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Do you leave a light on for your cat at night?

(31 Posts)
twinkcat Fri 16-Jan-15 19:05:33

Just wondering what others do. I always leave a light on for my cat when it is dark. Is it necessary?

Squeegle Fri 16-Jan-15 19:06:20


bonzo77 Fri 16-Jan-15 19:11:35


Sparklingbrook Fri 16-Jan-15 19:12:45

No. Cats can see in the dark. grin

SteptoeAndDaughter Fri 16-Jan-15 19:12:47

Erm cats can see in the dark wink

Clobbered Fri 16-Jan-15 19:12:55

Cats have fantastic night vision - they are quite nocturnal if left to their ow devices. It's completely unnecessary to leave a light on for your cat.

Methe Fri 16-Jan-15 19:13:07

No, they're cats.

SteptoeAndDaughter Fri 16-Jan-15 19:13:25

Cross-post sparkling!

BadgersRetreat Fri 16-Jan-15 19:15:02

No! And anyway ours sleep all night.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 16-Jan-15 19:15:49

Cats have retinas that can pick up even the smallest amount of light and can genuinely see in the dark.
Leaving a light on will upset them and waste your electric.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 16-Jan-15 19:25:20

No but I would if it was an old cat who got distressed in the dark.

I'm getting a blackout blind for him eventually to stop the early summer wake up banging on the door.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 19:28:41

Seniorboy has - at best - partial sight these days (probably progressive retinal atrophy given his age) so I leave the odd light on in the evening so that he can get his bearings. Not when we're in bed.

Being a Siamese, he never had great night vision anyway though. (The upside of that is that he always came/comes to bed spot on time and sleeps through until daybreak.)

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 19:29:32

Never would leave a light on, but we did have a very old cat, years ago, and I would leave the TV on for her (even when I went out) if a David Attenborough programme was on, because she really loved his voice. (She was very elderly, and poor of sight and hearing) blush

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 19:31:11

Oh Yes - I've been known to leave the TV on for him. It soothes him.

RandomMess Fri 16-Jan-15 19:31:33

Nope, we've got ours into a routine so they actually sleep at night grin

I actually feel really guilty on the occasions I've forgotten to switch the light off and they've had to sleep in the bright light all night!

CrispyFern Fri 16-Jan-15 19:33:51


StarsOfTrackAndField Fri 16-Jan-15 20:22:27

They do most of their hunting at dusk or dawn and have excellent night vision. Our cat negotiate the piles of junk in our flat in the pitch black of night and that really does take some doing.

amigababy Fri 16-Jan-15 20:26:15

I wish ours slept all night! We have a night light but that was dh 's idea for him if he's going to the bathroom. I've got good night vision too grin

QueenFuri Fri 16-Jan-15 22:10:34

No, a family member keeps her cat in the kitchen at night and had a lamp for him on the worktop not good he ended up burning his face and costing a lot of money at the vets. My kitten prowls around in the dark all night hunting my toes hmm, waking me up when she fancies a midnight snack!

CaptainJamesTKirk Fri 16-Jan-15 22:13:35

Errrr I think cats have very good night vision.

Archfarchnad Fri 16-Jan-15 22:41:08

cozie, is there a particular reason Siamese have less well developed night vision than other cats?

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 22:55:54

My understanding is that there's some sort of genetic difference in the tapetum lucidum, Arch. (The layer of reflective cells at the back of a normal cat's eye that picks up and bats around any available light - it's weak/different in Siamese which is why their eyes show red at night/in photos and not green.)

They're certainly not as nocturnal as ordinary cats - much more inclined to sleep in bed through the night even as kits but, sadly, also have a few breed related eye issues.

That's only my understanding though - you really need a clinician's view for the low-down.

sashh Sat 17-Jan-15 08:05:01


Is that why you get cross eyed Siamese? I remember one of FDJs litters one was cross eyed and obviously part Siamese (actually lots of his litters have at least one part Siamese - must be a Siamese tom on the loose) and he mentioned something about their genetics.

twinkcat Sat 17-Jan-15 08:55:22

Thank you all smile . I thought I was being a bit silly. I googled and I read that cats can not see in the dark they need a little bit of light. So have always left a little lamp on in the hall. She sleeps until 2am then she gets up for a while. Also if we are out and not back until it is dark I leave a lamp on and sometimes the tv. I don't like the thought of her feeling lonely in a dark empty house. But I do need to cut my ever increasing electricity bills.

Thanks again for all your replies.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Jan-15 09:22:27

Well nobody can see in the complete dark, twink, but what a normal cat's eyes do is amplify considerably any available light that's going around. (The figure of x6 comes to mind but I could be wrong on that.) In most houses, some moonlight or streetlight coming through the odd window is enough to be going on with - there are very few places in the UK these days that are truly dark as our ancestors might have understood it.

It's an optical thing as far as I know, sashh. (Traditional Siamese eyes were set a bit differently to other cats and they crossed them to focus straight.) I recall that Firstcat not only did the cross-eyed thing but had a kinked tail. (He used to sit gazing at me doing the usual Siamese 'adoring' and then his eyes would suddenly cross - it was most disconcerting.) He was a traditional seal though - quite far back in the gene pool - and I seem to recall that cross-eyes and kinked tails have been regarded as flaws for many years and breeders try to eradicate them.

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