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Hamster managed to crack open his running ball yesterday and is nowhere to be found

(43 Posts)
OpenWindo Thu 25-Jun-15 09:37:11

Any suggestions?

We have left his cage open, but he has not returned. We have also left a pile of bedding and food in the kitchen but it's not been touched.

He got out about 10pm last night but we didn't notice when it happened, just saw the ball a little later and the lid was off. Can see no trace of him at all. There are plenty of hiding places, including where he can get under the floor. Have we lost him for good? sad

Has anyone got any success stories for recapturing hamsters? How long is he likely to last on his own? Worried about access to water. Have not told DD yet, gulp.

titchy Thu 25-Jun-15 09:45:06

Have you heard any scrabbling under floorboards? We left treats at the bottom of a plastic bucket with a book staircase so ours could climb into bucket but not back out again. Returned after 48 hours!

SuperFlyHigh Thu 25-Jun-15 09:47:26

Treats work well... years ago when I had a hamster as a child we had to take up floorboards I think somewhere near the bathroom area (god knows how the hamster got up there!). We surmised as it was on top of kitchen he'd climbed... we just heard scratching too...

SuperFlyHigh Thu 25-Jun-15 09:48:25

He should be ok for a few days without water and they store food in their pouches - in this heat he may want more water though. Depends if he is near a water source like dripping pipe.

SanityClause Thu 25-Jun-15 09:52:12

I was going to suggest Titchy's plan. We have never had to use it, but it's the advice usually given. Hope you find him, soon.

SaulGood Thu 25-Jun-15 09:58:49

We have never, ever had any success with that bucket and staircase trick.

Our hamster is an extraordinary Houdini. We just put his cage on the floor, open and he generally turns up within 24-48hrs. Last time, it was around 10pm and he casually strolled out from under the piano, sat in the middle of the room cleaning his paws for 10 minutes and then trundled off into his cage.

He always, always come back.

Damnautocorrect Thu 25-Jun-15 10:00:02

After I had a similar incident I selotape the lid on (careful with the air holes!) each time. If you think it has made it under the floor put treats round the hole and out again. You've done all I would do. Fingers crossed hammy makes a safe return

OpenWindo Thu 25-Jun-15 10:04:36

Thanks for your replies!
Bucket idea - would a hamster really fall for that? I'm not sure ours would drop into a bucket even if there was food at the bottom. Is their sense of smell so good they would be able to smell food in a bucket?
Ours is more keen on running than eating...
Not heard any scratching as yet, but he would be fast asleep at the moment anyway. Just no idea where to even start looking.
How long before we give up? Only I usually have the backdoor open when it's warm but don't want to just in case...

eddiemairswife Thu 25-Jun-15 10:16:02

I successfully used the book staircase and bucket when the class hamster escaped. Put a little bit of food on each stair and pad the bottom of the bucket with some kitchen towel. We lost ours on a Friday afternoon, and he was found the next morning by one of my class who was attending the Saturday Punjabi School.

BBQsAreSooooOverrated Thu 25-Jun-15 10:16:25

My db had a hamster that escaped when we were kids. It disappeared for weeks then one night there was scuffling under the window. My dad had to drill a big hole in the window sill to get the hamster out. Hopefully it'll turn up somewhere. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. What about a humane mouse trap?

OpenWindo Fri 26-Jun-15 10:19:08

Ok, so Dexter has been missing for 36 hours now. We have set a bucket-type trap with his favourite goodies, but it's not been touched.

What is even more worrying is that we've not heard him at all. No scratching, rustling - nothing.

His cage is on the floor, open, in the hope that he will just waltz back as many of you have described. However, I fear he has gone on an awfully big adventure and may not return. Sob. Oh, and our neighbours next door have four cats and a jack Russell.

