Why Is My Hamster Always Trying To Escape?

Hamsters escaping is not something that any hamster owner wants to hear. So, it would be best if you could act smartly to stop them from escaping so that you don’t have to deal with this kind of occurrence. However, isn’t it interesting to know why the hamsters try to escape in the first place? So, in this article, we have addressed why the hamsters try to escape from their regular place and the things you could do to overcome this.

There could be hamsters who try to adapt to the new homes, while there would be some hamsters who don’t adjust to the new conditions. Having said that, hamsters may tend to flee from their regular places if they feel they are under threat or if they lack adequate space. These are only a couple of reasons why the hamsters try to escape, and let’s find out in detail about those in this article.

Why Is My Hamster Always Trying to Escape?

The boredom of the hamsters

Hamsters may try to escape if they are bored. Hamsters are very active creatures. They would love to work out and try to engage in exercise as much as they can. This means you need to provide them with hamster wheels, ladders, and any other items that would keep them occupied and entertained. Furthermore, they would want to chew stuff as well. So you need to give them as many items as you can give them so that they can keep chewing.

Too small cage

One might think that hamsters are small and will be happy living in a small cage, which is wrong. Hamsters prefer to have the room on the ground floor or the upper levels. Some people go ahead with multiple-level housing and tubes, as it would allow the hamsters to roam free. So if you think your hamsters are trying to escape because they find the cage too small, you can consider broadening the house slightly.

If something frightened him

Hamsters may tend to escape if they feel frightened too. For example, any weird lighting, drafts, or foul smells can make the hamsters frightened. In addition to that, if you have any other pet who always comes and barks at the hamster’s cage, it would make them suffer from fear. It would stress and frighten them.

Is It Normal for Hamsters to Try To Escape?

Yes, it is normal for the hamsters to try to escape. Having said that, if you find out that your little hamster’s friend is trying to escape, it will make you worried. However, if they try to escape, it means they are somewhat unhappy with the environment they are in. Hamsters don’t communicate in the same way that cats and dogs do. If you see the hamsters escaping, it means they are running low on something.

That being said, don’t presume that your hamster is escaping because they are abnormal or that you are a bad hamster owner. If your hamsters tend to eat less while being aggressive, that means something is wrong with them. That said, if they just escaped on their own without showing any other sign, there is nothing wrong with the hamsters and it is their normal behavior to escape.

Signs Your Hamster Is Trying to Escape

Hamsters biting the cages

One of the most prominent signs of hamsters escaping is biting the cage. It means they are not content and happy. If you see them keep biting, it means the cage is too small for them and that they are trying to escape due to that. This is a common reason for hamsters to escape, as most pet companies advise hamster owners to use too-small cages for them, which is incorrect. Hence, it is critically important that you first educate yourself on the right size of the cage and then purchase it accordingly.

Hamsters have been lethargic

If you notice the hamsters tending to be lethargic like never before, it is an indication to let you know that they are unhappy. Furthermore, if you spot them sleeping all the time without eating or drinking, it means they are going through depression. This should be a worrisome factor for any hamster owner, except on rare occasions if the hamsters are old. Generally, happy hamsters would be energetic and have the desire to explore things around the cage. They would tend to use their wheels and like to move around much more.

They climb their cage

If your hamsters are climbing the cage bars or even attempting to hang from the top, this indicates that the cage they are in is too small and that you should fix it as soon as possible. Furthermore, this could also be an indication of a hamster who is bored as well.

Excessive grooming

Grooming is a normal behavioral act for hamsters to do. They do that to clean themselves. However, if you see them excessively grooming, it would be an early sign of a skin-related issue that could have arisen from a parasite attack, dry skin, etc. In addition to that, dry skin, unclean fur mites, or any other allergic reaction would also pave the way for this.


If you see your hamsters pacing up and down on the cage, this indicates that they are stressed and trying to escape. They may tend to do this back and forth as well. If you do not treat this on time, chances are that it will turn out to be quite harmful and result in many more adverse effects. Ultimately, they would end up escaping from the cage.

Cage aggression

Cage aggression is one more sign of an unhappy hamster, which would ultimately force them to escape. If you try to put your hands in their cage, and if they try to bite you or act inappropriately, it means something is wrong with them.

How do I stop my hamster from trying to escape?

Escape Proof Hamster Playpen

You can stop the hamsters from trying to escape by using an escape-proof hamster pen. Next, allow them to stay there for about 10 minutes. Next, you can consider adding some other toys. It would help them explore new things there without trying to escape.

