Are Cats Color Blind?
No, is the answer cats are not color blind. However, their color vision is quite poor. In the first half of this century scientists were positive that cats were completely color blind and one expert reworked a popular saying with the words: ‘Day and night, all cats see gray.’
That was the persisting attitude in the 1940s, however during the past few decades more measured inquiry has been accomplished and it’s now recognized that cats are able to pick out certain colors, but not, seemingly, with very much finesse.
The reason why earlier experiments neglected to show the existence of cats’ color vision was because in discrimination tests cats rapidly caught on to subtle differences in the stage of grayness of colors. And then refused to abandon these clues when they were confronted with two colors of precisely the same degree of grayness. Therefore the exams yielded negative results.
Employing more advanced techniques, recent fields of study have been capable in proving that cats can tell between red and green, red and blue, red and gray, green and blue, green and gray, blue and gray, yellow and blue, and yellow and gray.
Whether they can distinguish between other pairs of colors is still in question. For instance, one expert thinks that they can also can distinguish the difference between red and yellow, but other experts disagree.
Whatever the outcome of these investigations one point is certain: color is not crucial in the lives of cats – as it is in ours.
Their eyes are much more tuned to seeing in dim light, where they need only 1/6 of the light we do to pick out the same details of movement and shape.