How to Catch an Escaped Hamster

Hamsters will chew and gnaw and nudge and bite, just to get out of their confinement to go adventuring through your home at night. Many the time I got up in the morning, only to realize that the hamster had escaped from his cage again…

The first thing that you must remember is that if you have an animal that is extra cunning and will go that extra length to escape captivity, an important point is to keep the cage at a low spot in the house. If your hammy does manage to get out, he is not going to fall off a high ledge or table and hurt himself. (A friend of mine left her hammy’s cage next to the kitchen sink and in the morning her poor pet was found in the washing up bowl drowned)

Keep all doors shut. This makes it easier to find your pet, who will have probably run to ground beneath the couch or at the back of the refrigerator etc. It just saves you searching the whole house for him when you find the empty cage in the morning.

Secondly. Don’t panic. Shrieking at the top of your voice and banging around in a panicked fashion will just drive hammy further to ground. keep things on a light note. Casually remark that the hamster has escaped again and make sure that the room is free of children, other pets and in my case a clumsy hubby with big feet!

Move around as quietly as you can. There is a good chance that your hamster is asleep somewhere so you may be lucky enough to chance upon him while he is dozy and relaxed. Look for hidden corners, warm spots or a place where there may be food. My own hamster was always easy to catch because he always used to head for the same cupboard. I soon worked out that if I left food in there with some soft bedding, chances are this is where I would find him later on.

If you find him and try to catch him then do it with slow movements. This will have less chance of startling or scaring him and if you hold out some food to him, you may be lucky enough to have a hungry hamster that will take it from you with no trouble.

Just chasing a hamster around the room serves no purpose and there is the chance that you may step on him by accident. Hamsters are delicate and will probably not survive this kind of treatment. If he seems to be on the skittish side, then leave him to it for a while. Leave his favorite food in a dish in his cage and sit quietly and watch. if he goes back in his cage to eat something you will be able to just quickly shut him in with no harm done.

Other people go for the baited trap (usually a box and a piece of string) and this works really well too. Others may lay a trail of food into a place where he can be easily caught. I have tried this method in the past too with some success.

If my hammy has been out on his own for quite a while I have found that by rustling a food bag near his new nest usually brings hims out to have a look to see if there is any food going. Once I caught him by leaving a paper bag on the ground and baiting it with food. Whilst he was busy pouching his dinner I simply picked him up whilst he was still in the bag and gently put him back in his cage.

Ultimately the one thing to remember when your hamster escapes is that it is not the end of the world. Just make sure that you have shut off all escape routes and that other people are aware that he is out, so that they can be careful where they are treading.

In the end hunger will get the better of your hamster and he can be lead by his stomach. Don’t be angry with your little pet Houdini, he is just doing what comes naturally and is showing a healthy interest in what lies outside his normal environment. Rodents are always on the lookout for food. They are hoarders and will always be searching for tasty morsels to add to their food stores. When you get him back, repair the damage to the cage or change worn or loose fittings to ensure that he is more secure for the next time he tries to make a run for it!