Can Hamsters See In The Dark? All You Need To Know

If you own a hamster, you’re probably already aware that they’re nocturnal. However, Can Hamsters see in the dark? What kind of hamsters see in the darkness? Can dwarf hamsters see in the night? Can Russian dwarf hamsters see in the dark? Hold on! You will find answers to all your questions.

Hamsters are tiny rodents that are highly popular as pets. These adorable little creatures have big, round, black eyes that are typically brilliant and glossy. Your pet hamster is most active at night, as you’ve undoubtedly observed. Hamsters are nocturnal creatures. Is it true, however, that hamsters can see in the dark?

Hamsters in the wild prefer to dwell in underground tunnels where they construct nests. They are nocturnal species that sleep during the day and are most active at night while looking for food.

Given that hamsters are most active at night, it’s only logical that you’d want to know how well they see in the dark. Yes, hamsters can see at night and navigate through the darkness. You might wonder if hamsters have better night vision than humans.

Not at all; it is common knowledge that their idea or eyesight is poor. On the other hand, Hamsters are colorblind, meaning they cannot see or discriminate the colors of various objects or items.

Hamsters have a bad reputation for having poor eyesight, but is this true? Do they have the ability to perceive colors? We’ll answer all of these questions and dispel all of the myths in this post! We’ll also learn how hamsters’ eyes operate and how well they can see at different times of the day and night.

Can Hamsters See In The Dark? How Well Can They See?

In the dark, hamsters can see, although their vision is weak. They appear to be colorblind as well. They have a restricted feeling of distance because of their poor eyesight.

Hamsters utilize their teeth, in addition to their hearing capabilities, to assess whether or not certain items are edible.

Can Hamsters see in the dark

Hamsters spend virtually their whole lives in the moonlight. They are nocturnal creatures. All of their actions take place in the early hours of the morning. Burrowing, foraging, mating, and other activities fall under this category.

Wild hamsters must avoid snakes, owls, weasels, wildcats, and other nocturnal creatures at night. Every hamster will dig its tunnel for protection.

These burrows eventually develop into sophisticated tube networks. As you can expect, there isn’t much light underground. Hamsters rely on their hearing and smell capabilities rather than their eyesight.

Hamsters can detect lizards and grubs to feed, as well as intruders. They may use their tiny solid noses to detect other hamsters or locate grains, nuts, seeds, and other items. As hamsters need light to see, morning and dusk are the optimum times for them to see.

Bright sunshine will harm their eyes, and they won’t see much in complete darkness. The earliest and later hours generate a light glow that is perfect for hamsters. A hamster will generally emerge from its burrow at this time.

The hamsters do this to forage for food such as seeds, grains, hay, and other such items. Their vision will alert them to basic movement and forms, but hearing and smell will also play an important role.

Can Hamsters See Well in Daylight?

It’s vital to recognize that the retina, or rear layer of the eye, includes two light sensor cells: rods and cones. The rods are necessary for seeing in low-light situations and at night. Cones are required for vision in bright light, throughout the day, as well as color vision.

Rods and cones are found in all species, although in varying quantities. More rod cells are found in animals that are more active at night. The retina of a hamster is made up of 97 percent rods and 3 percent cones.

Hamster, Mouse, Animals, Mascot, Rodent

They have poor eyesight during the day because they have a low number of cone cells, essential for seeing a bright light. As a result, they are far more active at night.

As cones are also necessary for color vision and the overall clarity of pictures perceived, hamsters’ image is exceptionally fuzzy.

Are Hamsters Color Blind?

It is a complex topic to answer and one that scientists are actively debating and researching today.

However, all human and animal eyes are made up of rod cells, which allow us to see in low light, and cones, which will enable us to see in bright sunlight. On the other hand, Nocturnal animals have more rods than cones, which limits their color vision.

Hamsters’ eyes are sensitive to light, and they should never be exposed to direct sunlight, which might hurt their eyes. The eyes of hamsters have evolved to perceive in low light and even in complete darkness.

They spend their days resting, excavating, and cleaning the burrow in nature. If they emerge from their burrow during the day, they prefer to remain in the dark and avoid locations directly illuminated by sunlight.

Simply ensure that the room in which your hamster is housed receives plenty of natural light but not direct sunlight on the hamster cage.

Cone cells in the retina are crucial for color vision and vision under intense light. The cone cells also contain opsins, which are light-sensitive pigments that can detect different wavelengths or hues of light.

