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i know that PEWs have not as great vision. I have noticed my girls swaying to see stuff.

I am wondering if bright lights make it more difficult? And Can they see in the dark like cats?
 

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Yeah, swaying is common in pink eyed rats. it helps them determine how close an object is, kind of like when you look out the window of a moving car, The signs and trees on the side of the road pass by fast and the hills in the distance pass by slower. Rats do not have good vision in general let alone good night vision but have a superb sense of smell and hearing which they rely on more than sight.
 

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PEW babies can see reasonably well, but their vision deteriorates rapidly as they mature. An adult PEW can probably only see dark and light shapes. So no, they're not going to have good night vision, and in bright light their retinas are completely overwhelmed. In addition, exposure to even moderate light will deteriorate an albino rat's retina, which is why many pink eyed rats go blind. This is not a big deal, as rats don't rely heavily on their vision to get around.

Cats have exceptional night vision due in part to their eyes being huge. Their pupils can dilate to let in an enormous amount of light. And in bright light it closes down to just a slit. The eye of the rat is nowhere near as sophisticated. You can read more about albino rats' vision here: http://www.ratbehavior.org/RatVision.htm#AlbinoRatVision

I have a PEW who is about 7 weeks old. I haven't seen her swaying yet, but I guess that's coming. Wish I could get her a pair of little sunglasses :)
 

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I have two tan and white pink eyed boys who both sway - one a little more so than the other. I have to say, the dimmer it is, the more they do it, but there does seem to be a sweet spot in the light. Not overly bright but not overly dark either. Obviously you'll have to play with the amount for yours, I can imagine it'll be different for each rat. I find the swaying kind of cute myself :)
 

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I have a ruby eyed and she seems to be less aware of stimuli than my black eye. I'm not sure if her eyesight is as bad as a PEW, though.
 

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Actually, normal rat vision isn't nearly as bad as most people think it is... Rats have a great depth of field and don't see the world out of focus as some people might suggest.

They do however have low resolution vision... so they see the world like an old TV set or a newspaper photo. They also see higher energy light ranges better. They can see into the UV range but don't see reds as well.

Rats don't seem to be born with a really good grasp of their visual abilities, rather they tend to learn to see and distinguish shapes. Most rats on their first trips outdoors will run to any building or house, in time an experienced rat learns to identify it's own home from all of the others.

Lastly, normal rats see best in bright sunlight. The brighter the better, although they do pretty well under streetlights.

Basically in low light and dark conditions they shift to operating by smell and whisker navigation. Rats have a remarkable ability to navigate vast distances.

As to pink eyed rats, I'd keep them out of direct sunlight to protect their eyes, but I wouldn't think the lack of pigment would help them much in the dark. A few years ago, there was one PEW true shoulder rat owned by one of the folks here, which means that personality might overcome eyesight limitations, but for the most part pink eyed rats tend to be even less confident on wide open spaces than normal rats, and as they shouldn't be taken outdoors in direct sunlight, I've never heard of a second PEW true shoulder rat and really don't know what became of the first one.

I know pink eyed rats are common, but it's not a mutation I personally see much good in. In fact it's a mutation that honestly doesn't help rats and one I personally don't encourage. That's not a knock on many great pink eyed rats... Their personality more than makes up for their eyesight, but I have to wonder why anyone would breed rats with poor eyesight that may lead to blindness for human vanity... It just seems cruel.

We accidentally adopted one black/ruby eyed rat and she never was any good outdoors, I still wonder if her inferior eyesight made her so much more afraid of open places... Her eyes were substantially black so I doubt sunlight bothered her and she could see well enough indoors... at least 30 feet or so, but in open spaces she just panicked. It seemed sad that she couldn't enjoy the life our other rats did.
 
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