Have you ever wondered if cats and dogs see color?
I love the pictures our staff at Zoo Sitters take of our client’s pets. When they get a close-up pet picture, I am always infatuated with the pet’s gorgeous eyes. It got me wondering how our pets see and if they could see colors like we do.
Apparently, our pets see the world very differently than we do. Their perception, senses and color awareness are quite different from our own.
How humans see color
Our eyes contain cells called cones. There are three different types of cones. Cones catch light and respond to color. The more cones, the more colors one can see along with a greater degree of vibrancy and richness. Humans have three different types of cones and in addition, have a great number of the cones themselves. It’s the combination of cone types along with how many cones exist, that allow us to see the full spectrum of color. It also allows us to see with a high degree of intensity.
How cats and dogs see color
Dogs eyes contain cones, but only two types. Humans see the rainbow spectrum as violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Dogs see this same spectrum as dark blue, light blue, gray, light yellow, brownish-yellow, and dark gray. From this, we determine that dogs perceive the world in variations of blue, yellow and gray with no green to be enjoyed. How sad! A world without green?
Cats eyes contain three types of cones like humans, but they are not believed to have as many cones as we do. This results in them seeing colors such purple, blue, green and yellow but colors of red and orange are most likely viewed as shades of gray. They also do not see vibrant colors as we do. Pretty amazing considering they can swat a string toy out of the air with ease.