Are Hamsters Color Blind?

To start off, do you know that hamsters are color blind?  In general, hamsters have poor eyesight and that is how they have constructed naturally. In fact, their eyes have about 97 % of rod cells and 3 % of cone cells. Hamsters can’t usually identify black and white, and they can only identify colors in the green part of the electromagnetic spectrum. So, in this article, I will be covering the subject of whether hamsters are color blind and much more information regarding this. So, let’s get into it right away.

What is color blindness?

In simple words, color blindness is the inability to identify colors properly. To further elaborate, hamsters’ inability to distinguish certain colors is what you call color blindness.

To briefly explain, hamsters’ eyes are a lot similar to human eyes. In their eyeballs, they have a lens, nerves, and other components which help them to see.  Also, the eyes consist of two main cell components called cones and rods. Cones would make the color visible and rods would differentiate light and dark. Usually, the animals that are active during the day would consist of cone cells.

Hamsters may suffer from color blindness when the cone cells in their eyes are damaged. The unavailability of the cone cells in their eyes could also be a reason here. Further, the hamsters’ cone cells would detect a different color than what they intended to. These are photoreceptor cells where there will be three types of cells such as red, green, and blue.

These cone cells are what detect the colors. Further, they will respond to them depending on the relevant wavelength of the light which comes at them. They would react to bright light better. On the other hand, rod cells would react to light completely in a contrasting way. These are more sensitive cells when we compare them with cone cells. Besides they would play a major role when it comes to night vision.

Why are hamsters color blind?

Hamsters are color-blind due to the number of rod cells they have. Rod cells in the eye are responsible to identify black and white colors and cone cells in the eye are responsible to identify other colors such as red, blue, and yellow. Furthermore, hamsters could be color blind since fewer cone cells are contained in the retina as well. Their retina layer comprises 97% of rods and 3% of cones cells and it is pretty much the same as the eye structure of the mice. So, since the hamsters have a significant component of rods when compared with cones, they cannot spot certain colors. Due to that, you could consider them color-blind animals.

In the wild, these animals live in underground holes. In the underground, there are not many colors. They only see black and white. Therefore they do not need to recognize a lot of colors. So with evolution, they lose the ability to see every color and improve their ability to see black and white.

The important thing is that their eyesight is also not as good as many other animals. They only can see a few inches from their nose. That is very poor eyesight when compared to other pets such as cats and dogs. This is also due to their underground lifestyle. In the underground, there is very little light and they see almost nothing there. Although they have a high number of rod cells that is not enough to capture a good vision. Due to that hamsters improve their ability to hear and sense.

What colors do hamsters like

If you observe our hamster closely you might see hamsters like darker colors more than shiny or light colors. Of course, this analysis may vary from animal to animal. But according to research, they prefer darker or black colors. It seems to feel secure with the back color. The reason might be their wild instincts. In the wild they prefer to hide in shallow holes to avoid predators. In a hole, they felt safe. So similar to that they feel safer in darker places in your home too.

On the other note, hamsters can see dim blue and white. But they do not like bright colors at all. However, if you happen to expose them to these lights for too long it would make them go through depression. They will act restless and aggressive. Apart from that, hamsters are fond of the dark as it would keep them energized. Besides, they would sleep better in the dark as well. So, if you are unsure whether you need to turn on the light or not during the night, you need to ideally turn it off.

How many colors can hamsters see?

Hamsters can see black, white and some shades of green as well. Hamsters generally have poor eyesight. If we compare their vision with that of humans, it would be more like 20/400 of the humans’ vision. According to scientists, if you have 20/400 eyesight, that implies you can see the same things from 20 feet away as a person with normal eyesight can see from 400 feet away. In humans, this is known as visual impairment. Hamsters have this kind of weak vision compared to us. If there are objects beyond 3-4 inches away from their eyes, they would see them as fuzzy blurry blobs.

Even though they have poor eyesight, they somehow manage to survive in the world with great hearing skills and the senses they have. Even though hamsters are color-blind, they will not see everything black and in white. They will be able to identify the above-mentioned colors since they have some cone cells included.

What colors can hamsters see

One possible question that may come up when talking to Hamsters about colors is whether or not they can see them. There is some evidence that hamsters can see a few colors, but the answer to this question is far from settled. Some research suggests that hamsters can see colors as well as some primates. However, other research suggests that hamsters can’t see colors at all.

