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7 Hamster Sounds and Their Meanings (with Audio)

Nicole Cosgrove

Hamsters are generally quiet animals that are not known for being loud, but as any hamster owner will tell you, these little animals are capable of making several unique vocalizations. There are many reasons for these vocalizations, and as an owner of a hamster, it’s a great idea to get acquainted with the sounds that they make.

While many of these sounds are not well researched and can mean different things depending on the context, getting to know these sounds can still help you get to know your hamster better and cater to their needs more accurately. Context is important when considering the sounds that hamsters make, and also getting to know the accompanying body language will go a long way toward deciphering what your hamster is trying to say!

In this article, we’ll look at the seven most common sounds that hamsters make and what they usually mean.

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1. Squeaking

When you mention the sounds that hamsters make, squeaking is usually the only sound that comes to mind. This is the sound that they make most often, and they squeak to convey a variety of different emotions. Happiness is the most common, and especially when they are young, they will squeak out of pure joy when being fed, running on a wheel, or receiving a new toy to play with.

That being said, hamsters will also squeak when they get injured or irritated and are known to squeak when hungry. Again, context will usually tell you the reason for their squeak!


2. Hissing

Hissing is the first and most common sign of discomfort in your hamster. They will often hiss if they feel threatened or angry, and this is common when introducing new hamsters to your home. After socialization, they should stop making this sound as they become more comfortable with their surroundings. If you notice your hamster hissing while they are alone, there may be something in their immediate environment that is making them uncomfortable, like a new toy or cramped living conditions. Check their cage and see if removing a new toy or changing things around calms them down.


3. Clicking

Also known as “bruxing,” hamsters sometimes rub their teeth together, causing a clicking sound. This sound is usually a good sign of a content and happy hamster, similar to a purring cat! When you hear your hamster clicking their teeth, you can rest easy, knowing all is well in their world!


4. Crying and Screaming

A crying or screaming hamster is a sound that nobody wants to hear, especially the hamster’s owner! It is a rather disturbing sound, to say the least, and will cut right into your ears and heart. This screaming is also fairly rare, and hamsters will usually only make this sound when they are particularly alarmed or frightened or in real pain. A highly stressed hamster, a hamster that has been dropped or is in pain, or fighting hamsters will occasionally scream or cry, and it is not in any way a pleasant sound!


5. Sneezing

Just like humans, hamsters may sneeze and cough in reaction to something in their environment. Some dust or an unpleasant smell may cause them to react with small coughing or sneezing fit, and it is usually nothing to worry about. That said, some hamsters will cough or sneeze due to allergies, or they may even have a common cold and should be taken for a checkup if they are sneezing incessantly.


6. Chirping

Just like birds, hamsters chirp too! They will usually make this sound for the same reason as squeaking: They could be excited and happy or possibly in fear or anger, and context is important to ascertain the reason.


7. Cooing

While this sound is fairly rare in hamsters, some hamster owners report their hamsters cooing quietly at times. This is a soft, quiet, vibrating sound that is the sign of a content and happy hamster. Have you heard your hamster cooing? Please let us know in the comments!

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Final Thoughts

Getting to know the different sounds that your hamster makes is an important method of getting to know them better and will help you meet their needs more accurately. Remember that context is important with the sounds that they are making, especially when squeaking, so it is up to your experience as the owner to ascertain whether they are excited or terrified!

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.