Why Do Hamsters Always Try To Escape? Let’s Discover

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:53 pm

If anyone knows how to escape, it’s hamsters.

They know very skillfully how to escape from the cage if they get the chance, so after that, it is very difficult to find them and bring them back.

Hamsters usually run away if they feel threatened for their life, stress, boredom, small cage, and other reasons. But sometimes and when they have all the conditions to be comfortable in the cage, they may decide to run away again.

Hamsters like to have bedding at least 8 inches deep or they will escape from the cage. We should say that female hamster run away more than male hamsters.

In today’s article, we will learn why hamsters always run away, how to find them if he runs away and how to prevent the hamster from running away.

Why do hamsters always try to escape?

Hamsters want to escape constantly because of a small cage, instincts, stress, boredom, not having enough food, and other reasons.

Hamsters always want to escape, no matter how well the cage is placed, if they notice even the slightest chance, they will try to escape from the cage.

Especially female hamsters run away much more often than male hamsters, because they are temperamental and aggressive, while male hamsters are calmer.

In any case, all hamsters want to escape if given the opportunity. So let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons for hamsters running away.

Lack of food

If hamsters do not have enough food they will try to escape to find food. They like to always have a supply of food all over the cage and its hiding places.

They don’t know that we will give them food again and so they will try to escape in search of food.

When they are in the wild, hamsters are taught to look for food on their own, because there is no one to give them food, so they always have this natural instinct for food.


Hamsters are by nature very timid animals and they are constantly under stress, as they are prey to other animals or predators.

Being small they are always in danger, and if they feel threatened they will do anything to escape.

Stress in hamsters can be caused by several reasons such as:

  • too much light
  • loud noise
  • dogs, cats, and other animals
  • too much hand-holding from the owners if they are not used to it
  • shallow bedding depth

Therefore, their cage should be somewhere where all these reasons that we have listed will not be considered by the hamster.

The bedding should be deep enough and the cage should not be cleaned too much, because the hamsters are used to the smell in the cage, although it can sometimes be a little unpleasant.


And as for holding it in your hands, it depends on how accustomed the hamster is to you, if it wants to escape from your hands then it is afraid and under stress.


Hamsters spend several miles every day running, playing, and exploring, they cannot sit in one place all day.

If the hamsters don’t have enough activities, they get bored, and then they tend to run away and go somewhere where they will explore a new environment.

That’s why we should provide them with toys, an exercise wheel, and other similar objects and props so that they don’t get bored and run away.

In the cage of hamsters there should always be:

  • exercise wheel
  • chew toys
  • sand bath
  • tunnels
  • tubes
  • balls

All these items will help the hamster to always be interesting and not think so much about escaping.Hamsters Always Try To Escape

Instinct to escape

Hamsters have a natural instinct to escape, they like to dig tunnels all the time. They especially run away if they don’t have deep enough bedding to dig.

Hamsters living in the wild dig tunnels and holes up to 1 meter deep, which means they need a lot of space to dig and satisfy themselves.

Female Syrian hamsters are especially prone to escape, no matter how big the cage is they will again look for a way to escape.

Therefore, no matter how much you try to buy them a bigger cage, lots of toys, etc., still pay attention to the space from which they can escape, to make it impossible in their natural desire to escape.

Running away from other hamsters

If you keep two or more hamsters then one of them will want to escape from the cage.

They are taught to live alone most of the time and that’s why they do not like when there are other hamsters around them, that’s why they fight when there are two hamsters in one cage.

So never keep multiple hamsters together, it will only create unnecessary stress and one of them will try to escape.

The cage is small

Hamsters need a large cage to reduce the chances of them escaping, although even this may not prevent them from escaping at times.

In any case, we need to provide them with a large enough cage, so that they can play, dig in the bedding and explore in the cage.

According to certain studies done on the size of the hamster cage, it was found that they need 10,000 cm2 to feel happy and comfortable in the cage.

Syrian hamsters need a cage measuring 80x50cm or 620 quadrant inches, while dwarf hamsters need a cage measuring 70×40 or 430 quadrant inches.

There are different recommendations for the size of the hamster cage, and it should be from 400 to 2000 quadrant inches, but in the end, the conclusion is that the bigger it is, the better the hamster will feel.

More hiding places

Hamsters need a lot of space and a large cage, but they also need enough space to hide and places where they can be alone and feel safe.

If there are not enough hiding places in the cage they will not feel safe enough and will think of escaping again.

Since hamsters are always ready to run away from predators, even the slightest sounds or voices are a sign for them to run away, and therefore they need many places in the cage where they can take shelter.

Why do hamsters climb the cage?

Hamsters climb the cage if they are bored or due to stress from a possible attack by predators.

They are excellent at climbing cages, even if they are with bars, during which they explore the environment in the cage, and they also know how to go up to the very roof of the cage.

When they climb on the roof of the cage, they can fall and injure themselves because they cannot stand for a long time and fall.

