I know that there are some concerned cat parents out there. You guys must be wondering do cats need light at night. Should you turn on the lamp before you leave your cat alone in the room?
Do you remember how you were afraid of the dark when you were a little kid, especially when you were on your own? It was a real nightmare having to fall asleep in complete darkness.
This is why you can’t stop thinking about your beloved cat and if she shares your childhood fear. You know that she’s a crepuscular animal, but that just doesn’t give you peace. In the end, there are big differences between a domesticated cat that’s used to living in the house and one that’s been born in the wild.
I won’t lie and I’ll say that I’ve spoiled my pet a bit too much. However, this doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be worried about her.
Perhaps she is scared of the dark and needs light at night, but how will I know? My biggest concern is that she’s somewhere in the corner shivering while I’m gone for work.
Winter days are especially hard because the sun sets in the early hours of the evening. I’d have to leave the light on for quite some time and I know the electricity bill would just be over the roof.
So, is it just your childhood fear coming to the surface again? This also might be an option, but then again, how would you know?
Do cats need light at night?
Each cat is an individual. There’s a saying that’s usually used for humans. However, in this case, it can also be applied to cats. “To each their own.”
I know you must wonder what this even means. The thing is that every feline is an individual and therefore, they have different behaviors and thinking.
If your pet’s scared of the dark and needs a light at night, it doesn’t mean that every other cat is the same. Each and every one of them is unique, just like humans.
Animals can have fears too. Sure, it might sound a bit weird that a crepuscular animal is scared of the dark and needs a light at night to help her feel safe.
Well, if she were in the wild, it would be a whole different scenario. But, the reality is that she’s a domesticated cat that’s comfortable with living in a house.
This means that she isn’t really used to hunting, scavenging, or trying to survive all the time. This is where the difference between domestic and wild cats is the most noticeable.
All in all, I wouldn’t really say that cats need light at night. However, if you have a pet that’s really scared of the dark and is showing obvious signs, you might want to do something about it.
The truth behind crepuscular animals
Crepuscular animals are the ones that are most active during the hours when daylight is scarce. This implies that your pet is most likely to be awake around dusk and dawn.
Their night vision is a couple of times better than ours which makes them perfect for hunting and scavenging at these hours. And all of this is possible because crepuscular animals’ eyes have more rod cells than human eyes.
These rod cells serve as light receptors and improve vision in low light. For instance, cats have 25-rod cells per single cone cell in each eye, whereas humans only have four rods per cone cell.
Overall, cats have exceptional vision. Therefore, if they have the courage, they are free to wander through the dimmed light of the evenings.
Their perfect vision helps them live in the darkness and this is essential for wild cats. They hunt at dusk and dawn because their prey can’t see as well as they can which gives them a huge head start. Also, the darkness gives them perfect camouflage and cover.
Now, you must wonder why is all of this important in order to answer your question about whether cats need light at night.
This can help you understand the way these creatures function. They’re born to live in these times of the day and therefore, darkness isn’t a cat’s enemy.
Well, at least most of the time. If you have a pet that’s scared of the dark (which is unusual), it might be a completely different story.
Felines are heavily guided by instincts and they really rely upon them. Dark is in their nature and their instincts are too strong to be avoided or ignored.
This being said, it’s highly unusual that cats need light at night. After all, you can never know with these interesting creatures.
Do cats need light at night if you’re not around?
This might be a completely different story here. Once again, we’re going to mention their wild origins and their way of living.
This will help us understand the feline world and really understand where they come from. By comparing the two, you might realize just how these animals are supposed to function.
But most of all, the differences between wild animals and our domesticated pets are what really paint the whole picture for us.
You see, wild animals are equipped to travel, sleep, eat, and overall live on their own. There are few exceptions in wild cats who travel in packs, such as lions.
Other big cats are loners and like to do things on their own. How is this related to our pets? How can this help us determine whether they need a light on when they’re left alone?
This is where those differences come to light (pun intended). Your pet isn’t all alone and she’s not living in a pack unless you have more cats of course.
The thing is that you offer your cat companionship. She’s used to you being by her side almost all the time. Therefore, your furry companion may have a hard time staying all by herself.
If she’s not used to you leaving her, especially at night, you’ll notice her behaving strangely. She might have a bit of a different tone when you come home and she might be a bit extra cuddly this time.
However, this doesn’t instantly mean that she was afraid of being alone or scared of the dark. Perhaps she just missed you terribly.
Still, you can always try leaving on a night lamp for her or a light in the room she likes spending time in. But do cats need light at night if they’re scared of the dark?
Are cats scared of the dark?
We all have our worries, so although this question may seem strange, it is not. While you shouldn’t overestimate cats, you also shouldn’t undervalue them.
They can appear tough around you but run into a corner the second the light turns off, which is why I say this. Where does the problem lie, though, given that they are meant to be crepuscular creatures?
Honestly, it’s up to the individual. Similar to how some people are terrified of the dark, thunder, and a variety of other things, there are some things that may make cats’ blood run cold.
Perhaps your pet would not hesitate to engage in combat with a dog that is 10 times her size. On the other hand, her heart may occasionally miss a beat at night.
There is thus no assurance that your pet won’t be afraid of the dark. It won’t be an issue if your cat is courageous though.
If you have a scaredy cat, on the other hand, it can be something that worries her. If that’s the case, I suggest you snuggle close to her and watch out for some typical signs of dread.
When it’s time to hit a sack, most cats don’t mind being in the darkness. Cats, however, will require further assistance if they are afraid of the dark.
The moonlight should be plenty to provide your pet with a secure area to rest if you leave the blinds open at night. What, therefore, ought one to do on a foggy night?
