The Different Ways Hamsters Communicate

Looking down at your hamster in their cage it often difficult to work out what they might be saying.

Have you ever wondered what they might thinking or if they are things to say something to you?

As they don’t speak our language it’s pretty difficult to decider if they are trying to say something.

But there are clues we can look for to work out what they are trying to say to us. All animals communicate in some way.

It’s up to us to find out what it is they actually trying to say and whether we can communicate back to them as well.

Vocalizations and Body language

Hamsters use vocalizations and body language to communicate.

This is just like we do and they use these to express themselves.

Their emotions, fears, anxieties, and what they want.

They have learnt and evolved their own different way of getting what they want to say across to other.

Audible and Non-Audible

The ways hamsters communicate can be split into two camps. Either audible or non audible.

Audible in the sense that they can make sounds that can be heard by the human ear such as squeaking, squealing or using their teeth to click.

The non Audible which make up a lot of the hamsters communication techniques which can consist of anything from ultrasonic sound which is out of range for humans to leaving scent trails to stances they make.

It all serves to get across the point they want to make.

Squeaking or Squealing

Their main mentor of vocalization is by squeaking or squealing.

Depending on the situation they can either be squeaking in pain or distress or in delight and excitement.

When this happens it’s up to us to decider which way it is.

This normally indicates some sort of distress and the pitch of the squeak or squeal will give you a feeling of how the urgency of it.

They are very similar to us really in this effect.

For instance if you happen to crush a part of their body by accident the squeal will be very loud.

However they also use squeaking If they are hungry the squeak will be relatively soft.

Speaking in excitement and delight will usually involve the possibility of food or being let out for exercise.

This is also a good sign that things are good in your relationship with them as they know you and trust you as well.

It’s a sign that they getting more familiar with you as well

Chewing on bars

If you seen your hamster chewing on their bars or gnawing at plastic then this is a sigh that they are bored and un-stimulated.

It means that they are in need of some urgent attention.

Maybe take them out of their cage and give them some exercise or put some more food out for them.

If you see your hamster moving in a crouched manner walking slower than they do usually.

This is a sign that they are in pain and need some veterinary attention.

When they are unwell they don’t necessarily let you know about it and keep quiet about being sick.

So you need to watch out for signs like this.


If you see your hamster yawning then unlike humans this isn’t a sign that your hamster is tired.

Instead it is actually a signal that they are feeling relaxed and stretching out their body.

They will be feeling happy and calm at this moment.

If they are stretching the rest of their body at this time then this is added proof that they are relaxed.

If you find them grooming themselves then this is also not just them cleaning and looking after themselves.

It is also a sign that they are feeling relaxed and pretty happy about things.

A good sign that all is well with your hamster.

Pressing their body against objects

If you see your hamster pressing their body against objects then this is a sign that they are marking their territory.

This is an act carried out by many animals to keep others away from it.

They do this using their scent glands which are located in the region of their hips.

The scent is pretty powerful to other animals and can be a marker of status for submissive and dominant hamsters.

Roborovski and Syrian hamsters have scent glands that are paired on each hip.

Russian Campbell dwarf, Winter white and Chinese hamsters have six pairs of scent glands.

These are found on their genitals, belly and on their ears.

Chattering teeth

If they are chattering their teeth this is a sign that they want you to back off.

Other rodents such as guinea pugs use this method to tell their peers to go away.

It is pretty effective when used on other hamsters and will make any opponent wary.

If you one day you find the ears of your hamster are pointing backwards then this can also be saying that they are feeling lethargic as well.

They may also have their eyes half shut as well so it would be worth leaving them alone in this instance.


Ever heard a hamster clicking?

These are caused by their front teeth rubbing together and is called bruxing.

Unlike the chattering of teeth when faced with another foe, if he are doing this when they alone then this actually them feeling content and relaxed.

They are just clicking their two incisors together in the upper and lower jaw.

Grooming and body washing

If you see a hamster grooming and body washing for a long time then they are feeling uncomfortable in after being given put in an unfamiliar area.

It is a nervousness which has translated into an expression of cleaning.

Some humans do it too!

What they are actually doing is to scent their paws and other areas of their body in preparation to mark their new territory.

Standing up tall

Even seen a hamster standing up tall on their hind legs with their ears standing in end and nose pointing upwards?

Then what this is showing is that something has sparked their attention and they are curious to find out what it is.

Mating Communication

When they are mating they will use auditory communication to let the other sex know what is happening.

These will be at different times depending on where in the cycle they are.

Male hamsters for instance will squeak when they have found a female hamster.

Female hamsters on the other hand will do so if they are in entrusted, are lactating, on shorter days, or if there isn’t a male in the vicinity.

Their breath

Did you know that hamsters can also recognize each other by their breathe?

This is where their powerful sense of smell comes into play.

When they live on packs this is an especially useful skill for them to use.