Can Kittens See In The Dark? (2023)

Many feline pet parents have concerns about leaving lights on for their furry pets.

Is it required? Do kittens require a light? What is the proper technique to care for kittens at night? Do they require a nightlight? Should I keep a light on while I’m gone overnight?

To begin with, kittens cannot see in the dark for the same reason that adult cats cannot. So, how about we rephrase the question: can kittens see at night?

Kittens have all of the same adaptations as adult cats to see in low light, although their eyesight is often poor, to begin with, much like human newborns. It takes around ten weeks for a kitten’s vision to become clear and focused when it first opens its eyes at roughly nine to fourteen days.

Until then, don’t expect them to see very well during the day or at night.

To understand the scenario better, keep on reading the article, they sure will clear most of your doubts and help you understand your cat-friends better, so stick around till the end!

Can Kittens See In The Dark? (1)
Can Kittens See In The Dark? (2)

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Kitten And The Vision In The Dark Stereotype

Many people believe that kittens are fairly nocturnal and can see in complete darkness. You’ve undoubtedly seen your cat’s and kitten’s eyes shine in the dark; this is why many people believe kittens see in the dark. But this is not the case.

Research has shown that kittens can’t see properly in low light conditions. Kittens, like all other living things, require light.

Let’s look at some of the most common questions people have regarding whether or not they should leave their cats alone in the dark.

Are Kittens OK In The Dark At Night?

Can Kittens See In The Dark? (3)
(Video) Can Kittens See In The Dark

While it may assist you financially to turn out all of the lights when you leave or go to bed at night.

Leaving your kitten in complete darkness can be highly unpleasant for them since they are still very young and need guidance until they get hold of their surroundings and kittens also associate light with your presence.

It can also be harmful to you and your kitten if you leave them in complete darkness because you could both be hurt if you fall over your kitty if your home is completely dark.

Cats and Kittens are not completely nocturnal, as many people believe. They require light to see at night.

Here are three reasons why it is not okay to leave your kitten in the darkroom/at night :

Cats and Kittens cannot see in complete darkness.

While they can see in the dark, it is a persistent misconception that they can see in complete darkness. They are not completelynocturnal, but rather crepuscular, meaning that they are most active at dawn and twilight.

Although a cat’s eyes can collect and utilize 50% more available light than humans, cats cannot see unless there is some light in the room. After all, starlight and moonlight may be seen in the night sky.

Your pet may get lonely.

Your feline becomes accustomed to a certain degree of activity when you are at home during the day.

After a while, they will link certain noises and activities with your presence, such as watching TV, listening to music, and turning on the lights. If everything is dark and silent after you leave, your kitten may begin to feel abandoned.

You could trip.

Another reason to leave a little light on when you leave is to avoid stumbling over your young kitty. If your light switch isn’t directly next to the front entrance, you can miss seeing Kitty waiting for you.

Toys scattered about the flat can constitute a tripping danger that you may not notice in the dark.

Finally, turning off the lights minimizes both your carbon footprint and your energy expenditure. If you don’t like the notion of leaving all of your lights on, try acquiring LED nightlights that turn on automatically when it becomes dark or using a lamp on a schedule.

Can Kittens Be Left In The Dark?

We’ve already debunked the myth that Kittens can see in total darkness. But Is it okay to leave them in the dark? The simple answer is no.

Should I turn on a light for my kitten? Yes. She, like every other member of your family, requires light. If you must leave your cat or kitten alone, make sure she gets at least little natural light. Light from street lights, the moon, and stars can be beneficial to them.

If you must leave her alone in the evening or even overnight, it is a good idea to leave at least one light on in the home for her.

Other ideas include employing lights or nightlights with built-in light sensors. When it becomes dark, they will switch on the lights, providing illumination for your furry friend.

Another alternative is to utilize motion-activated lights, which can provide enough light for them to navigate. Your small friend will appreciate you leaving some light on for her.

