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What’s A Cat’s Favorite Color? Do Cats Even See Colors?

What’s A Cat’s Favorite Color? Do Cats Even See Colors?

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You might already know that cats don’t see colors the same way we humans do. They don’t see all the colors we do, and their world is a bit duller when it comes to seeing colors.

Have you ever asked yourself What’s a cat’s favorite color? It would be nice to know if our feline friend has a favorite color – so we know, for example, which color cat toys or blankets to get for them!

The truth is, there is no way for us to know what a cat’s favorite color is, or if they even have a favorite color. 

The majority of colors that we see do not look the same for cats. Cats see a narrower range of colors, but they can see blue, green and dull yellow. All other colors have a grayish tone to them, much less vibrant when compared to how humans see the world.

This might not be the answer you were expecting, and in order to fully understand why blue just might be the color they like the most, keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

What’s A Cat’s Favorite Color?

a cat wrapped in a colorful scarf sits by the window

When it comes to cats having a favorite color, there really isn’t a lot of colors they can choose from. The range of colors cats can see is really narrow – it is mostly composed of four colors – blue, green, yellow, and gray.

So it can be said that if cats do have a preferred color, it definitely is not red, pink, vibrant purple, orange or brown, as cats cannot even see these colors!

Most people would say that blue is a favorite color for most cats, as it’s the only color cats see the same as humans do, although perhaps not as vibrant.

Can We Really Know What A Cat’s Favorite Color Is?

We cannot really know what a cat’s favorite color is.

We cannot ask them, nor can they answer us. Apart from this, there is no research about this subject, which is understandable. Cats don’t tend to show any preference towards a particular color. It’s not like we can say, “All cats love yellow and it has been like that for centuries” or “Since the dawn of time, all cats have been drawn to blue”.

The answer that blue is most likely their favorite color stems from a view that it’s the only color that they see similarly to how humans see it. There is no real scientific studies that brought about this answer, and no observable pattern of cats choosing blue toys over pink ones, for example.

The topic is interesting, so continue reading to learn why cats only see blue like we do, while other colors are pretty boring for them.

How Do Cats See Colors?

Below is a fascinating visual representation of how cats see colors compared to how humans see them.

human vision spectrum vs cats vision spectrum

The Color Red For Cats

As you can see, cats cannot see red at all. Red is one of three primary colors ( the others are yellow and blue). This means that cats cannot see secondary colors that are made up of red and another color. For example, cats cannot see orange and purple. This is because red is used to make both of these, and if cats can’t see red – they cannot see orange or purple either!

Are Cats Colorblind?

Cats cannot really be classified as colorblind since not seeing red is normal for them. For humans,not seeing red is a symptom of a rare condition called color blindness.

It is more correct to say that cats see similarly to a human with red-green color-blindness. That means they do not have the ability to recognize the color red or green.

That is very similar to cats, who cannot see red at all, and also have trouble with the color green.

A cat’s world is not black and white, but it’s also not a vibrant array of hundreds of different colors. Most colors they do see are muted and grayish.

A Little Bit Of Science: Cat Vision Explained

beautiful cat eyes

The retina is the light-sensitive part of the eye. It is made of photoreceptor cells – cones and rods. Both types of cells send signals to the brain, which results in vision.

Let’s go into a bit more detail about these two types of cells!

1. Cones

Cats have three types of cones: those that perceive red, those that perceive blue and those that perceive green. Humans also have all three types of cells, but they have many more of these cells compared to cats. That means humans have vision that is much richer in color than cats have.

Because of this, it’s understandable that humans have a far better perception of colors than felines do.

2. Rods

Rod cells play a role in our ability to see in dim lighting as well as peripheral vision. Cats have far more of these cells in comparison to cone cells, which are responsible for bright light vision. This is why cats are much better at night vision, compared to bright-light vision.

Rods have no influence in color perception – only on vision at low levels of light (so it can be said they influence the perception of black and white colors)

Evolutionary Point Of View

You might be wondering, How come seeing all colors is not important for cats? There are a few reasons, and they’re explained below.

the cat on the blue building

1. Night Vision Is A Huge Advantage

Cats having more rods than cones is an evolutionary advantage. Why? Because the higher number of rods means better night vision.

