Hamsters are tiny creatures, and their lightweight makes them incredibly fast. Hamsters can run up to 21 km per night, and that’s about 13 miles. Hamsters love to run, and as a nocturnal furry animals, they intend to do daily exercise between dusk and dawn.
It’s always the nature of a hamster to be very active and is actually known as escape artist. So, always watch your hamsters, especially during feeding and petting time. You might get shocked knowing how fast your hamster can escape.
They can fit into tiny spaces and can disappear instantly, and finding them can get tricky. When this happens, you can resort to opening their cages hoping they find their way back. Or if it still worries you that they might lose their way. Follow these simple tips on how to find your lost hamster.
WHY HAMSTERS TRY TO ESCAPE, AND WHAT TO REMEMBER
Hamster is a brilliant animals and very skilful; this makes them smart enough to escape from their cage. Hamsters escape by climbing through the walls of your enclosures or nibbling their way out at every opportunity that they can see.
Here are some of the best things you should know before owning such furry and cute creatures.
ALSO READ: Basic supplies for your hamster since day 1
Hamsters are escape artists
Hamsters can chew plastics and wood and nibble through a plastic cage. Not just they bite, but they can climb almost anything. It is their instincts that tell them to explore no matter what. They can escape a glass tank and their tight locked cages.
Hamsters are known to be escape artists. Often it’s because they are not satisfied with the size of their cage. Escaping through tight spaces is their first survival manoeuvre in the wild. Once they spot a hole, they always have the urge to stick themselves into it. It is one of the means they survive when predators are chasing them.
They get bored
Hamsters always have the driving factors within themselves to explore things they have not seen yet. Being bored is uncommon because hamsters are quite energetic and curious animals. When your hamster is in a hyper mood, they soothe itself by playing with its toys or running on the wheel.
However, if these are not enough, they will try to escape out. Make sure to keep your hamster happy to less the chances of it trying to escape. Learn more about the reasons a hamster would try to escape.
Hamsters come home or not
Due to poor hamsters’ vision, they cannot get to their homes through sight. However, it is easy for them to track a scent to something familiar to them.
Hamsters usually come home if they are already feeling less hydrated and starving. They will always come back home for their burrowed foods. If you think your hamster might not come back, it’s time to look into ways how to find an escaped hamster.
Try to remember when was the last time you saw your hamster inside the cage. This will help you know how long your hamster has been gone. If it’s only a few minutes, your hamster must not have gone that far, but if it’s been hours, the search will be more challenging.
If you accidentally lose your hamster, be sure to remove all the potential threats that can harm your hamster, like a cat. It is essential to keep your other pets in a separate room when you are trying to find an escaped hamster.
These rodents are also at risk of chemical substances found in your house, for example, cleaning and bleaching materials in case they chew through them.
They love to hide
Finding a hamster can be hard work since hamsters like to be alone and by themselves. This entire project will be a big hide-and-seek game. Being in tight and dark places is where they often feel safer.
Don’t search like a maniac
If you lose your hamster, don’t panic and look at the bright side. A good hamster can still manage to survive for a couple of days, so remain calm.
Also, if you just lost your hamster, a good tip is to turn off the lights and close all objects emitting noise. Hamsters can get easily startled, and you might scare your hamster away.
HOW DO HAMSTERS ESCAPE FROM THEIR CAGES
Hamsters are very smart animals, and at the same time, they get bored easily. Boredom and intelligence make a good escape artist. When there aren’t enough toys to entertain a hamster inside its cage, it will find a way to entertain itself. Here are the ways hamsters escape their cage:
Even though hamsters are not good climbers, nothing is more motivating than frustration and boredom. When a hamster is bored, it will start to find a way to get out of the cage. Regardless of the cage has metal bars or a flat surface for the wall, they will start climbing the wall to reach the top of the cage.
Hamsters can chew almost through anything. If the cage is made of plastic or wood, expect them to try to chew through it. For example, if your hamster’s cage has some bump or uneven surface, either on the wall or the bottom, they will start nibbling on it until they make a tiny hole and keep working on it until it’s big enough to squeeze out.
If you let your hamster out in its playpen or its travel cage, even though you have tried to make it escape-proof, it’s important to keep an eye on your hamster. When cleaning your hamster’s cage, make sure to place them in a secure container and keep an eye on them all the time.
WHERE DO HAMSTERS LIKE TO HIDE WHEN THEY ESCAPE
When a hamster escapes from its cage, the first place it would go is somewhere dark, narrow, and cold. Eventually, they will explore to find food. Often, escaped hamsters will go under the bed, couch, or even fridge. They will hide in a corner where they feel secure.
