Can Cats See Candle Light? Clarifying Your Confusion!




Can Cats See Candle Light


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Many thoughts arise while having a pet cat. You can even think about “Can cats see candlelight?” when your cat is staring at them. Or do they only see the movements?

Cats can see candlelight but without its color. Cats do not have cone cells in their eyes that can catch colors like red and orange. They can not see the color as the flame of candlelight is an orange shade. But they have more rod cells which help them to see the flicking of fire and movement.

Though they can not see candlelight like humans see, most of them enjoy it. Some of them try to catch it or play with it. If they could not see it, they would not do these things. Read this article to understand related things about this topic.

Can Cats See Candle Light? Scientific Explanation

The color of candle lights is not visual to cats but they can see flicking or movement. Human eyes and cat eyes are not similar. The amount of rod and cones are different in cats and humans. So your cat will not see the same color you are seeing in an object.

The way of receiving signals from rods and cones in cats is a little different from humans. Like, we humans can not see clearly at night. But cats can see every object both in daylight and at night.

I used to think that my pet Muezza also enjoyed the sight of fires as I do. But she never could enjoy colors like red and orange. We, humans, have been gifted with three types of cones. So, we can see and enjoy different shades of blue, green, and red.

But every cat, including my Muezza, is gifted with two types of color detecting cones. So, she is able to enjoy the objects with yellow-green and blue-violet sheds. But the one type of cone that can perceive red color is absent. From that point of view, I can tell that she can not see the candlelight color.

But Cats are born with more rod cells than humans. So they can see and easily detect any object at night or dark. These rod cells are responsible for receiving light and detecting the motion of objects. So, from that point of view, they can see the movement of the candlelight.

At night their rod cells help them to see the candlelight. They can easily identify bright things. But they can not see the exact color of fire as people see.

Cats are often seen staring at the fire for a long time. They enjoy the dancing movement of the fire and sometimes try to catch them. So, it would be wrong to say that they can not see candlelight. They can see it but that is without color.

Can Cats Sense Fire Of Candle Light?

Cats can sense fire. Though they can not identify it like a human, they can feel its thermal condition. Cats have receptors that can identify warm and hot things. They have whiskers in their face and that is highly sensitive.

If the cat is not suffering from whisker fatigue, it can easily sense heat. Also, they can smell smoke. Electric or laser lights never smell like smoke. But the candlelight emits a burning smell. So, the cats can easily sense the fire by the smell. They can differentiate other lights from fire.

How Do Cats React After Seeing A Candle Light?

All the cats are not similar. They show different actions while seeing an object. It depends on their nature. Not all the cats catch the fire or all of them are afraid of it.

Most of the cats are curious about all the things around them. They try to figure out everything. So, when they see candlelight, fire, or any other source of light, they try to catch it, like my Muezza does every time.

This is the most dangerous action they do. They can easily catch fire and harm themself. They might burn other objects and a whole house by this action.

Most of the cats want to play with the moving objects. They also think the fire is a playing object. Some cats compare the fire with a moving insect. So, they want to catch it thinking it is an insect.

On the other hand, some cats are afraid of fire. They easily get anxious and hide while watching the fire. Some cats only watch the dancing movement and do not show any action. They enjoy the sight in this way.

How To Keep Your Cat Stay Away From Candle Lights?

Cats can catch fire easily as they have fluffy fur. So to avoid unexpected accidents, you have to take some safety measures.

  • Observe your cat’s behavior after seeing candlelight. It is the easiest way to determine the level of safety measures.
  • Stay with your cat whenever you lighten the fire.
  • Keep your cat at a distance away from the fire.
  • Use alternatives to fire.
  • Use barriers around the source of the fire.

Never leave your cat around a fire source. Even if your cat is frightened of fire, no one can assure you that it will not touch fire. Fire burns can cause serious health problems in cats. So, before facing any situation like this, follow the Safety measures.


These are some commonly asked questions by people about cats and fire.

Will cats mess with a candle?

Yes, most of the cats mess with a candle. Whenever they see any moving object they try to catch it. So, there is a high chance of messing with the candle if it is around your cat.

How do you make candles cat-proof?

You can cat-proof candles by covering the candles with a candle topper. Or give a barricade around it to stay out from the flaming candle.

Does candle smoke harm cats?

A low level of candle smoke will not harm cats. But prolonged exposure to fumes can cause lung diseases. It may result in breathing problems as well.


As cats have fewer types of cone cells, they can not see shades of red. It means they are color blind only in the case of red. Color blind people can see the objects, but not the accurate color. Cats are also similar to objects containing shades of red.

They can see the candlelight but not the color. It does not mean that they do not enjoy it. Most cats love moving objects. As the candlelight flames move and emit a smell, they can identify fire. So, no worries! Just try to keep your cat away from the fire, and be careful!

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