We have managed to distract DD so far, and she hasn't twigged he is gone. Will have to tell her after school though sad

Anything more we can do <<clutches at straws>>

MajesticWhine Fri 26-Jun-15 10:27:23

You can leave flour around near where you suspect he might be hiding. You can place some tasty treats inside a ring of flour, then you can see his paw prints in the flour as he disturbs it. Leave his cage open or his usual play objects, house and bedding material available and he might go back to it. We have lost hamsters and found them again after a day or two. However, we also lost one and it was never seen again. Not even a whiff of a dead body. And the dog swore blind it had nothing to do with her.

OpenWindo Fri 26-Jun-15 10:41:10

Thanks Majestic - that might at least give us an idea if he is still about. I will get sprinkling.

Any tips for where hamsters like to hide out? smile

Damnautocorrect Fri 26-Jun-15 11:45:07

Mine always seem to go in one of two corners, one under a cabinet (it's dark and the carpet is a bit fluffy so makes a good bed) or behind the tv cabinet. Again, dark and fluffy - also most awkward for you to retrieve her.
I was really sure she would be home last night.
Have you knocked on your neighbours door? She might be able to just keep an eye out. Local vets as well, sounds absolutely rediculous but someone might catch and take her in. I've heard of that before.

murphys Fri 26-Jun-15 12:05:32

As a child, mine would go awol on a regular basis. Only after a very long time did we watch him squeeze between two bars to escape. His longest adventure was about a week. My father was sitting up working late one night and he heard scratching coming from behind the piano. Little bugger had chewed up all our piano music books and made a gorgeous nest. I woke up in the morning and found him asleep in his little house in his cage. My father hadn't even put the lid back on the cage and there he was sound asleep...

Branleuse Fri 26-Jun-15 12:08:14

He is probably having a great time and doesnt really want to go back to living in a cage

SirPercyPilkington Fri 26-Jun-15 12:11:10

Ours ended up behind the washing machine and also in the plastic bag of sawdust hmm
He was lost for days one time until we found him jusr chilling in the downstairs bathroom.
Good luck!

ginmakesitallok Fri 26-Jun-15 12:17:42

Oh you poor thing. Been there. First time ours managed to get down behind the bathroom sink and make her way along the boxed in pipes to go behind the toilet. She eventually came out the way she came in. Second time she got behind the kick board bits in the kitchen. We dismantled them and again she came out the way she came in. Last time she got behind the kick board bit again, and managed to go down the hole where the waste pipes go and we could hear her scrabbling under the floor. Thought we'd lost her that time, but eventually she came out herself again.

Leave food in each room, with doors shut and hopefully he'll turn up soon. Good luck.

StupidBloodyKindle Fri 26-Jun-15 12:19:06

Get a female hamster to tempt him out? Don't laugh, this worked for us.

OpenWindo Fri 26-Jun-15 12:21:53

I'm liking these tales of returning hamsters. We will just have to have faith. He is such a lovely, perky chap - I hope he chooses to return (and hasn't been got by a cat shock).

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Fri 26-Jun-15 12:22:25

When we were kids, the few times our hamster escaped, it went straight behind the stereo and chewed on the wires. hmm

expatinscotland Fri 26-Jun-15 12:24:00

Leave a specific number of treats on a plate in each room before you go to bed (include cupboards) and close all the doors. In the morning, see which plate has treat missing and you can narrow down his location better. Then close the doors again and hunt him down, drawing him out with more treats.

OpenWindo Fri 26-Jun-15 12:25:03

Thanks again. I suppose my worry is that we didn't see where he went, and since he disappeared, there's been no trace. Just don't know where to start looking really. We are open plan downstairs so can't secure any rooms either.

A female hamster? Really? How did you go about that then, and did you end up with a lot more hamster trouble a few weeks later?!

murphys Fri 26-Jun-15 12:28:10

I always thought it wasn't that easy to tell if hamsters are male or female... we thought ours was a she, but he was a he.... wink

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Fri 26-Jun-15 12:38:10

I assume the hamsters themselves can figure it out much easier than we can. grin

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