Essay

Can Hamsters See in the Dark? This Is What Experts Say

Even if you’re a proud owner of a hamster, you’re unlikely to see one lounging in the sun. These rodents are nocturnal animals who stay away from sunny, bright days. In the dead of night, they can mate, play, feed, and take care of their basic needs. Does that imply that hamsters can see in the dark, you ask?

No, hamsters do not have good night vision. Their impaired vision is most noticeable in low light, such as at dawn and twilight. Their delicate whiskers, along with their sharp noses and hearing, allow them to detect their location in relation to objects, which allows them to prowl around at night.

Hamster Eyesight

Since hamsters are blind, turning on a light would not be particularly helpful. In ideal low light, hamsters can see up to a few inches in front of their faces.

Human eyes are not like those of hamsters; the former have a rod-dominant structure. According to one study, human retinas have a rod-to-cone ratio of 20:1, but hamster retinas had a ratio of 32.24:1.

Because to rod dominance, hamsters are unable to see most colours and cannot see with significant detail or resolution. So when you approach the cage, your hamster doesn’t recognise your cute smile or your apple red t-shirt. Your distinct scent and voice are what draw them in.

Hamsters in the Day

Whether a hamster lives in a comfortable cage or in the wild outdoors, it should ideally sleep for the majority of the day.

Your hamster may be cosy in their nest box or burrowed in their bedding. Lamps near cages should be avoided as too much light can interfere with their natural rhythm. But don’t stress too much over keeping the cage covered. To sleep, hamsters don’t require complete darkness.

At Night, Hamster

The night is when hamsters come to life, if the day is for sleeping. When the sun goes down, they become much more active. For example, hamsters often consume all of their food at night.

Anyone who owns a hamster soon learns to expect the unexpected during the night. Owners of hamsters are familiar with the noises of their pets playing with toys, running on their exercise wheel or across the bedding, and these activities nearly always take place at night.

The fact that hamsters are so accustomed to living in the dark and are nimble that it’s simple to assume they can see in the dark. However, the hamster’s other senses are where these abilities really originate. Mechanoreceptors in their whiskers, for instance, detect even the smallest touch and relay signals back to the brain. The hamster uses these cues to help itself orient.