Do Cats Eyes Really Shine In the Dark?

Have you ever walked into a darkened room and seen a cat staring at you with its eyes blazing?

do cats' eyes shine in the dark

Scary, but beautiful! There are no lights in a cat’s eyes. What you see is simply a reflection of light.

A cat’s eyes are no different than yours in responding to light. In bright light, you both have pupils which narrow to reduce the glare. And at night, your pupils and a cat’s pupils open wide to let in all the available light, thus permitting you to see in dim light.

But a cat’s eyes shine in the darkness because this light which is let in is reflected by a layer of cells in its inner eye. This layer of cells, the tapetum, is pink, gold, blue, or green. When the outside light changes, the tapetum acts like a mirror and reflects a different color.

This reflecting process gives cats an amazing ability to see in the dark, approximately seven times better than the ability of people.

Most cats have blue, green, yellow or orange irises in their eyes, but some cats have two different-colored eyes!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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