Can Hamsters See In The Dark? (Night Vision Explained)

Can Hamsters See In The Dark

Hamsters have poor eyesight, and they can’t see well in complete darkness due to the low amount of cone cells in their retina. They see best in low-light conditions, usually at dawn and dusk.

Hamsters are nocturnal, and they do most of their activity like burrowing, eating their food, and exercising during the nighttime, usually in a dim light condition.

This article will go deep into the topic and talk about hamsters’ eyesight and why hamsters can’t see in complete darkness.

Hamster’s Eyesight

Hamsters are near eyesight, which means they can only see things that are a few inches in front of their face. 

Their retina mostly contains rod cells and a limited amount of cone cells. While rode cells provide them good vision during the low light condition, they might suffer during the daytime.

Hamsters have relatively blurry vision during the daytime; that’s why they are more active at night, usually at the down to find their food and catch insects.

However, despite having poor eyesight, they find their way by using the whiskers and other senses like hearing and smell to help them move around and avoid predators.

Can Hamsters See In The Dark?

Not really!

While hamsters are not blind at night, they have limited vision during the nighttime.

Like us, hamsters can’t see in complete darkness; they need some light to see objects. 

Hamsters have poor vision during the night time, and that’s why they come out at night, usually in the dim lights, to avoid predators. 

They can only see a few inches in front of them as their eyes are not fully developed like other animals.

Hamsters use their whiskers to find their way and detect objects during the night, and excellent memory helps them find their burrows even after they have traveled miles. And they leave a unique scent wherever they go, and they can return by following the smell.

Hamsters Are Nocturnal

Hamsters are nocturnal as they perform most of their activities during the nighttime in the light of the moon.

Hamsters Are Nocturnal

Hamsters have weak eyesight, and their eye does need a bit of light to see. So, the best time for their activities is at dawn and dusk, usually under low-light circumstances.

This is the time when they do most of their activities like burrowing, hunting, foraging, mating, and so on.

For their safety, they dig their own burrow and use their other sense organ like smell, whiskers, and hearing power to find other small insects.

They can sniff out predators and find grains, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. They rely on their sense of hearing and smell more than eyesight.

Can Hamsters See Colors?

Like other mammals, hamsters have two photoreceptor cells, rode and cones. Rode are responsible for good vision in low light conditions, while cones cells are vital for higher light visions and responsible for color vision.

Hamsters have a high level of rode cells and a low level of cone cells in their retina; that’s why they are thought to be colorblind. 

But in recent studies, experts found their eyesight to be monochromatic, which means they might not be able to differentiate between colors but may be sensitive to a few colors like blue and green.

Hamster’s retina contains approximately 97% rode cells and only 3% cone cells which is why they have poor vision during the daytime.

Should I Leave My Hamster In The Dark?

Hamsters are nocturnal beings which means they do most of their activity during the nighttime in the moon’s light.

They rest in their burrow during the day, and when dawn arrives, they feel energetic and ready to do their task.

Their body needs complete darkness to understand that it’s the time to wake up and do their things. 

Therefore, you can leave your hamster in the dark without any issue.

Where Should I Install My Hamsters Cage?

You should install your hamster’s cage in a dark room, and usually close to a window that faces outside and leave the curtain open.

So, they will enjoy the natural light, and it will create a natural dim light situation in your room for your hamster, which they usually get in the wild. 

Where Should I Install My Hamsters Cage

And once the down arrives, they will know that it’s time to wake up and do their activities.

However, you should not let the cage be exposed to direct sunlight as it could harm their eyes.

Hamsters are highly energetic at night and rest during the daytime. So, you have to create a similar living environment as possible by using a bulb and dimmer switch.

Try to switch off the light after sunset around the same time every night to create an environment similar to outside.

Should I Cover Hamsters Cage During The Day

Well, it depends.

In the daytime, your hamster should be in their cage resting, and usually, it’s dark in there; in this case, you do not need to cover their cage.

You should cover their cage with a lightweight material only if direct sunlight is coming from the window or you have to turn on the light for doing your daily activity during the daytime.

However, you should keep your hamster’s cage in the darkroom with no lights on and leave the curtains open so your hamster will know when it’s night outside so they can wake up and start his daily activities.

Can Hamsters See Me In The Dark?

Yes, hamsters can see you in the dark.

Hamsters have poor eyesight in general, and they can only see things that are a few inches from them.

So, if you are standing far from your hamster, even in the dim light, they won’t be able to recognize your face.

However, hamsters depend on their sense of smell, touch, and hearing power more than their vision, and they will find their way even in pitch dark conditions.

Since hamsters are unable to see properly in the dark, you must protect your little buddy by keeping things in the right place to avoid injuries.

Do Hamsters Need Lights In The Night?

Not really!

Hamsters are nocturnal, and they perform most of their task during low light conditions when it’s dark outside.

While hamsters have poor vision in complete darkness, it doesn’t mean they need light at night. They see best in the dim light condition.

In fact, the overhead light at night could disturb their activity and natural sleeping pattern. In addition, it can seriously affect your hamster’s physical and mental health.

However, there are some hamsters’ friendly artificial lights that can create a dim light condition for your little pet, but it’s not necessary.

They need complete darkness to understand that it’s the time to wake up and do their daily task like eating their food, exercising, and playing. 

So, adopt their innate nocturnal behavior, play with them when they are awake, and keep food and other necessary things before night falls.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, hamsters can’t see in complete darkness. They have relatively poor eyesight and are considered colorblind.

Hamster’s eyes require a bit of light to see, so the best hours for their hunting are when it’s dark outside.

They use their whiskers and other senses like smell and hearing to find out foods and insects in the nighttime.

They also leave a unique smell that helps them find their way even after traveling a few miles.

I hope this article solved your query. If you have any more questions, let us know! We would love to hear it from you in the comment section below.

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