Are Hamsters Colorblind? (Important Facts)

Imagine a world where everything is of different grey shades, and nothing is colorful around us like this world. It will seem boring and sometimes scary to us. But for hamsters, it is not less than the reality. When we think about pet hamsters, we often wonder: Can Hamsters see colors?

In short, No, Hamsters cannot see colors. Hamsters are colorblind because their eyes contain more than 97% rod cells and only 3% cone cells. Although they are color blind, they don’t see in black-and-white, but they can perceive hues in the green part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Let’s explore the fascinating world of hamsters in which we will learn the amazing story about how hamsters see the world and discover the secrets behind their black-and-white world.

What is Color Blindness?

Color blindness is also known as color deficiency. In this condition, eyes can either not see the colors or have difficulty distinguishing between them.

There are two types of cells present in the eyes: Cone cells and Rod cells. Color blindness occurs due to the following factors:

Damaged Cone Cells: When one or more cone cells are damaged, color blindness occurs.

Absent of Cone Cells: When Cone cells are absent in the eyes, it is difficult to see the colors.

Wrong Detection: Color Blindness can also occur when cone cells detect different colors than they were intended to.

Cone cells are photoreceptor cells of three types: blue, green, and red. These cells are responsible for color detection and respond differently depending on the kind of light wavelengths that are shone on them. These cells also work better in bright light.

Rod cells are the opposite because they are responsible for night vision. They are also more sensitive than cone cells.

Why Are Hamsters Colorblind?

The reason behind the color blindness of the hamsters is the number of cone cells, and rod cells present in the eye’s retina.

According to the latest studies, Hamsters have 97% rod cells, and just 3% cone cells are present in the eye. Due to the presence of a significant number of rod cells compared to the cone cells, they are considered color blind.

Why Are Hamsters Colorblind?

Which Colors Hamsters Can See?

Color Blindness doesn’t mean that they can not see any colors. Some cone cells are in their eyes so that they can see some colors.

Syrian Hamsters can see in the green range of the electromagnetic spectrum, while Siberian Hamsters can see only in the blue and UV light spectrum.

It means Syrian hamsters can see all the things in the green shade colors and can’t see any other colors. It is the same as the Siberian Hamster, who can see only in blue shades colors and can’t be able to see other colors.

Are Hamsters Near-Sighted?

Hamsters are not only color blind, but they are nearsighted, too. It means that they can also see things that are near to them or close to their face.

They are not able to see things from a distance. A hamster can only see a few inches past its nose, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t aware of what is happening around it.

That’s why Hamsters cannot judge height, which makes them fearless while walking to the edges of the table without realizing how far they will fall. So, it’s important to keep the hamsters at that level of the table from which, if they fall, they get no injury.

It is also advisable to not place the platforms in the cage of the hamsters that are too high for them.

Is Hamster’s Eyesight Works Best At Night?

Hamsters are nocturnal and crepuscular, which means they are good at seeing things in Dusk and dawn. They can see things very actively when there is little natural light.

In the daytime, they spend most of their time in the burrow instead of the nest, playing, sleeping, etc., because they fear predators. The burrow includes the room they dug underneath the ground and is connected with the network of tunnels they access from above the ground.

As such, hamsters are likely to see clearly in the nighttime. It is very difficult for the wild hamsters to venture on the ground. However, Hamsters have more rod cells than cone cells. So, hamster rod cells absorb more light during the daytime, making seeing the world at dark times easier than humans.

Hamsters also need some light to see things clearly. That’s why dusk and dawn time is the ideal time for the hamsters to see the world. It is also very difficult for the hamsters to see in complete darkness. Although Hamsters burrow in very dark places, they use their amazing sense of smell and memory to navigate the path.

Can Hamsters See Us?

Hamsters are near-sighted and colorblind but can see things clearly, but not from afar. So, when they come close to their cage or face, they recognize you but mostly rely on hearing and smelling sense.

Whenever you put your hand inside the cage to pick them up, giving them time to smell you is important, which helps them know the owner and feel safe. If you also talk to them in a soft voice, it also helps them recognize you and realize that you are not a threat.

Hamsters bite you when frightened and mistakenly think your fingers for food (due to poor eyesight). So, it is important to clean your hands before picking up the hamster.

What Does Hamster Vision Look Like?

A study on mice found that their eyesight is really bad, like 20/2000 in human terms. That’s worse than what’s legally considered blindness for people. So, hamsters, who are close relatives to mice, have terrible eyesight too.

When hamster babies are born, their eyes are closed for about two weeks. They can’t see far or watch TV even when they open their eyes.

Hamsters can only see things very close to their nose, but they’re good at using their whiskers and sense of smell to find food, even if it’s hidden. You can test this by making a maze for your hamster and hiding some treats inside. Your pet will sniff around to find the hidden snacks.


Hamsters are little pets that are easy to take care of. They are also color blind. They can’t see colors because they have 97% rod and only 3% cone cells in the retina’s eye.

They can only see green and blue shades of color in the electromagnetic spectrum. Syrian Hamsters can see green shades in the electromagnetic spectrum, and Siberian hamsters can see blue and UV light spectrum in the electromagnetic spectrum.

They can only see far, about a few inches from their nose. This means they are not good at distance vision, but they can see things that are near.

They use memory and smell senses to recognize the food and the path of their house.


Can hamsters see red?

No, They cannot see red. They can only see in the green and blue part of the light spectrum.

Do hamsters easily smell?

Yes, they have a good sense of smell. In fact, they use their memory and smelling sense to find out the path of the house because they have very weak eyesight in light.

Do Hamsters enjoy specific colors?

They react differently to different lights, but it is observed that they enjoy darkness more than the light area.

Does blue light affect hamsters?

Yes, Blue light affects the hamster. In some studies, it is observed that it causes depression in the hamsters.

Why is one of my hamster’s eyes closed?

When hamsters get older, they tend to have sticky eyes, which keep the eyes stuck together.

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