If they have been gone for a few hours, they might have started looking for food and water. You should check cupboards, garbage cans, under the sink, and even around the bookshelf.
My hamster would hide in the bathroom right under the water tank of the toilet or under the drapes.
WAYS ON HOW TO FIND AN ESCAPED HAMSTER
An escape hamster will often find their way back if they don’t get lost. It is for sure that you should find them as soon as possible the moment you notice they are gone. It might be tricky to catch these little furballs. But by knowing some of these tips on how to find an escaped hamster below, you can effortlessly search where they might be hiding.
Look through the obvious
If you notice that your hamster is gone, do not panic. Try looking around the area from where the hamster cage is placed. Look for places you think your hamster can hide. They can be frightened and search for a hole where they can curl themselves up.
Take in mind that they may be on bookshelves, couch cushions, beds, chairs, and the like. Try to think like a hamster, and approach from a human perspective will help you focus on where your hamster is hiding.
Take, for example, you are a hamster and will search underneath your bed because it is such a comfortable and tight place to hide. Or perhaps your hamster hides in obvious places like food boxes, food pantries, etc.
Cupboards, bookshelves, and drawers
Anything that they can nibble, like cupboards, bookshelves, and drawers, is the best place for a hamster to hide. Check for these places, especially cracks and holes, to which they can squeeze themselves.
Some ideal spot also includes trash bins because they can nibble through the plastic to find some leftover food. They can also stay in warm places like cloth in drawers.
Boxes and backpacks
Backpacks, too, are some of the best hiding spots for a lost hamster. If you’re lucky, you might find them hoarding some food inboxes. Shoebox, tissue boxes, grocery boxes, are potential hiding spots. So be sure to check these things out and other places your hamster could be.
Check under and behind
Dark places like underneath and behind appliances are appealing for a hamster. Like under the couch, behind a bookshelf and on the fridge.
If you want to let, your hamster finds their way back. A mostly-like path trailed with his favourite treat can direct it to his cage. Also, the smell of his delicious treat can lead him straight to a humane trap or cage. Check in the morning if the treats are still where you left them. Here’s a list of the best hamster treats.
Shake the packet of the treat
Some hamster recognises the shaking sound of their favourite packet treat. A tamed hamster most likely hears treats as they have a strong sense of hearing. They might get excited and run towards you. Lure them towards a coffee mug or a bucket and catch your hamster without the possible risk of causing harm.
Spill some flour
A common way how to find an escaped hamster is by spilling some powder on the room where your hamster possibly got lost. Put some flour surrounding your hamster food. Close all doors for a night and check out for footprints in the morning. By doing this, you can track your hamster’s location or where he might be going.
Once you found your hamster, slowly throw a soft blanket that will cover your hamster. It will stop your hamster from running or lure it inside a bucket or coffee mug, then gently carry the hamster and bring it back to its home.
Turn off the lights and listen
A hamster doesn’t like to hide in lightened areas. As mentioned above, they like places dark. Turn off the lights and trick your hamsters into leaving their safe space.
Take a few seconds not to make a noise and listen to any sound they make, like scratches. Once you hear the sound, use a tiny torch or phone light to spot the escaped hamster.
How to bring the escaped hamster home
A fundamental way to bring an escaped hamster is to ready your mug, a bucket or a light blanket with you. Stop moving and lure the hamster inside with treats.
Once your hamster is inside, slightly cover the opening of the cup or bucket to prevent the hamster from jumping off, then slowly let your hamster out in its cage or a spare one (in case there is a hole to fix on the main cage).
Another way to catch an escaped hamster is to bring out its exercise wheel. Once you hear your hamster uses the wheel, you know where to start your search.
Check the main cage
Before placing the hamster inside the cage, always check the sides for holes or something that possibly chewed and caused a way to escape. Put something much stronger unto these walls to avoid escapes in the future.
You can add metal spring clips to the door of wire cages. By reinforcing a double door, you strengthen the cage and decrease the possibility of these witty animals escaping. When cleaning, always checks for possible opportunities to escape. If you notice damaged bars or loose wires, immediately try to fix them or buy a new one.
Hamsters always escape, so don’t feel bad about it. Remember to leave your hamsters alone once it’s back home to relax and rehydrate themselves. Make sure that your hamster has enough toys, chew toys, and have a large cage to avoid boredom.
Hamster, too, comes back to their homes, so keep the hopes up. Try searching in the ways mentioned above and feel good about the effort of it. You might wake up the following morning next to your pet hamster.