For one thing, you won’t trip over her when you return home, and she’ll be waiting at the door to meet and welcome you back! Furthermore, night lighting will make it safer for your feline to navigate the house at night.

She’ll also be a bit more energetic before falling asleep when you arrive home.

You will also like to know about should i leave a light on for my cat

Can Kittens Find Their Litter Box In The Dark?

If the litter box is dark at night, cats and kittens will not discover it.

However, if there is some light, even if it is weak, it will be okay. This is because felines can see better in low light than humans, but they cannot see in full darkness.

In the dark, kittens cannot see. Nonetheless, they are better prepared to deal with low-light circumstances. There are several theories for this, including the presence of a reflecting coating in the rear of their eye.

Indoor cats and kittens are far more meticulous in their behavior and feces positioning. This is because they want to keep the rest of their domain as clean as possible. They like to defecate away from where they sleep.

They, like humans, have cones and rods in their eyes. These cells help us perceive and respond to different lighting situations. Cones are more effective throughout the day because of the variety of illumination available.

(Video) Can Cats Really See In The Dark? (Cat Vision Vs Human Vision)

Conversely, rods are the polar opposite of cones. They are more sensitive and effective in low light. Cats and kittens have fewer rods than humans. This implies they can see far better in low light than humans can as we learned.

So you know they can, as long as it’s not completely dark.

But, in the dark, how can you assist your kitten in finding the litter tray?

Find out more details about do cats need light to use litter box

How Do You Guide A Kitten Where To Find The Litter Box?

Light is required for cats to use a litter box, and a simple nightlight will suffice.

There should be enough light for your kitty to see the litter box, enter it, and defecate. If this is not the case, some kittens may urinate outside the litter box.

The plan should be to light up many regions of the house so that they may walk about freely. It should not be restricted in this way since here is where the trouble begins.

If you put a nightlight near the litter box, you’ll be OK. It will quickly overcome these challenges and keep your kitten safe. The usage of night illumination will help your friend find the litter box.

This does not have to be a strong light; it might just be some low-level night lights that are equally good for youngsters. This will give your friend enough light to see the litter tray.

Even if the litter box is illuminated, the space around the tray should be protected. In other words, have some paper towels or pads on hand to clean up any spillage.

To conserve this space, remove the trash from their food or drink dishes. If something goes wrong and your furry friend misses the target, you won’t have to worry about polluting their food or water.

How Can You Make It Easier For Your Kitten To Locate The Litter Box At Night?

Can Kittens See In The Dark? (4)

So, we’ve learned that kittens require assistance in using their litter at night due to light. Here are some things you can do to help:

1. Provide some lighting

Using night lighting will assist your kitten in locating the litter box. This does not have to be a strong light; it may just be some dim night lights that are also useful for children and will provide enough light for your kitty to view the litter tray.

2. Safeguard the surrounding area

Even if there is illumination surrounding the litter box, the area around the tray should be protected. That is, you should put some paper towels or pads down to collect any spills. This will come in handy if your kitten misses the target.

Can Kittens Sleep In The Dark?

Cats/kittens appear to like napping; in fact, you may find your furry friend snoozing during the day and night, or so it appears! Most cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours each day on average.

Felines, normally conform to their pet owners’ routine. As a result, your kitten will sleep more while you are not there and less when you are.

Do you, for example, get a furry feline’s early morning wake-up call across your face? Or maybe she just sits next to your head and meows until you wake up? So, if left alone at night, your furry friend would most likely sleep more during the day.

Felines are crepuscular creatures, which means they see better at night than humans. Keeping the lights turned off will allow kittens to sleep during the darkest hours, and the residual half-light from outside should be plenty for them to see in the dark.

Your kitty can sleep in the dark with no worries as long as the room is not pitch dark and they can use the little light to help themselves for roaming around the house and walk to the litter box.

Do Kittens Prefer Dark or Light?

