Sounds That Gophers Make (And What They Mean)

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Published on June 8, 2022
Last Updated on December 25, 2022

If you’ve seen a gopher in person and have perhaps heard noises coming from them, or have observed them being silent, you may be wondering about the sounds that gophers make and what they mean. 

Gophers are usually silent, but that doesn’t mean that that’s always the case. In fact, these rodents often will produce a high-pitched squeak much like that of a groundhog, mouse, or other rodents.

There are also several other sounds that gophers can produce which we’ll discuss further in this article about gophers, the sounds that they make, when they make these sounds, and what these sounds mean.

Are Gophers Noisy?  

Generally speaking, most of the time gophers are not noisy critters in the sense of making sounds. In fact, they are often observed as silent rodents who are more interested in burrowing and hunting for food than making a bunch of noise.

However, the activities that gophers engage in, such as burrowing and eating, can make quite a bit of noise, more than they emit from their own mouths.

Plus, gophers have sensitive ears and don’t typically like noises to begin with, especially loud noises, which may contribute to why they’re so quiet. Their silence is also a good technique for staying hidden from predators.

Even so, gophers can still make noises just like us and most of our furry friends. 

Sounds That Gophers Make and What They Mean

Like many animals and humans, Gophers are capable of making various noises with each noise representing something different.

These noises can help them to express their emotions and feelings, communicate with each other, or to show aggression and warn others away from them, especially if they are injured, pregnant, or have offspring nearby.

What Sounds Do Gophers Make?

There have been quite a few sounds observed that these pesky little rodents make and many different reasons for why they make them and when. Just like us, gophers are prone to making certain noises and sounds to show their feelings or if they’re in pain or discomfort. 

Do Gophers Make Chattering Noises?

Yes, gophers are inclined to make chattering noises with their teeth and this is one of the most common noises a gopher will make. These noises are made when gophers bring their teeth up and down or when they grind them together – each noise with its own specific meaning. 

If a gopher is making the chattering noise by moving its teeth up and down, this is usually a sign of aggression or discomfort. 

On the other hand, gophers who grind their teeth usually do so when they’re alone but this teeth-clicking noise can also be used to communicate with nearby gophers while maintaining a distance from them.

For example, two gophers who are burrowing in close proximity to one another may make these teeth-grinding noises to communicate with each other.

Do Gophers Squeak?

Squeaking is the second most common sound that gophers produce. These squeaks are oftentimes high-pitched and sound like the squeaks that other rodents such as mice make.

These sounds are mostly random and normally do not hold any specific meaning when they happen. However, sometimes these gophers may squeak when they’re startled or to show emotions such as fear from a predator or joy from burrowing or eating

Do Gophers Bark?

Gophers do not bark, at least not like a canine. However, some of the noises that gophers make can be confused with a bark. Generally, though, these critters are bark-free. Except when they’re eating, because they love to feast on tree bark! 

Do Gophers Scream?

Gophers occasionally do emit screaming noises. It is not certain why these screams happen but one theory is that, other than screaming for help, gophers produce screams in order to warn other gophers from potential dangers.

Do Gophers Make Crying Sounds?

Like many animals, and like us humans, gophers can make crying sounds such as whimpering squeaks. These sounds are usually made when a gopher has sustained some sort of injury or is in a great deal of pain.

Unfortunately, gophers are easy prey for many other animals and for people who consider them to be pests. As such, gophers are commonly injured by these threats and will make crying sounds when an injury happens.

This noise can also happen when a female gopher enters labor and is about to give birth.

Do Gophers Whistle?

Yes, gophers whistle! This sound is usually preserved to express an “all-clear” for their companions to let them know that there is no immediate danger present or to warn their companions that there is danger nearby. 

This whistle can help in saving the lives of gophers who may otherwise not realize that a dangerous animal or person is nearby. It can also be used to warn of things such as forest fires or any other type of danger that is threatening the life of nearby gophers. 

Do Gophers Croon?

Crooning, or purring, is another sound that gophers sometimes make. These sounds often are used during mating season, when a male gopher wants to mate with a female gopher. This sound can also be made as a mating call to draw a male and female together.

Basically, the crooning or purring sound is a sound to display attraction and love to another gopher.

Other Sounds That Gophers Make

There are a few other sounds that gophers are known to make including chirrs, chirps (especially a mother to its young and vice versa), squeals, and an airy-like hissing sound produced when they stand up on their hind legs and open their mouths.

These sounds have different meanings and are used to express emotions such as happiness, contentment, fear, and aggression. 

While these critters are not usually aggressive towards people, they can be aggressive and emit sounds of aggression when they feel threatened or cornered. 

Do Gophers Make Sounds That Humans Can’t Pick Up?

The scream of a gopher is one that humans cannot always hear. In fact, their screams have been known to reach frequencies of 48 kilohertz and we, as humans, can only hear in a range of 14 to 15 kilohertz.

Due to the high frequency that the screams can reach, the human ear cannot always pick up the screams that these gophers make. However, these screams are not always so high-pitched and sometimes can be heard by humans. 

Are Gophers Noisy When Digging, Gnawing, and Moving Around?

Like most living things, gophers can be pretty noisy when moving around. This includes when they engage in digging out their burrows, and when they gnaw on tree bark or other sources of food.

Since gophers like to dig around gardens, lawns, flower beds, and other human property, these critters are often heard digging about underneath our yards. 

Gophers are quite the noisy critter when moving about but aren’t we all?

Gophers and Chemical Communication 

Not all communication is made by sound and noises. In fact, gophers have a way of chemically communicating with one another. 

This is done when a white, milky fluid secretes over their eyes during emotional stimulation. This usually happens when a gopher feels discomfort, pain, or fear. 


  • Tommy

    Hi, I'm Tommy! I'm the founder of I am an animal enthusiast and self-proclaimed wildlife expert as well as a dog trainer and breeder of the breed Löwchen. Since I was a kid, I’ve been wildly fascinated by animals, both from growing up in a rural area where there were always animals around, but especially from seeing them in the wild.

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