We have studied the presence and distribution of α-amino-3–hydroxy-5–methyl-4–isoxazolepropionate (AMPA)-selective glutamate receptor subunits (GluR 1, 2, 3, and 4) in the adult cat visual cortical areas 17, 18, 19, and the lateral suprasylvian areas (LSA). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification indicated that the genes encoding GluR 1, 2, 3, and 4 are expressed in these areas and Western blot analysis revealed that the size of the corresponding peptides is similar to those described in the rat brain. In situ hybridization (ISH) using digoxigenin-labeled riboprobes showed that mRNAs coding for GluR1 and GluR3 were located in cells in all layers of the areas examined and also in the underlying white matter. GluR1 mRNA was relatively abundant throughout layers II–VI while GluR3 mRNA revealed a more laminated pattern of expression, preferentially labeling cells in layers II, III, V, and VI. The distribution of AMPA-selective receptor subunit peptides was studied by immunohistochemistry using subunit specific antibodies and found to be consistent with ISH results. In addition, we observed that most of the cells strongly labeled by the anti-GluR1 antibody were non-pyramidal neurons and that intense GluR2/3 immunoreactivity was seen preferentially in pyramidal neurons. Interestingly, double-labeling experiments indicated that neurons expressing γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as well as the GluR1 subunit were particularly abundant in deeper layers. The GluR4 peptide was predominantly found in a relatively low number of layer III and layer V neurons with either pyramidal or non-pyramidal morphology. Finally, the distribution of neurons expressing the various receptor subunits was similar in all the visual cortical areas studied. These findings indicate a high expression of GluR1–3 subunits in the cat visual cortex and that GluR1 and GluR2/3 subunits are particularly abundant in non-pyramidal and pyramidal neurons, respectively. In addition, the results described here provide a reference for future studies dealing with the effect of visual deprivation on the expression of this receptor type.