Hamster body Language
Hamsters do have a language of their own, they communicate mostly by scent trails from the hip spots or urine. Some of the sounds they make are ultrasonic; meaning the frequencies of the sounds made are largely out of the range of human hearing. They can hear and communicate without being heard by humans or potential predators. Some animals such as dogs, dolphins, bats, mice, and hamsters have an upper limit that is greater than that of the human ear, and thus can hear ultrasound. Some appliances we use daily can emit sound in ultrasonic frequencies that we cannot hear, and this may explain those sudden moments of anxiety that we see in an otherwise normally calm hamster.
Just like the dog whistle that emits a sound in the upper audible range of human hearing, we can’t hear it but the dog can. It is also a known fact that some young children can hear sounds that older people can’t, and a cell phone company has exploited this to create ring tones supposedly, that can only be heard by younger humans.
Some manufactures have also developed an ultrasound generator speaker system that humans cannot hear, with claims that they frighten and keep rodents away.
TVs’ mobile phones and even some domestic appliances can emit ultrasonic sound when operating.
Occasionally loud clicking noises may be heard, theses are made by the front teeth rubbing together, this is known as Bruxing, some hamster owners' misinterpret this as a sign of aggression when in fact it means the complete opposite. The two incisors in the upper and lower jaw continuously grow throughout the life of the hamster; these normally receive continuous wear as the upper and lower contact each other when eating normally. On occasions you may hear this clicking noise periodically when he is awake and stood still; they rarely do it whilst moving, and may also be heard during sleep as it is a subconscious behavior. It may also be of interest to know they do it only when relaxed and content.
No generalization can be made for all the audible sounds a hamster makes and most of those sounds heard by humans are interpreted mainly as warning sounds or when the animal is distressed. Sounds that resemble growling, hissing, showing its teeth, or squealing, simply means don’t touch me. A chuffing sound may be heard when he is frustrated.
A young baby hamster that makes a loud screeching noise and occasionally flips on his back with his paws in the air; this is fright, or the submissive pose. A newly acquired baby hamster that is not used to being handled are most likely to do this when you try to pick them up. See Taming
The visual signs of body language are stretching and yawning and the sign of a relaxed and contented hamster.
Walking stiff legged with the back arched is mostly done by younger hamsters' in the presence of older or more dominant hamsters' to express submission.
Grooming expresses the hamsters well being and contentment. Prolonged grooming or continuous and liberal face, and body washing, is made when the hamster is put in unfamiliar areas. The hamster is actually scenting his paws and other parts of his body in readiness to mark new territory.
Standing tall on his hind legs ears pricked up and nose in the air denotes curiosity and that something has attracted his attention.
A hamster squeaking usually indicates that there is something wrong.
But on occasions I have heard them squeak with delight when it is time to come out and play or he is being groomed by you. Feeding time can sometimes attract a little squeak.
But a persistent squeak from him when there is no one around the cage then it is an indication that something is bothering him.