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Hamster Communication with Humans: Good and Bad

Hamsters, a member of the rodent family, make perfect pets for many. However, rodents communicate with their hoomans in different ways than some of the other popular pet species. We'll break down hamster communication with humans today, which will help you ensure your hammy is living its best life.

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Two Forms of Hamster Communication

If you’re familiar with hamsters, you know they communicate in two ways: body language and sound. Depending on your hearing, some of their sounds may be unrecognizable by the human ear. Not to worry, you’ll be fluent in hamster in no time.

Body Language

Despite their tiny size, hamsters communicate well with their body language. Below you’ll find a chart with certain behaviors and what they mean.

Pawsitive

Meaning

Negative

Meaning

Burrowing or searching for food

Happy

Ears pointed forward

Insecure

Erect ears/brighteyes

Curious

Standing on back feet with puffed cheeks

Aggressive pose/trying to look big

Grooming

Content

Erect tail

Aggressive pose

Stretching

Content/relaxed

Startled

Scared/unnerved

Rubbing belly on object/ground

Marking territory

Ears flat against head

Suspicious

Yawn

Tired

Flopped on back with bared teeth or creeping

Scared

Pet hamster

Sound

Hamsters are typically very quiet and can make noises in the ultrasonic range, but you may be able to hear some of these.

Pawsitive

Meaning

Negative

Meaning

Clicking

Content

Chattering

Nervous/excited

Squeaking

Attention

Squeaking

Pain or fear 

Cell
Cell

Hissing

Scared

Cell
Cell

Tooth grinding

Angry

Communicating with Your Hamster

As prey animals, your hamster might be very scared of you when you first bring them home. After that, however, you must understand each other, and your relationship won't be built overnight. 

The best way to communicate with your hamster is to spend time with them. Along with that, try:

  • Announcing yourself quietly as you approach their enclosure.
  • Acclimate them to your touch by letting them sniff your fingers (they don’t see well) and gently scratching their head.
  • Once they get used to receiving pets from you, you can start picking them up and handling them.
  • Don’t forget to reward them after every interaction.

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See…that wasn’t so difficult! You might even be making some hamster noises in no time. Does your hamster communicate differently? Did we miss any body language or sounds typical of hamster communication? Let us know by commenting on our socials or emailing us. 

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.


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