Should your hamster escape then placing the cage on the floor with the door open near where the hamster may be, usually results in the hamster taking the bedding and food to its new den. This, of course, means that the hamster although warm and well fed, is still on the loose. The most effective way to “capture” an escapee is the bucket trap, which is successful 9 times out of 10.
A tall bucket set at a steep angle propped up and supported by books or bricks with more of the same as a stairway to the top of the bucket makes an excellent trap. If using books, please ensure that they are not your favourite reading material as your hamster could collect more “bedding” on the way and so spoil future reading. Some shavings, bedding, Hamster Mix and strong smelling greens complete the set up of this trap. The hamster is drawn by its strong sense of smell to food and water or in the case of the bucket trap to the greens, which will supply the moisture. Broccoli and cabbage are quite odorous and are excellent for this purpose. The hamster will climb the “stairs” and slide into the bucket to get to its prize.
Once inside the bucket it will be unable to gain purchase on the smooth sides of the bucket (if the bucket is placed at a steep enough angle) to climb out again so the bedding, food and small amount of shavings encourage it to settle down to sleep without causing it too much stress. A word of warning must be given at this stage however, that if you have a cat or dog in the household, they must be restrained from being able to enter the room in which the bucket trap is set up.
An extract from HAMSTER LOPAEDIA - By Chris & Pete Logsdail by kind permission of Ringpress ISBN 1 86054 246 8