Can Hamsters Go Down Stairs?

By Dawn | Hamster Care
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When my pet hamster made an escape attempt recently, I was fortunate enough to catch him before he got very far. But this got me thinking; if he had the chance, he could have gone anywhere in the house, even downstairs. But can hamsters go down stairs?

Yes hamsters can go downstairs, or up them for that matter, despite their small frame and tiny legs.  Hamsters are very agile creatures, and if they get out of their cage, they could go pretty far before you notice.  They also have a delicate bone structure and are short sighted and therefore can’t judge heights very well.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that many hamster owners like you and I find ourselves concerned about our pet’s safety. But there are things you can do to help a hamster escapee. 

Can Hamsters Go Down Stairs?

The short answer to this question is yes, your hamster, despite their small size, will be able to get down stairs and back up if they need to. You should also keep in mind that these tiny animals are exceptionally fast, so if your pet has successfully escaped the confines of their cage, you’ll need to be on your guard. 

It is not uncommon for a hamster to escape its cage, but this is most often the case when the animal is not comfortable in their home. For this reason, it is vital you keep your hamster’s cage clean at all times. 

However, sometimes, your pet might just be feeling a little adventurous. What’s more, you only need to turn your back for a couple of seconds when the hamster is out of the cage, and they could shoot off without warning. 

Looking at your staircase, it can be hard to believe that your pet would be able to navigate such an incline. But not only are hamsters agile, they are also very determined; if they want to climb the stairs, they will. 

If the stairs are carpeted rather than sleek, this will also give them something to sink their claws into and hoist themselves up or down each step. 

If your pet has escaped, your main priority is to return them to the comfort of her cage safely. Don’t panic, and of course, make sure to watch your step.

As well as being able to go to different floors of the house via the stairs, your hamster can also get into very small spaces such as holes in the wall, air vents, and underneath furniture. 

It is very likely that they will do this as hamsters like to hide away; they would naturally burrow in the wild to stay safe. 

You must also keep in mind that these are nocturnal animals, so if your hamster escaped during the day, you might need to wait until nightfall to track them down. 

If you know that your hamster is in a particular room, the best way to coax them home is to place the cage in the room and shut the room off. The hope is that they will go home as if nothing happened. 

However, if you aren’t sure where your pet is, there are some things you can do to locate them. 

How To Find A Lost Hamster

Before you panic, just remember that as long as there is no way for your hamster to get outside of the house, they will likely turn up when you least expect it. For this reason, you should close off any access to the outdoors.

The next step is to place a few seeds down in each room of the house – remember to do this on all levels, regardless of where the hamster escaped because, as we have learned, they can handle stairs. Once the seeds are down, close the door to each room.

You can go back periodically and see if any of the seeds have disappeared; this will allow you to determine which room the hamster is hiding in. You can now place the cage into this room and wait. 

If you do not have any luck using the seed technique, you can also use a dusting of cornflour to track your hamster’s footprints or place down some aluminum foil and wait to hear it rustling. 

However, while you are waiting, it is a good idea to check out some of the most common places in the home where a hamster might take refuge. 

  • Behind or under furniture, be sure also to check down the sides of the couch cushions and be very mindful when you sit down, performing a check each time. 
  • Any type of box, but mainly a tissue box; this might resemble a nesting place for your hamster. 
  • Look for holes in the wall or in furniture; even if they seem too small, your hamster will like to find somewhere that feels safe to them. 
  • If there are any open drawers or cupboards, your hamster may have snuck inside. 
  • Be sure to look in dark or warm places that might be appealing for your pet to snuggle down. 

What If My Hamster Falls Down The Stairs?

One of the most common ways that a hamster will fall down the stairs is if it is using a hamster ball. If you do use this type of toy for your pet, you must always supervise them while they are inside, especially if there is a nearby staircase. 

Whether your pet falls down the stairs in a hamster ball or if they are trying to climb down them, there is a chance that they will sustain an injury. However, this may not be apparent from the off, so it is important to monitor your pet to see how they are behaving. 

A hamster that is injured may not move as much or might appear to go off their food. If you have a particularly active hamster who suddenly stops using their wheel after a fall, this could be because they are in pain. 

Usually, when hamsters feel pain, they will let you know by making sounds. If you suspect your pet is injured, you should have them seen by a vet asap. 

Related Questions

Can hamsters climb walls?

Hamsters may be able to climb the cage walls if it is runged, but it is unlikely that they would be able to climb a solid wall with no grip. Hamsters are not the best climbers when you compare them to other rodents, but they certainly have a good level of determination, and this improves their climbing skills drastically. Smaller varieties of hamsters such as Robos and dwarves cannot climb as well as larger species. 

Is it cruel to keep a hamster in a cage?

While hamsters might be the masters of escape, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is cruel to keep them in captivity. Provided that you give your pet enough space in their cage and give them everything that they need to survive, they should live a healthy and happy life in captivity.