Hamsters have become one of the most popular pets in America, especially in Georgia. However, they can be pretty fickle creatures when it comes to their health. Even the slightest change in their environment can impact their health in a significant way.
One such factor is light. It is vital to learn more about how light can affect the life of your hamster. Here is a complete guide that can help you out!
Do Hamsters Need Light at Night?
No, hamsters don’t need light at night, but their cage shouldn’t contain artificial light to prevent tampering with their circadian rhythm. This might result in shortening their life span. In cages, hamsters are crepuscular or nocturnal creatures ideally suited to live in the dark.
Can Hamsters See Without Light?
It seems that hamsters do indeed need light for seeing. Just not relatively as abundant light as we experience as humans. Though not as much as an owl, cat, or other nighttime animals, a hamster’s eye catches more light levels than us.
As a result, a hamster could see better in less-lit environments than in broad sunlight. In contrast, hamsters also have poor vision in complete darkness. Although not very good, they can sight in the dark.
To navigate their environment, hamsters primarily use their sense of touch—their paws and whiskers—and their senses of hearing and smell.
Does My Hamster Have Night Vision?
Not really, no. Hamsters don’t have night vision, although they can see better in dim light than we do.
A cat would undoubtedly outperform a person, a hamster, and other animals in a night vision test. But the hamster might not see that much clearer compared to us humans.
The inability of the hamster to see in the dark as a result is not a concern. More so than their eyes, hamsters rely on their senses of smell and touch. Its tunnels are completely dark, even out in the wild. They thereby lack a clear sense of their direction.
They can navigate using their senses of smell and touch, so that’s not an issue. They have several methods to go about their house thanks to it and a memory picture of it.
Therefore, if you’ve left the light off in the hamster’s room at night, don’t worry; it will be safe and can navigate in the dark.
Does My Hamster Need Sunlight?
The solution comes with a warning: although some light for the hamster may be helpful, direct sunlight may be hazardous to them since they are often sensitive to light. The hamster will thrive in a space with plenty of natural light (rather than artificial light) that is out of bright sunlight.
What Dangers Exist If I Let My Hamster Be Around Light at Night?
In research on the issue, hamsters were subjected to light at night, which made them more hostile and interrupted the internal clock (the circadian clock).
The sleep cycle was disturbed, which caused an almost 50% reduction in a lifetime.
To fit the hamster into your lifestyle, avoid attempting to prevent it from napping throughout the day.
If you achieve this, you have officially declared your hamster dead.
The nighttime hours must be spent keeping your hamster in complete darkness.
How Much Light Do Hamsters Need During the Day?
Hamsters often doze off throughout the day and are most energetic around dusk and dawn. Due to the low light levels during such times, a hamster would often search for food during these periods of the day. They will often eat and exercise at this time.
Hamsters often snooze during the daylight hours. The hamster will be at ease and feel secure if it is in a space with ample natural light and not in bright sunlight.
The natural sunlight throughout the day won’t bother a hamster since it is typical for them to cuddle and burrow into their bedding to sleep.
Nevertheless, if their residence is directly exposed to the sun, it may get too hot for the hamster and pose some health risks. But, artificial lighting also poses a risk since it might mess with the hamster’s sleep schedule.
Excessive light exposure, especially at the wrong time, may strain the hamster out, and some hamsters could even become hostile. Stress may be detrimental to the hamster’s physical health in addition to their emotional well-being.
The hamster may grow unwell and, in difficult situations, may even pass away from stress-related diseases if continually exposed to stressful stimuli, including harsh artificial lights.
For this reason, we do not need to introduce the hamster to light or give light in its cage.
However, it would help if you didn’t keep the hamster in total darkness.
While hamsters’ eyesight tends to be stronger in lower light levels, hamsters have no night vision; thus, they can’t see in darkness. This may be equally distressing for the pet.
The cycles of natural sunshine are advantageous for the pet hamster.
Naturally, natural light that isn’t in the sun’s direct rays aids in regulating the hamster’s sleep schedule and promotes a healthy, happy existence.
If the hamster is energetic throughout the day, you may touch and engage with them without being concerned about light exposure. Hamsters are largely unaffected by natural light unless it is too intense.
How Can Hamsters Navigate the Night and Live?
The nocturnal lifestyle of hamsters has allowed them to adapt; they emerge at the start of the night to escape predators and the heat that the day brings.
They navigate at night using their highly developed smell senses and whiskers to identify things. They also produce scent tracks everywhere they go owing to the 2 Scent Glands, which can practically see them crawling or sliding on the floor.
Even when the hamster has traveled many kilometers, it just has to follow the scent it leaves behind on the floor and use its great memory to locate its burrow.
The hamster can barely see some inches in front of it because of its underdeveloped vision.
Due to this, it’s best to make sounds as you approach the hamster’s cage so that it doesn’t get surprised; otherwise, it could bite you!
Do Hamsters Enjoy the Sun?
Warmth and some natural light are pleasant for hamsters, but too little or too much light should be minimized.
Hamsters are vulnerable to solid sunlight since it might permanently harm their eyes. Due to this, you must make every effort to keep your hamster from being exposed to strong, direct sunlight.
Rather, choose to position the hamster’s cage in a room that receives a lot of natural light throughout the day but is away from the sun’s intense rays.
A space where intense sunlight may be readily prevented can also be used.
Since light is a reliable predictor of the hamster’s sleep cycle, inconsistent illumination, such as stretches of total darkness throughout the day and strong artificial lights at night, might be perplexing.
Pet hamsters that don’t get enough sleep may become confused, anxious, or even stressed. The side effects of unpleasant emotions might negatively impact the well-being of the hamster. Thus, they should be prevented.
There is no reason to take the hamster outdoors and into the sun since they will probably appreciate spending time interacting with owners more than anything else.
Therefore, enjoy the relationship if the pet hamster is active throughout the day.
Should The Hamster’s Cage Be Covered in Daytime?
All responsible pet owners naturally consider their pet’s requirements to provide the finest care possible.
You may wonder if it’s a smart option to cover the cage with a transparent or opaque cover to give them more darkness when sleeping since hamsters are nocturnal animals and sleep all day.
Covering the hamster’s cage throughout the day is not essential for several reasons.
First, proper ventilation in the hamster’s habitat may improve health and lessen smells.
It is often advised to keep the hamster in a cage constructed of either glass, metal, or plastic bars that are adequately aired.
Often, a mixture of these substances is effective. Your hamster’s cage’s holes between the bars enable air to circulate freely throughout the enclosure.
Fresh air may help diffuse cage odors and includes oxygen and other essential substances for the hamster’s respiratory health.
When owners cover their hamsters’ cages, they obstruct the airflow, which may harm the animal.
It may also confuse your hamster and affect their sleep schedule if an owner decides to cover their hamster’s cage to give darkness during the day.
The hamster may get confused and stressed if the number of dark hours increases.
If you’re concerned that the hamster’s cage will be too bright in the daytime and damage its sleep ability, you might give them thick bedding.
They may burrow and curl deep into their bedding to block off any light that disturbs the hamster while they sleep.
Now, you can take better care of your hamster since you know whether hamsters need light at night and how much during the daytime.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more