Can cats see in the dark

Can cats see in the dark or not?

Some love them, some hate them but you can’t avoid them. They are cats, cute little furry animals that have stolen many hearts. They are members of the feline family and are mammals. It means that they have mammary glands and protect their young ones.

Can cats see in the dark?

Cats are considered lucky according to Egyptian mythology, and it was illegal to kill a cat during ancient times. Years after domesticating them, still we have not been about to know much about them and their behaviour.

We say that a cat is rather moody and will love you very little in return, but do they? One thing that is in the minds of many people is that can cat see in the dark just as well as their distant feline relatives?

Before we go on to discussing the cat and its eye, it would be nice to know about cats and the different breeds.

Well, we know that cats are more high maintenance than dogs (comparatively most). They want to love and care, and are not willing to return it, unless they want something from you.

So if you are someone who has all the love to give in the world, why not give it up to a cat. 

Here are some different cats and their breeds. Feel free to look for the best cat.

Persian Cats

They are fluffy and cute. They have a glorious mane that needs constant brushing and care.

They are initially weary, but once they settle down, they are just delightful to have.

They have to be cared for constantly and are rather high maintenance.

British Shorthair Cats

They are gentle and like to spend their time indoors and outdoors equally. They are excellent with children and other pets.

Their name is from their characteristic hairs that are very short. They are predominantly found in England and Europe.

Scottish Fold

These cats are just so cute that you cannot get over them. They have a look of their own. They are cute and intelligent animals and are deems as great for the breeding project

Abyssinian Cats

These cats are highly energetic and love water. They can get very comfortable with you and would follow you in and out of your house. They have characteristic pointy ears and are good with children

Domestic Cats

You cannot get any lower on maintenance than domestic cats (within the breeds of cats off course). They have no known linage; they come in all colours, shape and size.

They do not need to be pampered as others as they are not used to it. Often known as ‘Alley Cats’ there is no wonder why they can be hostile when the situation requires.

These are some breeds of the many breeds of cats that are present. Now each breed of cats has a varying degree of vision, but fundamentally, they are the same.

The cat’s eye

Cats have an interesting eye structure. They have three eyelids, two normal eyelids and a third known as the nictating membrane. This nictating membrane is vestigial in humans.

The unique slit-like the structure of a cat’s eye is because they are highly sensitive to light and the pupil’s contract to become silt like so that lesser light go through.

Ironically though the retina of the cats contains many rods and cones (this is geek talk for the photo-receptors present in the eye), they cannot distinguish clearly between the different colours.

Let’s talk geek for a while


those photoreceptors that are responsible for sensing between dark and light.


those photoreceptors that are responsible for distinguishing between colours.

 Cats have more rods cells in their eyes comparatively to humans. These rod cells allow the eye to sense between light and dark. The more the number of rod cells, the more sensitive the eyes are.

Cats eye are highly sensitive due to this phenomenon. One more interesting fact about cats is that their field of sight is about 200⁰ instead of the 180⁰ that humans have. This helps them is their haunt for rats.

What is tapetum lucidum?

Ever wonder why a cat’s eye would glow when you shine some light on it? It is due to this structure present on the retina, the tapetum lucidum.

This is a layer over the retina that reflects the light away from the eyes and causes the cat’s eye to glow.

Random Cat Fact

The glow of each nocturnal animal’s eye is unique to each; like fingerprints in human. These cute little furry animals when are born are blind. They have to wait for 14 weeks before their eyesight comes to normal.

Now let’s come back to the main topic of this article, can cats see in the dark? After discussing all the rods and cones in the eye structure of cats, it is safe to say that they will not be able to see in complete darkness.

Even though they need less amount of light to see, they cannot see in the pitch black. Like all nocturnal animals, which prey under the moonlight, the little amount of light is enough for them to catch their prey with all focus and precision. 

Let’s move on to a more interesting sun topic to talk about. If you were stranded in the dark, whom would you prefer to take you home, your dog or your cat?

Well, the most probable answer would be choosing our dogs, but the correct answer would be a cat. A dog has a better sense of smell than sight. A dog can sniff its way into a problem and away from a problem.

A cat has better eyesight than a dog. This has to do with the mechanics explained above to whether can cat see in the dark.

Having a pet is a huge commitment. Looking after them can get tiring more often than not. But loving and caring about them is highly rewarding. Many people consider their pets like their child and care for them in the same manner.

Well, another well-known fact on pets is that they are known to help relieve tension and stress. So if you are ready for a commitment, then get a cat, or rather adopt a cat.

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