A laminar distribution of different functional cell types in the striate cortex of the cat is drawn up from the visual responses of single cells recorded in 64 electrode penetrations in 38 cats. In summary, S cells were found to be concentrated in laminae 4 and 6; SH cells in laminae 2, 3 and 4; C cells in laminae 5 and lower 3; B cells in laminae 3 and upper 5 and cells with non‐oriented receptive fields in lamina 4. In addition, the nature of afferent innervation to striate neurons was derived from the latency of the orthodromic response to electrical stimulation in the optic chiasm and optic radiations in 19 cats. An analysis of latency values allowed the afferent innervation to a cell to be classed as belonging either to fast or slow conducting streams in the population of dLGN axons and also permitted a decision to be made on whether or not the afferent path passed directly to the cell. Direct afferent innervation from the dLGN was not found to be confined to a single class of striate neuron. Instead, examples of cells with S, SH, C, B and non‐oriented receptive fields all had orthodromic latencies that met the requirement for direct innervation. Instances of cells with orthodromic latencies suggestive of indirect innervation were also found for most receptive field classes but these cells were encontered less frequently than those with a direct afferent input. It is argud that a variety of different cell types may act as first order neurons in the striate cortex and that cells occurring at later stages in the sequence of cortical processing may have been incompletely studied because they are more difficult to stimulate either visually or electrically.