Are hamsters nocturnal?

? " Hamster info " Are hamsters nocturnal?
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Published by Julie
hamster sleeps at night

Wondering if hamsters are nocturnal animals? This question may arise in the first few weeks after adopting your first hamster. It's not uncommon (and surprising!) to find that these little creatures sleep during the day, only to become particularly restless after dark.

Are hamsters nocturnal?

Given their habits, you'll probably be surprised to learn that hamsters are not, strictly speaking, nocturnal animals. In fact, they are classified as crepuscular animals, meaning they are active during the twilight hours (sunrise and sunset).

Crepuscular animals? What are they?

Before delving into the "Why?", let's first clarify what a twilight animal. In this context, as you can imagine, it's a term that describes an animal that is active during the twilight hours: dawn and dusk.

And the answer to the question of why hamsters are crepuscular animals is relatively simple.

Hamsters' ancestors must have been active at dawn and dusk, as this helped them avoid potential predators. This becomes pretty obvious when you start thinking about the animals that surrounded them back then.

Let's take the case of Syrian hamster in its natural desert habitat; its neighboring predatory species in this ecosystem were birds of prey, snakes and big cats. All these animals have excellent vision and are hyper-aware of the slightest movement.

As you'd expect, these predatory species would raid a group of hamsters walking in the open air. So the hamsters played to their strengths and began to hide during the day.

But they also had to contend with nocturnal predators such as owls; so the hamsters began to be active during the hours between day and night when no predators were out (dusk and dawn).

After all, the gloom of dusk can conceal many of their shortcomings as a species. For example, hamsters have notoriously poor eyesight, which would be a considerable problem during the day. But at twilight, their poor vision isn't as important, and they can rely on their powerful sense of smell to help them find their way around. survive. You can read more about hamsters' senses here to understand how your little companion perceives the world.

It's also worth noting that hamsters have incredible hearing, which gives them an advantage during the twilight hours; this highly developed hearing enabled them to hear predators coming from afar.

Of course, they could also do this during the day, but they had nowhere to hide and were easy prey. However, at dusk or dawn, the half-light could protect them from these dangerous predators.

And since vegetation was very scarce, hamsters had to travel great distances to find their food. food. So they needed something to hide them from these predators during their desperate search for food.

Incredibly, hamsters are known to travel up to 7 kilometers in search of food. They knew they couldn't move uncovered over long distances during the day or night, so they adapted and started moving during the twilight hours, when predators were less active.

For example, snakes can't hunt at night because they need the sun to regulate their body temperature and keep them warm. So even if the twilight hours aren't completely dark, this still affected a snake's ability to effectively hunt our adorable hamsters.

However, a hamster's layers of fat and fur would keep them warm on those cold desert nights. It's minor differences like these that have enabled these little fur balls to survive as a species all these years.

In the end, if your hamster runs on his wheel at 6 a.m., it's because he's following the natural instincts he developed in the wild to survive.

hamster sleeps during the day
hamster sleeps during the day

Can I let my hamster sleep at night?

If you keep your hamster in your bedroom, the sound of their wheels turning at night can be quite annoying. You've probably wondered whether you could training your hamster so he can sleep at night?

Well, you're in luck because it is entirely possible to modify your hamster's sleep cycle. However, this will take a lot of time and patience. With this four-step guide, you'll have a method for adapting your hamster's sleep to your own habits:

1. Establish a quality relationship with your pet

The first step in this process is to establish a trusting relationship with your hamster. You can develop this bond by feeding them often and playing with them daily. After a while, your hamster will start to get used to you.

Once this happens, the hamster will begin to anticipate your presence and enjoy spending time with you. Once this bond has been formed, the next steps will be much less difficult and stressful for both of you.

2. Remove light during the day

This step consists in fooling your hamster into thinking that it's dusk or dawn when it's really daylight. There are many ways of doing this, such as using curtains, or placing a blanket over the house. cage. Just make sure it's well ventilated.

3. Be consistent in managing your new schedule

Attempting to change your hamster's sleep schedule drastically will have the opposite effect to the one you want. So it's important to stick to a precise plan and follow it to the letter. For example, block the light for your hamster at the same time every day.

By doing so, you're gradually reprogramming your hamster to believe that night has just fallen. But if you don't keep to the same schedule, you risk jeopardizing all the progress you've made.

4. Be (ultra) patient

This process will not be completed in a week or two. It will most likely take several months to change your hamster's habits; just continue to follow the three steps above and get your hamster to gradually adapt to your schedule.

You can try to speed up the process by giving your hamster treats or taking it out of its cage. Both actions will help strengthen the bond between you and your hamster.

Now that you have a better idea of whether hamsters are nocturnal or not, you have a better understanding of your favorite animal and why it acts the way it does!

Do hamsters need a light at night?

Unlike humans, the fact that hamsters are active at night doesn't mean they need or want light. Quite the opposite, in fact, as they thrive in the dark. As mentioned above, hamsters have very poor eyesightwhich means that a light wouldn't be much use to them anyway.

In fact, light will only confuse your hamster, as darkness tells them it's time to party. So leave the lights off and let them run on their wheels. in the dark in peace and quiet. We humans may need an audience for our sporting exploits, but not your hamster.

Photo of author
Published by Julie

Passionate about hamsters since I was young, I share with you all my knowledge about them!

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