Why do cats’ eyes glow at night? Cats’ eyes don’t actually glow at night, but they have a special structure in their eyes that can reflect light. A cat has something called the tapetum behind the retina in the eye. The tapetum is believed to improve night vision through acting like a mirror. It reflects light that passes between the eye’s rods and cones back to photoreceptors, giving the eye a better chance to pick up whatever light is available. This gives the impression of the cat’s eyes glowing.