When a cat zips around the house in what appears to be total darkness to us, he or she probably sees pretty well. They can’t see in complete dark, but they see well with only a sixth of the light humans need.
This night vision ability comes from their hunting habits; cats normally move about in the twilight of dusk and dawn, and sneaking up on prey requires the ability to see.
Cats have muscles around their iris that can pull it to a slit in bright light, and open very wide in low light conditions. They always maximize their use of any light available. They also have a reflective membrane called the tapetum lucid that takes available light and reflects it. This is also why a cats eyes can seem to glow in the dark.