Home Cat Behavior Why Do Cats Love The Dark?

Why Do Cats Love The Dark?

by Modi Ramos
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Your cat likes many things. And sometimes these are things which you are not into. Hanging out in the dark is likely one of those things. It seems that our feline friends seem to know that there aren’t monsters hiding in our closets or lurking underneath our beds. In fact, this seems to often be our cats’ favorite places to hide. And when they do decide to hide in those dark places, they often scare the bejesus out of us once we flick the lights on. If you’ve ever wondered why it is that cats like to channel their inner Batman, keep reading to discover why cats love the dark.

why do cats love the dark?

Bright lights are different for them

We know that cats like to sleep in the sun because they simply love to be nice and toasty. But sometimes those blinding beams can be a bit too much for their taste. And this is especially true when it comes to those blinding artificial energy-saving lights in your home.

Think about when you spend the most amount of time with your feline friend. Is it often when you are curled up on the couch at night watching television? Chances are, this is the case. Cats prefer low lighting or dark places because their eye structure differs greatly from our own.

The biggest difference between human vision and cat vision is in the retina. Cats have a low concentration of cone receptors with a high concentration of rod receptors. Humans are the complete opposite. This would easily explain why what we see differs greatly from what they see. And because of this, they see much better in low lighting. Hence, why they prefer it.

cat sleeping in the dark

They don’t like to be interrupted when they’re sleeping

Perhaps I channel my own inner feline on many occasions because if there’s one thing that can make me flip my switch, it’s being woken up from a dead sleep. Our cats are not fans of being woken up when they’re in a deep sleep, so this is often the reason they’ll retreat to an area of the home which is notoriously dark—i.e. a closet, spare bedroom, or basement.

Cats might “sleep” up to 16 hours a day, but keep in mind, this is mostly cat nap sleep AKA snoozing. Watch for little flips of the tail and whisker twitches, because your cat is a profound actor, don’t let them trick you into thinking they’re off in Dreamland every time those eyes are shut. Your cat prefers to pass the time sleeping during the daytime hours, but this does not mean that they are nocturnal. Your feline friend is what is known as crepuscular—meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk. If your cat were to be feral, these would be the times in which they’d hunt.

why do cats love the dark?

The better to scare you with, my pretty!

Out of all the many things that cats are terrific at, hiding is truly their specialty. And we sometimes wonder if our cats do this as a way to toy with us. Perhaps they secretly find joy in all those frantic “here, kitty, kitty” calls we say. Your cat is also excellent at stalking its prey. And like I mentioned above, they prefer to do this in low lighting based on their unique eye structure. Despite the fact that your cat knows exactly when and where their next meal is coming from, they’re still predators at heart. Hiding and pouncing out of a dark area is a favorite pastime for many of our feline friends. Simply oblige their natural kitty antics…and hopefully don’t trip in the hallway and send that glass of wine flying.

Has your kitty ever stalked you and you never saw them coming? Or perhaps they’ve stared at you—or what felt like right through you? Find out why it is that your cat loves to place their peepers on you here. 

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