Every cat parent is aware that their lovely kitty transforms into a fearsome predator at night. Cats’ behaviors include frantic sprints all over the home at 3 a.m. since they are true little hunters that excel especially at night hunting.

So, it’s natural to believe that kittens do enjoy the dark and have excellent night vision, but is this true?

The answer is twofold: yes, cats prefer the dark, thus you don’t need to leave the light on for them. No, they don’t have superhuman night vision. They require very little light at night to orient themselves, but they enjoy sleeping in dark areas and spying on their possible prey, even if it’s just their legs.

Let’s take a deeper look at what science knows about a kitty’s fascination with the dark.

Cats are crepuscular animals, which means they are most active around night and dawn. As a result, they prefer to hunt when the light is low. This is also why kittens sleep so much throughout the day and late at night. And what better spot to hide and plan your next attack than a dark alley?

Above all, cats and kittens prefer low-light or black environments because the anatomy of their retina varies from that of humans.

(Video) What Do Cats Do At Night? Part 1

When Can Kittens Start To See In The Dark?

Can Kittens See In The Dark? (5)

When your small bundles of fur are born, you’ll discover they don’t have their eyes open. For several days, their eyes were glued shut. You may observe their sparkly eyeballs poking through when their eyelids begin to expand as early as the second day after birth.

According to the Feline Advisory Bureau, it may take up to 16 days after birth for their eyes to fully open.

Each kitten in the litter is unique. One of them may open his eyes soon, while the other may have her eyes closed for several weeks. Some kittens have one eye that closes more than the other. This is entirely natural as their vision develops.

These senses are still growing in the second developmental stage of kittenhood when kittens open their eyes for the first time and their ear canals begin to allow in sound. Bright lights and loud noises can still cause harm to your vision and hearing.

The kittens’ eye and ear parts will not fully mature for another couple of weeks. As a result, kittens are typically not separated from their mother for adoption until they are around six weeks old, in addition to weaning.

The kittens’ eyes are open after six weeks, and they are seeing the world in full color (as much color as is feasible for cats, as they can’t see the complete color spectrum that we can), as well as penetrating the darkness with night vision that is at least six times better than ours.

For terrestrial animals, their hearing grows to be among the greatest in the world. In other words, they’ve evolved into mini-superheroes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I let my kitten sleep alone at night?

Many owners allow their cats to sleep in their beds, but it’s critical to provide your kitten with its sleeping quarters.

Are kittens afraid of the dark?

Most kittens aren’t terrified of the dark since their eyes can adapt to it, allowing them to see even in dim light. Kittens are more likely to be afraid of being alone than of being in the dark.

Final Words

You now know that cats and kittens do not have a mystical ability to see in the dark. Even though they have greater vision than you, they may need a night light to explore your house as you sleep.

It’s worth investing in a night light if you think they’ll benefit from it. Plus, who knows, it could just spare you from stumbling over them if you need to get up in the middle of the night!

Kittens have evolved to thrive in the dark. The good news is that our feline companions can travel in complete darkness using their other senses, so you won’t need to place a nightlight near their litter box.

In fact, having invested in a night light might benefit you, especially if you have to use the washroom in the middle of the night and do not want to summon your feline, who is enjoying their beauty sleep!

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(Video) How do animals see in the dark? - Anna Stöckl
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Can Kittens See In The Dark? ›

Yes, kittens can also see in the dark in the same way that adult cats can. Kittens develop full eyesight at five weeks old, so it is around this time that they can start to see well in the dark. Even though kittens can see in the dark relatively well, they may sometimes act as if they are frightened by the darkness.

Should I turn the lights off for my kitten? ›

Should the light be left on or turned off? Remember, cats can see in the dark a lot better than you or I can, so your kitten will have no problem finding what they need, even in minimal light. However, you can leave the light on or provide a night light on the first night while they adjust to their surroundings.

Can cats see in 100% darkness? ›

Like us, cats can't see in the dark when there is absolutely no light available. However, they do have better vision than we do in low light conditions, such as on a moonlit night.

