Can Hamsters See in the Dark ?

Do you own a cute little hamster? If yes, have you seen your beloved hamsters running on their wheel in the middle of the night? So can hamsters see in the dark? Yes, hamsters can see in the dark. They are nocturnal animal species and they are more active at night.

With that question you might wonder, what kind of eyesight do the hamsters have? How do the hamsters see the world? So, let’s look into this matter much more deeply and clear all the concerns we have in this regard.

What about the eyes of the hamsters?

Usually, the eyes of the hamsters are somewhat spherical. You could spot them forming in so many colors. For example, they would come in bright pink to clear pink, dark red to brown and black. However, the color would also vary depending on the species. Furthermore, hamsters have larger lenses and they would be crucial to gain additional light. Besides, the pupil of the hamster’s eye is much more evident too. In addition to that, they also consist of a smaller iris . If you look at the eyes of the hamsters somewhat far you might think that they are round in shape and uniform in color.

Does your hamster have night vision?

Hamsters don’t have much night vision. However, they can see better during low lighting levels. Hamsters use the sense of smell and touch more than they use their vision. It is a well-known fact that hamsters are much more active during the nighttime, particularly during dawn and dusk. So, one might wonder whether the hamsters can see things in the dark quite well or not. In fact, it is quite an interesting fact to look into. It is noteworthy that hamsters can see things at night and they can even find their route in the darkness as well.

Don’t ever think that hamsters have better vision during the nighttime when compared to the daytime. In general, they don’t have good vision or good eyesight. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that hamsters are color-blind.

What do hamsters see?

Hamsters would usually use their vision to access food and prey on animals also. In addition to that, they would send out some visual social signals when they are aggressive. As aforesaid, hamsters don’t usually have proper eyesight. When they are born, many people consider them photophobic and blind. This proves the fact that exposure to light causes some trouble for them.

How well can hamsters see in the dark

Hamsters are nocturnal animal species and they can see things in the dark. In fact, you can spot these animals engaged in various activities during the nighttime. For example, you could see them foraging for food, riding the hamster wheel and hanging around their cage etc. Furthermore, if you happen to feed them during the nighttime you could see them feeding quite a lot, especially during the nighttime. Further, if you wish to have some sort of interaction with them, I suggest you wait until nighttime arrives.

Once the sun starts to set, you could see how the hamsters come out of their hideouts and how they hunt for food. In fact their genetic makeup makes them feel more energetic and active during the darkness. Hence, it would be best to turn off the lights in the cages during the nighttime so that they will feel good.

If we further look into their reactions during the nighttime, it is noteworthy that they would tend to do their preferred activities when the lighting is too low only. You could see how eagerly they look forward to playing with you. So, consider feeding the hamsters with their food preferably in the nighttime. Thereafter spend some time with them playing during the nighttime. You could see how playful and how joyful they look during the nighttime.

Can hamsters see in pitch dark?

Hamsters cannot see when it is pitch dark. They need some light to see things. In terms of the best hours for them to see is either dawn or dusk. Keep in mind that bright sunlight would hurt their eyes. That said, they will not be able to see much in pitch dark too. So, the latest hours, as well as the earliest hours of the day, would suit the hamsters the best. These timings would create a light glow that your beloved hamsters would enjoy. During this time only you could see how they sneak out from their burrows. Besides, they would use dawn or dusk to feed on food such as seeds, grains, hay etc.

So, to sum up, hamsters cannot see when it is entirely dark. Just like with humans they would also prefer to have some light so that they can distinguish the objects. Dim light would be the most appropriate lighting for them.

Are hamsters ok in the dark?

Hamsters would do completely fine in the dark. In fact, they love low levels of light. Hamsters are nocturnal beings. Therefore, they would use the nighttime to conduct their normal activities. They eat and do their physical exercises when it is dark. Darkness would make them feel energetic.

They would tend to stay active as much as they can during the darkness. So, if you or your kids want to play with them during the night, always try to use low light. Avoid using ceiling lights. Instream try using the nightstand lamp and move it to an opposite place where the hamsters are in. Furthermore, you could consider using a dimmer to control the intensity of the lighting as well.

In addition to that, if you wish to look at the hamsters during the nighttime you could use the red lights to see them. Many hamster owners tend to use red lights to illuminate the hamster’s cages as those lights are not disturbing for them. Hamsters cannot identify the red light waves and they would think that they are in the dark.

That being said, many people tend to leave the hamsters without the red light also and allow them to gain the low light from dusk or dawn. However, if your hamster usually wakes up around 10 pm or 11 pm you could consider having the red light in the cage without turning on the regular light in your room. If you want to ascertain whether the hamsters are doing ok at night, you can use a pet camera like Lumix, GH5 Canon 70 D etc.

What are the risks that hamsters suffer if they get exposed to light at night?

They would become aggressive if you unintentionally or intentionally expose them to light. Or they might try to hide to avoid bright light. As such always expose them to darkness during the nighttime as that is what they would prefer to have.

Are hamsters colorblind?

Hamsters are colorblind. Hence, they would not be able to identify the colors separately. Hamsters’ eyes have about 97 % of rod cells ( a cell type in the eye) and they cannot capture color. So, even if you decorate the hamsters’ cages with colorful decorations they would not notice them. However, the rod cells help the hamsters to see in the dark. Some studies have stated that hamsters have monochromatic eyesight. So, they would see everything as one color.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Syrian hamsters see in the dark?

Syrian hamsters cannot see well in the dark compared to other hamster species.

Can Russian dwarf hamsters see in the dark

Russian dwarf hamsters can see in the dark but not in complete darkness.

Can hamsters see UV light?

As per some research conducted, hamsters can see UV light.

Are hamsters short-sighted?

Hamsters are short-sighted as they can only see a little way past their nose. This literally means they cannot see their owner or any other bystanders around them.


To sum up, hamsters can see well in the dark. That said, their vision would not be that great. Due to this fact, they would tend to use their senses and hearing to survive. And also use their teeth and see whether the objects they come across are edible for them. That being said, they cannot see in the dark quite well. They inherit poor eyesight and due to that they cannot see things in general be it daytime or nighttime. However, to compensate for that they have good hearing skills and senses which would help them to survive. So, since these are very bad at vision it is advisable to protect these tiny creatures as much as you can and avoid keeping them in higher places. Always bear in mind that your hamsters would love it If the environment is moderately lit.

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