Can Cats See in the Dark?


Felines can not see in total darkness, but they can see better in semidarkness than we, or numerous other animals, can. This capability is because of the structure of the cat’s eye.

Why cats can see much better in the dark than others?

For the size of his head, a feline has extremely large eyes. The eyeball is formed by several layers of tissue. The white part, called the ‘sclera,’ is made from hard fibrous tissue rich in capillary, which transport oxygen and nutrients to the contents of the eye. The clear external part that covers the eye is the ‘cornea.’ This is made up of extremely thin layers of cells set up in a distinct style so the cornea is transparent. The cornea allows light to go into unaffected into the eye.

Cat eye structure

The cat can open his iris (the colored part of his eye) really large to let in as much light as possible.

An animal’s retina (the back of the eye) is made up of two major types of light-sensitive cells called ‘rods’ and ‘cones.’ Rods are responsible for amplifying light impulses. The feline has actually an increased number of rods. In human beings, 4 out of 5 light-sensitive cells in our retinas are rods, in felines, 25 out of 26 cells are rods.

Cats also have an extremely developed reflective area in the back of their eyes called the ‘tapetum lucidum.’ A number of animals, such as deer and raccoons likewise have this tapetum lucidum. That is what makes their eyes ‘radiance’ in the evening when our car headlights shine in their faces.


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