Do Hamsters Understand Mirrors? (Reflection Fear & More)

Playing with my Hamster in my bedroom often makes me wonder whether Hamsters understand mirrors? If yes, how will they respond to it? Or do they look at it as a threat?

As a curious Hamster owner I did some research and here is what I found out.

Hamsters do not understand the concept of a mirror or reflection. They assume that there is another Hamster in their enclosure. They react by showing aggression or inquisitiveness, depending upon their personality.

Mirrors can even help to alleviate loneliness in Hamsters without hurting themself as if we place more than once Hamsters in their enclosure they will probably kill each other.

Although a mirror cannot replace a real companion for your Hamster. It definitely will help for a few days.

However, with time they learn that it is just a toy and lose interest in the same.

Do Hamsters Like Mirrors?

Hamsters do not understand reflection, they assume that there is another Hamster.

Some Hamsters may take it as a threat. They think the other Hamster is an intruder in their territory or that now they have to share their food.

While others may be submissive and accept the presence of the other Hamster.

Also, as we cannot place more than one Hamster in an enclosure( because they will probably hurt each other), in such cases, a mirror can be helpful to overcome the short time loneliness of your Hamsters.

Can Hamsters Have Mirror In Their Enclosure?

Yes, you can add a mirror to your Hamster’s enclosure.

Hamsters do not understand the concept of reflection, they assume that there is another Hamster with him.

As you may know by now, Hamsters get very aggressive when placed with other Hamsters. Placing a mirror will give your Hamster a company, without you having to buy another Hamster.

Here are some factors that you must consider before placing a mirror in your Hamster’s enclosure:

  • Make sure the mirror is not broken. Also, check out that the mirror does not have any sharp edges.
  • Never keep a loose mirror. Your Hamsters might hurt themself.
  • Clean the mirror, whenever you clean your Hamster’s enclosure.
  • If you feel that your Hamster is stressed due to the mirror, remove it.
  • To attract your Hamster’s attention to the mirror, you can try using mirrors of different shapes and sizes. Also, keep changing the location of the mirror every alternative day.

Hamster Stares At The Mirror For Hours

Some Hamsters are startled by their reflection.

When your Hamster sees their reflected image, they assume that another animal has arrived in their enclosure.

Like if your Hamster blinks the other Hamster blink, your Hamster jumps the other Hamster jumps.

Over time, this will lead to aggression in Hamsters. They will have the feeling that the other Hamster has intruded into their territory. They may also feel that soon they would have to fight for their food.

Loneliness can be another reason due to which your Hamster might be staring at the mirror for hours. Generally, Hamster prefers isolation but in some cases, Hamsters get lonely too.

Hamster Ignores The Mirror

If your Hamsters are not interested in other Hamsters, they will probably ignore the mirror. This is common in older Hamsters.

A Hamster never understands the concept of a mirror. They assume their reflection to be just another Hamster. Your Hamster may also sometimes get bored of such repeated actions.

Also, as the reflected Hamster will have no smell, the lack of sensory impact can be a reason due to which your Hamsters ignore the mirror.

To attract your Hamster’s attention to the mirror, you can try using mirrors of different shapes and sizes. Also, keep changing the location of the mirror every alternative day.

New things may tend to attract your Hamsters attention, temporarily.

Hamsters Fight Their Mirror Reflection

Some Hamsters often show signs of aggression when they see their reflection.

Hamsters display dominance when they feel there is an intruder in their territory.

Some common signs of dominant behavior and aggression in Hamsters are:

  • Loud squeaks
  • Chattering of teeth
  • Chasing and mounting behavior

You will have to observe your Hamster intently if they display any of such symptoms.

Make sure that your Hamster is not physically reacting to the mirror. This way the glass me break, and your Hamsters may hurt themself.

If you feel that your Hamster always reacts aggressively towards the mirror, the best option would be to remove the mirror from their enclosure. It can also lead to stress in Hamsters.

Never keep the food bowl of your Hamster facing the mirror. This will often make your Hamster think that the other Hamster(their reflection) is eating their food.

There is no real concern if your Hamster doesn’t react to his reflection.

Hamster Runs Away From The Mirror

When your Hamster catches an unexpected glimpse of himself in the mirror, it will tend to provoke fear in them.

Hamsters assume their reflected self in the mirror as some other Hamster. They often run away in such cases to avoid conflicts with the other animal.

Observe your Hamster intently if you have placed a mirror in their enclosure.

If your Hamster bows before the mirror, it may be a suggestion that your Hamster is submissive and is ready to accept other Hamsters in their enclosure.

Hamsters do not understand reflections. With time, they will just assume that the other Hamster is not a threat.

It is advisable to remove the mirror from the enclosure in such cases. It can lead to stress and anxiety in Hamsters.

Can Hamsters Recognize Themselves In Mirror?

No, Hamsters do not recognize themselves in the mirror. They do not understand the concept of a mirror or reflection.

They think that there is another Hamster with them. They either take them as their threat or their companion.

However, with time they learn that it is just a toy and lose interest in the same.

Conclusion

  • Hamsters do not understand mirrors, they just react to it depending upon their state of mind.
  • Some Hamsters may stare at the mirrors for hours whereas others may just ignore the mirror.
  • Some Hamsters may even show signs of aggression and try to be physically violent with the mirror.
  • This can even break the mirror and there are high chances that your Hamster may hurt themself.
  • It is advisable to remove the mirror from the enclosure in such cases. It can lead to stress and anxiety in Hamsters.

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Mohini

Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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