Is it Normal for Hamsters to Squeak?

"Don't brush off my repertoire of vocalizations."
"Don't brush off my repertoire of vocalizations." (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

If your wee hamster ever makes squeaking sounds, it can point to several different things. Although squeaking is normal, commonplace and often no cause for alarm in hamsters, vocalization can also occasionally mean that your pet needs your help.

Under the Weather

If your hamster is feeling under the weather, he may convey that by making high-pitched squeaking sounds. Although the squeaking may sound adorable, your little pet might not be feeling adorable at the moment, so it's crucial to not ignore the vocalization. If you have any reason to feel that your pet is suffering in physical discomfort or pain, it is important to set up an appointment with the veterinarian pronto. For any signs that your hamster is unwell, look out for hints such as glazed eyes, lack of physical activity, nasal discharge, reduced appetite, difficulty breathing, loose stools, sneezing and skin irritation. Also note that if your pet is outside of his cage when he squeaks, it may also be a sign that he wants to go back in. Squeaking is a normal sign of discomfort in hamsters, although it may denote a medical ailment.

Attention Decifit

Your hamster may squeak as a means of getting you to acknowledge him, as well -- a totally common and normal hammie behavior. If the squeaking isn't particularly loud, it may just be your pet's way of getting you to come over to him. It may even mean that he's hungry and wants you to feed him something yummy.

Fright or Irritation

Squeaking is also a normal and typical signal of fear in hamsters. Perhaps the little one hears a jarring and unfamiliar sound and is feeling anxious and worried. Aside from fear, squeaking can be a clue to another unpleasant emotion -- classic annoyance. If you are petting your hammie and he's decided that he's had enough for now, his squeaking may be his way of telling you that he's done with it, at least for the time being.

Fight Time

Dwarf hamsters that reside in pairs or tiny groups often squeak when they're in the midst of minor disputes -- usually over which individual is the boss of the rest. These types of quarrels are especially common when groups of hamsters are busy establishing the pecking orders for their living environments. The quarrels also are usually brief. If, however, you notice that your hammies are not only squealing but perhaps even biting or running after each other for lengthy periods, it is definitely time to separate them. Otherwise, the situation may become physical harmful for one or all of them -- not a good thing. Squeaking and squealing during play fighting, and legitimate fighting, in hamsters is not at all atypical.

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