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Weird hamster noise/screech while sleeping

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#1 Alice1


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Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:22 PM

Hello all,

I have had my hamster, Leo, since November 2010, so he is pretty comfortable by now in his home/with me. I noticed this odd noise around the mid-summer, but I had a window fan in my room, so I assumed the noise was coming from some sort of animal outside, and it was hard to tell where exactly the noise was coming from since it happened so fast. It seemed hard to believe that this noise could come out of a hamster. Just a few minutes ago, I came to find out that this noise WAS indeed coming from my hamster. I found a YouTube video of a hamster making an almost identical sound to what my hamster makes in his sleep every so often. Here is the link:

The comments on that video (and others that are similar), suggest that when a hamster makes that noise, he/she is distressed or scared. Since I only ever hear this noise coming from my hamster when he is sleeping, is it safe to assume he is having a bad dream? I am hoping this is the case, but I am scared too that there might be something wrong with him, or that he may have some kind of illness. Help would be very much appreciated!


#2 Carla


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Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:30 PM

I once heard that they do that when they "cry" because they want something or are uncomfortable about something. If it does it in his sleep, I would suggest it's bad dreams too, but I don't really know :scratchchin:. What kind of cage is he living in? Does he has a playtime everyday?

#3 Elli-Kodi'sMommy


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Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:52 PM

Nina makes this sound when Nami pins her down. Hamsters can have bad dreams too ... that would possibly explain it

#4 lacrima


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Posted 12 September 2011 - 08:40 PM

This is a sound of extreme discomfort, warning and fear. Never handle a Hamster while it is doing this, ever. If your Hamster ever does this, stop what you are doing to it or around or to it's cage and go away. When Hamsters make this noise they are under a lot of stress or are telling you to stop what you are doing because it displeases them.

It's their way of saying, "Hey! I don't like that! Leave me alone!" and "I am really scared right now, please leave me alone!".

Hamsters are known to do some potentially dangerous things (to themselves) like dramatically jumping off of tables, out of hands, off of ledges or desks and running in directions they aren't sure of like walls or counters/bags/boxes full of things that can harm them. This can cause broken limbs and even head trauma if they run into or fall off of things also.

I have had Hamsters do this before, sometimes they hear a sudden noise and run for their lives, banging into things on their way or on their way down if they have fallen off of something higher then 1-2 feet. I have seen Hamsters at my job die from head trauma because they fell off of chairs and banged their heads on the way down - even if it was only a foot from the ground.

Here is a photo of one of my Hamsters and a nick she received after jumping off of the arm of my couch from a sudden noise into a bag of scrap-booking utensils.

Posted Image

When a Hamster is screaming, that is usually a sign that something is wrong! You can either check their bodies when they are calm or try to figure out what the problem is in the environment. My guess is that every time the fan reaches it's cage, it gets scared! Does your fan move? Is it in front of or near the cage? Is the cage mostly wire?

Also, it has been noted that Hamsters can have bad dreams which cause them to react in a lot of ways - including screaming.

Edited by lacrima, 12 September 2011 - 08:44 PM.

#5 Alice1


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Posted 14 September 2011 - 12:15 PM

Thank you everybody for the responses!

@Lacrima - Luckily, Leo has never made these noises when he is awake/while I play with him, only when he was sleeping in his home. I have checked for cuts, scratches or odd bumps on him and thankfully I found nothing wrong with him. Overall, he is a very calm and laid back hamster, which is why I got so worried when I realized he was making those noises in his sleep! It seems more apparent to me now, though, that he must have just been having some night terrors.

Ps. My window fan (which I hardly ever have on), does not blow into his home, as I have read that will usually bother a hamster. He has a very cozy and roomy, safe 3 story home (not dangerously tall though), plenty of food and fresh water, and lots of carefresh bedding! He also picked up on potty training in a hamster sized litter box very quickly not too long after I got him! :)

Here is a picture of Leo :) (and don't worry, he did not choke or eat the string!)
Posted Image

Ps. again - @Lacrima, what a beautiful hamster! I hope she healed up well and is okay now!

#6 tinypixie


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Posted 14 September 2011 - 12:21 PM

I don't have any help for you but WHAT A DOLL BABY!!!

Sorry about the night terrors, little man!!!

#7 Carla


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Posted 14 September 2011 - 12:47 PM

Look at that face!! He's too cute

#8 ♫Hamster On a Piano♫

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 11:21 PM

Hey! My name is also Alice!

#9 cyinmin


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Posted 15 September 2011 - 03:01 PM

Does it sound a little like 'grinding' sound? I sometimes notice both my dwarfs have this noise but they are not constant. I have a feeling they are 'suffling' the small pieces of food they have in their pouches. Sometimes its when they are sleeping, sometimes when they are awake but it was never a constant sound. I put them next to my ear then I hear nothing..

I've been to the vets several times to treat them for cold, and suspected respiratory issues (especially when the season changes). So I'm a little OTT when I notice all these strange sounds. So far my hamster's strange sounds haven't raised the alarm bells for me yet (fingers crossed)