We already know that hamsters have a limited number of cone cells and, as a result, have poor daytime vision.

Hamsters are considered to be colorblind in general. Syrian hamsters have a monochromatic vision, which means they can’t distinguish between different hues, according to studies.

However, some Siberian Hamsters were responsive to blue and green light stimulation in several investigations. As a result, sure hamsters are now thought to be capable of very high levels of intelligence.

Do Hamsters Blink?

Hamster, White, Cute, Pet, Animal, Fur

Hamsters do blink their eyes. They just do it quickly, making it difficult to see at times. Hamsters can blink one eye at a time, which is incredible.

Blinking is a vital part of the eye’s function because:

  • It aids in the spreading of tears throughout the eye’s surface, keeping it moist. 
  • It aids in the removal of irritants from the eye’s surface.
  • It is a response that helps to protect the eye when something is too close.

How Far Can Hamsters See?

Hamsters have sharp vision. It implies they can see objects right in front of their face but not far away. Only a few inches in front of their face can a hamster see. The lens in human eyes may change shape to concentrate light and view objects at various distances.

Hamsters have a relatively stiff lens that does not shift the body well or focus light well. As a result, individuals cannot see objects more than a few inches away from their faces.

Hamster, Nature, Animal, Hamster

As a result, they do have impaired vision. The animals compensate for this by utilizing their whiskers to help them “feel” the world around them. They also use their hearing and smelling capabilities, which are more developed than their eyesight, to detect danger.

Hamsters have big eyes concerning their bodies, which allows them to optimize the quantity of light that enters their eyes – but does this indicate they can see far away? Like many other animals, Hamsters are born blind and can only see a few inches in front of their snout as adults.

The lens of a hamster’s eye is inflexible, unlike that of human eyes, which can change shape and concentrate light. It implies it won’t be able to alter the form or focus light very well.

Because of your hamster’s poor eyesight, you must understand the dangers that your hamster confronts so that you don’t put them in any potentially harmful circumstances.

Your hamster’s poor vision is frequently the cause of their erratic behavior.

Hamsters may bite as a means of protection or mistaken identification if they can’t distinguish your fingers from food or potential predators. It is why moving slowly, speaking gently, and encouraging your hamster are so vital.

How Their Eyes Work?

The hamster’s eye is comparable in form and function to other mammals, such as humans and dogs.

Because of their tiny stature, hamsters have big eyes to optimize the quantity of light entering their eyes. A hamster’s eye is around 2.5 times larger than a mouse, which is an amusing fact.

Let’s have a look at how their eyes operate in real life:

  • The front surface of the watch has a clear protective covering called the conjunctiva that allows light to flow through.
  • Its successive passes through the pupil, a circular hole in the eye that regulates the quantity of light that enters. It can grow in dim light and contract in solid light.
  • The light then goes through the lens, which aids in the focusing of the morning.
  • The light finally reaches the retina, which is located in the rear of the eye. The retina is a layer of light-receiving cells located in the back of the eye.
  • The light is converted into an electrical message by these receptors, which go to the brain through the optic nerve. The hamster’s brain interprets the pictures and allows them to see.

Isn’t that a fascinating process? Do hamsters, on the other hand, have good eyesight? Are they able to see in the dark? Let’s find out a little more about their vision abilities.

Reactions Of The Hamsters In The Dark

As hamsters are nocturnal, they prefer to engage in their favorite pastimes when there is no light. When it gets dark outside, hamsters like to eat their food at night and exhibit excitement for substantial physical activities.

If you’ve welcomed a pet hamster into your home, make sure to switch off the light in its cage at night. As a result, based on your hamster’s usual routines, you must provide its dinner as well as spend quality time with him as night falls.

Its lively and cheerful character and other amusing features connected with its nature may be seen at night.

Reactions Of Your Pet Hammy In The Daytime

Your hammy will become tired and sleepy throughout the day because it is a nocturnal species. They would want to spend their afternoon sleeping soundly and without interruption.

Hamster, Pets, Small Animals, Black Pets

It’s improbable that your cute little hammy will be able to play and enjoy any entertaining activities with your youngsters. It’s best not to bother it throughout the day. It may get irritable and retaliate aggressively.

When hamsters are overstimulated, they may bite your children. As a result, you should constantly keep this feature in mind when caring for your hamsters and attempt to minimize disruptions during their daytime slumber.

