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Gerbils & Hamsters/russian dwarf male hamster


I recently purchased two Russian dwarf hamsters (males)

I handle the one male more than the other so I decided to start handling the other hamster and when I held him today he made this weird sound. The only way I can describe it is when hyenas make that weird laugh noise it was identical to that. But in hamster form so I'm very confused and worried about him. I'm gentle when handling I give them both fresh water and food everyday change their cage once a week and give then plently of sawdust and toilet tissue for inside their house and we run out of the bedding the other hamster the more dominated one is fine when handling and doesn't make the weird noise so I'm confused as to what it could be.

Hi Sophie

Thanks for your question.

Dwarf hamsters can be quite vocal although the sound you describe sounds as though he is scared. There is always a dominant hamster when you keep dwarf hamsters - is there any sign of fighting? How is he with the other hamster? Does he only make the sound when you handled him?

I've had a number of hamsters who cry but in time they usually stop this behaviour once they gain confidence and calm down a bit


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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