If you have a small living space and can’t afford to keep a larger pet, such as a dog or a cat, there’s no need to worry. You can just go out and get a hamster.
However, before you get yourself a pet hamster, there are a few things you should know. And pay attention because these things can determine whether your hamster will have a long, happy life.
While caring for a pet hamster seems quite manageable and relatively cheap, the truth is that your hamster’s well-being and survival are directly dependent on the kind of environment you keep it in.
If you live in a space where loud noises and sudden sharp sounds are frequent, the unexpected and unwelcome auditory stimulus can cause severe emotional stress and anxiety to your furry pet.
If you don’t make careful considerations to avoid these loud sounds, your hamster might end up going into shock and dying as a result.
Can Pet Hamsters Die from Loud Noises?
If you have ever had the experience of caring for a pet hamster, you probably already know just how loving and affectionate these small rodents can be.
Although they will not leap at you like a dog, their gentle touch and small cuddles are their own unique way of showing love and trust.
However, you probably have also noticed that a hamster gets scared fairly easily. Even when you have cared for it its entire life, at times, it tries to run away and hide from you as you approach it.
Ever wondered why your hamster acts like that while your cat or dog does not?
The main reason behind this is that although a pet hamster shares certain mammalian characteristics with a dog or a cat, its behavioral psychology and instincts are quite different and unique.
While a dog tends to act excited and eager toward a change of setting or an external stimulus, a hamster, on the other hand, usually always feels unsafe and threatened when exposed to a sudden or unfamiliar setting.
Unlike most pets, hamsters are extremely sensitive animals that can react severely when exposed to a potential external threat.
Although this information seems like normal hamster behavior, what you may not know is that emotional stress and anxiety can often lead to a sudden heart attack, causing the pet’s premature death.
Moreover, the pet hamster doesn’t need to react so severely only when threatened by a dangerous predator; instead, even a simple stimulus such as loud noises can result in your fur baby’s sudden death.
Continue reading to learn why a hamster may not react normally towards loud noises and what can potentially happen when the hamster is suddenly exposed to loud noise.
Moreover, the article also sheds light on tips you can follow to prevent loud noises from affecting your pet hamster’s emotional and physical well-being.
Let’s get started!
Why Does a Pet Hamster React Severely Towards Loud Unexpected Noises?
As mentioned above, hamsters are extremely sensitive animals that usually only have defensive and self-protective natural instincts.
Whether a hamster lives in the wild or is a pet living in your home, they will rarely ever be the ones that attack another animal. Instead, wild hamsters spend most of their lives digging holes to hide and protect themselves and their babies against dangerous external stimuli.
However, although all kinds of wild and captive hamsters are generally quite receptive and frail, a hamster in captivity may die as a result of a loud noise while a wild hamster might survive it.
This is because, unlike a pet hamster, a wild hamster lives around constantly changing and evolving stimuli. Even though the wild hamster will also not appreciate a loud noise, it will still be relatively more used to and prepared to plan a timely escape from the uncomfortable situation.
On the other hand, a pet hamster spends the majority of its life confined within the walls of its cage. Its bedding usually does not give the small rodent enough space for digging, and hence the pet hamster cannot instinctively dig a hole and hide from a sudden auditory stimulus.
Moreover, since the pet hamster’s cage is usually placed in the owner’s bedroom, the rodent does not get the opportunity to get used to the different sounds and noises they would otherwise be familiar with had they grown up in the wild.
Instead, the pet hamster is only used to living in a quiet and calm atmosphere where most of the external movements are expected, and loud and high-pitched noises are less frequent.
As a result, when the loud noise of a car’s horn, a popping balloon, an instrument, laughter, or music penetrates the pet hamster’s otherwise quiet environment, the unexpected stimulus gets registered as danger or threat in the rodent’s brain.
Keep reading to learn more about what happens to your pet hamster when this happens.
What Happens When a Pet Hamster is Exposed to Loud Noises?
It is usually hard to miss the reaction of a pet hamster acting out in fear. While captive hamsters are generally pretty slow and less active animals, a scared one will display a lot of unnatural frenzy.
Some of the potential ways that your pet hamster may react to sudden loud noises are as follows:
- The unexpected loud sound may trigger your pet hamster’s natural instincts, causing it to dig up its bedding frantically.
- Since the shallow bedding will not allow the hamster to dig a proper hole, the unsuccessful attempt may cause the fear to continue building up.
- As a result, the digging might get more aggressive.
- Your pet hamster may start itching, licking, and at times even biting itself when a sudden loud noise frightens it.
- If the owner does nothing to calm down their pet, the hamster may eventually end up hurting its little body.
- Since hamsters, by nature, are animals that act defensively, they need the space to run from a threatening external stimulus to get to safety.
- However, since the cage walls will limit your pet hamster’s movements, the loud noises may cause the hamster to start scurrying around in circles in a desperate attempt to escape.
- Moreover, one of the most unique reactions to loud noises will be when your pet hamster starts playing dead.
- This reaction is usually hard to control by the rodent, and the hamster ends up freezing or going completely still to the point it looks dead.
- Although most pet hamsters eventually get normal and start moving around on their own after some time; however, at times, the rodent’s fear is overpowering enough to prevent it from snapping out of this state on its own.
- When this happens, the owner is usually advised to remove all potentially upsetting stimuli from the hamster’s surroundings and warm up the rodent using a blanket or a solar lamp.
- Furthermore, the most extreme and unfortunate involuntary reaction is when the pet hamster experiences a sudden heart attack due to the immense fear caused by a loud noise.
- Since the pet hamster is quite a small and frail living being, surviving a heart attack is almost impossible.
How to Stop Loud Noises from Bothering Your Pet Hamster
Living with a furry little pet hamster can be an extremely joyful, healing, and calming experience. It helps the person cope with loneliness and allows them the opportunity to get in touch with their emotional and softer side.
Hence, if you love the company of your beloved pet hamster, you must recognize and understand its unique needs to help it live a normal and happy life.
Although you cannot always control or limit noises from reaching your pet hamster, you can certainly attempt to reduce their intensity so that they do not trigger a stress response in your fur baby.
Some of the top tips you can follow to prevent external loud noises from affecting your pet hamster are as follows:
- Place your hamster’s cage in a room that usually is calm and quiet. For instance, you can choose a room on the upper floor or in your home’s basement, where people do not visit that frequently.
- If you live with your hamster in an apartment or a college dorm, you can always request your neighbors to keep it down or at least warn you before making loud noises.
- If you cannot control the loud noises from entering your room, you can attempt to soundproof the hamster’s cage by wrapping it up with a thick fabric.
Keeping your beloved pet hamster alive is only challenging when you do not know much about the small rodent’s unique psychology and behavior.
However, once you understand that loud noises or unexpected auditory stimuli can cause extreme emotional stress, fear, and anxiety to your fur baby, you can work towards protecting it from the loud noises. The best tip is to place the pet hamster’s cage in a safe and quiet room and also soundproof the walls of the cage if keeping the external loud noises out becomes impossible.
You may also choose to read:
- Which Small Pet is Smarter – Guinea Pigs or Hamsters?
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- Can Hamsters Eat Strawberries?
- Can Teddy Bear Hamsters Live Together?
- Can You Be Allergic to Hamsters? [Symptoms and Treatment]
- Do Dogs and Hamsters Get Along? [7 Explanations]
- Do Girl Hamsters Get Their Period? [7 Reasons]
- The Best Wood for Hamsters: A Comprehensive Guide
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