In 29 cats, the extent and time-course of the pial arterial reactions to hypo- and hypercapnia were studied by means of the skull-window technique. The typical, well-known dilatations and constrictions during hyper- and hypocapnia were seen. The latent period for dilatation after the beginning of CO2-inhalation was ca. 20 sec. There was no stable relation observable between vessel diameter and arterial carbon dioxide tension (paCO2). Diameter changes lagged behind CO2-changes, indicating that CO2 acts via metabolic regulation, probably extracellular pH.