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Can Cats See Phone Screens?

By Cuteness Team
published: February 25, 2019 - updated: December 1, 2021 • 2 min. read
can cats see screens

Key Takeaways

  • Cats see the color blue better than other colors.
  • Phone screens emit blue light, so cats can see some colors on the screen.
  • Cats see more colors than dogs.
  • Cats recognize people by voice and pick up on human body language.
  • It is unclear how much cats interpret from a screen, but it’s fun to try anyway.

We’ve all seen those cute videos online of cats playing fishing games on phones and tablets, but how much can they see on phone screens?

Cats see blues better than other colors, which can help with phone screens.

Eyes are made up of two kinds of receptors – rods and cones, and cones are the type that process color. Cats have two types of cones to see colors. This means they can see blues okay, but for the red-green spectrum, they are colorblind. Our phone screens radiate blue light, so cats will pick up some of the colors happening on a digital screen.

And even though they don’t see light perfectly, cats do see more colors than dogs, so it’s possible that our phone screens are more understandable to our feline friends.


Do cats understand FaceTime?

Cats can only see objects 20 feet away or less, so showing a phone screen to a cat is more likely to be seen than not. Moving on to actual interaction with their owners, there is a fair bit of anecdotal evidence that cats notice when we talk to them on video chat. Part of this is because cats recognize their owners by voice. A study found when responding to three people (the owner and two strangers) saying its name, the cat reacted more to its owner than the strangers. Additionally, cats can pick up on how we humans move and use our body language to help identify us.

Even if it may not be perfectly clear to your cat, it’s still worthwhile to try a video chat.

We don’t have enough studies to know exactly what our cats see when they look at our phone screens, but they are smart enough creatures to understand some of what is going on. And science agrees. There are high-tech devices made to check in with their pets, and there are even smartphone and tablet games for your cat. So it’s clear that the market thinks there is enough a cat can see on the small screen to make it worth creating products that are cat-specific.

And if your kitty wants to interact with the tiny screens we have with us all the time, who are you to stop them? If nothing else, a good FaceTime session when you’re away from your pet will leave you with a big smile after sharing a special moment with your feline friend, even from far away.

Want to learn more about your cat? Check out Can Cats See Photos?, Do Cats Recognize Faces?, and Can Cats See Color? at!

This article is provided by Cuteness—the go to destination for passionate pet parents. Cuteness has answers to all of your health, training, and behavior questions – as well as the cutest, funniest, and most inspiring pet stories from all over the world.

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By Cuteness Team

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