Hamsters make adorable pets and excellent companions for the little ones in your home. Therefore, it is natural to want to keep your pet hamster well-fed and happy, and it can be concerning when it makes crying noises from time to time. If you have discovered that your hamster is “crying” and don’t know what could be wrong, you’ve come to the right place.
A hamster will make crying noises for several reasons, including pain, stress, anxiety, excitement, or fear. They also “cry” when they’re seeking attention, injured, sick, or fighting. Because the reasons for these crying noises could be either good or bad, you should respond as quickly as possible.
The rest of this article will discuss the various reasons why your hamster could be making crying noises. Additionally, it will explain some of the different crying noises you can expect from hamsters and what to do if you hear these noises. Read on for more.
Hamsters do not cry in the traditional sense, where tears will form and fall from their eyes. However, they have been known to make crying noises, and this typically happens when the hamster is either in pain, scared or distressed.
The first thing that usually comes to mind when you think about crying is tears forming around the eyes. This is normal because we tend to associate more easily with the familiar as human beings.
In this sense, hamsters do not cry, and if you notice moisture formation around the eyes that resemble tears, it is likely due to humidity or residue collected while they were asleep. This is because hamsters do not produce tears when crying.
It is not uncommon to notice some kind of tearing, and this is commonly due to several factors, including the following:
Tearing may result from environmental factors, such as dusty beddings that can cause irritation, in the same way, that a dusty environment will likely cause your eyes to tear up.
Accordingly, a dusty environment can cause watering, but this does not mean that your hamster is crying.
Your hamster’s eyes will also exhibit moisture formation around them when it has some type of debris or foreign objects lodged in the eye socket. In such instances, it is advisable to contact a vet and not try to remove the debris yourself, as this can result in serious injury.
There are various diseases that attack the eyes and create the appearance of tear formation. For instance, conjunctivitis has been known to cause excess fluid secretion in the eyes or around them.
If your hamster suffers from this disease, there will likely be moisture formation around the eyes. As in the previous case, it is recommended that you take your hamster to the veterinarian or contact an expert to take a closer look.
If your hamster is indeed sick, it is preferable to identify and arrest the disease early on. Another common illness is the cold. It could cause discharge from the hamster’s eyes and nose, especially if the cold is severe.
You can tell if your pet has a cold because the symptoms are almost identical to humans’. Look out for sniffles, sneezes, or a running nose. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite and inactivity.
As previously discussed, watery eyes could also indicate too much humidity in the air. Unlike tearing up caused by the cold, disease, or dust and debris, the hamster will likely not show any signs of significant discomforts, such as loss of appetite, if the watering is caused by excess humidity.
While you can easily wipe out the moisture with a clean cloth, this is not advisable because hamsters are incredibly delicate animals. Any mistake could potentially harm them and their eyesight.
Crying noises in hamsters are caused by discomfort, sadness, and pain. These noises may sound like screams, squeaks, or squeals. Accordingly, this is as close to crying as you will ever observe from a hamster.
As previously discussed, hamsters will cry due to a variety of reasons. The most common of these are pain, stress, or fear.
Crying can also be a symptom of an injury or an underlying illness. I will discuss these reasons in detail below.
Persistent crying noises likely indicate that the hamster is in pain due to an injury or disease. For example, if your hamster’s arm or leg gets stuck in the cage and gets injured, you may hear persistent squealing or screams.
This is one of the ways that the hamster will try to alert you that something is wrong. If you accidentally drop the hamster on the floor and injure it, this can also happen.
Because hamsters are very delicate and have very brittle legs, any squealing and screaming that follows could indicate that the hamster has suffered an injury or is in pain.
In such instances, it is best to contact a vet to assess the hamster’s condition. If the vet determines that the hamster is in pain, they may provide pain management solutions to help.
Stress can cause distress in a hamster, manifesting in crying noises. Many things could stress a hamster, including:
- An unfamiliar environment
- New surroundings
- The presence of other pets
This stress and anxiety arise because when the hamster feels like it is being threatened, it will make crying noises and tends to be restless.
The more the tone and volume of the crying noises, the higher the level of distress or stress the hamster is probably in.
For instance, if you transfer your hamster to a new environment, it may exhibit signs of stress and anxiety, including squealing and making crying noises.
Stress and anxiety may also manifest in erratic behavior, such as biting the cages, self-mutilation, or constant gnawing and scratching. If you notice that your hamster is restless and exhibits any of these symptoms, it is essential to notify a veterinarian right away.
Accordingly, if you transfer a hamster to a new environment or bring it home, it is crucial to allow ample time for your furry pet to get acclimatized to the environment, especially during the first few weeks of ownership.
It would help if you also avoided movements or actions that can make the hamster nervous. For instance, if you approach your hamster in a new environment, it will likely feel intimidated and act out.
Additionally, be attentive to discover factors that cause anxiety.
Furthermore, keep your hamster in a spacious environment and a quiet space whenever possible.
