Hamsters make lots of noises and while some are cute and endearing, others can be worrisome or downright annoying. And it’s important to know what each noise means because it can mean the difference between your hamster just enjoying themselves or feeling scared or angry.
In the following article, we’re going to cover the most common types of noises you may hear from your hamster. From clicking, chirping, whining, and more, after reading this article you’ll have a much better understanding of what your hamster is trying to tell you.
And as with all of the articles on The Pet Property, we’ll start with a table of contents so feel free to click any of the links below to be taken directly to that section of the article:
Before we get into the different types of noises, first let’s go over why your hamster is making a weird noise.
Why is My Hamster Making Weird Noises?
Your hamster is making weird noises because they’re trying to communicate something to you, whether they’re happy, stressed, sick, angry, or just enjoying themselves. What they’re trying to tell you depends on what type of noise you’re hearing.
Most animals make some type of noise. Whether it’s a lion’s roar, a cat’s meow, or a dog barking, the noise is just their way of communicating with you. And while you may think the noise makes no sense, think of what animals must be thinking when they hear humans talk to each other.
We’ll dive into specific noises in the sections below, but the first thing you should do is think about what the noise sounds like. Does it sound stressed like a whine? Or happy like a purr? Or angry like a roar? Figuring out the tone of the noise should help you immediately identify the general attitude and feelings of your hamster.
Immediately knowing the tone of the noise can prompt action. If it sounds angry or stressed, take a step back and try to deescalate any situation. If their noise is soft and enjoyable, keep doing what you’re doing because they seem to enjoy whatever is happening.
But when it comes to specific noises, you might be wondering what exactly your furry friend is trying to get across to you. So let’s talk about noises a hamster makes in the sections below.
If your hamster makes a clicking noise, it generally means they are content and happy, much like a cat’s purring. The clicking noise comes from them rubbing their upper and lower teeth together.
One of the most common noises you’ll hear from a hamster is a type of clicking noise. This happens when they clank their upper and lower teeth together and if you wanted to try it, you could do the same and make a similar type of noise.
This clicking is often seen as a type of “I’m content and happy” action that your hamster does to let you know that they’re doing good. Sometimes this is referred to as “bruxing” but most hamster owners just know it as that clicking noise.
If your hamster is making a clicking noise and there’s no signs of distress, then you can rest easy knowing that they’re happy and content with their life. However, sometimes this clicking noise can be a sign of distress, which needs to be addressed.
That’s why it’s always important to look for multiple signs. If you just gave your hamster a treat and they’re bruxing, then there’s nothing to worry about. But if you hear them making that clicking noise and they seem panicked, angry, or stressed then they’re probably trying to tell you that everything is not okay.
If your hamster makes a chirping noise, it generally means they are happy and content with everything going around them. However, like all noises your hamster makes, it’s important to look for other signs to really understand how they’re feeling.
Chirping is one of the cutest sounds a hamster makes because it’s generally soft, quiet, and similar to a cat’s purr. Hamsters chirp because they’re happy, excited, or just trying to get your attention.
However, this isn’t always the case. If the chirping is louder or sounds more aggressive, then it could mean something else entirely. That’s why it’s important to look for other signs. If they seem relaxed and content, a chirp is probably akin to a cat’s purr. But if you see them running around anxiously or looking stressed, a chirp can mean “hey help me out here!”
And sometimes a chirping can meet in the middle and just be a result of general apprehension. For example, if you just got your hamster and put them in their new cage with new toys, you may see them chirp as a type of “This is new for me, I’m nervous” which is generally okay. Eventually as they calm down and get used to their surroundings, they will become more comfortable and the chirping will transition to something a little softer.
Similar to clicking, a chirping noise can indicate a few different feelings in your furry friend and it’s important for you to use context clues to know if they’re feeling happy, anxious, or apprehensive.
If your hamster is making a coughing noise, they are either choking on something like dust or they have a respiratory illness. The easiest way to tell the difference is if the coughing lasts for more than a few minutes, they are likely sick.
Hamsters cough for the same reasons people do. The most common reason is that they have something lodged in their throat or are choking on a potentially dusty environment. Typically this coughing will last a few minutes at most as your hamster stops choking on whatever is causing them to cough.
Just as you would cough in a dust storm, hamsters do the same. But it’s important to remember that a dust storm for your hamster can just be a small amount of dust build up in their cage. If this is the case, see if you can find hamster bedding that doesn’t kick up as much dust. That should prevent any coughing fits from happening in the future.
