Interesting Facts

Can Cats See Phone Screens?

Cat looking at the phone screen
Written by Clair Chesterman

Ever caught your curious cat eyeing your smartphone screen? Cats have a knack for being intrigued by the oddest things, and in this digital age, that often includes our beloved gadgets. But have you ever wondered, can cats see phone screens?

We all know that, like any other animals, cats see differently compared to humans, and this extends to their perception of screens as well. In recent years, smartphone usage has been on the rise, and we often watch numerous videos, including cute animal videos, on our phone screens. We also use our smartphones to browse important subjects, and sometimes, we use them for video calls with our loved ones.

Some cat owners may show their feline companions pictures or videos they hope will capture their interest through their cellphone screens. In certain cases, cat owners even attempt to engage their cats in video calls when they’re away from home. However, the big questions still remains: Can cats see phone screens? What do cats perceive when looking at a phone screen? Can they recognize their owners through the screen? Let’s delve into these questions and uncover the answers.

What Colors Do Cats See?

Colors that cats can see on the phone

It’s well-established that cats have a superior ability to perceive the color blue compared to other colors like red, yellow, and green. This enhanced ability to see blue aids them in watching our smartphone screens or TVs. Essentially, when it comes to the red to yellow to green spectrums, they exhibit colorblindness, but their capacity to perceive the blue spectrum is quite proficient. Given that most screens we use emit blue light, it’s safe to assume that cats can discern the colors and movements displayed on our digital screens.

While animals don’t perceive light in the same way humans do, they have a more advanced ability to detect various types of light compared to dogs. Consequently, it’s highly plausible that they can better comprehend what’s transpiring on our smartphone screens. So, the next time your feline friend gazes at your phone screen, know that they might be more attuned to the action than you think.

How Cats See Screens Vs. Human

What cats see vs. human

Many cat owners have likely observed their feline friends gazing at phones or watching TV, particularly when something intriguing grabs their attention. Cats, much like dogs, perceive things on screens quite differently from humans. While dogs don’t see colors as humans do, they do perceive moving objects or images on screens differently. Cats, on the other hand, perceive what could be likened to desaturated photographs, with colors still present but appearing muted in the red, yellow, and green spectrums. Blues are the best colors for cats to see. Since screens emit blue light, cats are likely to see some color on the screen.

What sets cats apart is their ability to process visual information at a much faster rate than us humans. While we can process images at about 45 Hz, cats can process them at a blazing 70 to 80 Hz. This discrepancy in processing speed results in screens appearing to flicker in the eyes of our feline companions, whereas we see clear and steady videos.

So, while humans revel in the vibrant colors displayed on screens, cats may still find moving images intriguing, albeit not with the same enthusiasm we do. The next time your cat’s eyes are glued to your screen, remember that they’re experiencing a slightly different visual world.

Can Cats Recognize Their Owners on Screen?

Cat can't recognize the owner from the phone screen

This is the question that most cat owners are eager to answer: “Can my cat recognize me in a photo or video call?” Unfortunately, for cats, it might be just the same as any other image or face they see all around them. This conclusion comes from a study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas and Pennsylvania State University. In this study, photos of human faces were shown to cats, and the feline participants were only able to recognize their owners about 54% of the time. Surprisingly, they fared better in recognizing other cats in the photos, managing an impressive 91% recognition rate, although it’s not exactly the result we were hoping for.

Can Cats See Phone Screens? Final Verdict

While science doesn’t offer a complete understanding of how a cat’s mind works, the dedication of researchers studying cats and other animals has yielded valuable insights into their behavior and characteristics. We’ve learned that cats perceive a limited color spectrum, primarily favoring blue, while the red to green spectrum isn’t as vivid to them.

This means they may enjoy watching moving objects or images on our smartphone screens, but recognizing their owners’ faces in photos or video calls is less likely. So, don’t be disheartened when your attempts at a video call with your cat result in them ignoring you through the screen.

RELATED: Best Cat GPS Trackers That Specifically Designed for Cats


  • Clair Chesterman

    Clair is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair knows everything about multiple cat breeds and how to use the latest technologies to make the cat's life better.

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