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How To Capture An Escaped Hamster

Updated on November 4, 2007
Image of Hamster thinking of making a break for it from
Image of Hamster thinking of making a break for it from

You go to feed your hamster and suddenly stop short. Where is the little monster now? You poke through all of the bedding, but your beloved hamster is nowhere to be seen. You could panic or you could go about making plans to recapture your prodigal hamster. Take deep breaths - not only will your brain need the oxygen, but it will help you calm down.

Before You Set The Trap

Before you set up the hamster trap, you want to avoid hurting your loose hamster accidentally in the meantime. Here are some tips everyone in your family needs to do until the hamster is safely curled up in his cage again:

  • Shuffle your feet instead of walking normally, so you don't accidentally step on Hammy.
  • Make sure all the door inside your home firmly propped open. If you do have to open and close a door before Hammy is found, do it very slowly, in case Hammy is in a tight spot.
  • Get all chemicals, cleaning supplies, mousetraps or art supplies off of the floors and (if possible) all put away.
  • Check under all cushions and mattresses before sitting or lying down. Hamsters like to burrow in all kinds of cozy places.
  • If you have any terriers or cats that are free-roaming, either keep an eye on them or shut them up in a room where you are sure the hamster isn't.
  • Make everyone who comes into your home to follow these rules until Hammy is found.
  • Shut the windows.
  • Leave the cage door open - he might decide to come home on his own.

Setting The Trap

You will make a humane hamster trap with objects you most likely have hanging about the home. You will need:

  • a large bucket or Rubbermaid Tote at least two feet deep. Make sure the lid is OFF.
  • a tasty treat the hamster can't resist. Peanut butter on a cracker is recommended.
  • a thin layer of bedding using some from the hamster's cage
  • a way for the hamster to climb up the side of the bucket - it could be placing the bucket against a chair, leaning a long wooden plank or ruler on it, but some obvious path needs to be leaned against the bucket.

The aim is to lure the hamster into the bucket. A fall of a couple of feet will not hurt a full grown hamster. Once they are in, though, they will not be able to get out. They will look rather annoyed, though.

One of the best places to put the trap is the bathroom or kitchen closest to the room where the cage is normally kept in. Hamsters are always on the lookout for food - and water. Even a few droplets of water on a tile floor may attract your prodigal hamster.

The Waiting

Now comes the hardest part of recapturing your hamster - the waiting. Try to keep breathing deeply and keep your hopes up. The odds are good that your hamster is still in your home. Hamsters are nocturnal, so while you're worried throughout the day, he's probably found a place to nap. He will most likely go into the trap during the night, or the next night.

For more information about finding a lost hamster, check out this link. And good luck!

Film by c4h10


Submit a Comment

  • RenaSherwood profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago

    Thanks for the kind words. The film wasn't made by me, but I did have a golden hamster that could slip through bars like the dwarf hammy in the film. She had to be kept in a 20 gallon Rubbermaid Tote (with the lid off). Good luck with Grandma!

  • Michele Engholm profile image

    Michele Engholm 

    11 years ago from Hutchinson

    Hey Rena, this one made me laugh....a while back we have a hamster we affectionately called the "bird rodent of alcatraz" She was a master of finding her way out of any cage. We finally have a system that keeps her contained. She's crazy!! She seems to mellowing some with age however : ) Now she's just called "Grandma"

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    Such a squirmy guy you have in the video. Of course that's a nice looking fellow that you have at the top there.

    Thanks for the information and the video. I always thought they somehow got out through a door left open. Your video really opened my eyes.



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