Can Guinea Pigs See in the Dark? This Is What Experts Say

Teddy Guinea Pig
© Beartrix/Shutterstock.com

Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Published: January 17, 2024

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A cute and cuddly little animal, guinea pigs make excellent pets because they are generally easy to care for and don’t need a lot of space compared to other kinds of pets. You might be wondering about some of their strangest behavior and what helps them live their best lives, including what they need in their cage to be comfortable. Can guinea pigs see in the dark? Guinea pigs do not have great night vision and can’t see in the dark as well as humans or other pets.

What Animals Can See in the Dark?

Flying bat hunting in forest. Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri) is found across most of the continent of Europe, parts of the Near East and North Africa. It feeds on insects and other invertebrates.

Bats use fantastic night vision and echolocation to see in the dark at night.

©Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock.com

A few animals have true night vision. Nocturnal animals tend to have better night vision because they have adapted to live in the dark. To avoid predators and find food, they need to be able to see in their dark environment. Wolves, bats, and owls are some of the best-known animals with night vision. Of traditional pets, cats have the best night vision. This is why they can slink around even in the dark without running into obstacles.

Do Guinea Pigs Have Good Vision?

lovely guinea pig couple sitting

Guinea pigs generally don’t have great eyesight during the day or night.

©feedough/iStock via Getty Images

Guinea pigs do not have great vision either at night or during the day. They can see well enough to make their way around their cage and find things like food, water, and bedding. Their wild ancestors could see well enough during the day and at night to avoid predators and find food, water, and shelter. But they don’t have particularly great vision.

Some pet owners might wonder if their guinea pig needs a night light to be able to see better in the dark. However, experts recommend keeping the environment like it would be in the wild, which includes darkness at night. Guinea pigs are used to sleeping during the day and at night. They sleep in short naps throughout both the day and night. This is why you often hear them rustling around their cage even in the middle of the night. These little animals are used to moving around during both day and night.


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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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