Hamsters make all sorts of noises as they spend their days. One sound that most owners are familiar with is squeaking, but not many know what it means.
In today’s guide, we’re explaining all the possible indications of a squeaking hamster so you can better understand and care for your little pet. Let’s get to it!
Squeaking is the most common noise hamsters produce. It may be a sign of something negative or positive, so here’s a list of 13 potential interpretations of your hamster’s squeaking:
1 – Communicating With Other Hamsters
If you have more than one hamster in your home, you should expect to hear a lot of squeaking.
In this case, there’s nothing to worry about. Squeaking is just how hamsters communicate with each other and express how they feel, especially when they’re young.
The meaning of the squeak varies depending on the intensity of the squeak.
For example, if your hamster squeaks gently to other hamsters, this is to let them know they’re enjoying their time. It can also be a way to ask for attention from a certain hamster.
Another example is when your hamster is squeaking loudly. This can be the little critter expressing fear or objecting to whatever they’re doing.
What’s more, squeaking comes easier to some types of hamsters than others.
If we compare Teddy Bear hamsters to Dwarf hamsters, we’ll find that the former mostly produces soft, high-pitched sounds while the latter makes loud, deep noises.
The reason behind this is that Dwarf hamsters are more petite than Teddy Bear hamsters so they possess shorter vocal cords.
2 – Scared
If your hamster is making squeaking sounds continuously for a few seconds, chances are they’re afraid and this is their way of telling whatever/whoever is scaring them to go away.
If you’ve just brought the hamster to your home recently, the scary thing is probably you. In this case, you need to back off and ease your pet into getting used to you by applying socialization techniques.
Here are some tips to help you calm your new hamster and get them to accept you:
- Allow the hamster some time to adjust before you try to pick it up. A week or so should be enough.
- Make sure the cage is spacious enough for the hamster to move around to avoid causing stress.
- Park the cage in a low-traffic room away from loud noises and other pets. Hamsters are active at night and sleep during the day, so the room’s conditions should accommodate such a schedule.
- Provide the cage with plenty of food and water to keep your pet relaxed.
- Be patient; building a trusting relationship with your hamster won’t happen overnight.
Once your hamster starts leaving the cage on their own, you can take this as a sign that your pet has become comfortable around you. Only then should you try to handle the hamster.
3 – Happy
A squeaking hamster doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in trouble, it could be a sign of joy and happiness. Typically, a “happy” squeak is accompanied by a stretch or yawn.
If you notice your little furball making squeaking noises when you pet them, play with them, or are about to give them a treat, they’re simply feeling good and making it known.
Your hamster may also squeak out of happiness when they see their other hamster friends.
4 – In Danger or Trapped
If your hamster is trapped or deems a certain situation dangerous, it may call for help using squeaking noises. In this case, the squeak tends to be loud and persistent.
Both young and adult hamsters may squeak for help.
5 – Wants to Mate
A hamster in heat is very likely to make squeaking sounds that are usually loud and continuous. They also behave impatiently and can get very aggressive and irritable.
If you didn’t know, hamsters go into “mating season” once every 4 days.
Dring this period, female hamsters will respond to mating attempts by male hamsters, who can pick up on the females’ readiness via a marked scent that they release.
6 – Bored or Wants Something
Hamsters are very active and curious animals who love to explore, run around, and play with toys. They need a daily dose of physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.
So what happens when you don’t give them enough attention? That’s right, they may resort to squeaking to let you know something’s up.
Hamsters use noises to communicate their needs with one another, so there’s a chance they’ll do the same with you.
Their squealing may be because they need water or food. But in many cases, it’s a sign they’re bored and want you to play with them and give them some attention.
You see, hamsters get bored, just not in the same way that we humans do. This is because hamsters don’t have a concept of time built into their brains, so they don’t think about its passing.
Hamsters will become stressed, anxious, sad, or even depressed when they’re kept somewhere with insufficient avenues to express their curiosity and burn through their energy.
While hamsters don’t have major goals in life other than their instincts to eat, survive, and reproduce, their well-being and health will take a blow if you don’t keep them in an enriched environment.
