Do Cats Need Light at Night? [Find Out More]

by Hayley
Do Cats Need Light at Night

Do cats need light at night? Most pet lovers are very concerned about their cats’ well-being. They might do strange things to their animal out of their concern. It’s unnecessary to leave a light on their cat since it doesn’t need it.

Cats and kittens have a better vision than humans do at night. Therefore, it’s not necessary to light your pet’s lamp.

Like humans, cats and dogs have a pineal gland responsible for regulating melatonin, which helps them fall asleep.

How Well Do Cats See at Night

How Well Do Cats See at Night?

Although cats don’t have night vision, they can see well in low light. Their large eyes allow them to absorb more light than humans. According to American veterinarians, this benefit of having large eyes has allowed domestic cats to compete with their prey for centuries.

Most people live in homes rarely in total darkness, which means there is always light. On the other hand, Cats are nocturnal creatures that usually hunt at dusk and dawn. They’re also crepuscular, which means that they are constantly looking for food and other active animals during these times.

A study conducted by UC Berkley researchers revealed that creatures with vertical-slit pupils, such as cats, are more imaginable to be ambush hunters. These animals are also active during the day and night.

When cats were solitary hunters, they hunted using round and slit pupils. A study conducted by UC Berkeley scientists revealed that animals with vertical pupils are more likely to be lower to the ground when hunting. This advantage allows shorter animals, such as lions and tigers, to estimate their prey’s distance faster.

Is It Fine to Leave Cat in Dark Without Any Light?

It’s not okay to leave a cat in the dark without any light. Contrary to popular belief, cats are not nocturnal creatures and can see in the dark. Since they can’t see in the dark unless there’s a light source in the room, cats can only perceive light from the stars.

During the day, your cat will get used to the noises and activities that come with being home. After a while, they associate some of these activities with your company, including using the lights and the TV.

One of the most significant reasons to leave the lights on when you leave is to avoid getting tripped up by your cat. If your light switch is not positioned correctly by the front door, it can easily get knocked over by the feline. Other hazards such as toys left outside the apartment can also cause tripping hazards for your pet.

Switch off the lights at the end of the day to help cut down your energy consumption and carbon footprint. If you’re not comfortable leaving all of your lights on, try getting LED nightlights that automatically switch on once it’s dark.

Read also: Do Cats Need Light to Use Litter Box?

Can Cats Be Afraid of the Dark?

Although some cats are scared of the dark, not all are. Some are scared of the dark due to negative experiences such as being hunted, captured, or injured.

A cat might have been assaulted, abused, or even thrown out of the house. She might also be suffering from a medical issue.

Below are some signs that your feline at home is afraid of the dark:


When the lights are off, a cat will begin to cry. You should be worried about your pet’s welfare if you see a pattern of frightening and unsettling screams whenever the light goes out.

Ideally, a cat would like to be as comfortable and active in the dark as possible. However, if you have noticed that your pet is afraid of the dark, your cat may have been exposed to distressing situations.

It’s also possible that your cat’s night vision is affected by a medical condition. In most cases, cats are okay in the dark. However, if they’re scared of the light, they may begin to whimper or stumble around. It is an odd behavior since cats are usually active.

Dilated Pupils

Your cat may be scared of people at night due to its dilated pupils. This symptom is similar to fear in people.

Cats stimulated or frightened by a frightening event will usually have slit pupils designed to widen and become rounder. This natural process helps improve their eyesight.

Cats that are afraid of the dark are known to have dilated pupils. Its pupils dilate to collect more light when this happens, and its vision improves.

Damp Paw Print

We tend to sweat when we are anxious, and cats do the same thing when stressed. When cats are scared, they sweat profusely, similar to what humans do when they are. You can find their sweat glands in their paw pads.

Read also: Do Cats Pant When Stressed?

Heightened Heart Rate

Cats have average heart rates, ranging from 120 to 140 beats a minute. However, their heart rate can reach 180 beats a minute when they are scared.

When a scared cat gets scared, its heart rate will increase to a higher level. A cat’s heart rate should range from 120 to 140 beats per minute.

What Are the Reasons That You Should Consider Leaving Lights on at Night?

Since cats are known to do just fine in dark environments, you might be wondering if you should still light up at night.

Having lights on at night is an excellent idea for cat-owning families. However, staying under complete darkness can be distressing and anxious for older cats. It is why it’s essential to consider equipping your pet with night lights.

Like older cats, kittens also get anxious when they’re in new surroundings. It is why it’s essential to provide them with light at night. Even though they’re still getting used to their new environment, it’s still important to give them enough time to settle in.

Having lights on at night is also beneficial for your well-being. It will allow you to see your cat and avoid getting tripped up by other objects in your path.

For most cats, a period of total silence at night can trigger their anxiety. It can cause them to start looking for attention, worsening if you’re not around. Their behavior can also get worse if they’re constantly looking for you.

There are many effective ways to ensure that your cat gets a good night’s sleep. Some of these include: Having lights on at night, taking breaks, and providing your pet with natural light.

Getting enough physical and mental incitement throughout the day can help keep your cat calm and happy. It can also help prevent it from getting anxious at night.

If you’re constantly away from home, ensure that you provide your cat with enough toys to keep it active throughout the day.

One of the most effective toys that can help keep your cat active is the Dezi & Roo’s Grow-in-the-Dark Ball. These bouncy balls can glow in the dark and imitate the motions of prey.

For instance, if you have a litter of balls, encourage your cat to chase and bite them as they bounce and roll like prey. It will help release its pent-up energy.

These balls are from durable materials, and veterinarians recommend them. Also, the addition of a 7-inch tail makes them more realistic.e

Having a robust feeding schedule is also essential to ensure that your cat has enough food and water. It will allow it to roam free and avoid getting lured into roaming.

Research has also shown that cats that eat a variety of food sources, such as turkey, are more likely to get a better night’s sleep. One of the nutrients that can help boost a cat’s sleep is amino acids, which are known to be produced by the turkey.

How Much Light Do Cats Need at Night?

Cats can see better than humans in pitch black. So how much light should you leave at night?

There’s no hard and fast rule for adopting a cat, as various factors such as the animal’s age and medical condition can affect the decision.

A healthy adult cat can only require residual light to navigate through the dark. Cats can also benefit from having sufficient light coming in to move around in the dark. For instance, you can use curtain shears or lighters to open and close your blinds on moonlit nights.

Some cats also use electrical appliances’ residual lights to navigate through the dark. For instance, they can use an indicator on a power strip.

If possible, insist on using motion-activated lights. These lights should only come on once your cat moves, and they should stop working if there’s no movement in the house.

You can also use LED bulbs and lamps that have programmable timers. These will lower your energy bills, but they’ll also make your home more energy-efficient.

Aside from keeping track of your energy bills, it’s also important to consider your pet’s safety. Placing tall floor lamps or lamps with halogen or tall bulbs can threaten animals.

Bottom Line

Do cats need light at night? Yes. While you may want to provide your cat with as little light as possible, it’s also important to consider safety measures. Cats have a high level of activity, increasing their ability to knock over objects.

If you have tall floor lamps, make sure they are not close to your cat. They can easily tempt the animal to jump over them, creating a hazardous situation in the home.

You might want to protect your lamp’s electrical cords from getting damaged by cats. You can use a flexible sleeve to protect your pet from electrical shock.

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