Do Cats Like The Dark

Do Cats Like The Dark?

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Last Updated on May 20, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Yes, cats like the dark because it allows them to see better in low light situations and it also helps to create a sense of security for them. Many cat owners have seen their cats wandering around the house in the darkness or even hiding in dark corners or crevices.

Cats are known for their sharp senses, particularly their vision, which is much better than humans in low light situations. This means that cats can easily navigate around in the dark without any trouble. Additionally, cats have a natural instinct to hunt and catch prey, which requires agility and the ability to see well in the dark.

However, there are instances where cats may be afraid of the dark, especially if they have had a traumatizing experience in a dark space. In this article, we will explore more about why cats like the dark, and the reasons why some may not.

Understanding Feline Vision

Do cats like the dark? This is a common question among cat owners. While cats have excellent eyesight, they do have different visual capabilities compared to humans. Understanding feline vision can help answer this question properly. We’ll take a closer look at the anatomy of a cat’s eye and how cats see differently than humans.

The Anatomy Of A Cat’S Eye

Cats have distinctive, almond-shaped eyes that come in a variety of colors. Here are some important details about their anatomy:

  • Cats have a reflective layer behind their retina, called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back through the retina. This causes their eyes to glow in the dark when hit by light, which helps them see better in low-light conditions.
  • Like humans, cats have pupils that can dilate or constrict based on the amount of light available. However, their pupils can dilate to become much larger, allowing them to let in even more light in low-light settings.
  • Cats are also believed to have better peripheral vision than humans. They have a viewing angle of approximately 200 degrees, while humans have only a 180-degree viewing angle.

How Cats See Differently Than Humans

Now that you know some interesting facts about a cat’s eye, let’s take a look at how their vision differs from ours:

  • Cats have a visual acuity that is approximately six times worse than humans. This means they cannot see fine details or read small text clearly.
  • Cats are believed to see colors differently than we do. They have fewer color-detecting cells, or cones, in their eyes than we do, which may give them a different perception of colors. Cats are known for their ability to see well in low-light settings, but they might not distinguish colors as well as humans.
  • Cats have sharper night vision than humans, thanks to their heightened ability to see in low light. However, bright light can overwhelm their senses, and they may prefer dimly lit environments instead.

Cats do have the capacity to see in the dark, but they do not necessarily prefer it. Their eyes are adapted for seeing well in low-light conditions, but they may still seek out lighted areas for comfort. Understanding the unique characteristics of feline vision can help us better care for our feline friends.

Benefits Of Dark Places For Cats

As it turns out, cats do have an affinity towards dark places. It may seem strange to us humans who prefer a well-lit room, but for cats, darkness can provide numerous benefits, both physical and emotional. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of cats and darkness, exploring why they seek out these cozy nooks and crannies.

Specifically, we will focus on the benefits of dark places for cats. So, let’s dive right in!

Why Cats May Seek Out Dark Places

  • A cat’s eyesight is designed to work in low-light conditions, making it easier for them to see in the dark. Seeking out dark places may, therefore, be a natural instinct for them.
  • Cats are known to be predators, and in the wild, they would often hide in the shadows to stalk their prey. Domesticated cats may still possess this instinct, which could explain why they seek out darker spots in the home.
  • Dark places offer cats a sense of privacy and security, which can be beneficial for anxious cats or those that need to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy household.

The Safety And Security Of Darkness For Cats

  • As mentioned earlier, dark places offer cats a sense of privacy and security, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Dark places can serve as hiding spots for cats, which can be beneficial in a multi-pet household or if there are small children around. Cats can retreat to their safe haven whenever they feel threatened or overwhelmed.
  • A dark place can also serve as a den-like environment for a cat, mimicking the feeling of being in a cozy cave. This can promote relaxation and comfort.

How Darkness Can Help Cats Sleep Better

  • Cats are known to be crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. However, they also sleep for around 12-16 hours per day. Dark places can help cats achieve better quality sleep during the day, allowing them to recharge for their nocturnal activities.
  • Light can interfere with a cat’s natural sleep cycle, making it harder for them to fall asleep and maintain deep sleep. A dark, cozy spot can signal to the cat that it’s time to rest.
  • Cats are highly sensitive to environmental factors such as temperature and sound. A dark place can provide a quiet, cool environment that is perfect for a cat’s needs.

Cats do indeed like the dark. It provides them with numerous benefits, including safety, privacy, and better sleep. By understanding a cat’s natural instincts, we can provide them with a comfortable and secure environment that helps improve their overall well-being.

Factors That Can Affect A Cat’S Preference For Darkness

Do Cats Like The Dark?

Cats have a reputation for being nocturnal and preferring the dimly lit environment, but is it true? This article explores the factors that can impact a cat’s preference for darkness.

The Role Of Age In A Cat’S Preference For Dark Environments

A cat’s age can play an essential role in its affinity for dark environments. Younger cats may find daylight too bright and prefer dim lighting. As they mature, they may become more accustomed to daylight, leading to a decreased preference for the dark.

Older cats, on the other hand, may have decreased vision, making dark environments more challenging to navigate, leading to a preference for well-lit areas.

  • Young cats prefer dim lighting
  • As cats mature, they may enjoy daylight more
  • Older cats may find dark areas difficult to navigate

How Socialization Can Impact A Cat’S Attraction To Dark Environments

Cats that have grown up in low-light environments may prefer darker areas, while those raised in well-lit surroundings may prefer brighter locations. Additionally, cats that have experienced trauma in bright locations might prefer the darkness as a way of feeling safer.

  • Cats raised in low light may prefer dark environments
  • Cats raised in well-lit surroundings may prefer brighter areas
  • Some cats may prefer the darkness as a way of feeling safer

The Impact Of Medical Conditions On A Cat’S Vision And Preference For The Dark

Several medical conditions could impact a cat’s preference for darkness. If a cat has an illness causing diminished eyesight, they may prefer darker settings where their peripheral vision is less affected. Similarly, if an infection has caused a headache, a cat may prefer to rest in a dark environment to alleviate pain.

  • Diminished eyesight may lead to a preference for darker settings
  • Cats with headaches may prefer darker environments to alleviate pain

Various factors can impact a cat’s preference for darkness, including age, socialization, and medical conditions. It’s essential to note that every cat is unique, and while some may prefer the darkness, others may prefer well-lit environments. Understanding your cat’s individual preferences will help you create a comfortable and safe home environment for them.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Do Cats Like The Dark?

Do Cats See In The Dark?

Cats have excellent night vision and can see in low light conditions.

Why Do Cats Like The Dark?

Cats are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk and prefer low light conditions.

What Kind Of Lights Do Cats Prefer?

Cats prefer low lights like dim lamps or candles and avoid excessively bright light sources that can harm their eyes.

Do Cats Sleep Better In The Dark?

Yes, as nocturnal beings, cats sleep better in the dark as it mimics their natural environment and helps them rest better.

Can Cats See In Total Darkness?

No, cats cannot see in complete darkness. They require at least some degree of light to see.


Cats have adapted to being nocturnal creatures, which means that they can function well in the dark. While they have better overall vision than humans, they still have some limitations, especially in low light conditions. However, their ability to see in the dark is largely due to their excellent night vision, which allows them to detect motion efficiently.

If you’re concerned about your cat’s well-being and comfort, it’s essential to provide a safe and secure environment, especially at night, which simulates their natural habitat. By doing so, you can ensure that your feline friend can rest and relax comfortably in the dark without any disturbance.

While cats do like dark spaces and are naturally adapted to it, you should still make sure to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment at all times.

About Author (Pauline G. Carter)

Pauline G. Carter

Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …

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