Do cats see in color or black and white?

Cats, like most mammals, have two cone types, one that responds best to blue light and one that responds best to red or green light. Therefore, their color vision would be similar to that of a person who is red/green colorblind.
In general, cat retinas have a greater percentage of rods and a lower percentage of cones than human retinas do. That suggests that they see better than people in low-light conditions, since rods are more sensitive to small amounts of light. In bright-light conditions, they would be able to see color, since they would have to rely on their cone vision, but perhaps not as intensely.

2 Replies to “Do cats see in color or black and white?”

  1. Cecil Adams' The Straight Dope column has actually covered this:

    http://www.straightdope.com/colu

    Summary: Cats can be taught to distinguish colors, but it takes some doing, and most of the time, they don't really care.  The cat retina does contain cone vision receptors, which are associated with color vision in humans, and laboratory tests have shown that those cells do respond to different colors; the cat's brain may just not make use of that information.  So maybe the best answer is "They do see in color, but most of the time, they ignore it."

  2. Yes Cat see in color or black and white. In bright-light conditions, they would be able to see color, since they would have to rely on their cone vision, but perhaps not as intensely.

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