When hamsters climb the cage, apart from the stress or danger of attack, it can also mean that they want to escape and explore the environment outside the cage.

How to stop the hamster when he wants to escape?

Hamsters always want to escape, so there are several steps you can take to stop your pet from doing so.

Exercise wheel

Hamsters are very active, they can walk up to 5-6 miles at night, and this is completely normal for them, at the same time it helps them to have better health and fitness.

If hamsters don’t have an exercise wheel they will get bored and try to escape.

Hamsters should always have an exercise wheel, except when they are sick you can take off a certain amount of time until the hamster recovers.

When hamsters use the exercise wheel, we must pay attention to its size, because it should not matter to the hamsters and they have to bend when running on the wheel, because they will have back problems.

So here is which breed of hamsters according to their size, how big should the exercise wheel need:

  • Syrian hamsters 28 cm (11 inches) in diameter
  • Chinese hamsters 26 cm (10 inches) in diameter
  • Dwarf hamsters 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter

If you have two hamsters you will need two wheels, otherwise, they will fight over who gets on the exercise wheel.Hamsters Always Try To Escape

Glass tank

If you keep your hamster in a glass tank the chances of it escaping are much lower than in a cage with bars and wires.

The advantage of a glass enclosure is that the hamsters will not be able to climb the glass and will not be able to escape easily.

Of course, when you use a glass tank, there should be an appropriate mesh part for ventilation and air entering the tank.

The mesh part will also help the hamsters not to overheat because the glass creates more heat than the wire cages.

If you decide to buy a glass tank for the hamsters, pay more attention to the space on the floor to be large enough, it does not need to be very high because the hamster will not be able to climb up anyway.

40-gallon tanks are quite acceptable for hamsters, although you can always get them a bigger tank.

Walking outside the cage

If you let the hamster out of the cage, it is really a bit risky, but the hamster will like it very much and will be happy. He will be able to explore outside the cage and will not be bored.

But to do this step, first ensure the space in the room, do not leave holes or places where the hamster could hide or crawl.

If you can’t let him out of the cage for certain reasons then provide him with more toys and hiding places inside the cage to keep him interested and not thinking about how to escape.

Read more: How Long Can Hamsters Go Without A Wheel? (Let’s Discover)

How to find a lost hamster?

Since hamsters love to escape, they will succeed. But don’t worry, there are ways to find and return your hamster back to its cage.

Favorite food

Place some of your hamster’s favorite food in several places so you can attract it out and find it.

Put some food on him, so that he will appear again in a short time, if you put more, he will store it in his cheeks and there will be no need to appear again.

Use the food he likes best and make sure he comes to eat it, and you can take him back to his habitat.

Searching your home

When the hamster escapes you should start searching your home to find your pet. It is best to do the search at night because then the hamster is most active and will come out much more often.

Here are some places your hamster might be hiding to check out:

  • check behind the appliances in your home, TV, refrigerator, stove, and others
  • check the drawers because that’s where hamsters often hide because it’s dark
  • you should check the bags and backpacks
  • the hamster can hide behind the wardrobes
  • under the furniture is another place where the hamster often hides

Check wherever it is dark and quiet, as hamsters will certainly choose such a hiding place, you will not see the hamsters in light or sunlight.

Read more: How To Choose Safe Hamster Bedding? (Let’s Discover)

Find the hamster with flour or aluminum

A very effective way to find your escaped hamster is to sprinkle flour on the floor of your home.

When the hamster passes through the flour, it will leave footprints, and thus you will find out where your furry pet is hiding.

Aluminum can help find the hamster by placing it on the floor as well and you need quiet enough to hear the hamster when it steps on it.

Both methods will help you locate your hamster and hopefully get him back into his cage.Hamsters Always Try To Escape

A trap

The best way to catch and return a hamster is with a bucket trap.

Here’s what you need for this trap:

  • bucket
  • thin box
  • cucumber
  • cloth
  • the hamster’s favorite food

Method of making the trap:

Place the cloth in the bottom of the bucket and it should be thick enough to break the hamster’s fall.

Put your favorite food and a piece of cucumber on top of the bucket, and with the help of the paper, make stairs so that the hamster can climb.

When the hamster comes after its favorite food it will fall into the trap and your pet will be with you again.

I hope next time he won’t escape, and even if he does, now you know how to catch him and bring him back.


What do I do if my hamster keeps escaping?

It is very difficult to wean a hamster to stop running away. They have a natural instinct to always run away, even though they never need to. The only thing you can do is to provide them with the best conditions in their cage so that they don’t think of escaping.

It is difficult to predict exactly what hamsters are thinking and how happy they are in their cage. However, if they have enough toys, an exercise wheel, and hiding places, your hamster should be happy in the cage. Size is most important, a small cage will surely make the hamster nervous and unhappy.

Yes, it can happen that the escaped hamster will return home again without you having to search for it around the house. Leave some of his favorite food inside and he will come to eat, but wait until you close the cage. Since they are most active at night you will need to stay awake to wait for your hamster.