Hamsters don’t make a lot of noise due to their small size. When the room is loud, you won’t be able to hear your hamster making a squeaking noise. However, being observant whenever your hamster squeaks or creates any form of weird noises is important.
In this article, we will explain the answer to the question “why is my hamster squeaking?” We will discuss the reasons and solutions. In the end, you will know how to recognize a happy squeak from a distress call squeak.
WHY IS MY HAMSTER SQUEAKING ALL OF A SUDDEN?
There are various reasons why a hamster starts squeaking or starts making loud noises. Often it’s a sign of distress and requires your urgent attention and help. But sometimes, it’s a simple way to show they are happy.
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Want some attention
The simple explanation for why your hamster is squeaking is that they need something or your attention. It could be because they are hungry, angry, or just need a cuddle. As a hamster owner, it’s important that you attend to them to see what’s happening and that they are not hurt or in trouble.
Hurt or injured
As a pet owner, it’s not something we’d like to see, but don’t worry; hamsters getting hurt is quite common. There are many ways that hamsters can get injured. Often the cause is simply the combination of their fast mobility and bad eyesight.
If you didn’t see your hamster getting hurt but then hear them squeaking, you have to figure out right away what’s wrong. If your hamster is just lying down and won’t or can’t get up, it’s time to go to the vet. Injury is not the only reason why your hamster could be in distress. Stomach pain or general negative emotions can be the culprit.
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Hamster wants to get out of cage
The first time I asked myself why does my hamster squeak, the answer was simple. She simply wanted to get out of her hamster’s cage. Hamsters like to explore, especially if they are bored. Some hamsters are happy being lazy at home all day, while others prefer to go out into the wider world from time to time. You’ll need to learn your individual hamster’s needs by reading your hamster’s body language and listening to most common sounds of your hamster.
You can resolve this issue by adding more entertaining toys or by setting up a playpen. Playtime in an escape-proof playpen is fun for both you and your hamster! If you make a really big playpen, you could even sit inside it with your pet! Once a hamster learns about its new, bigger world, it might squeak to get your attention. This squeak means your friend wants to go out.
If a playpen with a new toy doesn’t do the trick, a bigger hamster cage is always a good idea. This way you can add more enrichment to your hamster’s life by fitting in a maze, more toys, and deeper bedding.
You can learn more about the ideal cage size here. Sometimes a large cage will reduce how often your hamster is squeaking to beg to go out. Hamsters often need a bigger space than you might think.
Fighting with another hamster
If you have more than one hamster in a single cage and you are not asking why my hamster is squeaking, the biggest and most common reason is that they are fighting one another.
This is super common when hamsters live together. Hamsters are fine to share cages with their parents and siblings for up to six 6 weeks, after that, it’s important that you separate them. Hamsters are territorial, so making sure they have their own space is crucial.
If you hear your hamsters squeaking at each other even before the 6-week mark, you have to hurry and separate them. The more you wait, the higher the chance they will fight, hurt each other, or worse… it could be fatal.
Don’t like getting picked up
If you have a new hamster, which you only had or less than two weeks, we don’t recommend you start holding them yet. You have to let your hamster settle down and get used to its new home. After that, you can start taming your hamster and introducing yourself and your scent slowly.
If your hamster is squeaking every time you hold them, it’s a massive sign that they don’t enjoy what you are doing or the taming process is going too fast or not being done properly.
However, if your hamster still squeaks after you tried taming them for a while now, you might have to face the hard truth that your hamster doesn’t enjoy being touched and it’s the best thing to do is to just let them live their happy, solitary life in their cage. This is common for the Dwarf Roborovski hamsters.
On the other hand, if your hamster is squeaking when you hold them but it has never happened before, it could be a sign that they are hurting. Perhaps you held them on their stomach or you tried to scoop them up and hurt their fragile legs. Squeezing a hamster too hard can cause pain. Be very gentle.
Once in four days, female hamsters are in heat (wow that’s so often!). During this time they can be impatient and really aggressive. Female Syrian hamsters, even produce a strong smell. When hamsters are in heat, they can get really defensive and irritated and show aggressive behavior.
Hamsters can be super territorial, especially when it’s mating time. While in heat, every time you try to get close to the cage they might squeak and try to attack you. It is best to not change bedding or refill the empty food bowl during this time. Try again tomorrow.
