If you’re a new cat owner, I am sure you must be wondering –
” Do Cats Need a Night Light?”
Well, In this article, I am going to explain exactly that & show you the answer you have been looking for..
Do Cats Need Light at Night?
Most would say that cats being the semi-nocturnal creature that they are, are able to creep around with perfect dexterity. This must be due to the glow that cat’s eye show while in a darkened room.
Truth be told, cats can’t really see if there is totally no light. They need just a little light to see by dint of and navigate without sight. However, if the question is whether they need a night light, in most cases, the answer is no.
Cats can see in very low light levels. The same amount of light that passes through the window from that street lamp post.
Or that brightness glowed off by the LED buttons of some appliances. They are very unlikely to suffer if you turn the lights out for bedtime.
Is It OK To Leave The Light On For The Cat?
While cats don’t necessarily need lights at night, there are some particular situations when the night light is beneficial for them.
Older cats get distressed easily. They get anxious about things they can feel but can’t see. In this situation, leaving a night light will help avoid such anxiety. A little light should be enough to calm them down and give them peace of mind.
While it can’t be all the solution to their anxiety problems, it can help a little.
Rehoming can be stressful for kittens. If you took home new kittens, your surroundings can be straining for them. A little light at night may help them feel a little more secure.
For Your Safety and Theirs
Apart from being beneficial to cats, a little night light may be of help for both of you. A little glow will help you avoid simple things like tripping over them and hurting them or yourself in the process.
Why Do Cats See So Well In Dim Light
A cat’s foresight is in a lot of ways different from a human’s. Cats have visual acuity that makes objects looking blurry unless they are really near.
Their color perception is less acute than ours. This means that they see a washed-out version of the realm with lesser red hues.
The quid pro quo is that cats have a broader field of vision. They have disproportionately large eyes for their heads that they are able to see 200 degrees around compared to humans that can only do 180 degrees.
Their mind-blowing sensitivity to movement allows them to pick up the most subtle and faintest activities easily.
Feline’s vision, in fact, comes into its own after dark. In light conditions where we can barely pick out even the haziest outlines, cats can see more clearly. They can avoid obstacles and risks, including spotting their prey.
Our eyes (humans and cats) have 2 principal types of light-sensitive cells that make up our retinas – the rod and the cones. Rods amplify the lights – the reason why animals see well at night. While we all have rods, cats have more than we do.
Our human eyes have 4 out of 5 cells that are rods, while cats have 25 out of 26!
Cats can also open the irises of their eyes as necessary. Take notice of their pupil (the black part of the eye).
This part narrows tightly in bright daylight, killing off unnecessary light, and opens very wide in the darkness to make the most of every gleam of light.
Their eyes are so responsive to light that is passe Japan, their pupil’s shape was used to tell the time.
At bedtime, you don’t really need to leave the lights on for them. Unless you live in a totally remote area with no glare from the lampposts in the streets or if your windows are blocked with dark curtains. Residual lights are enough for them to navigate through the night.
Moggy’s whiskers also play an important role for them in the dark. They are not just for adornment.
Rather, they are a refined sensory organ that can simply pick up the presence of objects in the way.
Cats born blind easily adjust to navigating around with the help of their whiskers and superb hearing.
What If You Work So Late At Night?
Some fur parents can’t keep themselves from taking home office work. Most of which feel guilty for not meeting their cat’s need when they work from home. Lighting and activity issues also set in.
The key is to keep your cat preoccupied while you finish what you need to finish. They may be inclined to take a nap someplace else. Allow them too.
But, what if you work overtime and you come home really late? In such cases, make sure to leave lighting that is enough for them to navigate around the house. This keeps them from accidents like falling or stumbling over.
While the cat’s ability to see in dim light is impressive, we may go beyond giving them great injustice if we don’t respect their limitations.
A lot of cat owners assume that just because they see well in the dark that it is ok for them to hide litter boxes and cat resources in dark closets.
It is not.
The absence of a light source will leave the rods of your cat’s eyes nothing to magnify and will just be as blind as you would be in a black closet.
So, you really don’t need to relocate your cat to dimmer or lighter parts of your house. They can do just as you can.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.