YES, cats fear the dark.
Cat owners often ask this question- Are cats scared of the dark. They’re concerned about whether or not they should turn on the light at night in case their cats share this dread of the dark.
There are some cats who are terrified of the dark, but not all of them. In other cases, the dread stems from an unpleasant memory, such as being hunted or caught in the dark. It’s also possible that she’s suffering from a physical condition like night blindness.
It takes a calm, relaxed owner to manage a fearful cat’s issues effectively. The anxiety of the owner makes a nervous cat even more tense. Therefore, it’s important to keep calm with your cat.
Let’s find out more about this fear of darkness in your cat.
How to Tell If Your Cat is Fearful of the Dark
Fear in cats is mostly a matter of personality, much like humans.
A cat’s fear can get triggered by a variety of situations, including new surroundings, an aggressive dog or other pets, and loud noises.
Fear can cause certain cats to react in an unusual way. Other times, they might become extremely aggressive in self-defense by freezing or remaining firmly embedded on the ground. Your cat can also tend to run away if the fear persists.
Physical threats are to blame for these reactions. Despite the fact that a cat’s vision is excellent and they are active at night, cats hate being completely in the dark.
Let’s look at some other signs that suggest that your cat has a fear of darkness.
1. Lonely Cries in the Night
Are cats OK in the dark? No. When the lights are switched off, a cat not accustomed to the darkness will start to weep.
You should be concerned if you detect a pattern of fumbling and sorrowful cries every time the light goes out.
In an ideal world, a cat would prefer the darkness since it feels safer and is more active.
If you’ve confirmed that your cat is afraid of the dark, it’s likely that your cat has been traumatized by experiences that occurred in darkness. It’s also conceivable that your cat’s night vision is impaired due to a medical problem.
2. Dilated Pupils
The unusually dilated pupils of a frightened cat are another tell-tale sign that the night has fallen. Fear presents itself physically in cats, just like it does in humans. This statement answers the often asked question- Does cats like the dark? Certainly not.
In response to fear or excitement, cats’ eyes naturally widen and become rounder.
The purpose of the expansion is to increase illumination and improve eyesight. Your cat’s pupils, when dilated, will seem darker and emptier when viewed through a camera lens.
3. Increased Heart Rate
The heart rate of a terrified cat will rise to a dramatically great degree. Cats should have an average heart rate of 120 to 140 beats per minute.
However, a cat’s pulse will increase to 180 beats per minute when in fear. Now we know why do cats not like the dark.
4. Sweaty and Wet Paw Prints
Cats tend to get hot and sweaty when they’re nervous, just like humans do.
It would help if you were on the lookout for wet paw prints since a cat’s sweat glands are unusually located under the pads of its paws.
What are the Reasons Why a Cat is Scared of the Dark?
Can cats be scared of the dark? Yes. Similar to people, cats fear things they can’t see.
If you leave your kitten in an entirely dark environment, they will be as blind as you. Having no idea what’s around the next door or how to avoid banging into unfamiliar items, it is natural to get frightened.
When a cat associates the dark with unpleasant memories, it may become afraid of it. Among kittens, fear of the dark is best explained by the sense of being “lost” in a new and unfamiliar environment.
The natural question that arises is- Can baby cats see in the dark? Well, a healthy kitten’s eyes can adapt to the darkness if there is some light in the room. With its oval shape, big corneas, and quantity of rod cells, a cat’s eyes are more suited for night vision than humans.
As a result, if your kitten is afraid of the dark, it may be because of poor eyesight or other eye abnormalities that make it difficult to see in low-light situations.
Helping a Kitten with a Night Phobia
Being a cat owner, there’ll be many situations where your pets would need help. This fear of darkness is one of them. Here are some of the ways in which you can help a scared cat overcome this fear.
1. Comforting Your Cat
If your kitten lives with its mother, you can turn on a source of light and let the mother cat do her job.
Orphaned kittens that have a fear of the dark should be comforted as soon as possible if you are caring for them. Make your kitty stop sobbing and start purring by doing what you know best.
You may use your voice to comfort the cat or distract it with a toy or a delicious treat.
2. Don’t Leave Your Cat Alone
It’s common for a child to request to be accompanied by an adult when they are afraid of the
dark. Most cats follow the same logic as humans.
Do cats feel safer in the dark? No. When a kitten is alone, it feels vulnerable.
If you don’t want to leave your kitten alone in an empty room, create a designated area for it in your bedroom. Make a comfy cat’s sleeping room, and ensure it has easy access to its food, drink, and litter box.
3. Introduce Dim Lights to Your Room
A dim light is one of the simplest solutions. Install a nightlight in your cat’s resting area and turn it on during night-time to keep your pet safe and sound at night.
You can’t leave your kitty in complete darkness, but it also doesn’t like glaring light, so the key here is dim light.
4. Visit the Vet
As previously said, your cat might have poor night vision due to a visual issue. Watch for excessive eye discharge, dilated pupils, or discolored or cloudy eyes.
Even if your cat is perfectly fine, your personalized veterinary advice might be helpful.
Is It OK to Leave Cats in the Dark?
It’s not OK to leave your cat alone in the dark if it feels afraid of it.
Some cats are terrified of the dark because it reminds them of bad experiences like mistreatment or dog attacks.
Even though your cat’s vision at night is exceptional, they still need some light to see.
Do Cats Need Lights on at Night?
Cats, like humans, need light to see, although not nearly as much. Cats’ eyes are so acute that they only need one-sixth the amount of light we do. Even though cats can see in low light conditions, keeping a night light on for her is a smart idea, especially if she’s new. A nightlight might help her adjust to her new surroundings.
What Scares Cats at Night?
Cats may fear the dark if they associate it with bad experiences. Cats know you won’t pay attention to them when you’re sleeping. Your cat may be anxious and feel neglected by you. Loud sounds can shock cats, forcing them to hide under the sofa or bed. If she is terrified, move her to a quieter area.
Do Cats Like Darkness at Night?
Cats are not nocturnal. Cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and night. So they don’t enjoy total darkness at night. Make sure your residence isn’t pitch dark at night. Even a cat may struggle to see without any light. Dim the lights or get some plug-in night lights. This enhances your kitten’s already excellent night vision.
So, why are cats scared of the dark? When it comes to the dark, cats are just like us. Cats might feel terrified or anxious in a certain room or at night because of various causes.
A cat’s fear might be provoked by an unknown environment, unpleasant conditions, an aggressive dog, or loud noises. It may have had a scary encounter at night, or the cat is afraid that you will not listen to its requests at night.
The good news is that providing low light where necessary can help cats overcome their fears. With a little patience and understanding, both you and your pet will be able to lead a better life together!