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What Colors Do Rats Hate?


Rats are nocturnal animals that thrive in the dark. They can also turn into pests that infest your house, especially when you leave your property filled with filth and dirt.

Since rats prefer the dark, you might wonder; what colors do rats hate?


In a nutshell, there’s no specific color that rats hate or love because they cannot distinguish between colors like humans.

Rats are dichromatic animals, and 99% of the time, they can only distinguish light from dark.

The remaining 1% allows them to only recognize green lights with middle wavelengths and short blue-UV rays.

Rather than colors, rats are more sensitive to brightness, especially because they are nocturnal animals.

To make everything easier to understand, this guide breaks down all relevant details about rats’ visions and why they cannot distinguish colors like us. Keep on reading to learn more.

Why Rats Don’t Hate or Love Colors

Black Rat.

A unique feature of rats is that they are dichromatic. While they can see colors, these colors only range from varying green and blue shades.

Also, remember that rats love dark places; hence, they are more sensitive to UV lights and brightness. In fact, in the darkest locations, these creatures rely on brightness rather than colors to survive.

Another unique feature is that rats usually see with blurred vision because of their low-grade eyesight than clarity.

This is also partly why rats can only perceive colors with limited ability.

Because rats’ eyes can adjust to brightness and UV lights, they can see nearby things clearly.

The Colors Rats Can See


As previously mentioned, rats can mainly see colors in the green and blue ranges. This means they are considered colorblind for the red-green range varieties.

What does this mean?

Rodents only have sensitive retinas to blue-green, and they cannot see any shade of red.

Rats perceive shades of red as dark shades. Also, they cannot see any dark color variation. In the rats’ eyes, all dark colors are the same.

Because their eyes don’t have cones with a long wavelength, rats see red wavelengths as blacks and whites.

How Rats Can See in the Dark


If rats cannot see dark colors, how can they survive in the dark? One coping mechanism these creatures have are their whiskers.

Rats’ whiskers allow them to navigate their way out of dark places. They can estimate their location through the bending and movement of their whiskers.

Rats also benefit from the urines of their fellow creatures because it helps them sense UV light. The UV light rats’ sense allows them to move in different directions.

Rats view UV light as a greenish-to-yellowish glow.

Rats vs. Humans: Difference in Vision


One notable difference rats and humans have regarding vision is the rats’ ability to see UV lights. Rodents use their ultraviolet vision to navigate through dark areas.

They can also utilize UV lights to detect another rat’s urine to help them proceed in their desired direction.

Another notable difference is that rats can see things clearly only until a certain distance. The farther you are, the more blurred their visions of you will be.

In contrast, humans can see things clearly, even at long distances. When you start seeing blurry visions, it’s time to head to your eye doctor for a consultation.

Lastly, rats can move their eyes individually. This is something you can’t do. Rats can freely expand their visions by moving both eyes in different directions.

Scientists believe this was an evolutionary adaptation to help rodents sense when aerial preys are nearby.

The Bottom Line

Rats may be clever, but they cannot see all colors like humans. These creatures are colorblind when it comes to dark colors, especially red.

Because rats are dichromatic creatures, they only can view green to blue hues. Other dark colors are simply black and white for them.

Because of their ability to sense and see UV light, they have adapted to utilizing this type of light to navigate dark places.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Rats See Humans Clearly?

Humans are merely blurry green-blue visions to rats. They cannot see clearly your shape and body form. The same applies to other life forms.

However, rats have excellent memories.

Can Lights Keep Rats Away?

Even though lights don’t make rats uncomfortable, they tend to avoid brightness because of their nocturnal nature.

However, there are certain lights these creatures avoid, like flashing lights.

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