Posted: March 19, 2012, 9:10 p.m. EDT
If you did a good job choosing and setting up your hamster’s cage, it should be virtually escape-proof. Even the most diligent hamster owner, however, is sometimes faced with the reality of a lost hamster. Should your hamster ever get out of its cage, try not to panic. Instead, take the following steps to find it:
1. Confine any other pets you own that might view your hamster as prey until you find the hamster. That means dogs, cats, ferrets and other carnivorous creatures.
2. Close the door of the room containing your hamster’s cage and stuff towels under the door. This prevents it from reaching another room.
3. Begin your search in the hamster’s room. The hope is that your hamster hasn’t gone too far. Start looking underneath and behind furniture, move on to drawers, inside reclining chairs, behind sofa cushions and everywhere else. You don’t want to crush your hamster inadvertently, so be careful when shifting things around.
4. Move your search into the next adjacent room if you still haven’t found your hamster. Keep the door closed with towels under it in the first room because your hamster may have eluded you. Continue this in each room until you find it.
5. If after all your looking you cannot find your hamster, bring out the heavy artillery. Find a deep plastic bucket and put a soft towel at the very bottom (not too close to the top). Place the bucket in the room where you suspect your hamster might be hiding. Create a staircase of bricks or books up to the bucket so that it can climb inside. That night, before going to sleep, place some of your hamster’s favorite food inside the bucket. It’s likely your hamster will smell the food, climb into the bucket, realize it can’t get out and fall asleep inside on the towel.
If this doesn’t work the first night, keep doing it every evening until you find your hamster.
Excerpt from the Popular Critters Series magabook Hamsters with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Hamsters here.