Can Cows See Color

Can Cows See Color?

Cows are known to have excellent eyesight at night. This is because they have an extra reflective layer behind their retinas known as tapetum lucidum, which helps them to see in low light situations. With their excellent abilities to see in the dark, most people would wonder whether these animals can see color. In the article below we discuss whether these animals can see color or not.


Can Cows See Color

Yes cows can see colors like yellow and blue however, they are red/green color blind. This means that cows cannot see the difference between green and red and as a result they see these colors as shades of brown.  This type of color blindness is referred to as deuteranopia. Below we look at the eyesight of cows in detail, in a bid to understand why they cannot see all the colors.

Reasons Why Cows Cannot See Some Colors

Although cows are known to perceive certain colors and not all of them. It is very important for people to understand the reasons behind this. Below we look at the main reason in detail.

Nature Of Their Retinas

One of the reasons why cows only see yellow and blue is because of the nature of their retinas. They do not have red receptors in their retinas. This is why they find it difficult to see the color red. Therefore, the famous belief that cows hate the color red is a lie since these animals cannot perceive the red color.

Eyesight Of Cows

Depth Perception

One interesting fact about the eyesight of the cows is that they have poor depth perception. This is mainly because of the positioning of their eyes. This animals eyes are located on the sides of their head. This then limits their ability to see what is directly in front of them. This means that a cow can easily run into a fence without even seeing it.

Colors and Contrast

Another fascinating fact about the eyesight of cows is that they are sensitive to stark contrasts of colors. These animals tend to avoid shadows. They also tend to avoid drinking water when it has harsh reflections from the sunlight.

Panoramic Vision

These animals have panoramic vision which means that they can see what is happening right around them without moving their heads. This enables them to spot predators from a distance.

Cows And UV Light

Since cows are believed to see other colors, most people are often concerned on whether they are able to see UV light. The truth is that they cannot see UV light or UV colors. This is because they lack red receptors, Cows are however able to see some shades of blue light but they still struggle to see purple or violets even in visible light spectrum.

Cows And Black And White Colors

It is very common for people to wonder whether cows see black and white colors and the truth is that they can. These animals are able to see most colors except for red and green. So if there is a black or white background on your farm, you are most certain that your cows can spot it.

Do Cows Get Angry When They See Red?

No, cows do not get angry when they see red. This is because they are color blind to red. Cows lack red receptors in their retinas. This means that they cannot perceive the color red no matter how much they try to. So the famous myth that cows get angry when they see red is a lie.

Can Cows See Black?

Yes, cows can see black. They are not color blind to black, white or gray. So if you have backgrounds that are painted black, you shouldn’t be worries since your animals can spot them easily.

Why Can’t Bulls See Red?

Bulls cannot see red mainly because they are color blind to this color. Bulls lack red receptors in their retinas. This means that they do not have the ability to see red. When the color red is placed in front of a bull, it usually perceives it as a brown color.

Why Do Cows Just Stare At You?

If you notice a cow just staring at you, you should not be worried. This is mainly because they are naturally curious animals, so it might just be staring at you out of curiosity. However, if you notice it approaching you, it’s best that you move out of its way. This is because it can end up harming you.

Can Cows See In The Dark?

Yes, cows can see in the dark. This is mainly because they have an extra reflective layer in their retinas known as tapetum lucidum. This extra reflective layer makes it easier for cows to see in low light situations. So if there is light from the stars or from the moon, your animals will still be able to see clearly. The reason why these animals can see in the dark, is so that they can protect themselves from predators.

Can Cows Go Down Stairs?

Yes, cows can go down stairs however, it is not an easy task for them. This is mainly because their bodies are not designed for stairs. When a cow walks down the stairs, there is a good chance that it may fall and hurt itself. Therefore, you should always accompany your cow when it is trying to walk down the stairs. Another important point to take note off is that these animals will always avoid to walk down the stairs because they are scared of doing so. This means you might need to blind fold your animals before walking the stairs with it.

Can Cows Walk Backwards?

Yes, cows can walk backwards however, they avoid doing so mainly because they can end up falling. If you see a cow moving backwards, it usually does so slowly in order to avoid falling.

Final Words

Cows can see certain types of colors but not all of them, this is mainly because they lack red receptors in their retinas. We hope this article has answered all you questions pertaining to the eyesight of cows.