Though lively and beautiful, hamsters are also very skillful escape artists. While in most cases, they escape when the environment in which they are kept in is unconducive, they also escape from seemingly perfect environments.
At times, you can lose sight of them when playing with them in your house, or they might squeeze through the bars of their cages and escape into the wild.
Owing to their small sizes, hamsters will fit even in tiny spaces and are thus quite hard to find.
The following are some tips on how you can catch an escaped hamster.
3 Ways to Catch a Hamster without Killing It
So, if you hamster escapes and you want to catch it quickly, there are few options available, which will not harm your cut pet:
– Use a Live Catch Hamster Trap
This is intended to catch and release the hamster. The trap uses no poison and is completely safe for your beloved pet. Live catch hamster traps are often made of ABS plastic that will not entrap the hamster’s paws or injure it and are easy to clean.
The trap also features holes that allow your hamster to breathe before you can pick it and return it to its cage. Some have a bait compartment and touch-sensitive lever that easily trap the hamster without injuring it.
However, some live catch hamster traps malfunction, and you thus should be careful to pick the best one. This product is among the best ones on the market and worth considering.
– Make a DIY Hamster Trap
The DIY hamster trap can be a clean bucket or trash can. For the trap, the bucket should be shallow enough to prevent injuries when the hamster falls into it and yet deep enough so that the animal does not climb out of it.
You can include wood shavings or a fluffy towel at the bottom of the bucket to cushion the hamster’s fall. The bucket should have some food so that the hamster is lured into it.
This food can be dropped on the incline leading to the bucket’s opening so that it entices the hamster.
The slope to lead the hamster into the bucket can be made of a small slide or books arranged in a slanting manner. You can cover the bucket using paper so that the hamster falls into it.
– Leave the Cage Open
Some hamsters come back to their cages without any prompting. To encourage them to return, leave their cages on the floor near their usual location with a fresh food supply.
Your pet will be more than happy to come back home to fresh food and an open cage to settle in for a nap.
How to Prevent Your Hamster from Escaping?
You want to enjoy time with your hamster rather than always looking for it when it escapes. As such, you can take the following steps to keep your hamster from escaping:
- Always watch your hamster when opening the cage: you will need to open your cage to place food in it for the hamster or clean it. Watch the hamster carefully during these times since it might use the opportunity to escape. You might opt to take it out of the cage altogether when cleaning the cage. In this case, place it in your direct view.
- Get a cage with a door on top: there are different door options for hamster cages. To minimize the risk of escape, get one with a door on top. With this door, it is hard for the hamster to jump out and escape. This is unlike a door on the side through which the animal can simply walk out when opened.
- Put your hamster in an exercise ball: exercise balls for hamsters are made of tough transparent plastic with several hole slits. They come in two halves that can be screwed in place with the hamster inside them. Consider getting an exercise ball for your hamster since this encloses it and minimizes its risk of escape while encouraging healthy exercises. You can pick the best exercise ball for your hamster here.
- Ensure your cage has no materials that a hamster can chew through: hamsters can at times chew through the materials used for their cages and then squeeze through the opening they create. To reduce the odds of this happening, replace wooden and thin plastic screens or bars with sturdy materials.
- Remove cage accessories like ladders that a hamster can use to climb to the top of an open cage.
What Is The Best Food To Attract A Hamster?
Hamsters will not just naturally walk into a trap. There has to be something enticing them to fall into it. One of the best baits for your hamster trap is food.
Something with a pungent aroma will often do the trick in luring a hamster from its hiding spot. Fresh green veggies, boiled or scrambled eggs, and apple slices can work.
Seeds are, however, the best since they are easy to spread and create a trail into the trap. You can opt for nuts and corn or sunflower seeds. Peanut butter also works if you do not have nuts.
Be patient when looking for an escaped hamster. These animals store substantial food amounts in their cheek pouches. The food might last them for a few days, and you thus should not be anxious about your pet starving to death.
It will find its way home in a few days if it has wandered outside the home. At times, it might be hidden under furniture, in boxes, bags, and shoes or openings in your cupboard and will find its way back to its cage.
When you find it, take the necessary steps to ensure it does not escape again. For example, you can place your hamster’s cage inside a high-walled clear plastic container for extra security.