Losing a hamster in the home is a common worry for anyone who has a furry friend in the house. Hamsters are small, skittish, and love hiding, which is a bad combination when they become lost in a large area. And if you own or have owned a hamster, you’ve likely run into this scenario before, but you may not have a good idea of how to find them.
And that’s why this article exists! Even if a hamster becomes loose in the house, there are steps you can take to get them back in their cage all safe and sound. And we have lots of great tips and tricks to find your hamster, including answers to some of the most asked questions.
The table of contents below is what you can find in the content below, but if you’d like to skip to any section, just click any of the links below to be taken directly to that section. With that said, let’s jump right into what you need to know.
My Hamster is Loose in My House. What do I do?
If a hamster is loose in your house, there are immediate steps you should take to safely and quickly find the little critter and get them back in their cage. Follow these steps:
- Stay calm and don’t panic: First things first, don’t panic if your hamster isn’t in their cage. Panicking can cause you to make rash decisions that will delay and even endanger your hamster. So take a deep breath and move to step #2.
- Start searching: As soon as you realize your hamster has escaped, you should start your search. The sooner you start searching after they’ve escaped, the better chance you have of finding them quickly. And ensure that you take off your shoes and get on all fours so you don’t risk stepping on or kicking your little furry friend. Being on all fours can also help you see better and at their level. Hamsters aren’t likely to be in high places so the closer you are to the ground the better.
- Get others involved: If you have other people in your home when you realize your hamster’s lost, get them involved in the search as soon as you realize your hamster has escaped. Give each person a room to search and have them search in and under everything. In the bedrooms look under the comforter and sheets, under the bed, and other furniture. Your hamster will likely be hiding and not out in the open so carefully searching under furniture is your best bet.
- Don’t move furniture: You should avoid moving large furniture at all costs. Moving a piece of large furniture is the quickest way to hurt your hamster if you aren’t careful and they are under it. Use flashlights and get on all fours to search under the furniture, but avoid moving it.
- Lay out food, water, treats, and toys: If you’ve searched and still can’t find your furry friend, lay out some food, water, treats, and toys (guide to the best hamster toys) to lure your hamster out of their hiding spot and into an open area where you can collect them. Eventually your hamster will need food and water and they will go searching, which gives you an opportunity safely capture them and place them back in their cage.
An escaped hamster loose in the house happens to most folks who own the small animal. It’s just in the nature of a hamster to escape, but following the steps above will give you the best chance to find your furry friend and get them safely and comfortably back in their cage.
How to Find a Lost Hamster
The quickest and easiest way to find a hamster is to search your home on all fours with flashlights looking under and around furniture. Hamsters are prey animals and like to hide, so you’ll rarely find them out in the open.
When you start your search, always close the doors to the various rooms and especially to the outdoors. Then place towels under the doors to prevent the hamster from escaping in our out of various rooms in your home. That way you don’t have to search the same area multiple times. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start the search.
Always start by searching one room at a time and make sure to search it very thoroughly. That means getting on all fours with a flashlight and looking under, around, and behind furniture. You’ll probably find a bit of dust this way, but it may inspire some deep cleaning as well.
Once you’ve searched a room and concluded that the hamster isn’t in the room, close the door and reposition the towel at the bottom to prevent the hamster from getting into that room once it’s been searched. Repeat this process for every room in your home and once that’s done if you still haven’t found your furry friend, start searching the more open areas, such as a Living Room and Kitchen.
And once you’ve found your hamster, this article Can I Let My Hamster Run Around My Room, may be another useful read.
Finding a lost hamster can be a difficult endeavor, but eventually you should your furry little friend hiding somewhere it thinks is safe. Often times the most effective search is done in a methodical and organized manner. Keep that in mind if your hamster ever escapes.
Where Would a Hamster Hide in a House?
Hamsters like to hide and if your hamster is particularly shy, you may have even found them hiding in their own cage. This makes finding them particularly difficult, especially in the large area of a home, but the quickest way to find them is to search in the places they like to hide.
The most common hamster hiding places include:
- Under or behind furniture
- In cupboards
- Under blankets
- Room corners
- Behind appliances or other objects
As mentioned earlier, hamsters are prey animals, which means in the wild they are often hunted. That makes them particularly adept at hiding and they almost hide in places that are hard for other animals or people to get to. That means under or behind furniture, small openings in cupboards, and under blankets, mats and more. Essentially all the hardest places for you to find them, which is exactly what they’re naturally programmed to do.
So next time you go searching for your lost hamster, look in the places that seem the hardest for you to get to because that’s where they’re likely hanging out waiting to be found.
How Long Can a Lost Hamster Survive?
A lost hamster can likely survive for 2 – 3 days at most without food or water. This gives you a couple days to find them, however hamsters will attempt to find food and water on their own so you may have a little bit longer, but your best chance is finding them within 24 hours.
If your hamster is lost, your first priority should be finding and getting them safely back in their cage. Don’t think in terms of how many hours you have to find them, but rather finding them as soon as possible because they require food and water daily to survive. And the longer you wait, the further they are likely to stray from their cage in harder to reach places.
When hamsters are domesticated, their ability to explore and find natural sources of food and water start to decline. That means they rely on the nourishment you provide to them in their cage. So when they escape they run the risk of dehydration within a day or two.
One tactic you can use to find a lost hamster is to put out food and water in the corner of a room and wait for your hamster to find it. Eventually your hamster will need to eat and drink and they will be most familiar with their food and water container. This is a great way to find your hamster by appealing to what they need most when they escape.
If your hamster has escaped, they can survive for 2 – 3 days without water or food and while they may find natural sources of both, it’s not guaranteed and as a result extremely important to find them as soon as possible.
If you’re interested in reading more about escaped hamsters, check out the following related articles:
- Common Questions and Answers about Hamster Cages – The Pet Property
- If Your Hamster Keeps Escaping Their Cage, Here’s What You Need To Do – Yahoo
- Will Pet Hamsters Released into the Wild Survive? – Chewy
And there you have it! Losing a hamster in the home is always a stressful situation, but that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible scenario as we’ve outlined in this article. If your hamster happens to escape, stay calm, follow the steps outlined here, and you’ll find your furry friend in no time.
It’s important to remember how your hamster escaped so you can prevent any future jailbreaks in the future. So as soon as you get your hamster safely back in their home, make sure it’s secure and you won’t have to run through these steps again.
Hopefully this article has been useful and if this is a common occurrence in your home, be sure to bookmark this article to reference in the future.