Do cats really see better at night than during the day?
Animals and Pets

Do cats really see better at night than during the day?

Author: MozaicNook

Cats, on the other hand, have very good vision at extremely low light levels. One of these reasons is that they are able to see better than most mammals during the night.

Tapetum Lucidum

Cats have a special layer of tissue called tapetum lucidum located behind their retinas. Light is reflected off this layer back through the retina, thereby increasing the amount of light reaching the photoreceptors. That is why when a cat is illuminated, its eyes usually shine in darkness.

Huge number of rods

The cat’s eye has high percentage of rod cells in its retina which are highly sensitive to light so as to assist dim vision. Unlike cones (cells responsible for color and detail vision) rods are more responsive to light.

Big pupils

A cat's pupil can dilate nearly into the shape of a circle thus allowing it to let in as much light as possible.

Better peripheral vision

Cats can see more within their peripherals unlike humans who only focus on one object at a time. This ability assists them track down prey or detect danger in darkness.

Lesser colour perception

Though cats’ eyes are more adapted to seeing properly in dim lighting they do not see colours as clearly as human beings especially when it is dark. Cats’ colour perception is not vibrant; they see blue and yellow best.

Thus, with these anatomical and physiological adaptations, cats can see better at night compared to daylight. Those characteristics make them perfect for hunting during dark hours just like their ancestors who were mostly nocturnal animals.