Escape-Proof Hamster Cage

You can also consider using an aquarium tank with a mesh lid to stop them from escaping from the hamsters’ cages. Make sure the lid you’re using is a weighted one.

Ways for hamsters to escape

Hamsters would tend to escape by squeezing through the metal bars. If you are using store-bought cages, they may come with metal bars. So, you can commonly spot this among the store-bought cages. Furthermore, many people tend to use other cages that are designed to accommodate other animal species. Those cages will usually have wider metal bars. So, hamsters would find it very easy to escape from those cages.

In addition to that, hamsters may also try to chew their way out of the cages. Needless to say, hamsters are experts when it comes to chewing. They can chew through wood as well as plastic. They don’t even want to have a big hole to escape, as they can squeeze through small holes as well. However, if you are using a plastic or a wood cage, they will tend to chew through them and escape from those. As such, I recommend you go ahead with glass tanks as the hamster cages.

Hamsters are great climbers as well. They can climb like spiders. One might think that hamsters cannot escape because they are in glass cages. However, hamsters can still escape from those while climbing the glass tanks, too. So the best solution you can choose here is to have a secured top cover on the cage while ensuring that you don’t affect its ventilation. Many people tend to use metal screws and zip ties for this purpose.

Besides all the aforesaid methods, they can escape by getting lost while they are playing too. Many hamster owners tend to keep the hamsters in the playpen for a few minutes, assuming that they can have fun. That said, if you don’t supervise them or if you use a not-very-secure playpen, it is very likely that they will try to escape. They would do that by chewing their way out or by climbing. If not, they would tend to waltz out of the playpen as well. However, it will depend on the hamster pen you are using. If you are using a fabric playpen, they will tend to chew a hole in that and escape from that as well.

Where Do Hamsters Like to Hide When They Escape

If your hamsters escape and you are wondering whether they hid, you need to look out for the following spots: Remember that they prefer to hide in small spaces and hide in those. For example, they would prefer to crawl in left-out shoes. Besides, they would even opt to hide in the closets as well. You can use a flashlight to check them in the closet. Needless to say, they opt to hide under kitchen appliances such as the stove, fridge, etc. Apart from that, they love hiding under the couches, beds, and dresses as well. Further, you need to look out for the cushions and pillowcases as well.

Hamsters like to hide in shoe boxes or any other small boxes as well. Literally, they would hide in any boxes they could creep into. In addition to that, hamsters love hiding in the blankets too. Bathrooms are one of the hamsters’ favorite hiding places. Besides, hamsters love hiding in the heaters too. Last but not least, hamsters love hiding in the basement as well. Hamsters would not hesitate to hide in those places, no matter how dark and creepy they look.

How to Catch a Runaway Hamster

Keep in mind that hamsters are nocturnal animals. So, this means you need to look out for them during the night. To catch them, first put out a mixture of fresh and dried food. I suggest you go ahead with food that usually has a pungent aroma. That would attract the hamsters to come toward them. For example, you can consider using peanut butter, apple slices, and fresh veggies. Broccoli and cucumbers would be ideal to use here.

Thereafter, observe whether you can hear any rustling. You can also try putting some tin foil underneath the food to help you identify where it goes. Furthermore, you can be astute in placing some flour so that they leave a trail that you can use to determine where they are.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My Syrian Hamster Keeps Trying To Escape

If your Syrian hamsters keep trying to escape, it means something is wrong with them. For example, it could be due to a lack of space, stress, or fear. Further, if they are too bored, they will tend to keep escaping due to that as well.

Hamster Tries To Escape Every Night

Hamsters may try to escape every night if they don’t feel comfortable in their respective cages. Further, if they are harassed by the kids continuously, it would also force them to escape every night.

Hamsters are adept at scaling their cages in order to explore and discover more about their surroundings. Compared to cages with solid walls, hamsters in barred enclosures are more likely to climb.

They also have a monkey bar on the roof, which puts the hamster at risk of harm if it slips and tumbles. However, hamsters often climb their cages because they are stressed or lack stimulation, which is a similar motivation to wanting to escape. Therefore, this conduct also denotes a problem.

Hamsters are not naturally climbers, despite the fact that they can navigate birchwood and rocks in the wild. Hamsters only encounter enclosures in zoos; therefore, as pets, they learn to scale their bars. Escaping may be a sign that your hamster is bothered, possibly by a predator.


To sum up, hamsters may tend to escape if they feel like they want to try out new things. Furthermore, they may do so if they are looking for resources that are in short supply for them as well. As such, you need to ensure that your beloved hamsters have what they require and that you are keeping them happy and content all the time. That way, you don’t have to deal with any kind of situation like this.

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