hues might appeal to them.

But remember, no kitties are exactly alike. So, the answer to the question, “What are cats favorite color?” may not always be the ones they see. Some cats have a penchant for a specific shade, no matter how well they perceive it. Always observe your cat’s preferences and choose playthings that pique their curiosity.

Patterns and textures should also be considered when selecting toys and accessories. A brightly colored toy with exciting textures or a feather cat toy with contrasting colors might grab their interest, even if the color doesn’t have a wow factor in a cat’s eyes.

Movement is also a big factor. A toy that zooms, wiggles, and flutters is much more likely to grab your cat’s attention and tap into its hunting instincts, making your tiny indoor panther pounce and swat gleefully.

Sound also plays a big role. Cats have an exceptional sense of hearing, and certain sounds appeal to them. For example, a rattling or jingling sound imitates the sound of their prey, unleashing the inner hunter within. Thus, playing with your cat with a toy that makes such sounds can turn playtime into an exciting chase.

A crinkly sound can be just as stimulating. Even the softest sound of a crinkling paper bag or rustling feathers can spark a cat’s curiosity and turn something ordinary into something extraordinary.

So, the next time you pick a toy or accessory for your furry friend, remember these factors, and don’t be scared to experiment. Even if you choose a bright blue, vibrant green, or fiery red (but dull in your cat’s eyes) toy, the combination of color, pattern, texture, sound, or movement will make it a hit or miss for your fluffy buddy.

Feline Fun Facts – Things You Should Know About Your Cat’s Eyes


A kitty’s vision may not be as colorful as ours, but it’s full of surprises! Here are some tidbits about their eyes.

Cats See Better in Low Light Than Humans

Did you know that cats are night owls when it comes to their sight? However, they’re not nocturnal; they’re crepuscular, which means they’re active at dawn and dusk. Their eyes adapt exceptionally well in low light conditions, making them excellent hunters at twilight hours when their prey might be less vigilant.

Cats Are Mid-Sighted

Cats lack the muscles needed to change the shape of their pupils, so they can’t see things clearly when they’re too close to them. If you place a toy right in front of their nose, they will use their whiskers to detect it.

They’re not particularly good at seeing things far from them, either. We see things vividly when they’re between 100 and 200 feet or 30 and 60 meters away. However, a cat’s vision is sharpest when the object is less than 20 feet or 6 meters away.

Cats Have Impressive Peripheral Vision

Besides having remarkable senses of motion and hearing, cats also have impressive peripheral vision! Unlike humans, who can see about 180 degrees on each side, cats can see a whopping 200 degrees.

Imagine spotting a tasty, flying bird or a sneaky mouse in the corner of your eye. This formidable trait helps cats hunt for their food or keep them alert to see anything that might be creeping up on them.

Cats Blink (But Not as Much as We Do)

Cats do blink, but their blinks are more like slow squints. They also blink less frequently than us. It means cats can stare for a long time without blinking, helping them focus on something that catches their attention, like a wiggling toy or a fluttering butterfly outside the window.

The Tapetum Lucidum Makes Cats See in the Dark

Have you seen your cat’s eyes glow in the dark? It may look creepy yet fascinating, but it helps them see in the dark. Cats have a unique part in their eyes called the tapetum lucidum, found behind the retina. It works like a mirror, bouncing light back to the rods and cones so they get the most out of the light as it enters the eyes. As a result, their eyes glow, making them see in the dark.

Cats Have Vertical Pupils for Better Depth Perception

Compared to humans, who have round pupils, cats have vertical pupils that look like slits. This shape helps them control how much light enters their eyes. Furthermore, a cat’s pupils change size more quickly than ours, which allows them to hunt and see things vividly.

Cats Have Three Eyelids

Have you noticed your cat has a third eyelid? It may look creepy, especially when your cat starts dozing off, but it has a vital purpose! It protects and moisturizes their eyes since cats don’t blink as much as we do.

Cats Could See Ultraviolet Light

Some scientists speculate that cats might see ultraviolet light. However, this theory hasn’t been proven to be accurate, but it’s a fun thought to consider. Imagine how your cat sees its surroundings, with invisible patterns and markings to our naked eyes.

Final Thought

While cats don’t see the full spectrum of colors, their vision perfectly adapts to their needs as hunters and explorers. Cats may not have favorite colors like us, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a good play session with enticing toys. When you buy a new toy for your beloved feline, consider its unique perspective.

So, the next time you encounter the question, “What is a cats favorite color?” remember that it’s not a priority. Movement, contrast, patterns, textures, and sound are the things that spark their interest. Now, go forth and observe your cat’s quirks and preferences. Besides, every cat is a unique and fascinating companion.


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