Do Hamsters Blink?

Hamsters are cute little creatures and anybody would love to cuddle with them. However, if you look at them closely, it is very unlikely that you will spot them blinking so much. You may wonder whether all hamsters don’t blink or if something is wrong with the hamsters. So, still, if you have those questions unanswered this article would be very useful for you.

The answer to the above questions is, yes hamsters do blink but the exciting thing is they don’t do that with both their eyes at once. They would normally blink their right or left eye at one time and then vice versa. You could spot this only if you are paying good attention otherwise you may think that hamsters don’t blink at all. So, now you may wonder why hamsters blink with only one eye rather than using both eyes. In addition to that, you may wonder how often they blink as well. So, here we go. All the answers you are seeking are here. Let’s find out the reasons behind this in detail.

Do hamsters blink or wink?

Hamsters blink rather than a wink. However, they would not blink in the same way that humans do. Generally,  hamsters blink with only one eye at one time. They may do that most of the time when they prey on animals. Some people consider this a defense mechanism just like the bunnies sleep with their eyes open and guinea pigs sleep only for a few minutes at one time.

That being said, you may probably wonder why your hamsters keep looking at you without blinking. The reason for that is your hamsters would hardly blink when you are around. They consider humans as bigger predators. Hamsters would want some time to build trust with you, be comfortable with you and then only they start blinking.

Can Hamsters Blink with Both Eyes at a time?

No, hamsters will not blink with both of their eyes at once. That said, when they are sleeping they would close both their eyes. Besides, they tend to close their eyes when they want to get something such as water or sand.

However, this is also not something that could occur quite often. So, if by any chance your beloved hamster tends to blink both their eyes or close both eyes, it would be best to monitor the situation quite well and if you could spot them continuing doing that, it would be worth paying a visit to the doctor.

Why Do Hamsters Blink with One Eye?

There is no clear evidence to elaborate on as to why the hamsters blink with one eye. However,  many people believe that it could be due to a defense mechanism they have. It is true that hamsters are domesticated animals. However, they may still process some of the trails and instincts which they inherit from their wild ancestors.

For example, their blinking habit is one of them. so, if they happen to close both their eyes at once even for a shorter period, it would make them vulnerable to predators. Having said that, hamsters would tend to create underground burrows to fulfill their dietary requirements, for hiding purposes, sleeping purposes, etc. So, when they hang around in the night,  they cannot guarantee any safety if they happen to close both their eyes at one time. Wild hamsters are always on alert when they burrow. So, when they blink they would keep one eye open so that they can ensure they are watchful of the things happening around them.

So, hamsters may tend to do this activity irrespective of the place they live as simply that is what they have inherited from their ancestors. Having said that, it is very unlikely that you will witness them blinking also if they specially happen to face at an angle . When they are in that posture, you can only see one eye which may make you think that they don’t blink at all.

How Often Do Hamsters Blink?

We cannot specifically state the number of times the hamster blinks. However, humans would blink 15 times on average every minute. Hamsters may tend to blink when the situation arises. Besides, it could vary depending on the hamster breed also. There are some senior hamster owners who believe that hamsters can have longer blinks compared to humans.

The reason for that is that the hamsters have a layer of lubricant covering which covers their eyes. It plays a major role in providing moisture for blinking. This is also like a defense mechanism they have. Furthermore, Besides using one eye for blinking, hamsters blink less frequently also as a natural defense mechanism to protect them from predators. Apart from that, hamsters’ crepuscular, nocturnal habits also play a major role in hamsters blinking less frequently.

Hamsters’ eyes would tend to dry out during the daytime and it would make them blink more. However since hamsters sleep during the daytime their eyes would stay moist. On the other hand, the risk of losing moisture would be very low as the lighting source is not that strong. This literally means there will be less chance of losing moisture during the nighttime. Furthermore, some people believe that hamsters can have longer blinks during the nighttime.

Why do hamsters not blink?

