Your cat has favorite foods, favorite toys, and probably has a preferred place to take a snooze. They have emotions and opinions that are as valid as anyone else’s in the family. But have you ever wondered if your cat has a favorite color?
Can cats see colors like humans?
Well, for humans, favorite colors are completely subjective. It’s hard to say what attracts a certain person to a certain color.
When it comes to cats, however, the meaning behind a favorite color might be more biological than emotional. It’s about feline vision and how cats see the world differently than humans.
Before you can take a guess at your cat’s favorite color, you have to understand a few facts about feline vision.
Are Cats Colorblind?
The old belief that cats and dogs see the world in shades of black, white, and gray is not true. Scientists have since learned that cats have deuteranomaly. This means that they are essentially red-green color blind. Many humans also have this vision deficiency, but it rarely affects everyday life.
What Colors Do Cats See?
Cats can’t discern between red, orange, pink, and some shades of brown. Their eyes can, however, depict colors in the blue/violet range and green/yellow. Other shades on the color spectrum appear dull or slightly “off.” How a cat views a specific color depends on how much blue or green is used to make that color.
For example, the color purple is made by mixing red and blue. Cats can’t see red, so purple looks like a shade of blue. Colors that don’t contain any blue or green, like red, appear gray. Orange, which is made from red and yellow, also appears as a shade of gray.
A Cat’s Favorite Color
You have to be able to see a color for it to be your favorite, so we can safely rule out red, orange, brown, purple, and those other shades that your cat sees as similar shades of gray.
While there still might be an emotional element we’re not aware of, most researchers suggest that a cat’s favorite color is blue. This is because blue is the color that cats see most clearly. They can also see yellowy-green colors well, so those shades might also be in the running for your cat’s favorite.
When faced with a pile of toys in all kinds of colors, the blue toys will stand out the most to your cat. The same goes for blue blankets, pillows, and clothing. It’s also believed that colors in the blue spectrum evoke a sense of calm.
Animal Wellness Magazine reports that every color has a measurable vibrational frequency. These subtle vibrations affect the body in different ways and can even be used to promote healing and relaxation. Cool colors, including blue, are believed to have a calming effect on cats, dogs, and even humans.
Are There Colors That Cats Hate?
While cats are likely attracted to the color blue, are there other colors that summon more negative emotions? There are no reliable scientific studies on the topic, but anecdotal evidence suggests cats don’t typically have negative emotions when it comes to color.
Scientists speculate based on feline vision, however, that cats might feel anxious or uneasy with bright white.
While cats see fewer colors than humans, they surpass us when it comes to seeing in low light conditions. The photoreceptors in the feline retina allow them to see clearly with about 20% less light than what a human would need. They can’t see in pitch black, but their exceptional night vision allows them to hunt and navigate in the dark.
During the day, that light sensitivity doesn’t turn off. Their retinas still collect more light than what a human’s does, and this can make the color white seem especially bright.
Also Read: Can Cats See In The Dark?
It’s theorized that a bright white wall, article of clothing, sofa, etc, will appear to glow in the eyes of a cat. This would be understandably disconcerting and irritating if you’re surrounded by glowing color and can’t get away.
For this reason, veterinary offices and animal shelters don’t usually paint their walls white. A nice pastel shade of blue is much more appealing to animal eyes.
We can’t ask our cats for their favorite color and get a clear answer, but biology gives us a hint as to what color they prefer. To test the theory, try offering your cat multiple toys, blankets, or pillows in different colors. Do this experiment multiple times and keep track of which objects your cat chooses. You might be surprised to see a pattern emerge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do cats like the color green
Most researchers suggest that a cat’s favorite color is actually the color blue. This is due to the fact that blue is the color that cats see most clearly. They can also see yellowy-green colors well
Are cats color blind like dogs?
Scientists have since learned that cats have deuteranomaly. Much like with dogs this means that they are essentially red-green color blind
Do cats like the color red?
Cats can't really see red color per say. They can’t discern between colors like red, orange, pink, and some shades of brown.
Do cats like the color orange?
For cats, colors that don’t contain any blue or green, like orange, appear gray. Orange, which is made from red and yellow, also appears as a shade of gray.
A cat’s favourite color is purrrrple
Oh, you’re right!
I have a red velour-type throw that I use on the bed. My cat ignores the bed entirely until I use this throw: within two seconds he is on it and purring. No other blanket or color seems to attract him, except the one green cat pillow I have. Could it be the scent of the red throw?
The first time I ever put this throw on the bed, I left the room and two minutes later returned to find him smack in the middle of it, looking smug and happy. ..
It’s hard to say exactly what it is, but I imagine that the texture is probably the biggest draw! My cat also loves a particular very soft, plushy purple blanket and has a similar response, and I think it’s mostly the texture.
I would agree with you, mallory, but when I reverse the blanket to the white side (which is identical in texture) he ignores it totally. I think it can be hard to pin down animals as to preferences “because’, when they often turn the basket upside down and make their own rules. Most cats are fools for catons, boxes, paperbags. This guy totally ignores any box or carton with more than two sides. I suspect he was kept caged permanently in his former home. I find it difficult to say “all cats” or “all dogs” about many things, for just that reason.
Then again, if cats are truly colorblind, he may also see this blanket as blue. =)
I had a Siamese years ago that would play with a red plastic crawdad. Not the blue one, however. He carried the red one everywhere he went in the house.
Fun observation! Thanks for sharing that, Joe.