Do Cats Like the Dark? (Explained)

There is a great debate happening. What does your cat prefer: light or dark? Is there a clear answer?

The argument for light:
Light gives your cat the opportunity to see better and more clearly. Cats also can feel safer in well-lit areas, which is why many animal shelters use it to improve adoptions. In addition, cats living in houses with multiple levels will naturally gravitate towards the upper levels where they get more light.

The argument for dark:
Cats get most of their energy and calories from seeing in the dark. In addition, they love to stalk prey in the dark, so being a light-intolerant species makes little sense.

The argument is also supported by some research on cat behavior. Cat owners have begun creating more lighted areas in their homes as part of their cat’s daily routine. Most cats prefer these lit spaces to natural ones, especially if they can jump from one surface to another.

In this article, we are going to give an answer to whether or not do cats like the dark. Read on!

Do Cats Like the Dark?

in short, yes cats do like the dark. the first reason that supports cats like the dark is that cats’ eyes adapted to a nocturnal life, they are equipped with exceptional night vision.

With a reflective layer on the back of the eye, their pupils widen at night and act as a built-in flash. What’s more, they have a double-layer retina (double imaging effect).

The design of which can make cats’ sharpened perception and detect any moving object in the dark environment with ease.

Since cats are crepuscular their eyesight is especially useful for hunting in low light. your cats will choose to sleep in dark places, such as the bed corner or under the bed. some cats will even like to hide in a dark place, such as closets or behind the door. or they like to sleep in a darkroom.

Is it better for cats to sleep in the dark?

Yes, due to The pineal gland in cats’ brains secrete an almost constant amount of the hormone melatonin. This hormone affects a cat’s sleep cycles and is stimulated by darkness. This makes cats sleep better in the dark. For the same reason, cats like dark places to hide.

Can cats see in complete darkness?

Yes, cats can see in the dark but not at the same level of brightness that humans normally do. In areas where light is scarce, their eyesight is better than ours.

Cat’s eyes contain special cells called rods (for seeing in dim light) and cones (for seeing color). Cones are actually absent from a cat’s visual system.

So, even if the cat has been used to bright sunlight all its life and comes into a completely dark room, it will still see the objects in that room perfectly.

The highly specialized cells with shrill “mice ears” at the back of the cat’s eyes allow them to see far more clearly in low light than humans.

These cells gather light from the inner and outer walls of the eyes and enlarge their images to a point where they can be projected onto the retina, much like binocular vision.

The eyes are positioned to give the cat a wide angle of view and peripheral and night vision.

Is it cruel to leave a cat in the dark?

This question will depend on your cat’s personality, some cats are very energetic, they need to play and exercise every day, so if you cannot spend time with them, you should leave them some toys and a pet light source to keep them busy.

if your cat is independent and likes to hide from people, it will be better to find a suitable place for it that has low light.

Final Thoughts on Cats in the Dark

Although cats like light but they don’t need it as much as people do, if you want to keep your cat happy and healthy, you should provide them with natural and bright light in some instances keep them in the dark, however, it is crucial that you don’t overdo it because that may leave your cat feeling stressed and sometimes scared

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