Hamsters do blink, but it is very likely that you will miss spotting them blinking. They inherit the blinking from their wild ancestors. Furthermore, hamsters would not use both their eyes for blinking. Instead, they would use just one eye to blink and the other eye will blink after that.

Why do hamsters not blink at night?

During the nighttime, the lighting source is very less. Due to that there will be less moisture loss. This literally means they would blink less often. On the other hand, during the daytime the bright sunlight would dry out the eyes and result in more blinking.

Why does my hamster keep winking?

Nobody has found scientific evidence as to why the hamsters wink. However, there could be some possible factors which would result in this. If your hamster tends to wink, it literally means that they are feeling somewhat insecure. They may probably be unaware of what is happening around and end up winking at the end. That being said, it is very rare you could spot them winking. Besides, they may tend to blink their eyes with the purpose of cleaning if there are any foreign particles in it. So, if we look into these factors in detail, they would tend to wink for the following reasons.

Watching for predators

As aforesaid, hamsters would blink with one eye mainly to defend themselves from predators. Once one eye is open, they can see what is happening around and check whether they are in any sort of trouble. You could expect the domesticated hamsters also to do the same even if you breed them at home. That is because they get these characteristics from their ancestors. That said, the domesticated hamsters would not experience the same risks they experience when they are in the wild.

Eye issues.

Blinking and winking is a normal behavior for many animals. Having said that, it could also be due to an issue in the eye as well. For example, if the hamsters have any injuries, they may tend to wink. If I further elaborate on this, hamsters may have injuries if they get in contact with sharp pointy objects in the hamster’s cage.  So, once they get in contact with those, hamsters may tend to scratch their eyes. Besides, eye infections may also contribute to eye blinking. Moreover, conditions such as inflammation, cataracts and corneal ulcers would also tempt the hamsters to blink their eyes.

Do hamsters have eyelids?

Usually, hamsters come up with a set of eyelids and that is what helps them to blink. If they don’t come up with eyelids, it would make their eyes prone to issues caused by irritants and pollutants. Furthermore ,it will be difficult for the hamsters to remove those from the eye surface and it may result in health-related issues that would last for a longer period as well. For example, they may become blind due to this.

Eyelids are a critical part of the hamster’s eye as they would play a major role in retaining and spreading moisture in the eyeball.  For example, if the hamster’s eyes are dry they would start blinking their eyes using the eyelids. They would simply move the eyelids up and down. Ultimately they will be able to have an optimum eye comfort level. In fact, this is exactly the same way other mammals function.

How to keep the hamster’s eyes healthy

If the hamsters tend to blink their eyes constantly, it would literally mean that something is wrong with them. In fact, it may be due to a medical emergency as well.  As above mentioned, you would not spot your hamsters blinking on a daily basis. However, if you happen to see them blinking quite faster for prolonged periods, you need to act swiftly and see what the underlying cause for that.

Considering that pink eye is a commonly spotted medical issue that your hamsters may come across. In fact, it would stop them from opening their eyes. So, if your beloved hamster comes across this you could simply treat this with warm water and cotton wool. It is not necessary to go for a doctor’s  consultation here.

How long do hamsters blink?

Hamsters blink quite faster and it is very unlikely that you will notice them blinking as well. However, if you closely look at them chances are that you may spot them blinking. If the hamsters blink slowly and for prolonged periods closely inspect the hamster’s eyes and see whether they are healthy. Besides, the age of the hamsters may also be a crucial factor that would impact the blinking of the hamsters. Usually, if the hamsters are older, they would tend to slow down in blinking. So, it is always best to be on alert on the length of the hamsters’ blinks as those may indicate some issues in them.

Conclusion

So, to conclude hamsters may tend to blink sometimes and it is very likely that you will spot them doing that unless you are an observer of them. However even if you don’t spot them blinking, you don’t need to worry about that. That said, make sure that you closely monitor the hamsters’ health and ascertain whether they are in good health.

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