You didn’t hear him running on his wheel last night. Upon closer inspection of his cage, you realize that he has escaped. If you own a mouse, hamster, rat, or any other little fuzzy critter, chances are this will happen to you, especially if their are kids in the house. Now, you need to find him, and quick. Where do you even start?
Rodents make great pets, but they are fast, small, and smart. To catch one, you must think like one. Most rodents are nocturnal, meaning they play at night, and sleep during the day. If you have owned you pet for any length of time, you should know his pattern. By following a few simple steps, you should have him back in his cage in no time.
First off, if you own a cat, or dog make sure you isolate them while the jail breaker is on the run. Nothing finds a rodent faster then a cat, and usually it don’t turn out pretty when they do. Dogs have also been know to kill rodents both accidentally, and on purpose. Also be sure to close all doors, and windows to prevent him from getting outside.
Next you want to make sure you keep his cage opened, with food in it, just encase he decides to come back. The chances of this happening are slim, but it has happened.
Immediately search all surrounding areas in which the little guy can hide. This means cabinet’s, under the fridge, under all chairs, in open boxes, etc…
Keep your eyes and ears opened at all times. When night falls you should be able to hear him. Listen for sounds of chewing, and little bumps. Remember he is going to go where there is food, so leaving a few pieces of fresh fruit in the kitchen isn’t a bad idea.
After day two, if you still haven’t caught him, you might want to invest in a live trap. A live trap is easy to work, and will not harm him at all. Small ones, made for rodents, cost around $20.00 and can be used over and over. You can find these at local feed, and hardware stores. You place food in the trap on a special plate, and once the rodent steps on that plate to eat, the door slam shut.
Once you have caught him, you will want to put him back in his cage at once, and resist handling him for a few days. He will be a little timid, and you might get bitten if you try to play with him. These little guys are smart, so usually within a day or two their old personality will return.
If your small pet opened the cage himself, then he will continue to do it. You might want to secure the door with a small lock, or bread tie. I once had a hamster who would open his cage door, and then come to me, as if to say “look at me”. Do not give up hope if you don’t find him for a few days. Remember you house just became a huge jungle gym! It might take up to a week before you find him.