Before buying the next toys for your cat, you should know what colors appeal to them the most and the ones that don’t. Yes, an average cat owner will tell you that cats love blue. But there’s more to it. What colors do cats like? Do cats hate the color red, as they say?
First, cats are more excited by movements, not colors. If you buy your cat a toy that changes color, she’ll most likely ignore it. But of course, you can imagine what will happen if you get her a moving mouse. Nonetheless, they do see some specific colors.
Let’s make it one question at a time.
What Colors Do Cats See?
In the past, science has told us that our cats could only see two colors. That is not completely true, as new findings have shown that cats do see more than we thought they do. With that said, if you’ve noticed that your cat pays more attention to a particular color, remember that they are only interested in the movement of the object and not its color.
What colors do cats see? Cats can see greenish-yellow colors and blue-violet shades. But they can differentiate other colors, only that they appear as different shades of gray. Also, it is true that most felines like blue the most. That is because blue is the color they can see with more clarity. Every other thing looks like a dull gray to them.
However, that doesn’t imply that blue and yellow are the only colors your cats can see. They can distinguish other colors, but any other color apart from the two main colors they see is only appears like off shades. When your cat looks at something colorful, its eyes only pick up the colors they see, which is hidden to us. For instance, when we see purple, they see blue.
So, what colors do cats see? Blue-violet shades, greenish-yellow colors, and different shades of gray.
Are Cats Color Blind?
Cats are basically green-red color blind, which is known as protanomaly or deuteranomaly. These types of color blindness make it difficult for your cat to know the difference between brown, red, purple, and orange.
Cats’ photoreceptors are more sensitive to wavelengths that fall between the green-yellow and blue-violet ranges. In some cases, they may see some green, but it doesn’t mean they are visually impaired compared to humans. It is quite the opposite. What cats lack in identifying colors, they make up in several more ways. For example, they have a broader visual field than us. They have a 200-degree visual range while ours stop at 180 degrees.
Another advantage cats have is their night vision. They can see in the dark way better than us. That is because they require 20% less light than humans to see, which is because of the photoreceptors in their retina.
Also, we have cone cells, which allows us to see many vibrant colors and more details. Meanwhile, our furry friends have rod cells that allow them to see excellently in dim lighting. These cells allow their vision to refresh faster than ours. Their specialized cells provide them with the added advantage of being able to detect rapid movements. These characteristics help them when they are in the wild, going after their prey.
What are Cats’ Favorite Colors?
Since cats see yellows and blues clearly, it is safe to consider both colors their favorites. Items like toys in these colors will grab their attention first, even though they can slightly distinguish other colors. Just like a colorblind person, most colors appear to cats as different shades of gray.
The fact that cats are unable to see a wide variety of colors isn’t an issue to them. Colors don’t interest them. In the wild, they simply rely on prey for survival. And color doesn’t help them hunt as much as they can see in the dark or spot movement. Cats are instinctively more attracted to movement than any specific color. Their ability to pick up on the slightest movement makes them the excellent mousers that they’ve always been.
What color is most attractive to Cats?
Blue and violet are the most attractive colors to cats. These colors can also help them reduce stress. They are typically used in veterinary clinics because of how cats are attracted to them. If your feline friend is in a room painted bland gray or white, the room would seem abrasive to her.
The Chief of Veterinary Correspondent for the American Humane Association, Doctor Marty Becker, recommends using an Easter palette when searching for colors that calm and attract cats. Patel hues like purple and green are perfect for vets to wear when dealing with cats. If your cat is the type that experiences anxiety, you’re at the vet; try bringing along a purple blanket or pastel green to help calm her.
So, for questions like what colors make cats sleepy, blue is your best bet. Not white. Never white.
What do Colors Do Cats Hate?
Knowing which colors your kitty hates could be great, but there is no scientific proof that cats hate any particular color. This could be because of the limited number of colors they can see. Since the most they see is yellow, blue, and gray, there aren’t any of those that irritate them.
Nevertheless, white can make some cats uneasy. When it comes to color, a kitty’s vision falls lies at the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. As a result of their impressive night vision, more light can reach their retina than ours. White appears to glow in the eyes of cats. So, don’t be surprised if your kitty gets upset when someone in all white approaches them. For example, your vet in a white lab coat.
Another issue with white is that sometimes a man-made brightness is added to some whites to make them look more attractive to humans. The brighteners used in such cases allow items to attract more light from the UV spectrum. This increases the abrasive glowing effect for kitties. If you’re buying an item for your cat, like a pet carrier, avoid white in general. The glow increases their anxiety when it comes to a kennel or vet trip or a car ride.
