Opossum Sounds: What Kind of Noise Does an Opossum Make?

opossum sounds
Opossums growl, scream, or hiss whenever they feel distressed or angry. They may also make clicking sounds when trying to communicate with other possums. Baby opossums vocalize by making a sneezing sound to call their parent's attention. 

However, for the most part, these creatures prefer to remain silent. Let’s look into the various opossum sounds and what they might mean.

What Does an Opossum Sound Like?

North America’s only marsupial doesn’t produce a distinct sound like a cat or cow. Instead, they hiss, growl, or click depending on the situation they find themselves in.

An opossum’s most common noise is a shrill growl or hiss whenever they feel threatened or angry. However, these vocalizations are often only used as a last resort since possums prefer to play dead in the face of grave danger.

Among themselves, possums produce clicking noises to attract each other’s attention. Possums have excellent hearing capabilities and employ auditory signals such as clicking to communicate with nearby possums.

For instance, it’s common for a mother opossum to make clicking noises to herd their litter for meal time. Possums are also known to click when trying to attract potential mates.

opossum looking backwards in a patch of grass

What Kind of Noise Does a Possum Make: List

If you believe that a Virginia opossum has made a den out of your property, it’s helpful to know what type of sounds these critters produce to confirm your suspicions.

Here’s a list of the noises these mammals produce:

  • Clicking
    • Used to attract potential mates or to herd young.
  • Growling
    • Used as an intimidation tactic to ward off predators like coyotes.
  • Hissing
    • Also used to signal anger or fear toward an approaching threat.
  • Scream
    • Used when mating or fighting.

What Do Opossums Sound Like at Night?

It’s a common mistake to assume that possums make sounds regularly. However, these wild animals stay silent most of the time, even when they’re most active at night.

That said, possums may produce clicking noises to attract mates at night, which can be an excellent way to confirm their presence. They may also make loud thumping noises on your attic or roof, which can be a helpful indicator to tell the varmint apart from a small rodent.

Do Opossums Scream?

While they are mostly quiet animals, possums may scream when the situation calls for it. Possums can produce loud, high-pitched screams when they want to discourage a predator from attacking them.

Male possums are notorious for going on screeching matches. This occurs between males during territorial disputes or mate selection.

Possums don’t get along with one another due to their solitary nature. So, if you hear one screaming its heart out in the middle of the night, you may be dealing with a multi-species invasion.

solitary possum peering over a wood deck

What to Do if You Identify Opossum Sounds?

Possums are generally not dangerous to humans. In fact, they can be quite beneficial as their diet composes of pests such as rats, ticks, and cockroaches—all of which are bothersome in their own right.

However, a possum infestation can still become a nuisance. These animals tend to be messy and destructive.

If you suspect that possums are crawling around your property, it’s best to contact a wildlife control professional. They’re well-equipped and well-trained enough to know how to professionally handle these creatures without harming them.

How Do You Keep Opossums Away?

If you would like to take further steps to prevent a pest like a raccoon or an opossum from entering your home, you can employ a slew of possible tactics. Here are some of the best ways to keep these scavengers out for good:

Food and Water

Eliminate any food and water sources that can act as attractants to these creatures.

Entry Points

Block outside access to your home; seal entry points like chimneys, garages, cracks, and vents to avoid unwanted trespassing.


Place repellents like garlic, onion, hot peppers, ammonia, and moth balls around your property to deter them from entering your garden.

Install motion-activated sprinklers or audio devices to startle them whenever they approach your home.


Set live traps baited with fruits or vegetables to catch them. Release them back into the wild afterward to avoid legal trouble.

opossum trotting through the grass

Joshua Munoz

Most people’s first instinct when they see a wild skunk is to back away, but not Joshua. He holds a near-obsessive fascination with skunks and their behavior. Although Joshua has never been closer than five feet to a skunk, he has spent countless hours researching them. He knows almost everything there is to know about skunks, from their diet and habitat, to how to humanely trap them. Joshua’s interest in skunks is rooted in his love of animal biology. He fondly remembers topping his finals in biology class while in university. Now, as a writer, he fuses passion and expertise into one by sharing his knowledge about the animal kingdom with others.

Recent Posts