Hamsters are renowned escape artists, whether they are provided a sizable hamster habitat or not. To find a lost hamster you need to establish the area he/she is currently in by listening or putting out food, keep your doors closed, and set out special traps to secure him or her once again.
Hamsters are cute tiny animals that have been part of our homes and families, as beloved family members for a long time. Although they might have a temper sometimes, they are one of the most popular pets for kids across the United States. So it happens that sometimes, hamsters escape their cages and roam freely around the house.
This would normally be ok, as we keep cats and dogs freely in the house, but things are very different with hamsters because they are rodents. They might chew on the wrong things, such as power cords or other potentially dangerous items. This means hamsters on the loose are a hazard to the household and themselves.
The last thing you want to face is your pet hamster chewing on the main power cord, getting electrocuted and creating quite a nuisance, as they will chew on just about anything they come across, and when you combine that habit with their hiding habit, you have quite a situation on your hands.
In case this happened, and your hamster is out and about, there are quite a few things you can do to get him or her back in the cage safe and sound. To get this tricky job done, you need to follow a few simple steps that will help you get your hamster back where he/she should be. In the following lines, you will find useful tips and tricks on this topic.
Steps to be followed
In case you just noticed your hamster’s cage is open and empty, don’t panic, as there is something you can do about it. First of all, you need to establish the area your hamster might be in. You need to assess how long has he or she been out of the cage, how far in the house the pet might have gotten and whether there were any open doors or windows nearby.
In the worst-case scenario, your pet hamster has been on the loose for a long time, and all the doors in the house were open. In this case, there are two more things you can do. You can listen carefully for any hamster-specific noises, such as squeaking or chewing noises. It’s best to do that at night, when hamsters are active, as they might be asleep during the day.
If this method of locating the lost hamster does not work out, then you need to move on to the next one. Take several small cups, put a few pieces of food inside them and place them around your home. Make sure you count the pieces of food, and you put the same number of pieces in every cup. Also, place the cups in dark places around the house, such as room corners.
In the morning, check out all the cups, and you will most probably notice some food missing from one cup or from several cups in the same area. This means you just established the search area, and from that point on it’s best to keep all doors closed to prevent your hamster from moving to another area of the house.
Keep in mind that they will hide in crowded areas, such as dressing rooms or closets. There is a slim chance of them hiding in areas such as bathrooms, that are cold and quite an open space compared to a dressing room. With that in mind, be on the look-out in every room of the house, making sure you do not scare the tiny buddy once you’ve spotted him or her.
After you are sure of the area of the house that should be searched, you are ready to move on to step number two. In order to prepare for the second step, make sure you prepare everything you need during the day, and set out the traps at night, as hamsters are nocturnal animals and they mostly like to sleep in a hide-out throughout the day.
Setting out a trap
There are two ways you can go about this, and you should choose one of them based on the general behavior of your pet hamster. You can either set out an open wire cage with food inside or a plastic bucket with a ladder leading to it. If you know your hamster is a climber and loves exploring, you might want to choose the second one.
If your choice is setting out a trap made out of a plastic bucket, you need to choose a bucket that is tall enough to prevent the hamster from getting out of it after he or she had fallen in it. After choosing the right bucket, it’s best to put a blanket or a cloth inside, to make sure the hamster does not get hurt due to the fall.
The next step is building the ladder leading to the bucket. To do that you want to choose items such as CD cases, or books that you can put one on top of the other, creating the perfect and safe ladder that leads to the bucket opening. Make sure you put small pieces of food on the steps, to show your friend the way up, and put some food in the bucket too.
If, however, the wire cage trap is your choice, here’s how to do it. Place the cage next to a wall, as hamsters will never walk across an open space. Open the cage and place the door downward, this way creating a ladder for the hamster to climb on. You can put some peanut butter on the ladder, to make it more attractive to the lost hamster.
Make sure to place your hamster’s favorite food inside the cage, as well as water, a wheel, and all the favorite accessories of your beloved pet. This acts in two ways, as it allures the hamster inside the cage, but at the same time, having loud accessories inside the cage will let you know that he or she is in, and you can go and close the door, securing the pet inside.
Preventing future escapes
There are a few things you can do to prevent your beloved pet hamster from escaping his or her cage. For instance, if you keep your hamster in a glass enclosure, make sure you do not put tall toys or accessories inside it, as hamsters will climb on them and jump out of the enclosure. Also, make sure you do not hang any water or food containers inside the cage, for the same reason.
In case your hamster is kept in a wire cage, make sure you always close the door properly after handling your pet. Improperly closed cage doors are one of the main reasons for lost hamsters. Also, make sure you check the cage for any damage due to the hamster’s chewing habits. They can create holes in the cage this way.
Keep in mind that a happy and healthy hamster is less likely to be constantly on the look-out for opportunities to escape, as opposed to uncared-for hamsters. Therefore, make sure you keep your hamster clean, well-fed, and handled daily. Handling your hamster daily also gives you the chance to spot any abnormalities or illness in due time.
