Hamsters are popular pets because they are cute, small, and low-maintenance. However, despite being kept in cages, hamsters are active creatures that love to explore. It is not uncommon for hamsters to escape from their cages, and it can be quite alarming for pet owners.
If your hamster has escaped from its cage, do not panic. Here are some steps you can take to find and safely return your pet.
1. Search the Immediate Area
The first thing you should do is search the immediate area where the cage is located. Check under furniture, behind curtains, and in small spaces where your hamster may have crawled into.
Make sure to move slowly and quietly, as hamsters are easily scared and can be difficult to catch if they are running around.
2. Secure the Room
If your hamster is not immediately found, you will need to secure the room. Close all doors and windows, and block any gaps where your hamster could escape. Cover any holes or vents where your hamster may have crawled into, as hamsters are known to squeeze through small spaces.
3. Set Up Traps
To lure your hamster out of hiding, you can set up traps. Place food, such as fresh fruits or vegetables, or your hamster’s favorite treats in a small bowl or dish near the cage or in areas where your hamster may be hiding.
You can also place a running wheel in the middle of the room, as hamsters are naturally drawn to exercise wheels.
4. Use Scent
Hamsters have a strong sense of smell, and you can use this to your advantage. Place a piece of clothing or bedding that smells like you or your hamster’s cage in areas where your hamster may be hiding.
The familiar scent can help your hamster feel more comfortable and come out of hiding.
5. Stay Vigilant
While waiting for your hamster to return, stay vigilant. Keep an eye out for any signs of your hamster, such as droppings or chewed items. Listen for any sounds, such as rustling or scratching, that may indicate your hamster’s location. You can also set up a camera or baby monitor to monitor the room.
6. Seek Help
If your hamster is still missing after several days, it may be time to seek help. Contact your local animal control or shelter, and post flyers in your neighborhood. You can also ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for your hamster or check their yards and gardens.
7. Prevent Future Escapes
To prevent your hamster from escaping again, make sure to secure the cage properly. Check the bars and doors regularly to make sure they are secure, and avoid placing the cage near any potential escape routes, such as windows or doors.
You can also provide your hamster with toys and activities to keep them entertained and less likely to escape.
If your hamster escapes from its cage, it can be a stressful experience. However, by remaining calm and following these steps, you can increase your chances of finding and safely returning your pet. Remember to stay vigilant and take steps to prevent future escapes.
How often do hamsters escape from their cages?
Hamsters are known to be escape artists and can escape from their cages more often than other pets. It is important to regularly check the cage and ensure it is secure.
What should I do if I find my hamster but it is injured?
If your hamster is injured, take it to a veterinarian immediately. Follow their instructions for caring for your hamster’s injuries.
How long can a hamster survive outside of its cage?
Hamsters are not well-equipped for life outside of their cages and are at risk of injury, illness, or predators. The survival time varies depending on the environment, but it is recommended to find your hamster as soon as possible.
Should I punish my hamster for escaping its cage?
No, punishing your hamster is not recommended. Hamsters are intelligent creatures, but they do not understand punishment. Instead, focus on securing the cage and providing your hamster with a safe and comfortable environment.
Can I prevent my hamster from escaping its cage?
While it is impossible to completely prevent your hamster from escaping its cage, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. First, choose a cage with secure latches and doors. Regularly check the cage for any damage or wear and tear that may compromise its security.
Additionally, provide your hamster with plenty of toys and activities to keep it occupied and less likely to try to escape. Finally, supervise your hamster during playtime outside of the cage and keep a close eye on it to prevent any attempts to escape.