Should I check on my kitten at night? ›

The First Night

But don't feel bad about leaving them in their room to go sleep in yours. I promise, they'll be okay until morning. Just leave them with a soft bed and blanket, turn off the light, and close the door. If you want, you can set an alarm to wake up and check on them halfway through the night.

Is it OK to leave cats in a dark room? ›

Turning out the lights when you leave the house can be a good habit to have from an economic standpoint, but leaving your cat in complete darkness can actually be very stressful for them.

Where should I put my kitten at night? ›

This means that the best place for a kitten to sleep is a warm and secure spot, sheltered from draughts. It's not a bad idea to have the kitten close to you for just the first few nights. Find a cosy place next to your bed and you can even choose a spot up off the floor if possible.

Do kittens cry when left alone? ›

Most of the time, cats don't have a problem being alone. But if they have anxiety issues, they will make their problem everyone's problem. Loud meowing, crying, scratching, defecating, and urinating where they shouldn't are common signs.

Do cats recognize their owners? ›

Even if you've been separated for a while, it's likely that they will still recognise your smell and voice, although it's difficult to say exactly how long they will remember you for. They will be more likely to recognise you if you are reunited in the context of their familiar home environment.

How do cats see humans? ›

Technically, cats can see in color, but they probably see us — and everything else — in a very different light than we do. Cats have very few of the cones that respond to red light, so their world appears blue, gray, and yellow.

Do cats need a light on at night? ›

Like other mammals, light is a necessity for their eyes to work properly. However, cats do need less ambient light than humans do to capture the same clear view by their eyes, and besides their eyes, cats can also explore the surroundings in the dark with the help of other parts of their body.

What not to do with a new kitten? ›

7 Common Mistakes You Can Make When Training A Kitten
  1. Setting unrealistic expectations.
  2. Punishing kittens for their natural instincts.
  3. Not providing sufficient energy outlets.
  4. Spending too much time on training sessions.
  5. Choosing the Wrong Litter Box.
  6. Giving kittens attention for bad behavior.

What is the single kitten syndrome? ›

Single kitten syndrome is the idea that young kittens, when raised with other young kittens and cats and then adopted into a home by themselves, can become aggressive, anxious, stressed, and even develop behavioral issues like inappropriate chewing/scratching and inappropriately using the litterbox.

How do you discipline a kitten? ›

A simple training method involves praising and petting your kitten when it leaps onto acceptable surfaces while scolding and removing it from unacceptable surfaces. The spray bottle can help train your kitten to stay off specific surfaces.

Do cats get sad when you leave? ›

Cats are often considered to be uncaring or disinterested toward their human family members, but this isn't true. Although cats don't need as much constant attention as most dogs, they do connect and bond with their humans, and they feel unhappy when separated for too long.

Should I leave the TV on for my cat? ›

Noise Like TV or Radio

Noise is a great way to calm a cat's separation anxiety. Consider leaving a tv or radio on at low volume to keep your cat company.

Will my cat miss me if I give her away? ›

Surely, the cats have to be rehomed to get proper nourishment. But sadly, as an owner, if you wonder do cats miss their owners when rehomed, the reply is yes. It is difficult for them to get over their long-cherished foster parents.

Is my kitten okay in the dark? ›

Even though kittens can see in the dark relatively well, they may sometimes act as if they are frightened by the darkness. This is usually because the low levels of light can be disorienting for a kitten.

Should newborn kittens be kept in the dark? ›

All you need to do is keep the family warm, dry, and in a dark, private location. Mom will do all the feeding and cleaning. Sadly, however, sometimes the mother of a baby kitten is not around or unable to care for her little ones. If that's the case, you'll need to step in to help keep the kitties warm and fed.

Do cats care if the lights are on or off? ›

In truth, your cat prefers neither light nor dark, but something in between. As such, they really don't need lights left on for them since the bright light could make it more difficult for them to see rather than less.


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