Do Hamsters Have Good Eyesight?

Before bringing a new pet to your home, you need to know some crucial information about it. Multiple hamsters enthusiasts have a common doubt – do hamsters have good eyesight?

Do Hamsters Have Good Eyesight?

No, hamsters do not have a good sight. Due to their poor eyesight, they can see only some distance beyond their nose. They can not see the proper view under bright light. But, hamsters can see well if they are in dim, low light, or dark conditions. Plus, they have a broad vision. For moving around, hamsters depend on their hearing and smelling senses.

Do Hamsters Have Good Eyesight

You can scroll down to understand more about the hamsters’ eyesight, how they live in the wild, and other vital information related to their eyesight.

Hamsters cannot see and are nearly blind in bright light. Hamsters can see well under dim lighting conditions. Even though they can see partially, hamsters depend on their whiskers to guide them around.

When they are born, hamsters can not see anything because they are born blind. During its growth, a hamster can see up to a few inches beyond its nose. Though they have poor eyesight, hamsters retain a wide-angle vision. With their broad vision, it is easy for the hamsters living in the wild to search for their food.

Hamsters rely on sounds, touch, and smells to move around. Your pet may not be able to see you, but it can recognize you by your scent and sound. Plus, the hamster is mainly active during dusk and dawn instead of daylight.

Make sure not to keep your hamster in a multiple stand cage. As your pet can not see well, there is a chance that it might fall from the stand, which leads to severe injuries. 

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When you put the hamster in its cell, it is crucial to make the room fairly dark. Hamsters are comfortable and can see in dim light areas. Hence, it is better to keep the playroom dark so that the hamster will show interest to get out of its cage to play.

Why Do Hamsters Have Bad Eyesight?

One primary reason why a hamster has poor eyesight is that it is nocturnal. Before becoming pet animals, hamsters used to reside in the wild, where they live in small underground burrows. They used to spend most of the daytime in their caves to escape from predators. Plus, they used to go out in low light timings (after the sunset and before the sunrise) to search for food.

As a consequence of staying in low-light conditions in their underground burrows, hamsters developed terrible eyesight. They can only see well in dark conditions. As hamsters did not come out of their cave during the daytime, their eyes are not used to bright light.

Because of all the above reasons, hamsters have developed poor eyesight over time. Do you want to know why your pet hamster can not see well even though it is domesticated? Yes, it is true that pet hamsters are domesticated, but they got this terrible eyesight from their ancestors who lived in the wild.

Can Hamsters See Different Colors?

Hamsters almost have 97% rod cells in their eyes with a smaller number of cones. The cones give color ability and common visual insight. As there are plenty of rod cells, hamsters can see well in dim light conditions.

A study conducted on Syrian hamsters reported that they have monochromatic eyesight. It implies that they will see all colors as one color, but in different shades. But, in some other studies, hamsters responded to blue and green stimuli. Due to that, researchers think that hamsters might see those colors, though only moderately. It is because of a light-sensitive pigment in the retina, which is rhodopsin. [1]

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Can Hamsters See UV?

It is revealed that Syrian hamsters respond to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. As a result, researchers speculate that hamsters might retain some extra photopigments, which makes them sensitive to UV light. Your hamster can see its urine marks under ultraviolet light.

Can The Hamsters Stay Near UV Lights?

UV lighting is not an issue in the wild for our little friends. There are no benefits to having your hamster near UV Lighting. Instead, it may be the opposite. Naturally, when your hamster encounters UV Lighting, that means it is time for bed. UV lighting may stress him out and change his sleep patterns.

Is The Hamster’s Biting Behavior Related To Its Eyesight? 

As the owner, you might be aware of the biting behavior of your hamster. Yes, the biting behavior of your pet is related to its poor eyesight. As the hamster cannot see well, it will become afraid when there is a sudden action in front of it. Due to its fear, your pet will try to protect itself by biting.

Also, hamsters tend to bite people if they do not know who it is. It is a protective behavior using which a hamster will learn about the people who are present near it. Try not to yell or scream when a hamster bites you because it will scare the pet more.

Considering all these reasons, it is crucial to keep your hamster comfortable. Make sure to put it in a small cage and allow it to spend more time in its cell. If you want to interact with the hamster, you have to be gentle, calm, and move in slow movements.

Can Hamsters Survive In The Wild With Their Poor Eyesight?

In general, many owners keep their pet hamsters in a cage and supply food and water from time to time. So, you might be wondering how the hamsters living in the wild can survive with their poor eyesight.

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Unlike the pets, hamsters living in the wild stay in underground caves, which are generally quite dark. The hamsters will only get out of their underground burrow in dusk and dawn to find food. During these times, the surroundings are very dark, and the hamsters can see well. Besides that, even predator attacks are less in dusk and dawn.

During the day, hamsters will spend their time sleeping in their underground burrows. As they can not see well in bright light, daylight is unsafe for the hamsters. Despite their terrible eyesight, hamsters have incredible hearing and smelling sense, using which they will survive in the wild.

Hamsters are prey in the wild, so they would want to conceal themselves from predators. Sunrise or sunset provides a time predators are not usually hunting. In short, the hamsters living in the wild are naturally crepuscular and are active in low light conditions. 

Are Baby Hamsters Blind?

When hamsters are born, they are blind. The baby hamsters have a very poorly developed optical system. As they are photophobic, the baby hamsters tend to face discomfort in their eyes if they are exposed to bright light. Even during the dark, they can not see well.

Final Words

Hamsters do not have good eyesight. Though they can not see well, hamsters use their hearing, smelling, and touch ability to move around. Your hamster can see well when it is in dim light or low light conditions. But, it might not see clearly under the bright light.

In general, your pet can see all colors as a single color in different shades. The wide-angle vision makes it easy for the hamsters living in the wild to get food. Besides that, they can also escape from predators quickly.