You can also purchase various wheels from most pet stores in the United States to help alleviate stress. Below are some popular options from Amazon.com:
- Hi-ERA Hamster Wheel
- Niteangel Hamster Exercise Wheel
- Jetczo Hamster Exercise Wheel
- Zhang Ku Silent Hamster Wheel
- Pet Hamster Exercise Wheel
- Acediva Hamster Flying Saucer Wheel
- Guinea Pig vs. Hamster vs. Gerbil
Like most animals, a hamster will make loud screaming or squealing noises when frightened.
One of the common causes of fear is large pets such as large dogs or cats. Therefore, it is crucial to keep these large pets in different areas to limit this fear factor.
As previously stated, a hamster will make crying noises when it feels threatened or is frightened. It is important to remember that hamsters scare easily, and simple things such as loud noises could frighten the hamster and cause it to recoil in fear.
If you live in noisy cities like New York, Philadelphia, Miami, or Atlanta, where it can get loud, especially during rush hour, I recommend soundproofing your house.
There are many possible options for soundproofing in the house. Examples for your consideration include the Dehomy Self-Adhesive Seal Strip for doors and windows and Magzo Brush Weather Stripping adhesive tape. Both products are available on Amazon.com.
On the same breadth, crying noises could indicate something foreign in the hamster’s immediate environment that has frightened it.
Therefore, you should respond immediately when you hear these crying noises to keep the hamster calm.
One of the common symptoms of an illness among hamsters is squealing or squeaking, and unwillingness to move. This can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of appetite and screaming. Your hamster may also be suffering from an infection.
When you place two or more hamsters within the same space or cage, there is a high likelihood that they will either play or fight.
Crying noises such as squeaking, squealing, and screaming could mean that the hamsters are engaging in spirited fun or fighting.
Placing hamsters in different cages is essential because hamster fights can be violent and cause serious injury.
It is also important to respond quickly when you hear these crying noises from hamsters in the same cage to separate them as soon as possible.
In some cases, the crying noises are simply an attention-seeking technique. To this end, a hamster can make crying noises if it feels like it is being ignored.
Such noises could mean many things, including that the hamster is in a playful mood, hungry, or thirsty.
In such instances, I suggest giving the hamster the attention it deserves. If you have difficulty finding time off your busy schedule, make plans to spend time with the hamsters as regularly as possible.
Chirping and squealing sounds could also signify excitement. If you have a hamster, then you may have already noticed that when you take it out of the cage for playtime, it will likely make squeaking or chirping sounds to show excitement.
This excitement could also be the result of seeing food. If you notice that your hamster starts making crying noises every time you approach its cage for feeding time, then it’s probably excited, and there is no need to worry.
If the noises persist, you may need to seek the services of a professional veterinarian.
Hamsters will make crying noises when they are sad. Some studies have shown that hamsters can show symptoms of depression and anxiety in the same manner human beings do.
Sadness can be due to different factors, including:
- The death of another hamster with which they shared a cage
- Confined spacing in the cage
Aside from squealing, especially at night, some common symptoms of sadness include lethargy, inactivity, and isolation.
They can also make noises when this sadness and associated depression and anxiety cause them to try and escape from their cages.
Different sounds can be classified as crying noises, and these include the following:
- Squealing or Squeaking
These sounds may mean different things, as discussed below:
Most hamsters will hiss when placed in a new environment. Hissing is often a sign that the hamster is anxious or frightened.
As previously explained, you can enhance your hamster’s comfort level by providing room and time to acclimatize to the new environment.
Screaming is often a sign that your hamster is feeling threatened. It could even mean that your hamster is downright terrified. The most likely cause is the presence of another animal or person that scares it. Screaming hamsters will often back themselves into a corner and scream.
Squeaking, chirping, and squealing can mean anything from excitement to sadness or hunger.
Therefore, it can be challenging to determine the cause of the squeaking, chirping, or squealing. Pay attention to the hamster to decide whether the sound is out of happiness or something negative.
One way to determine the above is to look out for other signs. For example, if the hamster is active and joyous, it is probably squealing because it is playful or excited.
However, if it is isolated, reserved, and showing lethargy, it could be sad, anxious, injured, or hungry.
It is essential to be observant of your hamster’s behavior so that you can determine which noises it makes and why.
Related Hamster articles:
- How To Tell If Your Hamster Is Blind
- Why Is My Hamster Cold?
- How Many Times Can a Hamster Get Pregnant?
- What Can You Feed a Dwarf Hamster?
To recap, hamsters will make crying noises out of fear, anxiety, pain, discomfort, excitement, and other factors.
If you hear an unfamiliar noise or consistent crying noises from your hamster’s cage, you must act promptly to determine the cause of the noise. As a good rule of thumb, have your veterinarian’s number close at hand if you need professional assistance.
It is always advisable to be observant of your pet and familiarize yourself with its behavior under different situations to be better prepared for anything.
My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more