You may always keep your cat’s nightlight on to calm her. It could be difficult for you to get up, but hey, it’s your pet.
What to do if you notice that your cat doesn’t like to be in the dark?
Cats usually know what they like and what they despise. And don’t worry, they’ll be totally open and clear about it.
Felines don’t really hide their emotions really well, so you’ll know if something’s up. Therefore, you might notice that your pet doesn’t like to be in the dark.
While this might be shocking for your and a bit of unusual behavior, you’ll get right on it. You don’t want your pet suffering a minute in the life you’ve given her.
However, what are you supposed to do if she’s a crepuscular animal? Should you leave a light on or not? Do cats need a light at night at all times or just for a period of time?
If you’re a first-time pet owner, this might be tricky for you. You’re not sure what you should do but you’re looking for ways to ensure your pet’s being taken care of in every sense.
1. Get a night lamp
One of the easiest ways to ensure your pet feels safe is to get a night lamp. A night lamp could be the perfect solution to your pet’s fear and discomfort.
You can’t really leave the lights on throughout the whole house at night. First of all, you probably won’t be able to catch any sleep.
Second of all, I don’t even have to mention the elephant in the room – the electricity bill. So, a night lamp is probably the only logical solution to the problem.
They’re not expensive and there are a whole bunch of different styles to fit everyone’s house decor. Also, it’s something that your pet’s seen before so she’ll probably leave it alone.
We all know about our pets’ obsession with new and foreign objects. Moreover, it’s heavy enough to stop your pet from pushing it over to the edge of the night dresser.
The light that comes from the lamp just might be enough for your pet to feel safe. At nights when there’s enough moonlight illuminating the room, you can probably turn it off.
Another good thing about a lamp is that you can move it anywhere in the house as long as there’s a switch nearby.
Therefore, if your pet decides to change the location to where she sleeps, it will be a piece of cake carrying the lamp right next to her.
One more thing is that you can carry it around to further distances as well. If you’re someone that likes to travel a lot with your pet, darkness won’t be a problem anymore.
You can bring your pet’s night lamp anywhere with you. As long as there’s electricity and an outlet, your pet’s going to sleep safe and sound.
2. Give her attention before going to bed
Sometimes, your pet may be restless at night or when it’s time to go to bed. If you see that she’s exhibiting clear signs of distress, there might be an issue.
However, this doesn’t instantly mean that cats need a light at night to help them feel better. Sometimes, all it takes to calm a cat down is some affection.
If your pet’s nervous or feeling anxious before hitting the sack, you might want to cheer her up a bit. However, you don’t want to cheer her up too much, if you know what I mean.
One of the best things you can do is show her some love and cuddle up with her. Perhaps this is all your furry friend needs before hitting the sack.
Our furbabies are sometimes just like human kids. They need support and encouragement as they can often feel less confident about something.
In this case, maybe your pet’s just scared of the dark and needs a little bit of reassurance. Of course, this is what made you think “Do cats need light at night?” in the first place.
I totally understand why you would think this. However, you should try consoling her and trying to calm her down. Once she relaxes, the chances of her going to sleep are much higher.
Perhaps this doesn’t have anything to do with her fear of darkness. Maybe your cat’s decided that it’s just not the time to go to sleep.
This might leave you wondering about what could cause this and you find yourself thinking do cats need light at night and is she going to rest if I leave it on?
If you haven’t played with your cat today, it might be why she can’t settle down. Too much energy can cause her to be restless.
3. Look for the signs of eye disorder
Do cats need light at night? Is your pet having a hard time finding her way around in the dark lately? Maybe this question will help you discover some issues.
The thing about cats is that they’re crepuscular animals who have perfect night vision. However, what if your pet has impaired vision?
If you notice your cat behaving strangely at night, she might need to visit the vet. There’s a high chance your feline has some sort of an eye disorder that went unnoticed by now or perhaps developed just recently.
Felines shouldn’t be having trouble with darkness at all. However, you find that your cat oftentimes bumps into something at night.
At first, you thought that it was just her playing at night as she usually does. But as time progresses, it becomes worse and the bumping into things becomes more frequent.
This is usually a sign for concern. Especially if she exhibits some other weird behaviors such as a disinterest in her toys anymore or not recognizing you the minute you come home.
You can observe your pet’s behavior at night and during the day and compare the two. If you notice that she’s not having any issues throughout the day, then there’s probably a problem with her vision.
You can always leave a night lamp on for her at night, but this isn’t supposed to be a long-term solution. Your pet needs a thorough examination by the vet.
Also, try to remove or hide the things that could possibly hurt your pet. This includes any sharp objects or any heavy objects that can fall on her if she stumbles upon them.
Do cats prefer day over night?
The question Do cats need light at night? brings us to another one that’s related to this topic. Do cats prefer day over night?
If your pet can’t fall asleep in the pitch black room, you might believe that she prefers daylight over nighttime.
However, this brings us back to the comparison of domesticated cats and wildlife once again. Even though they live happily ever after, in households, cats are still guided by their strong instincts.
Therefore, you might find your pet sprawled out on the sofa throughout most of the day. On the other hand, she might give you trouble at night when you’re trying to sleep and she’s running across the house like a maniac.
This is one of the proofs that felines are crepuscular animals that are active when daylight is scarce. They’re perfectly fine in complete darkness most of the time.
You could say that most cats are to prefer night over day because the darkness is in their nature. However, with all of the domestication that’s been happening, maybe your pet’s just used to your routine.
A lot of the pets adjusted to the ways their owners live which is mostly the other way around. They sleep at night and function in broad daylight.