Catching an escaped Hamster

Hamsters are very good at escaping, they can escape through the smallest of apertures, and no matter how hard we try to prevent it, if there is a way hamster will find it.

hamster trap

A Hamster live trap

Most often this is down to human error, by not locking the door properly. Or the hamster has been working on a secret escape tunnel, by gnawing away at the plastic parts of his cage for some time without us noticing.

An escaped hamster can stay hidden away for several days or weeks, I have known them to hide away for as long as 3 weeks. In this case the hamster will have more than likely created himself a nest somewhere. Food is not too much of a problem for him as he will find, and eat whatever is edible.
The hamsters main concern is water, although a hamster drinks very little water and can survive quite long periods without, but eventually he is going to have to surface for a drink.

First and foremost, try to establish which room he is in. You can do this by leaving food at intervals along the edge of the skirting boards and floor. Not in the middle of the room; hamsters are rodents they fear, and avoid open spaces, preferring to keep close to the wall just as mice do

traping hamsterTo catch an escaped hamster

One method is to place some of his favorite food on a sheet of tinfoil in the corners of the room. Then sitting quietly late at night with the lights turned off, or dimmed, listening carefully for the rustling as hamster steps onto the tinfoil to retrieve the goodies.

Seal all exits as much as possible by closing the doors, try to keep the hamster confined to that room, then set the cage along the edge of the skirting board pictured right.
Hopefully the missing hamster may climb into his cage, and make himself a comfy bed for the night. The cage with scent on it is a familiar place to him, he knows there is food and water available here, and he will return if it’s accessible to him.

You can also use the bucket trap along with the cage, and lay both live traps, therefore having 2 chances of trapping your hamster.
Using a bucket, or a box, or container of at least 10" deep, place some food such as apple, banana as shown, use a ramp to enable the hamster to get to the top. Line the container with shavings to cushion his fall should he do so, once he is in he will not be able to get out.

hamster traps


There is the possibility that your hamster may not be in that room all, and maybe trapped under floorboards or in a cavity wall, maybe next door or somewhere he may not be able to get out of. In this case the inevitable may happen and you may never see your hamster again, but never give up hope.



hamster live traps


Another way to check is to leave a coffee jar lid full of water on a light dusting of flour. If he is around he will make his way for a drink, and leave tell tale paw prints.


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