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Hamsters have a tendency to run away from cages now and then. Some hamsters will try to escape more than others as it depends on their personality. There are occasions when you may lose sight during playtime outside their cage. It is easy for them to get lost as they can adjust to the tiniest spaces and vanish very fast.
There are cases when your hamster is smart enough to have managed to open its cage’s door. On the other hand, it is possible that a pet owner has simply forgotten to shut the door of the cage. Also, the cage may not be secure enough as hamsters can manage to chew open their cage attachment. In case your hamster is missing, do not worry as it may not be too far.
This guide is useful to know all about how to find a hamster even if it has never got lost before. Prevention is always better and so you should be equipped to take all necessary actions if your pet goes missing.
What should you remember before even beginning to look for the missing hamster?
Before you can even start searching for your hamster, you need to note that there could be some reasons for its disappearance. It does not always mean that the hamster wished to leave. It may have come across something exciting in a corner.
Check out these important things even before you know the tips on how to find a hamster.
1. Shut all doors so that the hamster cannot roam from one room to the next while you are searching for it.
2. Make sure that other pets if any are kept away. These pets may include a dog, bird, or cat and kids as well. After all, they might make the hamster afraid.
3. Try to recollect where your hamster was last seen and begin to search from that room.
4. Do not forget that hamsters are usually nocturnal. There is a possibility of them coming out at night when your house is quiet and dark.
5. Try to figure out any large cracks or holes in the doors or walls through which it might have escaped
6. Search your house thoroughly as hamsters do an excellent job at hiding.
7. The search could take a few hours but it might also take a few days as well. So, you should be patient. A hamster can easily survive for around 3 to 4 days without any food or water.
8. The hammy could be in odd sites such as in the sofa’s tapestry or between the sofa cushions.
So, do not panic. It is likely that the hamster is hiding in your kitchen and munching on some nuts behind a cupboard.
Where should you look for a missing hamster?
Start by searching some of the most favorite hiding spots of your hammy. Make sure to search thoroughly as soon as you discover that your hamster is lost. Remember that your lost hamster could be afraid and will search for a secure spot to hide.
1. Start searching at the center- Begin searching near its cage and then slowly start moving from there.
2. Search thoroughly- Do not forget to check under and behind furniture and under cushions, the backs and sides of sofas, and so on.
3. Search in all boxes- You should check all boxes around the home and do not skip even tissue boxes.
4. Search inside bookcases, shelves, drawers, and cabinets- Check under, behind, and inside all items, you have stored in the furniture.
5. Look for spaces or holes under cupboards, as well as, openings
6. Search inside shoes, bags, purses, and backpacks
7. Also check under home fixtures such as under/behind the water heater
How to find a hamster– Tips to track a missing hamster
It may not be an easy task to search for a lost hamster but you can always try the following tips to locate them:
· Try searching at night – Do not forget that hamsters are usually nocturnal. So, it is possible that they will move around in the darkness.
You may track its movements- It can be done by sprinkling a little cornstarch or flour in the flour. You may find a trail of white tiny footprints leading you to its hiding place. Likewise, sprinkle a little floor in front of the hiding spots under suspicion and across doorways. These may include holes in a wall or under the cupboards. Check for footprints and track where your hammy is moving at night.·
Hamsters are fond of seeds- Put some pre-counted pile of, tiny sunflower seeds on the floor of all rooms. In case any seeds vanish from a room, you will get a good idea about in which room your missing hammy is hiding. ·
Allow it to lead the way- You can also tie some peanuts to strands of yarn in the shell. The hamster can collect them, as well as, take them to their hiding place. The yarn strands in such a case will take you to their hiding spot. ·
Listen for any kind of movement- Try placing crinkly cellophane papers or tinfoil on the floor. You can focus on their possible hideouts, around the cage, or doorways in the evening. Switch off all the lights in the house and sit quietly. In case your missing hamster comes out, it could be located while making noise as it moves across the cellophane or foil.
