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Behavior

10 Noises Hamsters Make (And What They Mean)

Last Updated on: 24th September 2023, 03:53 pm

Even though hamsters aren’t always that vocal, they have a vast repertoire of sounds. Hamsters usually make noises when they feel threatened or scared, but they make certain sounds when happy.

Owners should listen to the noises hamsters make to determine their meaning. While some sounds are universal, others signify different things depending on the hamster’s personality and living conditions.

What Noises Does a Hamster Make?

Here are the noises hamsters make with meanings:

Chattering

Hamsters chatter by grinding their teeth together.

Lab Animal explains that chattering is a vital behavior for rodents, and it’s one of the common noises they make. All hamsters are different, which means teeth chattering has different meanings.

However, teeth chattering is related to certain negative emotions, such as:

  • Stress.
  • Pain.
  • Annoyance.
  • Confusion.

Understanding the context behind chattering means you determine why hamsters make this sound.

For example, if a hamster chatters in an open room, it may feel threatened because there’s nowhere to hide. If it chatters after you’ve accidentally woken it up, it’s likely feeling annoyed.

Chattering isn’t always a negative sound; it’s sometimes made out of curiosity.

Some hamsters will also grind their teeth together to shorten them. Cell Reports describes how hamsters have ever-growing teeth. Of course, hamsters must keep their teeth filed down.

what noises do hamsters make when happy?

Chirping

A hamster’s chirp tends to be soft and quiet. However, high-pitched chirping indicates apprehension, especially when it’s moved to a new home or is experiencing an enclosure clean that removes its scent.

Your hamster will likely be nervous, hence the chirping, but it’ll calm down once it grows used to its surroundings. When you hear your hamster chirping, minimize its stress level.

Some hamsters chirp to gain their owners’ attention. If your hamster wants treats or some out-of-cage free-roaming time, it’ll chirp to ask you to meet these requirements.

Chirping is a playful sound, so young pups chirp while playing together. However, if you notice biting and scratching alongside chirping, your hamsters are fighting, so you must separate them.

Bruxing

Known as bruxing, hamsters make a clicking sound by rubbing their teeth together.

It’s a similar noise to chattering, but it means different things. Unlike chattering, clicking is a positive sign because it means the hamster is happy, calm, and content.

Hamsters often make this sound when comfortable around their owners. Bruxing is similar to a cat’s purr.

Many owners misinterpret bruxing as an aggressive sound. An awareness of the hamster’s situation enables you to tell the difference between clicking and chattering.

Squeaking

Squeaking is the most common sound hamsters make. It signifies many things, but fear and distress are among the most common emotions. Hamsters squeak out of fear and distress when they:

  • Move home for the first time.
  • Experience injury or illness.
  • Feel stressed or agitated.
  • Feel scared of another animal or sudden noise.
  • Dislike what their owners are doing.
  • Feel hungry or thirsty.

However, squeaking isn’t always a negative sound, as it sometimes signifies happiness. For example, some hamsters squeak when receiving favored foods. 

Dwarf hamsters communicate with each other when they’re young and are happy to see each other and when playing together. While this is normal, monitor the hamsters to ensure they don’t start fighting.

Note the hamster’s demeanor to determine whether it’s squeaking because it’s stressed or happy. Positive squeaks are occasional and short, while negative squeaks are sharp and repetitive.

Buzzing

Hamsters make a buzzing sound when they vibrate.

Vibrating is a way hamsters express their feelings and emotions. The most common explanations are happiness and nervousness, but they also buzz when scared or cold.

Hamsters commonly buzz and vibrate when exploring their surroundings, usually in a new environment. It’s not uncommon for hamsters to shake after they’ve woken up.

Hamsters need to scout their surroundings to ensure there are no dangers. As far as they’re concerned, predators could be around the corner.

Hissing

Hissing is a negative sound that indicates discomfort. Young hamsters and ones that have recently moved enclosures are most likely to hiss when they first arrive at their new homes.

