Are Hamsters Deaf? How to Know if Your Hamster Is Deaf?
We all agree that hamsters are the cutest little fluffy pets ever. Everything is adorable, from their bewitching faces, munching on carrot chunks, and flickering ears. But sometimes, these fluttering ears may seem unresponsive to some sounds.
And the question arises, are hamsters deaf? How to know if your hamster is deaf? No, hamsters are not deaf! Hamsters have the excellent hearing ability, which makes them sensitive to sound. However, there are some cases where your hamster may lose its hearing ability.
If you’re eager to learn more about these adorable pets, you’re in the right place! We’ll tell you all about their hearing ability, sensitivity to noise, and signs to look for if you doubt your hamster has hearing issues. Stay tuned!
How is the Hearing Ability of Hamsters?
Hamsters have an ultrasonic hearing range beyond that of humans. And hence, these adorable pets with their fluttering ears can listen to sounds that are even inaudible to humans. That is a frequency ranging from 96 Hz to a little over 46.5 Hz.
While these fluffy creatures lack good eyesight, their hearing and smelling ability make up for it. Immediately after birth, they cannot hear anything at all, but they can even hear ultrasonic frequency sounds within a short time.
Like other small animals, Hamsters have the innate ability to detect different sounds and smells. This allows them to be alert of their predators or even when they need to find food without functioning eyesight.
Besides, it has also been found that hamster babies use ultrasonic sounds (32,000 to 38,000 Hz) to communicate with the adult hamster so that they don’t lose track.
Are Hamsters Sensitive to Noise?
Yes. Hamsters are pretty sensitive to noise. Naturally, hamsters are nocturnal animals. They are usually more active at night than during the day in the wild.
So, even if you have hamsters as pets, they have been adapted species-wise to living in an environment where they must be more cautious during the day and night. Thus, they develop their innate sensitivity to noise soon after birth.
But undoubtedly, noise is stressful for hamsters. Loud and sudden noises can cause them to feel anxious and threatened. This will lead to behavioral changes in them with increased aggressiveness and anxiety.
That’s not all; it can even affect their health, generating heart diseases and high blood pressure. Loud noises or screams can also disrupt a hamster’s sleep pattern.
Which Type of Sounds is Overwhelming for Hamsters?
Honestly, any loud noise or thuds are overwhelming for hamsters, even the most soothing music with the volume turned up! So, try to avoid making loud noises when near your hamster cage.
- Household appliances, including motors, vacuum cleaners, and drill machines, can make your hamsters disturbed and frightened.
- Also, mechanical noises trigger a hamster more than natural sounds. The reason is that mechanical sounds are new to hamsters, while they are somewhat used to natural sounds, even if they are loud.
- Likewise, be careful when you turn up the television volume with a hamster cage nearby, especially when watching animal documentaries. Sounds of raptors or a howling wolf can frighten your hamster to the point they would run inside their cages frantically.
How to Know if a Hamster is Troubled by a Specific Sound?
Some noticeable signs will tell you if your hamster is troubled by a specific sound. Just look for these-
- It will run to its hideout and will not come out until the sound is removed
- With no place to hide, they might just lie down and stay on the cage floor with zero movements
- Your hamster will come out of its hiding nest and try to escape its cage by climbing the bars
- They will start biting the cage bars as he tries to escape them
- If he’s comfortable enough to communicate with you, he’ll even make squeaky noises to tell you the noise is bothering him
How to Find Out If Your Hamster Has a Hearing Problem?
Although hamsters usually have excellent hearing ability, some may suffer from hearing problems. Such hamsters will not respond to noise, with no fluttering ears, flickering, freezing at high-pitched noise, nothing!
Deaf hamsters are typically heavy sleepers as no sound bothers them. They will only wake up with gentle tapping or breathing closely to them during their regular waking time.
Signs that Your Hamster Might be Deaf
Here are a few signs that tell you if your furry little pet has a hearing issue and needs more love and support.
Doesn’t react to noise
It is the innate nature of hamsters to often hide in their nests or come out when there is a loud noise to figure out where it’s coming from and find out what to do. If this doesn’t work on your furry friend, there might be a chance that it has hearing issues.
Doesn’t flinch from claps
When you clap your hands near the hamster cage, it’s apparent that they would flinch. However, if your little buddy doesn’t react to claps, there might be some trouble.
No ear fluttering or shivering from loud noise
Hamsters get easily frightened, and loud noises make their ears flutter or flinch. But if your hamster cannot hear those sounds, it will not withdraw.
Doesn’t hide or move within the cage
As told earlier, if a hamster doesn’t like a sound, he will try to escape his cage by climbing through the bars. But even with a loud noise, if your furry friend isn’t moving around the cage, it probably can’t hear it.
Doesn’t frantically look in the noise direction
Hamsters are always cautious due to their innate instincts. They keep looking at the directions from where the sounds are produced. If your hamster is doing it, it might have hearing problems.
What Causes Hearing Loss in Hamsters?
There are quite a few reasons why your little furry friend may incur hearing loss or damage. Let’s see what they are and if your adorable pet might have incurred these underlying reasons.
Extremely Loud Noise
Deafening noise can cause deafness in hamsters that had previously perfect hearing. Research has found that exposure to heavy noise, such as blast-simulated noise, can cause molecular and structural alterations in hamster DNA.
The massive noise can cause critical hearing damage, including damage to the ossicles, tympanic membrane, muscles of the middle ear, and, eventually, the inner ear.
Probable Ear Infections
Another common reason behind the deafness of hamsters is an ear infection. Even if your hamster had perfect hearing ability previously, these ear infections could cause speedy deterioration of the ear and, eventually, hearing inability!
As per research, hearing loss can be incurred in rodents and hamsters within 30 or 60 days of age.
Genetical Problem in Hearing
Many times, some hamsters have deaf genes infused in them and are unable to hear sounds at all since birth. Since baby hamsters spend the first few weeks under the intensive care of their mother, even if they have deafness, it may not be apparent until they are a couple of weeks old.If you’re a hamster owner, it’s important to know about common health issues and behavioral problems that can affect your pet. If you’re wondering what wet tail is in hamsters or why hamsters fight, we have the answers for you. Our article on wet tail in hamsters offers valuable information about this common health condition and how to identify and treat it. Meanwhile, our article on why hamsters fight provides insights into the possible reasons behind this behavior and what you can do to prevent it. By reading these articles, you’ll be better equipped to provide your hamster with the care it needs. So, go ahead and check them out!
Read the section below with some commonly asked questions for more information on hamster hearing issues.
Q: What to do when a hamster is deaf?
The wisest thing to do is take your adorable little friend to the vet and get an official diagnosis. And the next thing is to follow the vet’s advice and take more care of your buddy.
Q: Are baby hamsters deaf?
Hamsters, when born, are, in fact, unable to hear anything at all, just as they cannot see anything. This persists for almost a week when they are kept under their mother’s intensive care.
Q: Do hamster whiskers tell if the hamster is deaf?
While hamsters flicker their ears responding to noise, they rely on whiskers to point out the vibrations and where it’s coming from. So, if you want to tell if a hamster is deaf, you can also observe its whiskers’ motion.
With a hearing ability out of the range of most animals, hamsters own incredible hearing power and even respond to whispers. So, no, hamsters are not deaf.
However, if your little furry friend isn’t responding to any sound or even high-pitched screams, taking them to a vet to get assurance of their hearing loss or what to do next is a must. And a deaf hamster means you get to take care of him and love him more!