Topics of this subpage:

  • Degu language, meaning of different noises
  • Body language, meaning of behavior 

Degu Noises

Degus communicate with each other in a wide variety of tones, the most common tones are listed here.



Degus who greet each other utter different sounds that can best be described as chirping, trilling and gurgling (similar to saying the word "cheep" often and quickly). Most of the time, the degus scratch each other's necks and necks. These noises can also be heard while grooming or riding on other degus.


Warning call

A high, short whistle that can sometimes be given one after the other and over a long period of time. It serves to warn the other degus of a possible danger, the warning degu often petrifies for a short time and then emits a loud sound again. If the rest of the animals actually take the warning seriously, they scurry into hiding.


Annoyed squeak

Degus make a squeaking and squeaking noise when they want to be left alone, especially when feeding. At the same time, they use their front paws to ward off conspecifics who try to sniff food between the paws of the other or even to take it away.


Whistle, similar to the warning call

A high, long-lasting or repeated whistle that usually symbolizes that the degu is aroused or also with anger, frustration, pain.


Chattering / grinding of teeth

A slight grinding or clattering sound that can be heard when degus rub their teeth together. Usually heard when there is uncertainty, fear, panic or anger, but it can also be a sign of satisfaction. This can be seen in the respective situation.

The incisors grow for a lifetime, which is why the rubbing of the incisors together often creates this “grinding”, which is used to sharpen the teeth.



Riding up

One degu climbs after the other and tries to ride up. There is a lot of squeaking and complaining. This behavior is a gesture of dominance through which the rider demonstrates his power to the other degu. Gender does not matter here.


Tail wagging

This is a sign of aggression, tension, or arousal. Degu males often display this behavior when attempting to mount a female. It can also be used as a warning against other "rivals".


Boxing / kickboxing

The degus stand on their back paws and "box" each other with their front paws. Sometimes a degu turns around and performs a kind of kick with his back legs - kickboxing! This behavior can often be observed in young animals, so the strength is tested. This should not cause any bites, it is a peaceful form of clarifying the hierarchy in the group.



One degu jumps at another, whether from panic, stress or readiness to fight can be seen from the situation; this behavior usually leads to aggression and then to a fight between the two degus.


"Degu Ball"

Degus bitten into each other who come together to form a ball and roll through the cage. ATTENTION, if this behavior lasts longer than 2-3 seconds and there are bites in the direction of the neck / throat / abdomen, it must be separated immediately - there are clear intentions to drive away or kill.


Tagging other degus

Male degus often mark female degus in the advertising phase or young male degus to prove their dominance. When they clean each other, fragrances are also distributed, which is used to recognize the family.


Watch out

The so-called "security guard" often chooses an elevated area of the cage in order to carefully secure the surroundings from there. If something "disturbing" is seen, he gives a shrill whistle and thus warns the entire group - all degus usually disappear immediately behind objects or in the nest ..


Raised fur

Raised fur has several meanings and must be made dependent on the situation, e.g. when cuddling or resting. However, it can also occur with aggression related to wagging the tail. A very important sign that something is wrong with the Degu, e.g. illness, can also be indicated by upright fur and apathetic behavior. Here the degu must be carefully observed, if it always remains sitting in the corner and has ruffled fur you should see the vet immediately.


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