Helen's Hamster Pages and Hamster Pictures

The Hamster Language - Sounds and Actions

These are my observations of a hamster's sounds and body language.

Grooming washing of feet and hands then fur grooming content and secure, but not clean enough after waking up, before playing, during playing
Listening standing tall on back legs with ears up curious and healthy something interesting has captured the hamster's attention
Frozen stationary and stiff to the touch, with ears up, for several minutes complete attention given to something out exploring and finds a noise or smell that is more important than moving
Sniffing continuous close sniffing curious and learning the hamster has found an interesting smell or is exploring, may be followed by nibbling or licking to check for food
Big Sniff loud, deep sniff investigating a new place exploring a gap that the hamster can not fit down
when a syrian rubs his hips, or a dwarf rubs his belly, against objects this is my territory to mark his cage and the hamster's territory
Clicking very quite, repeated clicking happy and content when happily sorting food and bedding in his cage, or when playing with a human and in response to a human clicking
Sneezing small repeated noise unknown many, often in the cage
Squeaking loud single or quickly repeated noise agitated or wanting attention 1. dwarfs play fighting for dominance, or a real fight
2. occasionally when a hamster is startled
3. sometimes just to attract a human's attention for food or play
4. when dreaming
grating, chattering sound irritated, leave me alone, display of aggression, warning before biting combing a hamster's fur when he want to play, disturbing a sleepy hamster, or aggressive display by a territorial hamster who smells or meets another hamster
Nipping quick but gentle nipping or pinching of a human's skin between his teeth annoyed or wanting attention if a hamster is sleepy and does not want to play or if he is active and wants you to put him down so that he can play
Open Mouth Crouch in a crouched position with the mouth open, front paws might be raised defensive
upset or frightened, but not bad enough to make a noise
when a hamster is startled or scared
Hissing the loudest noise, a hiss or scream made in a crouched position, mouth wide open, teeth showing, front paws raised very upset and frightened when a hamster is very startled, scared, or stressed and more likely with an untamed hamster

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