Rodents

How Do Hamsters Communicate With Each Other and With Humans?

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Whitney is a hamster parent and has raised a variety of species.

Hamster Communication

Hamsters are typically very docile and quiet animals, but you may notice that they are trying to tell you or another hamster something—whether it be happiness, contentment, or aggression.

In most cases, you won't hear sounds that your hamster makes, as much of their vocal communication is ultrasonic so that other hamsters can hear but human ears won't detect it. Below are common behavior cues observed in hamsters.

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1 / 4Hamster-to-Hamster Communication

If you have more than one hamster, you may notice some of these behaviors.

Appeasement: Hamsters will hold out one paw and avoid eye contact, in appeasement to the approaching hamster.Rolling fighting: The aggressive hamster will stand upright or on all fours as it launches at the other hamster, biting at the midsection. The fight will usually stop when one hamster freezes in a belly-up position, which is a surrender signal.Fighting and flying escapes: High pitched squeaks will signal something will be escalating. Both hamsters will start rolling around fighting, typically resulting in inflicting wounds on each other. When the fight gets serious, the submissive hamster will try to escape, but the dominant hamster won't let him and will follow him around the cage.The chase: A dominant hamster will chase the submissive hamster, which can turn very badly if the submissive hamster doesn't have anywhere to escape. Usually, you can stop this with a few squirts of water.Tail flick: A submissive hamster will flick his tail upward and hunch his back upward in attempts to stop any aggression. He may even walk slower with a more stiff gait, whereas the dominant hamster may mount the other hamster.Hamster-to-Human Communication

More than likely, you're more interested in how your hamster is trying to communicate with you. It's pretty simple, and for the most part, you can figure out what your hamster is trying to tell you by just paying attention. Basic communication clues are going to be bodily and auditory cues.

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What does stretching mean?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Carl Broadbent on March 22, 2020:

I do believe Hamsters and other small pets have the ability to hear and understand their owners.

CelesteTheViking on December 04, 2017:

I KNEW my hamster was echolocating! I recognized what he was doing but I had no idea that hamsters could actually do that!

. on July 15, 2013:

My larger hamster uses it body to corner my smaller one and then will steal any food he has in his paws... I cant separate them but I've also noticed him acting kind of rough... Is this just normal behavior or should I be worried?

Nicole on April 06, 2013:

Where did you find the information about hamsters using echo location? I have felt my hamster vibrating and wondered if it was echo location, but I can't find an authoritative source to back this up. Thanks!

Dubuquedogtrainer from Dubuque, Iowa on February 14, 2012:

Interesting - some of these behaviors are cat-like and some are dog-like.

Chelsea on September 06, 2011:

hiya x

you know when you say clicking well when lift my hamster aand show its belly it clicks and wrigles away so im a bit confued about that ? x

Sasuke on July 13, 2011:

I have som cute hamsters named Chico and Chica.They are awesome!Anyway I think Chica(Which is the girl)might have some babys.:D

Sasuke on July 13, 2011:

Thanks man these deitails about hammies totally helped me.:D

taipan541 on August 23, 2010:

hey, thanks! it really helps me a lot.. erm, perhaps you have written these facts, how about writing the solutions to counter each of these problems?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 16, 2010:

It means that you need to separate the two hamsters. It really sounds like one is bullying and trying to dominate the other.

lucy on May 15, 2010:

What does it mean when a hamster charges and the other rolls onto his back?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 19, 2010:

In regards to what exactly?

gecko_boy on March 19, 2010:

hi agen can you direct me to a russian dwarf hamster page ???

Jen's Solitude from Delaware on February 24, 2010:

"Teeth Grinding: Very irritated and wants to be left alone." - and I thought it was just me. :-) Very informative hub, thanks for the good read.


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