If you have been caring for guinea pigs for a while, then you must be aware that they are some of the most interesting rodents.
In addition to being cute and fluffy, guinea pigs are very intelligent and often do things that amaze us.
As a guinea pig owner, you might have wondered whether your cavy is able to see in the dark after you’ve turned off the lights because most guinea pigs are just as active in the dark as they are during the day.
Well, that is because guinea pigs are neither fully nocturnal nor diurnal, meaning that they can stay active regardless of whether it’s day or night.
However, that does not answer the question as to whether they can see in the dark or not, so let us start by tackling the controversial question below;
Can Guinea Pigs See In the Dark?
Like most rodents, guinea pigs have limited vision, so it is very unlikely that they can see in the dark. Still, they are able to stay active in low light environments because they can navigate through the sense of touch and smell. They also have good memory, so they can easily trace their paths.
Nonetheless, these are just but speculations, which are yet to be proven because there is no solid scientific evidence that can prove whether these animals can see clearly in the dark or not.
Research has shown that guinea pigs rely on their whiskers when moving in the dark, but others also believe that cavies have a good mastery of their environment.
And this allows them to move freely without bumping into objects or getting hurt regardless of how dark it is.
Despite having poor vision, a guinea pig has a wide field of view of up to 340 degrees, meaning that there is a high chance that your furry friend can see you even if you sneak up on him from behind.
Besides, the eye sockets of a guinea pig are located on the side of the skull, so your pet can see things from different angles.
The other interesting thing about guinea pigs is that they rarely sleep, and that is exactly why you hear your cavies squeaking and playing late in the night.
They only take short power naps and can sleep with their eyes wide open. As a matter of fact, a guinea pig’s eyes are always open.
This is an instinctual protective mechanism that they may have developed when they were still in the wild.
As such, you should not be worried if you notice that your piggy is always awake because the little guy can go for hours without sleeping.
Can Guinea Pigs see color?
Guinea pigs have poor vision, but that does not mean that they cannot see colors. In fact, your guinea pig can easily differentiate a wide range of colors.
Studies have shown that the structure of a guinea pig’s eye allows it to see most of the colors that the human eye can see.
This means that the photoreceptors in the eyes of guinea pigs are sensitive to colors such as blue, red, and green.
There are also speculations that guinea pigs are more responsive to certain colors than others, but there is still no scientific proof of the same.
Since they can perceive colors, how far can Guinea Pigs see?
Due to their poor eyesight, guinea pigs are somewhat shortsighted because they are not able to see objects that are far away.
However, the estimations provided by researchers show that guinea pigs cannot see objects that are more than three feet away from them.
Despite this, they can still detect predators through their acute sense of smell when in the wild and are also able to navigate their way through thickets without getting hurt.
Can Guinea Pigs lose their eyesight as they age?
Unfortunately, some guinea pigs may develop cataracts as they get older. This may blur their vision and may also lead to blindness with time.
This condition can also affect guinea pigs that are not old if the pet in question has a genetic tendency towards cataracts or is suffering from diabetes.
Nevertheless, this should not worry you because blind cavies can still live normal lives. You just have to ensure that their environment is safe for them.
Additionally, you should also consider buying a larger cage if you notice that your guinea pig has gone blind.
This will give the pet enough room to play and exercise, so you won’t have to take him/her out of the cage every now and then.
You can prevent other eye problems by providing your pet with a healthy diet that is inclusive of vitamin A and other essential nutrients that can help keep the eyes healthy for as long as possible.
How can I know that my Guinea Pig is blind?
The only way to go about this is by observing the animal’s behavior. When guinea pigs lose their sight, they tend to use their nose more often compared to when their eyes are working.
As such, you can start by placing your guinea pig in an environment that he/she is not familiar with.
After this, you should keep a close eye on the pet to see how it navigates its way around obstacles.
It’s good to know everything about your guinea pig, including how they perceive the environment through their eyes.
However, a lot of research still needs to be done to ascertain whether guinea pigs have night vision. Most of the information that is currently available is not scientifically grounded.
One thing that clearly stands out is that guinea pigs have poor vision but they have compensated for that by having an acute sense of smell and touch.
They can also master their routes very well, meaning that they can find their way with or without light.
All in all, we hope that you have learned several things about guinea pigs and the dark from our discussion, so don’t be surprised if you find your furry buddies playing late in the night.
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