How to Find a Lost Hamster

How to Find a Lost Hamster

If you just lost one of your hamsters because it managed to escape out of its hamster cage or made a break for it during one of its out of cage exercise session, don’t panic, you can track it down and catch it. Don’t feel bad that it escaped, by nature hamsters are curious and relentless creatures. Any chance it can get to explore new territory, it will take it.

None-the-less, if your hamster has gone missing, stay calm and quiet.

Related: Selecting a Hamster Cage

Escaped Hamster


The worst thing you can do is make a lot of noise by shuffling through your possessions or moving large pieces of furniture. The loud noises will push the hamster even deeper into hiding and moving furniture or carelessly throwing items around in a frantic attempt to find your lost hamster can lead to an dead or injured hamster. By moving furniture, you might accidentally block a hole or passage that your hamster went in through and even with all the methods for catching it, it might not be able to get back out of its hiding place. Instead, close all the doors of the room where you know your hamster is hiding in and sit quietly listening for your escapee. You can listen for any little footsteps on the floor, gnawing of your furniture or even a few squeaks or two.
Listen for Your Lost Hamster

Corral Your Pet

Once you have narrowed down where your lost hamster has made its way to, you can try to create some barriers to attempt to corral and funnel your hamster to you. You can use books, cardboard or pieces of wood as these barriers. Tubes such as mailing tubes or large pvc pipes also work well as a way go channel you hamster to you. If your presence is too much for you hamster to come running, place a cage on the floor, a comfy box with some of its soft hamster bedding or entice it with some of its favorite treats.
Corral a Runaway Hamster with Books

Catch it Using Treats

If you don’t know where your lost hamster is at, you can try to lure it out by putting its favorite hamster treats out. Try placing a tasty piece of apple or yogurt drop inside your hamster cage that you have placed on the floor. Put a ramp up from the floor to the cage door. This will minimize the chances of your hamster changing its mind about going for your trap. Additionally, if yo don’t know what room your escaped hamster is in, try placing treats in every room and closing the doors. In the morning you can check to see which piles have been eaten and thus narrowing down where your hamster is hiding out.
Use Treats to Find a Lost Hamster

Homemade Traps

You can either go out and buy a humane hamster trap from the local pet store or borrow a trap from an animal shelter but you can also make your own.

The following is a list of things you will need to make your hamster trap:

  • One bucket or small trash can
  • A hamster ramp or ladder
  • Bedding from your hamsters cage
  • A towel or napkin
  • Your hamster’s favorite treat
  1. Setup a bucket along the wall of the room where you think your runaway hamster is hiding.
  2. Add some soft bedding into the bottom of it and then some treats on top of the bedding.
  3. Place a ramp or ladder against the bucket so your hamster can climb up and peek into the bucket.
  4. lay a towel or napkin over the opening of the bucket and place a treat in the middle.*

If the bucket is deep enough, your hamster will be trapped when it falls while trying to get at the treats. For many hamsters, the temptation of these treats will be more than enough for the hamster to accidentally fall in while trying to get at them. *On the other hand, if your hamster is too wise to fall for this homemade trap, you will need to add in the fourth step. When your hamster tries to walk out onto the towel to get the treat, the towel and the hamster will safely fall into the bucket. Your hamster will then eat the treats and probably curl and take a nap when it figures out it can’t escape.

Prevent One from Escaping

The best way to avoid loosing any hamsters is to prevent it in the first place by performing proper hamster care. To do so, you should inspect your hamster’s cage daily. Secure all the doors and openings with wire or tape. Additionally, replace any weak spots in the cage; where your hamsters have be gnawing. A good security measure is to close the door to the room that your hamster is in before opening the cage door. This will confine how far your hamster can get if it manages to escape. Finally, always remember to securely close the cage door when you put your hamster back into its cage.

Reviewed By: Tim Winter

Tim Winter has a strong affection for pets and wildlife. His years of experience caring for various types of pets has led him to share his knowledge with others on the best practices in pet care. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.

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10 thoughts on “How to Find a Lost Hamster”

  1. We waited until bed time and turned off most of the lights. Our miss dot ran right up to me. She was done being free and pretty scared. So cute!

    • Something like this happens to my honey, I was freaking out and crying and she just came up to me from nowhere and looked at me like “what’s wrong with you I’m right here” and waited until I saw her

  2. I lost my hamster a year ago and he was found dead…It turns out he fell into a toilet paper roll and suffocated.


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