Do Hamsters Snore?

By Dawn | Hamster Behavior
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One of the good things about owning a nocturnal pet like a hamster is that you are able to monitor their sleep much better than you would with a pet that sleeps when you do. However, this can sometimes cause concern for owners, especially when they hear their pets making noises in their sleep. But do hamsters snore?

As a general rule, hamsters do not snore, although it certainly isn’t unheard of. However, it is not uncommon for them to make noises in their sleep. But these are usually caused by something that might need your attention. 

In order to care for your pet in the best and most effective way possible, it is important to look out for signs that they might need help. If you hear your hamster snoring or making noises while they are sleeping, you will need to know what to do, let’s explore this a little more. 

Do Hamsters Snore?

When your hamster is sleeping during the day, you may often hear them making noises, this may sometimes sound like a low growl which a lot of people assume is their pet snoring.

It is important to point out that some hamsters have been known to snore for no apparent reason. It would seem that they are healthy and perfectly happy. Therefore, it could be that your hamster is merely snoring. 

However, in all likelihood, if your hamster is making noises in their sleep, it could be a sign of something else. 

The most common cause for making any sort of noise when they are sleeping is an irritation of the respiratory tract. To understand this, it is important to understand why snoring occurs.

Snoring happens when the airways are obstructed, the soft palate, and other tissues vibrate, causing a sound.  

In humans, there can be a multitude of reasons for this such as excess weight, allergies, having a cold or simply lying on your back. 

The physiological side of things is pretty much the same for all animals, if the air is not able to flow through the nasal passages freely, it can make quite a noise.

The most common reason that a hamster would be making snoring sounds is because of an allergy. It can come as quite a surprise to pet owners that their furry friend might be having an allergic reaction but it is a lot more common than you might think. 

Hamsters can develop allergies to various things but their bedding is typically the source of the problem. 

Even if you have been using the same bedding for a long time, this could still be an issue. If you have used the bedding from the bottom of a bag, there could be dust particles that have irritated the hammy’s nose.

If you are concerned about your hamsters snoring and think it might be an allergic reaction, you could try changing the bedding. 

However, hamsters are also known to have allergies to certain foods so looking at the diet is another option. 

Additionally, hamsters may also suffer allergies from cleaning products that have been used in and around the cage. 

If you have recently started using something different, it may be that your hamster has had a reaction to it.

Making Sleep Noises Because Of Stress

Another common reason for a hamster to make noises in their sleep is if they are stressed. It is possible for hamsters to dream and in this case, you may notice them making squeaking noises.

It is not unheard of for hamsters to make noises when they are having a nightmare and this is more common in hamsters who live in groups. 

It is most likely that the more submissive hamsters will behave this way as a result of being attacked by the more dominant members of the enclosure. 

If you notice that your hamsters are being aggressive to one another, it may be a good idea to rehouse them in separate cages.  

As a side-note, Syrian hamsters, in particular, are very territorial and should never be housed in the same cage as another Syrian.

How To Tell If It Is An Allergy Or A Cold

As we have discussed, it is entirely possible for your hamster to develop an allergy and this could cause snoring and other sleep noises. 

In addition to this, hamsters may also get chest infections and colds, just the same as we do, these might also cause similar reactions.

But it can be difficult to determine whether the snoring is being caused by this or is just a regular noise. 

If your pet has a problem with their respiratory system, it is likely to cause more problems than just snoring. 

A hamster with an allergy may also:

  • Sneeze
  • Scratch more often than usual
  • Lose their fur
  • Have red feet
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheeze
  • Have dry patches of skin

However, some of these signs can be similar to those that would be seen in a hamster with a cold.

If your hamster has a cold, they are also likely to be more lethargic and may even go off their food. Your vet can give them antibiotics but in most cases, they should recover just fine. 

Related Questions

Is it okay to wake up a hamster?

As a general rule, it is important to let your pet sleep during the day as they need to do this to maintain their energy levels.  However, if your hamster is snoring and also looks as though they are struggling to breathe, it might be a good idea to wake them and give him the once over.

What time do hamsters go to bed?

Hamsters are considered to be nocturnal, and this is true. However, they are also crepuscular which means that they are most active at dusk and dawn. Your hamster will likely bed down for the night (or day) just after the sun has come up.