One afternoon my sons had loads of questions about cats, mainly how cats see and why cat eyes appear to glow in the dark. So I set off researching for a science activity that would help us explore that concept. Sure enough, I found one in Janice VanCleave’s Big Book of Play and Find Out Science Projects. She has a great website by the way called Science Project Ideas for Kids. Definitely check it out.
Cat Eyes – Science Behind Why They Glow
Cat Eyes Science Materials Needed
- Empty Can
- A Light
- Rubber Band
- Black Piece of Plastic
Steps to Cat Eyes Activity
- Cut a 4 x 4 square of plastic
- Cut an oval in the center of the plastic square
- Use a rubber band to secure the plastic over the empty can
- Grab your light and your can and head into a dark space
- Hold the can around your chest and have a partner shine the light into the can
Science Behind Why Cats Eyes Glow
Cats appear to have glowing cat eyes because the back of their eyeballs include a special reflective surface called the tapetum lucidum. Light comes into the eye, the light is supposed to hit the photoreceptor that transmits information to the brain. When light doesn’t hit the photoreceptor, so the tapetum lucidum acts as a mirror and bounces the light back for another chance.
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I hope you enjoyed this activity!