Why Does Hamsters Make Hissing Noises? And What To Do

Hamsters cannot speak, but that’s why they emit various sounds that have their own meaning. One of those sounds is hissing, which is a negative sound that hamsters use when they are scared or when they threaten someone.

Why do hamsters make hissing noises?

When hamsters make a hissing sound it means they want to send a warning about a certain threat. If hissing does not help, then the hamsters will start biting, which is their way of defending against a certain danger in the environment.

Hamsters hiss when they feel threatened by predators when they don’t have enough places to hide in the cage when you hold them too long in your hands, and for other reasons.

In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters hiss, what to do in such situations, and why hamsters hiss at each other.

Why do hamsters make hissing noises?

Hamsters can often hiss as a sign of displeasure, specifically for various reasons such as:

  • fear of you
  • new environment
  • illness or injury
  • noisy environment
  • when they have nowhere to hide
  • because of other pets
  • too much hand holding

Obviously, there are several reasons why hamsters hiss, so let’s read in more detail about each of them.

Afraid of you

At first, when you buy a hamster he hisses at you because he is still afraid and doesn’t trust you.

After a certain time, the hamster will learn your smell, will recognize you when you come to him, and will not hiss.

We must understand that until the hamster gets used to the owners, he sees them as predators, because in nature they are prey all the time, and especially our size reminds them of predators.

Sometimes it can happen that the hamster does not hiss at you, and after a certain time starts hissing.

This happens if you accidentally drop your hamster from your hands or if you accidentally squeeze it too hard and accidentally injure it.

In any case, over time, the hamster will get used to you and will not hiss, he will be happy when you approach him and when you take him in your arms.

A new environment

Any change in the environment for hamsters means stress and fear, and they then use hissing as a sound to indicate their current state.

The hamster’s cage will be something new and unknown, and until it gets used to it and until it transmits its smell, the hamster will hiss, but after a certain time, it will stop doing that.

When you buy a cage, get him a cage with a size of 80-50 cm so that he can feel comfortable and without stress, which will help him get used to the space faster and stop hissing.

Illness or injury

When hamsters have an illness or injury they hiss as a defensive behavior.

Hamsters often hide illness or injury for fear of predators who may take advantage of their current weakness and attack them.

So if your hamster seems happy and hissing then you should take him to the vet as he is probably hiding something.

Hamsters when injured or in pain may begin to hide more often in tunnels and hiding places as a way to feel safer from predators.why does hamsters make hissing noises

Noisy environment

When hamsters hiss, it may be because of a noisy environment that causes fear and anxiety in your pet.

Noisy environments such as:

  • loud music or tv
  • speaking in a loud voice
  • noise from external factors such as lightning

All these sounds can only cause stress and hissing in the hamster, and as we know stress is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to your pet.

When hamsters are stressed it can cause a wet tail which can be fatal to their life.

Therefore, provide the hamster with a peaceful environment, do not play the TV too loud, do not talk too loudly, and try to make the environment around your pet quiet.

When they have nowhere to hide

When hamsters do not have enough places to hide, they hiss because they are afraid of predators and do not feel safe.

Hamsters need a place to hide so they can always feel safe because safety is very important to them.

When they are not safe then they can get stressed out of fear which leads to subsequent diseases and problems with their health.

So provide them with enough hiding places in their cage and bedding that are at least 6 inches deep so they can feel safe and not hiss.

Because of other pets

If you have other pets in your home they will pose a danger to the hamsters and then your pet will hiss.

When hamsters are exposed to other pets they will hiss as a warning sign.

Therefore, it is best to keep other pets away from the hamster’s cage, as your pet will smell other pets and become scared.

Too much hand holding

Although hamsters love to play with them, they don’t want you to hold them all the time.

If the hamster gets tired of being held or feels threatened, it will hiss as a sign of revolt and warning.

So if your pet starts hissing then put him back in his cage, since you are obviously holding him for a long time.

What should I do if my hamster is hissing at me?

Hamsters only hiss when they feel threatened and scared and then you should leave them alone.

Maybe the hamster is still not tamed enough, or you have unintentionally created a wrong situation because of which he feels scared and threatened.

Sometimes the conditions in the cage prompt the hamster to hiss as a sign of displeasure with the living conditions you provide it.

Therefore, improve its conditions and then you, as the owner, should not be hissing.

What is the cause of hissing among hamsters?

Hamsters hiss at each other because they don’t want to live together in the same cage.

Hamsters are territorial by nature and they do not like to share their territory or cage with another hamster.

If you leave the hamsters together and they hiss at each other, if you don’t separate them they will fight and one of them will be hurt or killed.

Hamsters only want to be together when they breed, and then they want to be alone again.

What to do for hamsters to not hiss?

Since hissing is a sign of revolt and resentment of your pet, you need to take the following steps:

  • Always be gentle with your pet so he knows you love him.
  • Talk to him in a calm voice so he doesn’t get scared because hamsters are very timid and it only takes a little to get stressed and hiss.
  • Never wake him up early as this can upset him and start hissing.
  • When the hamster does not want to be held in your hands, leave it alone because it may not be in the mood to play that day.
  • Keep your pet in its cage in a calm environment so that it can feel comfortable and safe.
  • There should always be enough bedding or at least 6 inches in the cage and plenty of hiding places and tunnels for him to hide when he wants to.
  • Other pets should be further away from the hamster as they will only disturb and frighten him and he will start hissing.

All these steps will help your hamster to not hiss and feel safe and comfortable.

Read more: Can Hamsters Die from Loud Noises? Let’s Discover


Hamsters hiss as a sign of revolt and displeasure for various reasons such as other pets, unfamiliar surroundings, illness or injury, and other reasons.

If your hamster is hissing, then you need to see what the problem is, because obviously your pet is nervous, and it may also have stress, which is dangerous for its health.

When the hamsters hiss at the owners it means that you hold it too long in your hands and you need to return it to the cage.

In any case, hissing is a bad sign and you should do everything you can to help your distressed pet.

Read more: Can Hamsters Sneeze to Death? All You Need To Know