Likewise, if a hamster hisses at you, it’s not comfortable around you yet. This is a normal reaction, but note the hamster’s demeanor over the first few weeks to ensure it doesn’t become too stressed.

Hamsters also hiss when they’re angry or threatened. Factors that cause this include:

  • Pets, including barking dogs and cats that stalk.
  • Over-handling.
  • There are too few hideaways.
  • Loud, sudden noises.

Ensure the hamster’s environment is quiet and stress-free so that it feels comfortable.

Screaming

Screaming is a fear-based noise that means the hamster is feeling terrified.

It’s an unpleasant noise, as screaming is how hamsters scare predators away; it’s essentially a last-ditch attempt at survival in the wild.

Screeching and screaming always signify uncertainty and extreme fear. Nervous hamsters scream at the smallest things, while other hamsters never scream.

what does it mean when hamsters make noises?

Coughing and Sneezing

According to Main West Animal Hospital, hamsters get colds. The symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the eyes and nose
  • Increased thirst
  • Warm body
  • Watery eyes
  • Matted fur
  • Appetite loss

There’s no cure for a cold. Vets can prescribe antibiotics to treat the symptoms, but they won’t get rid of the cold. Hamsters also cough and sneeze due to the following:

  • Allergies.
  • Dust.
  • Chemicals and cleaning sprays.
  • Perfume.
  • Strong smells.

Frequent coughing and sneezing can signify a respiratory infection.

Cooing

Cooing is among the rarer sounds, but hamsters coo occasionally.

It’s a soft, vibrating sound that happy, contented hamsters make. Some owners report hamsters cooing while asleep in their hands, which is reserved for when they feel bonded with their owners.

Crying

Hamsters make crying noises occasionally. They don’t cry with tears but produce a sound that’s a cross between a squeak and a scream when scared and in pain.

It’s also a sound made when in a deep sleep. Stressed hamsters cry, which is dangerous because it causes sickness and premature death.

Here’s a summary of the different hamster sounds:

Chattering:Chattering most commonly signifies stress, pain, annoyance, and confusion. However, it can also indicate curiosity.
Chirping:Chirping indicates nervousness and apprehension. It’s also a way for hamsters to gain attention. Some hamster pups chirp when playing.
Bruxing:Bruxing is a clicking sound that signifies happiness and contentment.
Squeaking:Squeaking is a sign of fear and distress. Hamsters also squeak to communicate, producing short squeaks to show happiness.
Buzzing:Hamsters buzz when they vibrate, which they do when nervous or cold. Buzzing isn’t always negative, as it can signify happiness and curiosity.
Hissing:Hissing signifies discomfort and anger, so they hiss when feeling threatened.
Screaming:Screaming is a fear-based response used to warn away predators.
Coughing and Sneezing:Coughing and sneezing are signs of a cold. Dust, allergies, perfume, chemicals and sprays, and strong smells also trigger these noises.
Cooing:Cooing is a soft, vibrating sound that happy, contented hamsters make.
Crying:Crying is usually an unhappy sound that indicates fear, stress, and pain. Some hamsters also cry when they’re in a deep sleep.

What Noises Do Hamsters Make When Happy?

Hamsters show their happiness by producing short, shrill squeaks. Bruxing is also an upbeat sound where hamsters rub their top and bottom incisors together to signify contentment.

What Noise Does a Hamster Make When in Pain?

Hamsters will scream and screech when in pain. Hissing is another way hamsters show pain, especially if their owners attempt to handle them when in discomfort.

Why Is My Hamster Making Weird Noises?

Weird noises are often a sign of discomfort or pain. However, what sounds peculiar to you may not be weird to hamsters.

Why Is My Hamster Making Noises When Sleeping?

It’s normal for hamsters to produce soft, quiet sounds while they sleep, like wheezing or squeaking. Loud vocalizations signify respiratory disease, so a hamster may find breathing hard.