Hamsters are renowned biters, especially when things are not to their liking, thus there is a chance he or she will bite you while being handled and this way you might drop the pet hamster, giving him or her the chance to run away. To prevent that from happening, make sure your hamster is tamed and handled at least daily, to keep him or her friendly and calm.
Yet another situation your hamster might take advantage of and make a run for it is the time you clean the cage, therefore it is advisable to first place your hamster in a separate, safe enclosure, and thoroughly clean the cage afterward. This way you prevent possible escapes but also potential injuries that might happen during the cleaning process.
Help, I lost my hamster!
If your kid comes to you with this issue, you should be on the alert right away. Hamsters are rodents, and they can get chewing the moment they find something worthwhile. Unfortunately for us humans, they may find great pleasure in chewing dangerous items such as electric cords, which can lead to serious trouble, not only for the hamster but for the entire household.
So, the moment you hear the words ‘my hamster escaped’, you should get ready for a specialized rescue and recovery mission. Because hamsters are so small, it isn’t easy to find them right away. When a hamster escaped from cage decides to start hiding, your quest will increase in difficulty tenfold.
That’s because finding a lost hamster can be the equivalent of the proverbial needle in the haystack. If your house presents many opportunities for a hamster to find, that makes the matter even more problematic. Be aware that you will have to put time, effort, and wits into catching this creative escape artist.
How to find an escaped hamster
Hopefully, you didn’t have any window, or exterior doors opened when the event occurred. A hamster that manages to get out of a house will be impossible to track. However, if you suspect that the little critter is somewhere in the house, there are plenty of things you can do.
Here are a few strategies to help you in your endeavor. The first tip is to wait for nightfall since hamsters are nocturnal creatures, and that’s when they’ll start coming out and walk all around the house.
Another good idea would be to close all the doors and place small amounts of seeds in each of them. When you notice that some seeds were eaten, you have already successfully narrowed down the search to a single room in the entire house, which is a success.
Here’s another thing that can help you. If it’s possible, scatter a bit of flour or starch on the floor, and you’ll be able to catch the tracks of a small furry animal on the run. To hear the animal moving about, place some foil on the floor, and the sounds you will hear will bring you closer to the escaped animal.
When learning how to find a lost hamster, you must arm yourself with a lot of patience. Hamsters are not easy to catch, but once you have an idea about where in the house he or she might be hiding, you’ll be able to approach the next step in your quest for returning the fugitive to the cage.
How to catch a hamster
Catching an escaped hamster is not exactly easy, but it’s not rocket science, either. Therefore, you only need to outwit your furry companion by a smidge. Setting up a hamster trap is the most effective way to secure your pet. However, by trap, you shouldn’t understand the devices used for catching rats and mice, but something completely different.
Ensure all the exits are secured, and there are no areas through which your pet can escape. Then spread a narrow trail of sunflower seeds that leads to the cage. The next step involves you staying quiet and hidden from view, with all the lights turned off. Hamsters eat at night, and they will detect the seeds.
It might take a while, so make sure you have the patience to wait for the animal to make an appearance. Once he or she is inside the cage, you can move quietly and shut the door.
Sometimes, it works to leave the cage door open, and the hamster might just return to his or her toys, as well as comfortable bedding. While wanderlust might hit any rodent of this type now and then, that doesn’t mean that hamsters don’t like to have a cozy home.
Where do hamsters like to hide?
To narrow down the areas where your hamster might be hiding, it is vital to know a few things about these escape artists. Since they are so small, they can be virtually anywhere, but that’s not entirely true. There are places where a lost hamster in house likes to hide, and learning about them will help you get your hands on him or her sooner rather than later.
Start by searching all the shoes in the house; because shoes offer a small, dark place for them to hide inside, hamsters prefer them. Closets are another area of your home that presents appeal to a lost hamster. Make sure to check under the fridge, stove, and any raised pieces of furniture. Hamsters can crawl underneath with ease.
Boxes are a hamster’s favorite, too. It’s not unusual for a hamster to get under a blanket since it’s warm and pleasant there. In case you have a basement, that’s another place where you should conduct your searches. A small hamster can even crawl inside a heater, so check those, too.
Last but not least, bathrooms represent excellent hiding places for hamsters. As long as a door was open or the hamster could crawl underneath, this furry animal will find a way in. The darkest a place is, the more appealing it will be for a hamster.
Why do hamsters try to escape their cage?
When a hamster disappears from his or her cage, the entire house is in an uproar. The peace of the household is restored when the animal is returned to his or her home, but to prevent such problems in the future, you should know why it happens.
Hamsters are easy to scare, and they will try to run when their homes are uncomfortable. Make sure they have enough room, bedding, food, and water. Also, comfort is paramount. Don’t let other pets or kids bother them all day long.
Why did your hamster escape? It could also happen because of boredom. Populate the cage with exciting toys, and find time to spend with your pet every day. A missing hamster can also be one that likes to explore his or her surroundings. Again, if you make his or her cage a small paradise, such urges will subside.