Oh no! You’ve just gone to play with your hamster only to discover that the cage door is open and the little furball is nowhere to be found. It’s a big scary world out there for a tiny little hamster, and now you’re very worried that something will happen to her before you find her again.
Unfortunately, tragedy can quickly befall an escaped hamster, so it’s imperative that you find her and get her safely back in her cage as quickly as you can. Since hamsters are nocturnal, she’ll most likely find a safe place to curl up and snooze during the daytime, although what she considers safe may not be safe in your mind.
Those nocturnal wanderings that your escaped hamster takes can work to your advantage when it comes to catching her again. They are creatures of habit and usually become active around the same time each day – hopefully you have an idea of that time. This nocturnal habit makes it easy to set a “trap” for your hamster.
Setting a Trap For Your Hamster
If you have any pets that might think of a loose hamster as a snack, make sure that they’re somewhere else as the day starts to wind down. Not only might they attack and injure, or even kill, your escaped hamster, they might deter the hamster from venturing out of its hiding place.
Hamsters don’t typically come back to their cage, but it never hurts to leave your hamster cage on the floor with the door open, full of inviting treats. That alone might be enough to lure your hamster back home.
Your hamster by this time will be hungry and thirsty, so use food to bait the trap. Find a bucket or other container that your hamster won’t be able to crawl out of. Make sure it’s clean and that there aren’t any residues from any harmful products in it. Next, make a stairway for your hamster with books piled on top of each other – they should go right up to the top of the container. If you’re not sure exactly where your hamster might be hiding, place the trap in a darkened, quiet room. The hamster needs to feel safe enough to venture out.
Place some sort of food in the container that the escaped hamster will be able to smell and that is considered a favorite treat. Peanut butter on a cracker works very well for this. Once your trap is baited and placed in position, it becomes a waiting game. The hamster will climb the books because it smells the food in the container, and will usually tumble down into the bucket. Note that the bucket shouldn’t be so deep that the hamster will get hurt when it falls in, but deep enough to prevent it from crawling out again.
Try this trap for a couple of nights. You may also consider leaving a little bit of water in a bottle lid on the floor, as the hamster will get dehydrated quite quickly. With a little bit of patience, your hamster will soon be back in its cozy cage where it belongs.