On the other hand, if the coughing lasts for more than a few minutes, your hamster may have a respiratory illness. Hamsters have delicate bodies and respiratory systems and they can easily get sick. If this is the case, consult with your veterinarian to get the latest advice, medicine, and a safe and effective course of action to assist in getting your hamster healthy once again.
Hamsters cough for two potential reasons, choking and a respiratory illness. If the coughing lasts for more than a few minutes, it is likely an illness and needs to be addressed, otherwise they could just be choking on dust buildup in their enclosure.
If your hamster is making a whining noise, it most likely means that they are trying to get your attention for something they need. Whether that is just general attention, play time, more food, more water, or they don’t like something in their cage, they’re just trying to let you know.
Hamsters whine and squeak generally just to get your attention. It’s kind of a general “Hey help me out over here” type of communication. That’s why context is so important when your hamster makes a whining noise.
The first thing you should do is try to see if it’s obvious what they want. If their water spilled, take a minute to clean that up. If something in their cage fell over or is upside down, maybe that’s what they want fixed. Or if their food or water is empty, you should fill that back up. If they look cold and need to be warmed up, you can check out this article on keeping your hamster warm.
Sometimes you’ll have to address multiple things to get them to stop whining because you don’t know what it is they want. And hamsters have no way to tell you specifically what they want, all they can do is say “Hey over here!”
If you’ve addressed everything obvious in their cage, the most likely reason for their whining is that they want to play or get out of their cage. If this is the case, take them out for a few minutes, play with them, let them roam around in their ball, and see if they stop whining.
Hamsters whine for a number of different reasons, but the overall sentiment is always the same: help me out over here.
If your hamster is making a scared type of noise, then the most obvious reason is that they’re scared of something in their surroundings or generally distressed. Take a look around and see what might be frightening them and try to remove that from their area.
Hamsters make all types of noises, but one of the most concerning is when they sound scared or distressed. And while this type of noise is one of the most concerning, it’s also the easiest to address because there’s no question of what it means.
If your hamster seems scared, you should take a look at their surroundings and try to figure out what’s scaring them. Could be a cat or other animal in their immediate vicinity or it could be that they’re in a new environment or cage and they’re feeling anxious.
For any object or animal that you can safely remove from their area, go ahead and do that and see if the scared noises stop. If they’re scared of their new environment, they will take time to feel safe, but you can expedite this process by hanging around them, giving them treats, and taking them out to play.
Anything you can do to help relieve the scared feelings and make your hamster more comfortable in their home should be done as soon as possible because prolonged scared or distressed feelings can lead to health issues.
What Should I Do if My Hamster is Making Weird Noises?
If your hamster is making a weird noise, the first thing you should do is try to figure out what they’re trying to tell you. Are they scared? Happy? Anxious? Sick? Once you figure out why they’re making a weird noise, you can take steps to address their concerns.
As we’ve discussed in the sections above, hamsters make all kinds of weird noises. From clicking to chirping, whining, and more, these noises are how a hamster communicates with you and others. And unfortunately they can’t tell you exactly what they’re feeling so it’s up to you to figure out why they’re making the noise they’re making.
And there’s two things you should do when you figure out what’s happening:
- If the feeling is negative: Figure out what is causing concern or frightened feelings and either remove that stimulus from their area or help them become more comfortable with treats or toys.
- If the feeling is positive: Figure out what is making them happy and keep doing that. If you’re playing with them and they’re making happy noises, keep playing. If you’re giving them treats, you can give them a couple more, but remember that you should be conservative with your treats to avoid any long-term health issues.
Hamsters can’t tell you specifically what they’re feeling, but they communicate just like any other animal.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to discern what type of feelings your hamster has when they’re making a weird noise. Then take steps to reduce any negative feelings or continue to boost up the positive feelings.
If you’re interested in reading more about hamsters, the noises they make, and other types of behavior, check out the related articles below:
- Complete Guide to Hamster Behavior – The Pet Property
- Understanding Your Hamster’s Behavior – Pets At Home
- How to Prevent a Hamster From Hissing at You – Mom.com
And there you have it! After reading this article you should have a thorough understanding of all the types of noises a hamster may make, what they mean, and what to do when you hear each.
From whining to clicking, chirping, and coughing, hamsters make noise in most circumstances to communicate. They’re trying to tell you what they need or want, as well as what’s bothering them. And in some very cute instances, they’re just trying to get your attention to play and hopefully get some quality time.
Overall, it’s important to listen to the noises a hamster makes because after all, they’re just trying to tell you something.