Can Cats See in the Dark? Let’s Find Out!

cat in the dark

It is often believed that cats can see in the dark. This might originate from their own mythology. And, they are, after all, excellent hunters and extremely intelligent. But can cats see in the dark? Let’s find out by looking more closely at how cats see and to what extent they do actually see in the dark!

How Cats See

“Cats have a visual field of 200 degrees compared to humans 180 degrees.”

Nickolay Lamm

Have you ever been curious enough to know about how your feline baby actually sees the world? Artist Nickolay Lamm created a series of images to illustrate the visual differences between humans and cats. Some of the highlights he pointed out include:

  • The peripheral vision for humans is 20 degrees on each side while for cats it’s 30 degrees.
  • They are near-sighted. While cats have a wider field of vision, they also see much blurrier.
  • Cats (as well as dogs) can pick up and follow movements a lot faster. Humans see moving objects at a speed that is 10 times slower than cats.
  • According to Penn Vet, Cats see less vibrant colors with less detailed resolution.
  • According to All Animal Eye Clinic, Cats can see 6-8 times better than humans in dim light.
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What Cats See in the Dark

The short answer to “can cats see in the dark?” is not quite short — it’s more of an explanation. However, as it’s been already pointed out above, there are a few important differences between the way they see compared to human vision. These differences impact the way they see in the dark as well. Because of the fact of their ability to follow faster movements and see better in dimmer light, they have great night vision.

Here is an example of how cats see in the dark, as illustrated by Lamm:

how cats sees in the dark
Comparison between human vision (top) and cat vision (bottom).

In Conclusion

Cats can see better in the dark at the cost of nearsightedness, blurrier vision, and less color. Their ability allows them to pick up movements faster, rendering them excellent hunters when it comes to chasing animals even in the dark.

Interested to learn more about cat behavior? Check out our relevant tag in our blog!

Should you have any other questions, schedule a video consultation with one of Cooper Pet Care’s qualified veterinarians. Get immediate answers to whatever your issue might be.

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