As per some research conducted, hamsters have a similar vision to bats. That also said hamsters can see black, white and some shades of green as well.

Hamsters have more rods. They would not make out colors. However, they would be crucial for night vision. Since they have 3 % cones, they can only identify tones of blue and green and some shades of white. Having poor eye vision is not a problem for hamsters since they have hearing skills and senses to survive in the world.

Can Hamsters See In The Dark?

Yes, hamsters can see in the dark. Hamsters are nocturnal animals, meaning that they’re most active at night. They’re also omnivores, so they’ll eat a wide variety of foods. While this may seem like an odd way to classify your pet’s diet, it’s actually quite common among pet owners. As a result, hamsters aren’t picky when it comes to what they eat—but what about lighting?

Hamsters require some light during the day to help them navigate through their environment and avoid obstacles or predators (like other animals). If you want to keep your pet safe and healthy, you’ll need to provide some form of lighting during the day. Hamsters can see well in low-light conditions, but they do need some amount of light during the night as well—and this is where things get tricky!

While hamsters don’t require much light at night (just enough that they can see), too much light can be harmful for them because it prevents them from sleeping through the night and causes them unnecessary stressors during their waking hours. It’s important not only for your own sake but also for theirs—”You wouldn’t want your child staying up late playing video games

What color can hamsters not see?

Hamsters cannot see red. That color is beyond their visual ability. Therefore many hamster owners use red light to illuminate the hamster ‘s cage. That color does not disturb hamsters and you can see them clearly without disturbing them.

Hamsters do have some difficulty seeing red and orange as well as yellow (although they can recognize these colors if they are placed next to each other). This is because their eyes are designed to be sensitive to movement rather than color.

Are all hamsters color blind?

All hamsters are colorblind. As aforesaid, they can only identify shades of black, white and green. However, this is not something to be worried about as they have other skills such as their hearing skills and senses to help them thrive in the everyday world.

Hamsters are color-blind. It’s true, there are no known cases of hamsters being color-blind. However, there have been many studies on the subject, and they all agree: hamsters can’t see color.

The reason why this is so important is that if you own a hamster, you need to be aware that they don’t have eyes like humans do. They have a much more limited range of vision than we do—their vision is basically just black-and-white and detailed shapes. For example, they can see very small dots (similar to cats) or things that are far away from them (think about how far away your arm is from your face). Because of this limited vision, it’s important that you keep track of any loose objects around your home because hamsters will likely lose them easily and run off with them!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do hamsters see the world?

Hamsters see the world in mainly black and white. But that vision is not as sharp as many animals. They mainly see the world via sound and senses. Those skills help them to navigate whenever they want to make a move. Besides, they can see things in dim light. However, they will not be able to see in the pitch dark.

Can hamsters see the red light?

Hamsters cannot see red light. They are nocturnal and have to stay up at night. At night, they can see in the dark, but they can’t see if it’s too bright. They also have poor night vision, so they need a source of light to see things in the dark. For that you can use very dim white or blue light. But the red light will work as a lamp for us because it is bright enough for us to see without having to strain their eyes. In that way we can see what they are doing at night without being frightened.

Can hamsters see the green light?

Hamsters can see some shades of green. This is quite common among Syrian hamsters and as per some research conducted Syrian hamsters can identify Green the most.

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active during the night. They have poor eyesight, but they do have a keen sense of hearing and smell. They use their whiskers to help them navigate their environments and find food.

Their eyesight is very poor, so they rely on these other senses to make up for their lack of sight. If you want to be able to see your hamster at night, you will need to provide them with some type of artificial light source—a lamp or nightlight works best.

Can hamsters see infrared light?

Hamsters cannot see infrared light. Hamsters usually have a vision that is more shifted to the UV part of the light spectrum. This literally means they can see blue-green light but not red and infrared light.

As with most animals, they have an inner eye that is sensitive to light. This inner eye can detect light and convert it into electrical signals. The retina of a hamster’s eyes is similar in structure to that of humans and other animals. It contains rod cells (which are responsible for color vision) and cone cells (which are responsible for night vision). Rods and cones work together to form images that the brain interprets as color or depth.


Hamsters are not used to bright light. Instead, they would prefer to stay in the dark as much as they can. This literally means they can see better in darkness. That said, they would prefer to have dim light and not pitch darkness too. Since the hamsters are color blind and can see only a few colors you need to always bear this in mind when interacting with them. So, I hope you found this article informative and that you were able to enhance your knowledge in this regard.

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