Hamsters try to escape out of boredom, anxiety, or because they are looking for resources like food and space. In order to keep your little escape artist safe and away from any danger, it is important that you understand why your hamster may be trying to get out of its cage. Today I’ll share the main reasons hamsters search for freedom, and what you can do to keep them happy in their home.
Why Is My Hamster Always Trying To Escape?
As hamsters are so tiny, it’s a common worry for hamster owners that their beloved little fluff ball may escape from its designated enclosure. And, if the hamster is actively trying to do so, that worry just multiples tenfold.
There are a few different reasons why your hamster may be trying to escape, and as each hamster is different, it is important that you analyze your specific hamster and its environment to get a better understanding of what exactly is making it unhappy.
Is Your Hamster’s Cage Too Small?
Although hamsters are such tiny animals, they need adequate space to move around, burrow and explore. If you don’t give your hamster the space it so desperately needs, then it will try to escape in search of a larger area.
Do Hamsters Get Bored?
Hamsters get bored fairly easily, and if they don’t have enough toys or activities to burn up their extra energy, they will try to look for it themselves outside of their cage.
In the wild, hamsters roam free, and they have unlimited amounts of enrichment activities to keep their minds entertained. After a few months of your hamster being in its cage, it will get bored, and it’ll inevitably be forced to go in search of something more interesting.
Does Your Hamster Have Enough Food?
Hamsters are hoarders, and if you haven’t been feeding your hamster enough, it will instinctively want to go out to find food to hoard in its cage. We know that your pet hamster isn’t going to go hungry, but your hamster doesn’t understand that and believes that the food will run out and he’ll be left to starve.
Unhappy Hamsters Try To Escape
Your hamster, like many other animals, gets stressed, and the stress that its feeling could be the reason as to why it is trying to escape its cage. There are a few different causes to hamster stress, and they include the following:
- Lack of sleep
- A change in its environment
- Bright lights
- Loud noises
- Other pets disturbing the cage
- Not enough bedding
How To Stop Your Hamster Trying To Escape
Once you’ve narrowed down the cause of your hamster’s escape plan, the next thing to do is fix the issue, so your hamster doesn’t try to escape again.
- Get a bigger cage
- Entertain them more
- Let them explore
- Increase feeding
Buy A Bigger Enclosure
When purchasing a hamster cage, keep in mind that hamsters prefer long and wide cages as opposed to narrow cages with multiple levels. Dwarf and Chinese hamsters would require a cage to be at least 40 x 20 x 20 inches, and Syrian hamsters would need a slightly bigger cage at 50 x 30 x 30 inches.
You’ll also need to consider how far apart the bars of the hamster’s cage are. If the bars aren’t close enough together, then your hamster will be able to squeeze through them and run away. To be on the safe side, opt for bars that are 8 – 9 mm apart.
Entertain Your Hamster
Entertainment is key to having a happy and healthy hamster, so it’s important to add toys, tunnels, wheels, and deep bedding to your hamster’s cage, so it has different things to explore and entertain itself with.
For extra enrichment, hide treats under the bedding or set up an extra playpen that your hamster can spend time in each day. This break out of its cage will allow your hamster to satisfy its curiosity without it being in any danger.
Free Roaming Time
If you can, let your hamster roam outside of its cage by blocking off access to small spaces and supervising it at all times. You could even purchase an adequately sized hamster ball, however, some hamsters may feel confined in a ball, so make sure you’re always watching them for signs of stress or over-exertion.
Feed Your Hamster More
If your hamster has a decent size cage, numerous toys, plenty of hiding places, and different enrichment activities, then the escaping issue may stem from your hamster not having enough food.
Hamsters should eat around a tablespoon of food a day, some of which they will often hoard throughout their cage. Overfeeding your hamster is a serious issue which is why it is important that you get the right balance of food. Too much food can lead to tummy problems and excessive weight gain, whereas too little food can cause your hamster to want to escape.
If you have increased your hamster’s food, then you need to monitor your hamster’s weight and stool. If there has been any change, then you’re probably overfeeding your hamster, and you should cut back their food intake until you find the sweet spot.
Why Is My Hamster Always Trying To Escape?
Hamsters are fantastic little pets and once you understand the signs to look out for, preventing them from escaping becomes a much easier task.
Try to put yourself in your hamster’s shoes and see their life and environment from their perspective. If you think their cage is too small or if you think they’re bored and they need entertainment, then act immediately to prevent any harm from coming to your little one.