For example, a cage or habitat that’s too dirty or too small. Also, if they don’t have toys, lack hiding spots, are exposed to loud noise, and/or have too many people trying to handle them too much.
7 – Doesn’t Want to Be Handled
Speaking of having too many people trying to handle the hamster too much, this isn’t acceptable as you can tell by now. If hamsters find themselves in such a situation, they may start squeaking as a sign of protest.
In other words, the hamster is telling you to put it down and leave it be!
Unless you want to stress out your pet, it’s not a good idea to handle your hamster too frequently for too long, especially when you first bring them home.
During the initial introductory period, hamsters are usually shy. Handling them too much from the get-go can make them even more closed off.
The best thing you can do is keep the handling short and sweet. Not to mention, you should never force your hamster to be in a place or position that they aren’t comfortable with.
8 – Showing Dominance
When a hamster is trying to assert dominance, you’ll likely hear squeaking noises coming out of it.
This is more common when people have multiple hamsters in a cage. There’s a good chance that the hamsters will clash from time to time.
When conflict arises between your hamsters, they may squeak as a result of injury during fights. However, they’re more probably squeaking as a show of dominance.
Although the latter means that your hamsters aren’t getting hurt, you should still break up the conflict to prevent things from escalating.
9 – In a Bad Mood
If you try to touch or play with your hamster and they squeak at you when you get close, they’re probably in a bad mood and want to be left alone.
This is particularly true if your hamster is already tamed. In this case, you don’t need to worry about your pet biting you, but you should respect their feelings and give them some space to cool off.
10 – Sees Something Familiar
Another reason why your hamster may be producing squeaking sounds is that they can see something or someone familiar. When recognition hits your pet, they’re likely to squeak.
A common example is when your hamster sees/hears you open a bag of treats, so they squeak because they can tell what’s about to happen.
The same thing may happen when you open the cage to refill their food. Also, your pet may recognize you and squeak when you come back from work or a trip and go to pick them up.
11 – Stressed
If your hamster is feeling stressed, you may hear them squeaking. Unfortunately, it can be very tricky to pinpoint the cause of the stress because of the many possibilities.
A hamster can feel stress if the environment is new, the cage is too small, or if there isn’t enough food or water. They can also get stressed if they’re hurt, bored, feel threatened, and so on.
12 – Injured
If your hamster gets injured, they’ll squeak. It’s pretty common for hamsters to have accidents and get hurt because they move quickly but don’t see well.
The result is frequent crashing and getting scraped or cut. If you hear your pet squeaking, you should check their body for injuries right away.
Hamsters will likely make the sound as soon as they get hurt, so the culprit would probably be nearby. For example, a sharp toy.
If you inspect the squeaking hamster but can’t find a visible injury, you should have a vet examine them. They may be in pain due to an internal disorder.
13 – Giving Birth
Finally, if you’re dealing with a pregnant hamster, the squeaks you’re hearing may be a sign that labor has begun.
Although you may get the urge to help or comfort your hamster while they’re giving birth, you really shouldn’t touch them or go near them. Female hamsters need to be alone during this time so they can focus on having a healthy, smooth delivery.
A hamster’s scream is very alarming as it’s most likely a sign of stress. These pets may scream because they’re scared, in pain, in danger, or about to get aggressive.
If your hamster is making noises while they sleep, you shouldn’t go into panic mode right away.
First, you need to determine the type of sound you’re hearing as follows:
- If your hamster is producing quiet, soft noises, then you should leave them be because this is normal. For example, gentle squeaking or wheezing.
- If your hamster is making too loud vocalizations, you should schedule a visit to your vet as soon as possible. There’s a chance these noises are a sign of difficulty in breathing, which is a symptom of a potential respiratory disease such as inflammation of the lungs.
If you’re wondering “why is my hamster squeaking?”, you now have 13 possible reasons to explore and check for.
Knowing the trigger behind your hamster’s squeaks will help you take better care of the little animal and ultimately provide them with a healthier, more supportive environment.