Keeping Yourself Up With Your Pet During The Night

Move your hamster’s cage away from your bed to have a good night’s sleep with your loved ones. It might otherwise disrupt your sleep. When you have to go to work or school in the morning, the issue becomes more complicated.

Hamster, Book, Lights, Rest, Pet

While playing with the diameter wheel, your pet may wake you up at night by making piercing noises. You must also put up with its digging since, like a rodent, it prefers to dig in the cage. It might potentially generate a lot of noise to wake you up.

If you want to view your hamster at night without endangering his health by turning on the light in his room, there are two options:

  • Low Light At Night

Use a nightstand lamp instead of a ceiling light and relocate it to the room’s opposite corner. Or else add a dimmer switch to adjust the intensity of the light in the room.

The first alternative is to dim the light in the room where your hamster cage is kept until it appears to be twilight. This dim light will not bother your hamster, and you will be able to watch, play, tame, and so on.

If you do this, don’t leave the light on for more than half an hour before turning it off and leaving the hamster alone. 

  • Show Up During The Daylight Hours

Wait and watch for moments when your hamster exits his nest in broad daylight as a final resort to seeing but not being able to connect with him.

These are brief periods, but your hamster wakes up numerous times during the day and does inspection rounds in his cage. As a result, you may set the time intervals at which your hamster appears throughout the day.

  • At Night Use Red Light

A frequent habit among parent hamsters is to use red lights to brighten their hamster’s cage at night. Because hamsters don’t appear to detect red light waves, you’ll see your hamster, but he’ll always believe he’s in the dark.

Allow the evening light to filter in through the window while you admire your hamster until you can no longer see it.

However, if your hamster is only active at night and only wakes up after 10 or 11 p.m., I recommend using the red light instead of turning on the room’s light bulb, which is harmful to your hamster.

  • Record During The Night

This option is to install pet cameras and record all of your hamster’s activities during the night. All you have to do is prepare and direct the camera to your hamster’s cage during the day and view it when you get home from school or work the next day.

Do Hamsters Have Good Eyesight?

Hamsters dwell in caves and dens underground in the wild, where it is pretty dark. They would only exit their burrows to go out for food at daybreak and dusk.

There are many fewer predators around during these hours, making them less likely to be seen. Because hamsters are not particularly secure during the day, they prefer to sleep and stay underground in their dens while bright outdoors.

Hamsters have weak eyesight as a result of spending so much time underground and in low-light situations. They spend so much of their time in the dark that their eyes aren’t used to intense light.

In low light, they can see considerably better and more clearly. Even though your pet hamster has no predators or threats within his cage, he nevertheless follows his ancestors’ crepuscular habits.

It is why, late at night, while you’re trying to sleep, your furry buddy chooses to make a racket with his wheel!

Do hamsters need light during the day?

There are hamsters in rooms where there are no windows that face the outside of the home.

So the hamster never gets natural light throughout the day, which is a severe problem for which you must take action; here is what you must do. Using a bulb and a Dimmer Switch, you must construct the day and replicate the light of the day:

Cute, Mammal, Nature, Small, Rodent

For instance, the light in the room where the hamster is kept must be on all day. If it has a Dimmer Switch, it should be dimmed at nightfall and turned off entirely half an hour or an hour after sunset to provide light as close to that of the outside as feasible.

How to ensure the ideal light for my hamster?

Natural light is very appealing to hamsters. All you have to do is place your hamster’s cage near a window that faces the outside. Also, attempt to close this window’s curtain only after nightfall. Of course, the cell should not be exposed to direct sunlight!

As a result, your hamster will live as if he were in his native habitat, according to natural light and the progression of days and nights.

If you just need to turn on the morning for a half-hour at nightfall, the recommendation is to turn it off at the same time every day to avoid disturbing your hamster. They can receive some moonlight by leaving the blinds open at night, which they may appreciate.

Should we cover the hamster cage during the day?

Golden Hamster, Hamster, Animal, Nuts

Hamsters are rodents who don’t get much sleep. Can you, however, keep their cage covered throughout the day? Yes, you can, but it won’t help them sleep any time soon.

Covering your hamster’s cage makes it more comfortable for hamsters to sleep. No proof covering your hamster’s cage during the day would help it sleep.

Do hamsters need sunlight?

No, because hamsters’ eyes are sensitive to light, they should never be exposed to direct sunlight, which might hurt their eyes.

The eyes of hamsters have evolved to perceive in low light and even in complete darkness. They spend their days resting, excavating, and cleaning the burrow in nature.

