Do Hamster Have Night Vision? A Full Guide

Hamsters can suddenly become so active at night and make chaos. Well, you must wonder what all this chaos is for. Are they even seeing anything in the dark? 

So, do hamster have night vision? No, hamsters do not have night vision at all. They can hardly see in the dark. But they are able to concentrate in low light exposure and see things. It is more likely, they sense the surrounding and assume accordingly what is going on. 

Now, as the hamsters can not see in the dark, do they need light in the dark? Or else sunlight? Your curious mind might be analyzing all the possible answers. To sort out your questions, you can follow the below article. 

Do Hamster Have Night Vision? 

It would be wrong to say that they have night vision. The animals which have night vision need to have a retroreflector named tapetum lucidum. Unfortunately, the hamster lacks that reflector. That’s why they do not have night vision and only are able to see in low light. 

Hamsters are nocturnal mammals. And nocturnal animals have more rod cells than cone cells in the eye. The retina has two main cells; a rod and a cone. Here, rods are responsible for vision in low light and cones monitor the high intensity of light and color.

Do Hamster Have Night Vision

Rods accumulate the light from the surrounding and creates electrical stimulation. Which is later transformed into an object in the brain and we can see things in front of us.

As hamsters have more rods compared to cones, they can see in low light intensity. It means they become active at night and their activity can increase up to 80%. But with the presence of light, the activity reduces.

Even different colored light hardly affects their vision but can have an impact on their mood. So when you see them jumping around at night, it does not mean they have night visions. Rather it is their time to shine and enjoy. 

Do Hamsters Need Light For Vision?

Well, hamsters require low light for vision. Light of extreme intensity should be avoided as the hamster has a sensitive eye. Perhaps it is because they have less amount of cones to react in high-intensity light.

On the other hand, dim light works best for them, especially low light. The rods would be able to react faster in low light and give proper vision. 

Do Hamsters Need Light For Vision

No need to temper their surrounding for light. As their body would adapt accordingly to the environment. But giving too much light would make them hard to adapt as their eyes are not suitable for adapting to light.

Moreover, tempering light of the environment can influence their sleep cycle a lot. If it does not do any good, do not let the light do bad to the hamsters.

Check out this YouTube video for further clarification

How Can A Hamster See In The Dark?

Though hamsters do not have night vision, they can slightly see in the dark. When the light intensity is low, hamsters would be able to find the objects nearby them. 

How Can A Hamster See In The Dark
  • Firstly, the rods help to gather the light from the object and make a similar reflection in the brain. It may not be enough for the hamster as their eyesight is poor. Rather they use their sense of smell to find nearby objects. 
  • Also, their hearing capability helps them to detect objects. 
  • Apart from that, they can easily remember their path. As a result, it is not hard for them to walk through in the dark at all. 

Moreover, their poor vision added to their sense helps them to go through the day.

What Do The Hamsters See?

They see a colorless world with a blurry view. It is because hamsters can hardly see anything clearly as humans. The common cause is that their eye is built differently than humans. 

They can not even identify anything from near, let alone far. That’s why some say, in the sunlight, the hamster can become blind. 

What Do The Hamsters See

Perhaps, it is not the case. Their eye is not able to change with the light. As a result, when the intensity of light becomes too much, they can not handle it. This affects their vision by making them not see properly. 

Also, it takes time to monitor the surrounding. They can not immediately recognize the environment and act accordingly. As a result, they might seem blind at some point but later it would get fixed. 

Moreover, they can not see colors yet colored light can affect their bodily health. Interesting yet fascinating truth has been discovered that hamsters see things unclearly. But their ability to sense helps them to see or assume the presence of things. 

Good Light For A Hamster

So far you have already come to know, the hamster is light-sensitive. Controlling the light of the surrounding can result in both bad and good for a hamster.

Good Light For A Hamster

Why not get to know, which light would make them feel comfortable? Below a list of lights with their possible impact is given. 

Light Affects 
Dim lightAt night can have an impact on the health of the hamster
Dim light can also influence depression
Weakens the immune system
Reduces reproduction
Increases activity
Red lightReduces sadness and depression
Blue light Triggers depression and mood
If you’re interested in learning more about hamster behavior and health, you may want to check out our articles on why your hamster is not coming out at night and why your hamster is making a clicking noise. Our article on why your hamster is not coming out at night discusses possible reasons for your pet’s behavior and how to create a comfortable and stimulating living environment. Meanwhile, our article on why your hamster is making a clicking noise explores this unusual behavior and what it might mean for your pet’s health.


Many ask some basic questions regarding the hamster vision. There are some frequently asked questions added below to ease your mind.

Q: What is hamster vision like?

The hamster has blurry vision and can hardly identify anything. But their sixth sense makes them one of the exceptions as they can still survive through the rough day. 

Q: Are LED lights OK for hamsters?

LED lights can be good or bad depending on the color of the light. Research has found, red light tends to minimize depression in hamsters. While blue light can trigger depression.

Q: Do hamsters like sunlight?

Yes, hamsters like sunlight as long as it is not to the excess level. Natural light is always preferable for the hamster’s eye as it is warm and soothing. But too much intensity would irritate the eye. 

Do hamsters like sunlight


Overall, do hamster have night vision– does not exist. Though hamsters are nocturnal, they can slightly see in the dark but not in completely dark environments. Rather they have the ability to sense the surroundings and use low light. 

So, what they do is, sense the things around them and identify objects. Their instinct combinedly works much better than their vision as they are poor-sighted animals. Meanwhile, light can make them irritated and day can not keep them awake.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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