Catching a lost hamster
At times, your hammy is not that simple to catch although you have managed to locate it. So, it is better to set a trap to catch your lost hammy safely after locating it.
1. Sometimes, a hamster will return to the cage of its free will- Make sure that its cage is on the floor and open. Place a new supply of food close to its usual location. It is possible that you have to be awake till late at night to close the cage door after your hamster comes back. Usually, they are pleased to be back home and prefer to take nap after eating.
2. Attempt for a humane trap– It can be another way to catch your hammy after finding it. The trap is also referred to as a live mouse trap by some people. You can use some peanut butter to bait it. However, these traps can malfunction at times and so there is a probability of it injuring your hammy. Yet, such incidents are rare as they work pretty well.
3. Get a bucket and then place a towel on the base, thus setting up a “bucket trap”
Put some tasty treats on the top of this thick towel such as a cracker with a layer of peanut butter on it, cheese, or apple slices. Put something the hamster can smell easily. Form a kind of ramp outside this bucket using a wire shelf, books piled up, or wood or make a staircase. Our plan is that the hammy will climb up the ramp in pursuit of the food. It will then hop into the bucket but would not be able to come out of it. The main idea is to make sure that the treat is irresistible so that the hammy will not mind jumping into the bucket.
How to find a hamster– Locating it outside your house
In case your hamster is lost outside, the problem can be a more serious one. While it could have gone far off, there is still a possibility of it hiding somewhere close by. Baiting and placing treats for your hammy the way you do in your home will not work. There are other animals outside such as birds and cats that will possibly take the bait.
Also, depending on the kind of terrain you have around your house i.e. if there is wood in the backyard, the search can be tougher. It is recommended you opt for the human mousetrap in such a scenario. It is perhaps the only way of being certain that an animal bigger than your hammy will not steal it.
A bin/bucket trap may not work well either in this case. Instead, you could find a squirrel or a bird in that trap. Has it been over a week and your missing hammy has still not been found? It is possible it had a bad run-in with some other animal or went off into the world. However, that is the worst possible scenario.
How to make your hamster’s cage more escape-proof
As people say that prevention is always better than cure. The same logic is also applicable so that your hamster cannot escape from its cage. Let us see what preventive actions can be taken about its cage.
Usually, it has been observed that aquariums or glass tanks are much more difficult for them to escape as compared to regular plastic or wire ones. You need to ensure that the cage has got tall enough edges. If you are placing bedding inside the cage for your hamster, whose height is 1-2 inches/3-5 cm, there is a need for an additional height of 10 inches/25 cm above this bedding.
Hamsters are known to hop out of the cages at times and so be warned. Additionally, using a wire mesh covering is an excellent idea for your glass tank to be on the safer side. Hamsters are pretty small under their far. If its head fits somewhere, its body can be also squeezed through just like a cat.
Thus, you cannot rule out the possibility of them squeezing through the cage bars. This is particularly true for Dwarf types of hamsters that are too tiny. You need to also ensure that the latches available on the doors of the cages are closed properly. Finally, you may also use a few binder clips. These are large, black ones that are typically used for a pile of papers. These clips can be used to fasten a wire cage’s corners to ensure it stays put.
Hamsters are tiny but wily creatures and are famous for their skills of escaping or running away. It is surprising how these tiny pets can adjust themselves in the smallest of spaces. They can fit into crevices as well, which you did not even know existed in your home.
One thing that makes it slightly tough to search for them is that they normally move around in the dark. It also means you have to wait until night to catch your hammy if it has gone missing so that you can hear its movements. Hope these tips on how to find a hamster will come in handy for you.
Patience is the keyword here and you should not give up easily. These little creatures can survive without food and water for a few days so you need not fret. Many people feel usually certain that their missing hamsters have gone away forever. However, they locate them all of a sudden a few days later.