If they emerge from their burrow during the day, they prefer to remain in the dark and avoid locations directly illuminated by sunlight. Ensure that the room in which your hamster is housed receives plenty of natural light but not direct sunlight on the hamster cage.

Instead, choose a space in your house where your hamster’s habitat will receive plenty of natural light during the day while being out of direct sunlight.

It is also a space where uneven illumination must avoid. Light is an excellent predictor for their sleep cycle. Therefore variable definition, such as solid artificial lights on at night and periods of complete darkness during the day, might be perplexing for your hamster.

Pet hamsters can get confused, anxious, and even stressed if their sleep pattern is disrupted. These unpleasant emotional side effects can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Therefore avoid it. 

Can Dwarf Hamster See In the Dark?

In total darkness, they are unable to see. To be able to see objects, their eyes, like humans’, require some light. Hamsters, in general, see best in low light. In low-light situations, such as dawn and dusk, they can make out things with the most incredible precision.

Hamsters rely on their other senses more than their eyesight due to their weak vision. Hearing, tasting, and smell can all assist hamsters in making understanding their surroundings.

In the absence of adequate vision, hamsters can use their senses thanks to their oversized teeth and whiskers.

Can Roborovski Hamsters See In the Dark?

Desert hamsters noted for their speed are known as Roborovski hamsters. Can Roborovski hamsters see in the dark, though? Yes, they can see in the dark, just like other hamster species. They are, in fact, extremely active at night.

Can Syrian Hamsters See In the Dark?

No, Syrian hamsters can’t see in complete darkness. They do, however, have incredible senses of smell, hearing, and taste. Syrian hamsters use these capabilities to detect what is going on around them at night.

To see, hamsters typically require some light. The optimum hours for a hamster’s vision are when the light is low. The hamster’s eyes are damaged by bright sunshine, and they are unable to see.

Can Russian Dwarf Hamsters See In the Dark?

Yes, hamsters can see at night and navigate through the dark. On the other hand, Hamsters are colorblind, meaning they cannot see or discriminate the colors of various objects or items.

Campbell’s dwarf Russian hamsters are nocturnal. However, they can be active during the day for brief periods. They are great pets, but if they feel threatened, they may pinch.

Do Hamsters Have Good Night Vision?

Yes, hamsters can see in the dark, but only to a limited extent. Hamsters, on the other hand, have a keen sense of smell and hearing. They can perform effectively in the dark, thanks to their minds.

When we talk about some other hamster species, they can’t see in the dark. To see, their eyes require some light. On the other hand, Hamsters see best in low light, such as at dawn and twilight.


So, do hamsters have the ability to see in the dark? Yes! However, they have a hard time seeing in the dark. Their eyesight is terrible in general.

They compensate for this with an exceptional sense of hearing and smell. They can navigate in the dark using only their nose and hearing.

As a hamster owner, there are a few things you can do to help. Hamsters have difficulty avoiding falls since they can’t see what’s in front of them. Keep your tiny friend away from anything that will get them high.

Place ramps and other cage attachments low in the cage. Is it possible for hamsters to see in the dark? Yes, providing you provide a relatively light and calm environment in which your hamster may thrive.


Is it OK for hamsters to be in the dark?

Hamsters, unlike most people, are nocturnal creatures, meaning they go about their daily lives while it’s dark outside. Hamsters feed and exercise primarily at night. They feel energized and ready to take on their “days” in the dark. As a result, hamsters must sleep with the lights turned off at night. Their bodies require complete darkness to recognize that it is time to get up and about, precisely as in the wild.

Can hamsters see in total darkness?

Rod cells, which are crucial for low-light vision, are abundant in the retinas of hamsters. As a result, they have evolved to be more active at night to search for food.
They cannot, however, see in total darkness. To know, hamsters require at least a tiny amount of light. Hamsters can see with the most incredible precision during dawn and dusk when there is less light.

Is it okay to put a towel over a hamster cage?

Do not be alarmed if your hamster appears to be up all night. Because hamsters are nocturnal, it’s only natural that they don’t sleep at night. Wrapping or covering your hamster’s cage and darkening his surroundings will not help him sleep. After all, darkness helps these little mice to stay awake.

Do lights bother hamsters?

Bright sunlight is also harmful to hamsters. To be kept away from sources of ultrasonography in the household, such as television sets, computer displays, vacuum cleaners, and flowing water sources. Hamsters are susceptible to high-frequency sounds that we cannot hear, which can be unpleasant for them.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!thing.