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Old 11-04-2005, 09:12 AM   #1
babyboos
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Default How to recapture an escaped hamster

This is a question that is asked frequently, an indication perhaps of how good hamsters are at escaping from their enclosure. It is important to capture them quickly as hamsters can be very destructive when allowed to roam free. They can chew through just about anything - furniture, doors, curtains and electrical wiring are common targets. All of these can seriously injure your hamster in the process or potentially cause it to pass over the Rainbow Bridge a lot quicker.



If you lose your hamster outdoors, the chances of recapture are not good. and anyway what were you doing outdoors anyway - there are far too many germs and dangers outside, but an indoor escapee can often be recaptured using the following simple method.



Get a deep, high-sided bucket or basin. It has to be at least 12 inches (30cm) deep but ideally 18 inches deep to ensure that the hamster can't jump out. Syrian hamsters are incredibly persistent and can scramble their way out of surprisingly deep containers. Dwarf hamsters can also jump but their smaller size means that they don't get quite so much height. Although Roborovski with their proportionately longer back to front legs have been known to jump as far as 3 feet in the air!



Make a "staircase" up to the edge of the container using books or magazines.



Remember ONLY on the outside of the container!



Place a trail of food up the staircase and leave a liberal amount in the bottom of the container. Something with a pungent aroma will help to attract the hamster from its hidey-hole. Apple slices, fresh green vegetables such as broccoli, or boiled/scrambled egg are favourites.



Leave the "trap" in the room that the hamster escaped from, unless you suspect that it has taken up residence in another part of the house or flat. The best time to lay the trap is in the evening, with the lights off. With any luck, you will find the hamster in the bottom of the container in the morning.



If you are not sure which room they have taken up residence in you may need a trap in a few rooms. Make sure to close all doors when moving between rooms during the day. On hard surfaces you can sprinkle some flour on the floor. I leave a saucer with a few grapes and sunflower seeds out in each room and check them frequently - they can't resist Cucumber or some other water bearing fruit or vegetable works just as well and provide enough moisture to keep them going for a few days.



Remember to shore up the hamster's cage before returning its occupant. Watch out for loose bars and clip-style wire doors that can be forced open by a strong pair of hamster teeth.
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:43 AM   #2
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Very useful info Babyboos. Thanks. Another thing if all else fails and the escapee is male is to borrow a female and put it in the room in it's cage where the roving male can scent it. You of course MUST stay up all night till he appears but usually they simply can't resist!
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:55 PM   #3
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Yeah and if she is in season (which is every 4 days) you wont have to wait too long



I should have added that in addition to closing all doors you should seal them, and wardrobes/closets, with a towel, remove any cats or dogs from the area (and if possible, keep them outside). Although my cat does let me know where a hamster is hiding usually but she is well trained



I once saw a picture of a bucket trap with a hamster tube snaking its way up into the bucket but using "stairs" means you can sprinkle food on each step. I often dangle a millet spray near the edge of the stairs - as the hamster reaches to eat the seeds they fall in which is nasty but gets them every time. I always make sure there are some in the bottom for them to munch on. Apple slices and peanut butter have far travelling scents but not all hamsters like peanut butter. I always get success with apple but use some of your little one's favourite treat as well.
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:16 AM   #4
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In the past I have also used a humane mouse trap and I had to extend it slighly using a plalstic tube as my hammie was a tad 'sturdy' and could snatch the treat while keeping the door open with their bum before making a quick getaway.
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Old 11-24-2005, 11:41 AM   #5
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Is that Mimosa? Has she developed into a fine big lass?
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Old 11-24-2005, 01:03 PM   #6
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Ha Ha, no Mimosa was easier to catch. This was a hammie from many moons ago. He escaped out of a S.A.M cage when the wheel attachment fell off and he managed to squeeze through a small gap in the skirting of the kitchen cupboards. The cupboard went right down into the foundations under our house and I though he was lost for good.

I kept putting food out for him and it kept disapearing so I knew something was eating it. He stayed down there for about a fortnight until I eventually caught him.

He was none the worse for wear and had almost doubled in size!

Mimosa is doing grand, she is patiently awaiting her new souper douper cage after my pitiful attempts to enlarge her current cage
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:55 PM   #7
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When Twinkle escaped I put her cage on the floor and filled it with food, about 2 hours later she was happily sitting in her cage.

Emma x
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:25 AM   #8
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It is always beneficial to pop the cage down on the floor with the door open and some nice apple slices (smell attracts hamsters) plus a full food dish and water bottle. Even if they just come back for some food and water and run away again it is better that they are fed and watered.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:41 AM   #9
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Apparently vacuum cleaners can be quite a help if they get stuck behind cabinets and wardrobes where you cannot reach........... Wasn't this how the hamster that got stuck in a vertical pipe was rescued ?
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:22 AM   #10
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can't say I would ever dare vacuum a hamster just in case they got damaged internally... woudl do anything else I possibly could first
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