Hamsters are a great pet to have. You many noticed that they seem quiet and not very active during the day, but at night, it’s a different story. The hamster is very active by running on their exercise wheel, digging, and eating. This is because hamsters are nocturnal creatures. Since they are nocturnal, can hamsters see in the dark?
So can hamsters see in the dark? Hamsters can see in the dark, just not very well. These creatures have poor eyesight that can see only in lighting that is medium-low. At dawn and dusk is the best time their vision is clearest.
Hamsters Have Poor Eyesight
When it comes to vision, hamsters have very poor vision. They are blind since the time they are born. As they get old and their vision develops, it doesn’t get much better.
During the day, adult hamsters cannot see further than a few inches in front of them. For this reason, hamsters will usually stay in their burrow for safety.
At night, the same as during the day, hamsters cannot see very well, especially when it’s pitch black.
Therefore, your pet hamsters are at risk of getting themselves in harm’s way. If you leave the hamsters up on a desk, make sure to monitor them closely or put a fence of some sort to prevent them from falling off.
Due to there poor vision, they may have a hard time recognizing you from far away. Hamsters have good hearing and the ability to recognize the different voices. As you play with them, speak to them gently so they’ll recognize your voice.
The next time you walk into the room, speak to them and they know that’s it’s you.
Are Hamsters Nocturnal?
Yes, hamsters are nocturnal creatures. The wee hours are when they are most active. This includes foraging for foods, burrowing holes in the ground, and mating.
Being a nocturnal creature, the hamsters have many benefits. One of them is going undetected from predators. They can go move around without the need to worry a predator will eat them.
However, there are other predators that come out at night too. Animals such as snakes, owls, weasels, and wildcats are nocturnal and hunt only at night. For this reason, hamsters will create burrow and will use it for their safety.
Since they are nocturnal animals, they don’t need good vision. Instead, their senses of hearing and smell are what they rely on.
While in their burrow, they can detect intruders coming into their burrow or nearby. Also, they can sniff out other hamsters with their powerful sense of smell.
Hamsters See Best at Dawn and Dusk
Hamsters have very poor vision, but they can see if there is some light. Therefore, the best hours for them to see are dawn and dusk.
During the day, the bright sunlight can hurt their eyes. For that reason, always make sure to have some type of covering or an object that they can hide from the bright light.
At night, when it’s pitch black, hamsters are pretty much blind. They will move around using their sense of smell and hearing.
Therefore, during the earlier hours in the morning and late in the evening is ideal for hamsters.
At dusk and dawn, this is when you’ll notice that your pet hamster is most active.
Hamsters Can Hear Very Well
Even though hamsters have very poor eyesight, their sense of hearing is exceptional. Hamsters are able to hear sound far beyond humans. Their hearing along with their specially-tuned ears, they are able to sense dangers long before it reaches them.
Hamsters use squeaks and other low frequency sounds to communicate with each other. To humans and most other animals, they won’t be able to hear anything at the hamster’s frequency level.
Due to their ear being really sensitive, it’s important to make sure the sounds around them aren’t too loud. This means keeping TV and stereo far away from them.
If the noise is too loud, it could prevent the hamster from relaxing and could even cause them to be stressed.
To help hamsters relax, you can play a nice classical song at a low volume.
Hamsters Have A Keen Sense of Smell
Besides their excellent sense of hearing, hamsters also have a great sense of smell. The smell is another way for hamsters to communicate with each other. All hamsters release pheromones, which is a smell that has information in it.
This smell will let other hamsters know whose territory it is if they are a male or female, and to recognize each other.
Also, for hamster’s babies, the mother releases pheromones to help them recognize them. In the burrow where it’s usually dark most of the time, using the scent will help the mother locate their babies too.
When it comes to foraging for food, hamsters will use their sense of smell to locate food. They will use their nose to sniff out seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Due to the keen smell, they can even locate food under dirt and debris as well.
Also, their sense of smell allows them to differentiate between food that has spoiled and those that are fresh. Hamsters will only eat fresh food and store them in their burrow.