When a hamster is trapped, it might also squeak. This is often found in baby hamsters as it’s their way to call their mother. In adult hamsters, when they already trust you, it could be because they know there’s someone they can call out for help.
Hamsters who escaped from their cage often get trapped, behind a bookshelf or something, not usually in a bad way. It happens when they can’t find their way back home.
This is the ideal answer when you are asking yourself what the squeaking sound of your hamster means.
Does your hamster have a favorite treat? Perhaps dry mealworms? Every time I shake the mealworm’s packet, my hamster will come running to me and make a single squeak. Even though squeaking in hamsters is often a sign of stress, it can also be a sign of happiness!
You will hear little squeaks of happiness when playing, running on the wheel, about to get their treats, and when burrowing in for a good night’s sleep.
FREQUENCY OF SQUEAK; SIGNS OF DISTRESS?
One of the best ways to see if your hamster’s squeak is a sign of distress or happiness is when you observe how frequently they make the noise.
For example, continuous squeaking, about 3-5 seconds apart can be a sign of trouble. A single squeak is a hamster’s way of saying they are happy.
Have you heard a bird chirp? Like hamsters, birds make noise in fast panicked intervals when they are scared. Frequency matters!
HOW TO STOP MY HAMSTER FROM SQUEAKING
You can only stop your hamster from squeaking if you know the reason for it. To find out why do hamsters squeak, you have to observe them properly when you hear a squeak. If the hamster noises are repetitive, take a closer look and see if they are hurt or simply in heat or happy.
The first thing to do is give attention. Perhaps the problem is as simple as them being stuck inside their hideout or they escaped and need your help to bring them home. It could also be as simple as needing a change of freshwater or replenishing their dry mixes.
Bring to the vet
If everything seems right (enough food, water is full, no visible injury), there might be something more serious. For example, a broken leg, stomach pain, or a broken tooth. In this case, it’s best to contact the vet. They can check and run tests to see that your hamster is doing okay.
Giving treats is a good one of the best ways to see if your hamster’s problem is as simple as needing extra attention or just wanting yummy treats or if they are actually in pain. If you give them treats and they are able to come to you and the squeaking stops, it’s a sign that they are alright.
However, if you offer a treat, and your hamster ignores it, this is a sign that your pet is distressed.
ALSO READ: Healthy treats for hamsters
If you’re wondering why is my Syrian hamster squeaking”, well, sometimes hamsters just want a nice cuddle, especially during winter. They want to stay warm and get some nice cuddles. Male Syrian hamsters are known to be the ones who love cuddles the most. Female Syrians like cuddling, too, unless they are in heat.
If your hamsters are sharing a cage, perhaps they never fought while they grew up together. You might be thinking, they are fine together. Here at hamster care, we never recommend housing more than one hamster in a single cage even if they seem to be getting along well.
Hamsters can have sudden emotional swings. They could be friends today and then, suddenly tomorrow, they could be fighting for territory or food. We don’t want you and your hamsters to be in this dangerous and unpredictable situation. If you are too late to stop the fight, one or both of them could get seriously hurt.
If you don’t have an extra cage ready to use, you can place one hamster in a secure storage box until you get a better 2nd cage. A bad temporary home is better than fighting.
We also recommend you keep the 2 cages far enough away that they can’t smell, hear, or see each other. Hamsters will certainly squeak when fighting so remember a squeak needs your attention. Make sure it’s a happy squeak.
CHECK OUT: Suitable hamster cages
If you started looking up “why is my hamster squeaking”, we want to let you know that we appreciate you going the extra mile of researching this question. Making sure your hamster is safe and happy is important.
Hamsters can’t express their feeling easily compared to other pets. But having you as their hamster parent, they are very lucky. Hamsters only know how to make one sound so it just is not as simple as reading various emotions in a dog who can for example bark, whimper, or wag its tail.
Frequency is the best diagnosis. An occasional squeak problem means things are ok, but continuous squeaking means there is a problem that needs to be fixed immediately.
A hamster squeaking doesn’t always mean they are unhappy or hurt, but the number one rule is, if you hear it, investigate and give attention to your pet. If you can’t figure out the problem it is always best to go to the vet.
I hope you found this why is my hamster squeaking article useful. We always work on giving as much information on hamster care as much as we can. If you have other tips on how to stop or know any other reasons why a hamster is squeaking, let us know in the comment section below.