This does not mean much for your domestic cat, but it’s very important for wild cats, as they’re mostly nocturnal hunters. Being able to see very well in the dark means survival!

2. Detecting Movement Is More Important Than Detecting Colors

We know that cats cannot see a wide range of colors – but this does not bother them at all. For cats, the color of the prey is the least important thing. Cats are much better at noticing movement, and the movement of prey is the most important thing when it comes to catching it.

Essentially, a cat’s attention is drawn to movement, not color! They are able to detect the slightest movement, which makes them one of the most efficient predators in the world!

Vision: Humans Vs Cats

As you can see, a human’s vision and a cat’s vision have quite a few differences.

Humans can see far more colors than cats can. For example, cats cannot see red, orange, pink, or purple. Another important characteristic of human vision is that humans see colors vibrantly, while for cats the colors are more muted and dull.

On the other hand, cats have a larger visual field. Their field of view is 200 degrees, while a humans’ visual field is 180 degrees. This stems from the fact that a cat’s eyes are further apart. Cats also see very well in the dark and not so well in bright daylight, while the opposite is true for humans.

Considering there are so many differences between the vision of humans and that of cats, let’s put all of them into a table:

FAQ

1. Do Cats See In Color Or Black And White?

outside lies a cat on a leash

Cats definitely see in color, although not as wide a range of colors as humans do. Their world is not black and white, even though that was commonly believed for quite some time, until scientists discovered that cats indeed have photoreceptor cells that can perceive some different colors.

2. Do Cats Have A Favorite Color?

A cat’s world is made of blues, muted greens, yellows, and gray colors. So there really isn’t a lot of colors they can choose from, even if they had to choose their favorite color.

Even though we cannot know what a cat’s favorite color is, most people guess that it’s the color blue. This color is known to have a calming effect on both cats and humans and is the only color humans and cats see the same. So I guess that’s a reasonable guess at a cat’s possible favorite color.

3. What Color LED Lights Do Cats Like?

Cats do not have a preference for the color of LED lights, but the one thing that is recommended is not to use very bright LED lights.

Cats have more specialized night vision as they have more eye cells specialized for night vision compared to eye cells for bright-light vision.

This makes cats very sensitive to bright lights, and some research has shown that cats are six times more sensitive to bright light than humans!

So if you’re considering buying LED lights, try choosing lights that are of a warmer tone and not bright white.

4. What Color Is A Cat’s Favorite Food?

beautiful purebred cat looking at her food

Cats like food that smells and tastes great. So what about the color and appearance of the food? They absolutely do not care! Food being visually appealing is only important for humans, not to animals. It’s logical that cats do not make food choices based on the color of the food!

5. What Color Do Cats Hate?

Cats dislike very bright colors, especially white. A cat’s vision is much more sensitive than human vision. If we see a bright white color, it appears six times brighter to cats! Not surprisingly, this bothers their eyes, as it appears as a glow.

Cats’ eyes are sensitive to light, but they are not damaged by it. Compared to adult cats, younger cats are more susceptible to being impacted by LED lights and camera flashes.

If you had to choose between an item for your pet in white or blue/yellow color, I suggest you choose blue/yellow colors every time.

Final Thoughts

Scottish Shorthair cat lying on the purple couch

What’s a cat’s favorite color?

Purr-ple!

I’m sorry – I had to make this joke. I waited for months to use this cat joke, and this article is the perfect opportunity to do so!

Although knowing what a cat’s favorite color is might be convenient, there is no way for you to know for sure. Cats cannot directly tell us, and it has been proved that cats don’t really care about colors. The movement of their prey or their toys is much more important for them than color.

Only wavelengths between the blue-violet and green-yellow range can be perceived by cats. That means a cat cannot see the color red, or orange or pink, for example. So it is safe to say that red is not your cat’s favorite color, as your kitty cannot even perceive it.

Cats see blue, muted green, yellow and gray – and that’s it. It can be said that blue is a cat’s favorite color as it is the one they perceive the most clearly, and a cat’s least favorite color is bright white as cats see it as a glow.

I hope you’re no longer wondering what your cat’s favorite color might be and have got your answer (although it might not be the one you were expecting)!

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