Hamsters look like Harry Houdinis with fur. They can get out of almost anything. It’s not a matter of if hamster owners’ pets will ever get lost, but when.
Even the Syrian or golden hamster, which is one of the biggest pet hamsters, can get into trouble quickly and die if it goes on a walkabout.
If a hamster gets loose, the owner must treat it as an emergency and get the whole family to follow the steps to find the hamster and make sure the story has a happy ending.
How to find a lost hamster: All pet hamsters have a natural desire to get out and explore. Hamsters can get out of cages, exercise balls, and even human hands.
By closing off the room, following some safety tips, and making a trap for a live hamster, owners can get their pets back.
Where do hamsters hide when they get out?
Look around the area right away, especially under and behind things. Hamsters, like many other rodents, like to hide.
They may do it instinctively, even if they secretly want to be found. Since he has only ever seen a small part of the world, he will probably stay close at first. Check-in couches, behind TVs, and under blankets.
Remember that your little guy likes to sleep during the day, so you may find him sleeping in a cozy corner of the house.
Where to Look for a Lost Hamster
The first thing to do is to look in some of your hamster’s favorite hiding spots. As soon as you realize you’ve lost your hamster, look for it thoroughly. Remember that your lost hamster is likely scared and will try to find a safe place to hide.
- Start in the middle: Start looking for your hamster near their cage and then move away.
- Be thorough: Check behind and under furniture, as well as down the sides and backs of sofas, under cushions, etc.
- Look in cabinets, drawers, bookcases, and shelves: Don’t forget to look inside, behind, and under the things, you’ve put there. Check the bottoms of furniture and beds to see if there are any holes a hamster could use to get inside.
- Check all the boxes: Check inside any boxes you have around the house including tissue boxes.
- Look inside your shoes, backpacks, purses, and other bags. Don’t forget to look underneath everything: Check the backs and bottoms of appliances to see if there are any holes your hamster could have gotten into.
- Look under “household items”: Check under and behind the water heater (or anywhere else where it might be warm and dark).
- Look for holes, gaps, or openings under cabinets that could lead into the walls: Make a note of these for later if you don’t find your hamster right away.
Tracking a Lost Hamster
It’s hard to find a lost hamster, but there are some things you can do if you have to.
- Try looking at night. Hamsters are nocturnal, so they probably only move around at night.
- Hamsters love seeds: Put a small pile of sunflower seeds that have already been counted on the floor in each room. If any seeds go missing from a room, you can get a better idea of where your lost hamster is hiding (unless you have any wild mice that are stealing your bait).
- Watch where they go: Around the piles of seeds, sprinkle a little flour or cornstarch on the floor. A hamster’s hiding place could be found by following a trail of tiny white footprints. Also, sprinkle flour across doorways and in front of places where you think they might be hiding (like spaces under the cupboards or holes in the wall, as noted on your search). Look for your hamster’s footprints to find out where he or she goes at night.
- Listen for movement: Try putting tin foil or cellophane that crinkles on the floor at night. Focus on hiding places, doorways, and the area around the cage or food. Then turn off all the lights and sit quietly. If your lost hamster gets out, the noise it makes as it walks across the foil or cellophane may help you find it.
- Let them guide you: Tie long pieces of yarn to some peanuts that are still in their shells. Your hamster might pick them up and take them to where it hides. If that happens, the yarn will lead you to where it is hiding.
How do I find my lost hamster?
Even though they are small, these pets have big brains and can learn how your voice sounds and even their names. But you should do a quick, quiet search first because you don’t want to scare him away.
If you don’t catch him in the first few minutes, call out or make noises that are fun. Pick up his favorite toy or spin his wheel, which he associates with playing and having fun. That might make him crawl back to you (and his games).
What other precautions can I take?
The best way to keep your pet safe is to make sure he has a good place to live before you bring him home. If you have a wire cage, the bars should be close together and should be checked often.
All rodents can fit through very small holes, which are much smaller than you might think. Plastic and wood cages should never be used because they are too easy to chew through.
Any tubes that you crawl through should be safe and checked often for problems. Lastly, check the lid every time you open the cage because that’s the easiest way for the animal to get out.
while you try to locate your ham, keep other pets and children away from the area, to avoid harming him.
It might be tempting to involve your dog, who probably can smell him, but, unless she’s properly trained, that will just as likely end badly as well.
In some cases, you might not succeed right away. Long term, you can set up cameras in a night setting to try to catch your small pet sneaking around, which will hopefully lead you to his hiding spot.