Do cats Hate the Color Red?
Amongst the few colors cats can see, red isn’t one of them. So, they can’t hate what they can’t even see. Cats can differentiate between higher frequency colors, so they are attracted to blue, purple, yellow, and possibly green. Red, brown, and orange colors fall outside a cat’s color range and are typically seen as purple or gray.
Blue, purple, green, and maybe yellow are the strongest colors perceived by kitties. However, tests suggest cats can differentiate between more levels or shades of gray than humans.
What Colors Do Cats See? The Six Factors You Need to Know
When we talk of “what colors do cats see?” they are primarily blue-violet and greenish-yellow, as mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, there are factors you’ll want to keep in mind concerning your kitty’s vision.
These are facts backed by studies and authorities in the kennel field.
1. Cats are Nearsighted
The human eyes have several cones, which is why we can see objects from a distance. But your cat has to be at least 6m away to pick up on the same object.
Kerry Ketring, a veterinary from the All Animal Eye Clinic, suggests that cats don’t possess the muscles to alter the shape of the lenses in their eyes as we can. They have to be far away from an item or object to see it clearly. An object that is near to humans may appear clear and crisp but will appear blurry to cats.
2. Cats Don’t perceive color the Same Way as Us.
Your kitty’s eyes are more set on the sides of her head. This is an advantage they have over us because they have a wider range of peripheral vision than humans.
Cats are also not so sensitive to changes in brightness. That is why they may not appreciate the vibrant richness of various colors as we do.
A cat’s pupils can dilate to the maximum, which helps them to absorb much with or without a lot of light. Your kitty’s ability to detect movement in the dimmest of lights helps her to remain alert and to escape danger. It also helps her to hunt prey.
3. Cats Have Excellent Night Vision
We all know cats are most active at dawn and dusk. The reason for that is because the extra rod cells in their eyes give them impressive night vision than ours. A cat also has a broader field of view of 200 degrees.
With such a wide range of views, they can spot the tiniest prey or the smallest toy in the corner of the room even when the light is very dim.
4. Cats are Colorblind
Colorblind humans can’t differentiate the various hues and shades of a color spectrum. According to the National Eye Institute, the most common kind of color blindness humans experience is the inability to distinguish red from green.
The same applies to felines. Their cone cells are more receptive to green and blue. They cannot differentiate colors like red, brown, and orange as you do.
For cats, purple is just another shade of blue. A red surface or object will appear in shades of gray to your pet. Generally, your furry feline friend is not concerned about an object’s color but its movement. The slightest movement will never escape her attention.
Also, your cat will get elated at an insect crossing the room. She will also pounce on the moving toy you’re playing with it. She is not moved by the color, only the movement.
5. Cats Only See Hues and Shades of Green and Blue
Cones in our retinas are responsible for our color vision. We possess three types of cones, while felines have only two. Therefore, we can distinguish all colors in the rainbow. The few cone cells cats have, allow them to detect only hues and shades of green and blue.
Blue and green colors don’t appear the same to your kitty as for humans. You can consider them muted.
However, these are not the only colors cats can see. A recent study found that cats can detect colors at the ultraviolet extreme of the spectrum. These are colors that humans can only detect under a black light.
Flowers and birds also present ultraviolet coloration, so your kitty’s world is not all gray and dull as you might think.
Your cat sees a green object as a muted shade or hue of blue. Green is a mixture of yellow, which is a color your cat can’t see clearly, and blue, which she can see.
Purple is a mixture of red and blue. So, your pet will detect this as muted blue shades since she cannot see the color red. Also, red appears as muted green to your kitty.
Bright and vibrant colors like pink or red appear gray to cats. A yellow surface or object will appear to your kitty as a mixture of green and blue.
While we can see bright colors during the day, felines detect colors in dull tones.
6. Blue, Purple, and Green are Calming Cat Colors
According to the principal of Animal Arts, Heather Lewis, cats see white surfaces and objects like they are under a black light. So, a white lab coat will appear to your cat as if it is glowing. That could be frightening to your kitty.
With that in mind, you can consider any of the calming colors when picking a toy for your pet. Although a cat’s color vision is indeed limited, specific colors have a calming effect on them.
Dr. Marty Becker proposes “pastel green, pastel blue, and pastel purple” when picking toys for your kitty.
Now that you have an answer to what colors do cats like, here’s what to do:
When next you’re out shopping for your feline buddy, you should keep in mind the colors to avoid and the ones they can actually see and appreciate. Stick to blues, greens, and yellows if you want them to detect the colors in the same way you see.
Avoid white when choosing the necessities. Go for softer pastels that calm them, and generally avoid white altogether.