Why is My Hamster Trying to Escape
If you’ve just gotten a hamster, you may wonder why your furry little friend seems so intent on escaping. After all, isn’t their home supposed to be with you? While it’s true that hamsters can make excellent pets, it’s important to understand that they are also wild animals. In the wild, hamsters travel several miles every night searching for food and mates. As a result, the instinct to escape is hardwired into their DNA.
Reason #1: Hamsters Are Natural Burrowers and Explorers
There are a few reasons your hamster may be trying to escape. First and foremost, as we mentioned before, hamsters are natural burrowers and explorers. This means that they have a strong instinct to dig and travel. In the wild, hamsters use their digging skills to create intricate caves that serve as both homes and safe havens from predators.
In addition, hamsters are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active at night. This can be problematic for owners who keep their hamsters in cages located in busy home areas, such as the living room or kitchen. The noise and activity of the household can disrupt your hamster’s sleep schedule and cause them to become stressed and agitated. As a result, they may try to escape their cage in search of a quieter place to sleep during the day.
Reason #2: Hamsters Are Bored or Unhappy With Their Living Situation
Some hamsters may try to escape because they are bored or unhappy with their living situation. For example, if your hamster’s cage is too small or lacks enrichment (such as toys, tunnels, etc.), they may try to escape in search of something more stimulating. Additionally, if your hamster isn’t getting enough attention or interaction from you, it may try to escape to get your attention.
Is It Normal for Hamsters to Try to Escape?
First, you should know that trying to escape is normal for hamsters. Wild hamsters are constantly on the move, traveling up to 5 miles daily in search of food. Your pet hamster has all of that same energy but nowhere to go. As a result, they may try to escape whenever they see an opportunity.
How to Discourage Your Hamster From Escaping
Keep Their Cage Clean and Comfortable
One of the main reasons why hamsters try to escape is because they’re not happy with their living situation. A dirty cage with old food and no toys is hardly a comfortable place to call home. So ensure their cage is clean and inviting to encourage your hamster to stay put. This means regularly changing their bedding, feeding them fresh food, and giving them plenty of toys and chewable objects to play with.
Add more toys and activity stations. Boredom is often the reason why hamsters try to escape. So keep them entertained by adding new toys and activity stations to their cage. Things like tunnels, hammocks, and exercise wheels are all great options. A happy hamster is a content hamster—and a content hamster is less likely to try and escape.
Make Their Cage an “Enclosed” Space
Another reason why hamsters might try to escape is that they feel exposed in their cage. To help ease their anxiety, consider adding a few extra layers of protection around their enclosure. This could mean placing their cage inside another larger container (like a Tupperware bin) or covering the top of their cage with a piece of fabric. By making their space feel more closed off, you’ll help your hamster feel safer—and less inclined to try and escape.
Pick the Right Type of Cage
When it comes to deterring escapes, not all cages are created equal. If you’re serious about keeping your hamster contained, opt for a cage with tighter wire spacing and sturdier construction. This will make it harder for your furry friend to squeeze through the bars and make a getaway. You should also avoid plastic cages, as determined escape artists can easily chew these.
How to Choose an Escape Proof Hamster Cage
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a cage is size. A good rule of thumb is to get the biggest cage you can afford and have space. Hamsters like to roam and explore, so the more space they have, the happier they’ll be. On the other hand, if you get a too-small cage, your hamster may become stressed, leading to health problems.
Another important consideration is bar spacing. The cage bars should be spaced together so your hamster can’t squeeze through. A good rule of thumb is ¼ inch or less. If the bars are too far apart, your hamster may be able to escape or get stuck trying to squeeze through.
There are two types of cages – plastic and metal. Both have their pros and cons. Plastic cages are typically cheaper and lighter, making them easy to move around. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Metal cages are more expensive but also more durable and escape-proof. Choose one with close bar spacing if your heart is set on a plastic cage.
If your hamster is trying to escape, don’t panic. This is perfectly normal behavior for these tiny creatures. In most cases, you can deter your hamster from running by making a few simple changes to its cage and environment. By providing them with a clean and comfortable home, plenty of enrichment, and some extra layers of protection, you can help ease their anxiety and keep them content. Then, with patience and perseverance, you can successfully prevent your hamster from making a break for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my hamster try to escape?
If they sense danger or a chance to escape presents itself, hamsters will try to do so. Escape attempts may result from tension brought on by boredom, a lack of hiding places, or a cramped cage. Because hamsters have strong digging inclinations, if you don’t provide them bedding at least 8 inches deep, they will climb up the cage to escape.
How do I get my hamster to stop trying to escape?
When you want your hamster to enjoy their best life, it’s equally important to remember the value of time spent outside the cage. So make sure hamsters spend some time outside the four walls they typically live in at least once a week.
Do hamsters escape easily?
Hamsters are good at getting out of their cages. While playing with your hamster outside their cage, you could sometimes lose sight of them. They might even manage to slip out of their cages and wander off. They can squeeze into small areas, vanish suddenly, and are challenging to locate.
How do you tell if a hamster is stressed?
The repeated motions of rolling, scratching, licking, and scurrying in circles, as well as excessive digging, may all indicate stress in hamsters. Hamsters under pressure are often hyperactive and restless, unlike humans, who sometimes retreat and have little energy.