One thing many people don’t consider when getting pet hamsters is whether they’ll need to adjust their lifestyle for the health and well-being of the hamster.
Someone who loves listening to loud music or who has noisy kids or pets may not consider that those loud noises might bother hamsters.
Can Hamsters Hear Loud Noises?
Hamsters have bad eyesight, so they use their sense of smell and sound to navigate and detect predators. As a result, hamsters have a heightened sense of hearing and smell.
A noise that may not seem loud to you could sound extremely loud to a hamster, especially depending on the location of the hamster’s cage to the noise.
Are Hamsters Bothered by Noise?
Hamsters are sensitive to noise due to their increased ability to hear sounds. A sudden noise can startle and frighten your hamster, leading to stress.
Because hamsters hear so well, sudden loud noises can cause health problems, such as wet tail.
Wet tail is a gastrointestinal illness that causes hamsters to develop diarrhea, a serious condition that can lead to death.
Hamsters Adjusting to Their Surroundings
Academia stated that hamsters could be bothered and annoyed by noises just like humans can.
However, if they hear the same noise long enough, hamsters can grow accustomed to it, so it no longer bothers them. This is the same way humans get used to certain noises.
Environmental Science stated that hamsters brought up in the middle of a large city surrounded by the constant noise of traffic, people talking, car horns, etc., weren’t bothered by the noise.
However, most hamsters living in captivity would be affected by that kind of noise, at least at first.
Hamsters removed from their habitat must choose to move on to a more suitable environment or learn to face the new one.
Hamsters living in captivity who move from one place, such as a pet store, to another place, such as your home, must learn how to adjust to the differences in noises between the two places.
Some hamsters adjust well with no issues. Other hamsters struggle to adjust and don’t quite make it.
Can Loud Noises Kill Hamsters?
The noise itself won’t kill your hamster. However, continually hearing loud noises that startle, scare, or awaken your hamster from sleep will stress them out.
If your hamster gets too stressed, it can develop illnesses like wet tail that could kill it.
The British Small Animal Veterinary Association states that hamsters can feel threatened by a loud noise or sudden movement, which can send them into panic mode.
When hamsters hit that panic mode, they do one of several things:
If a hamster detects a threat, it may freeze in position and attempt to blend into its surroundings to avoid being seen or attracting attention. It’ll sit and wait for its predator to move on.
2/ Flee and Get Aggressive
If its predator comes closer, the hamster will flee. If the predator catches the hamster, it’ll become aggressive and fight for its life.
3/ Play Dead
A hamster that is super stressed or terrified may play dead. The hamster will remain alert and could get up and escape if it wanted to. This is known as the dorsal immobility response.
4/ Ghost Hamster Mode
Some extremely stressed or fearful hamsters may suddenly disappear, so you won’t see them being active in their cages.
You won’t see them eat, but you’ll notice the food is gone at the next feeding time. They won’t appear if you’re around. This type of hamster is called a ghost hamster.
So, while loud noises won’t directly kill your hamster, the stress caused by the loud noises could kill your hamster. At the very least, your hamster will make you think it’s dead.
Do Hamsters Need Quiet to Sleep?
To get the most restful sleep, hamsters need quiet. Captive hamsters are usually nocturnal, meaning you should find a place in your home to keep your hamster’s cage with minimal noise during the day.
Not allowing your hamster to get restful sleep can also stress it out and cause health issues. However, some noises your hamster could grow used to and might even lull your hamster to sleep.
Avoid placing your hamster’s cage where there might be frequent loud noises, but a radio playing quietly or your family talking in normal voice tones might be comforting for your hamster.
Loud music or yelling and screaming are noises that’ll scare, startle, and stress out your hamster while it’s trying to sleep.
What Sounds Scare Hamsters?
All hamsters react differently to loud noises, so what scares one might not scare another.
Since you don’t know what sounds will scare your hamster, the best thing to do would be to eliminate as many loud noises as you can around your hamster.
If that’s not possible, keep an eye on your hamster while the noises are happening and see how your hamster reacts. Its reaction should clue you in on if the sounds are bothersome or not.
Here are a few typical sounds that might scare your hamster:
Music turned up at a loud volume, especially if it’s close to your hamster’s cage, will probably scare your hamster. However, music playing at a lower volume might be comforting.
Pay attention to your hamster the next time you’re playing music at a lower volume. If your hamster comes out of its hiding spot and seems calm, it probably likes the music.
If your hamster hides when you turn on the music or acts unusual, the music may bother it.
Shouting and Screaming
Shouting and screaming are bound to bother most people and animals. If shouting or screaming can’t be avoided, at least make them from a reasonable distance away from your hamster.
Most dogs bark loudly, and humans find it loud and annoying, so imagine how your hamster must feel.
However, because it’s a sound that will happen often, it may get used to it over time, even if your hamster is initially scared of it.
Whether storms will scare your hamster is unclear. The sounds of the thunder and rain may stress out your hamster, but they could have the opposite effect.
This is another one of those times when you’ll need to see how your hamster reacts during a storm.
Because your hamster will be indoors during the fireworks, the noise will be muffled, so the sound of fireworks may not bother your hamster at all.
Ensure your hamster is away from the windows and that all the windows and doors are shut to keep the noise at a minimum. Chances are that your hamster won’t even notice anything unusual is going on.
As with fireworks, the sounds of traffic outside are unlikely to bother your hamster unless you have the windows open and your hamster’s cage is near a window.
The only traffic sounds that might bother your hamster are loud, even with the windows closed, such as emergency vehicle sirens or train horns.