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how small of a hole can a hamster fit through?
Questions And Answers

Can Hamsters Fit Through Small Gaps?

Every owner, no matter their experience level, fears losing their hamster. Because these pets are small, it’s easy for one to slip out of your hands and run off.

Particularly sneaky hamsters can squeeze in between their cage bars or through a gap in their playpen. Once they’re free, they’ll scurry toward a hiding place, making them difficult to find.

The best way to prevent this is by using an enclosure without gaps your hamster can sneak through.

Hamsters are small and flexible, as most of their body mass is fur and fat, making it easy for them to crouch down and make it through small openings, even if the gap appears smaller than the hamster itself.

We’ll explore what a hamster can fit through and tips on how to hamster-proof your home.

Why Do Hamsters Squeeze Through Holes?

Some hamsters squeeze through holes because it makes them feel safe. Others do so because they’re curious or want a darker sleeping place.

Wild hamsters make small burrows where they can take care of their litter, eat, and rest safely. Small spaces make hamsters feel like nothing can hurt them, so it’s no wonder they take every opportunity to squeeze into tight holes.

Hamsters also have amazing olfactory senses, so they can detect scents that we can’t, down to the smallest crumb of bread. If your hamster keeps squeezing through holes around the house, there may be a delicious treat that your hamster wants to pursue.

According to Physiology and Behavior, wild hamsters get minimal amounts of light each day. Hamsters are semi-nocturnal, so they spend most of the day sleeping. Your hamster may be squeezing through holes because it wants a more secure place.

what size hole can a hamster fit through?

How Can Hamsters Squeeze Through Holes?

Hamsters can squeeze through holes because they can flatten their body to the extreme. You may see this even when your hamster isn’t crawling through a tight space, such as when they flatten themselves to cool off. They look like little pools of fur.

They developed this ability as a defense mechanism to avoid danger. When predators chase after them, hamsters can escape by flattening themselves and squeezing into tight spaces.

Hamsters can do this due to their anatomy. Human shoulders are connected to the rest of our skeletal structure by other bones, such as our collarbones, while hamsters’ shoulders are connected to the skeleton by ligaments.

Hamsters have a full range of motion and can flatten themselves enough to crawl through tight spaces.

Can Hamsters Squeeze Through Bars?

Some hamsters can squeeze through bars; most can squeeze through bars an inch wide or more.

Even Syrian hamsters can squeeze through a 1-inch-wide cage bar. If you look at a hamster cage, it may seem difficult for your chunky hamster to squeeze through the bars, but it isn’t.

Hamsters look fat, but their skeletal structure is smaller than it looks, as most of the body is fur and muscles. It can escape the cage if it can squeeze its skeletal structure through the bars.

Hamsters in cages are more likely to escape and get lost than hamsters in different enclosures.

Instead of a cage with bars, get your hamster an aquarium tank instead. You can have a mesh lid at the top for airflow. So, your hamster will have a hard time squeezing through the glass.

If you want a cage, choose one with narrow bars. If your pinky finger can fit through the bars, your hamster can. You’ll have to monitor the cage’s structure because the bars might bend after a few months.

Can a Hamster Fit Under a Door?

A hamster could fit under a door if the gap is big enough. A hamster will easily slip under the door if the floor is made of wood or tiles but will struggle with carpet floors due to the friction.

If you believe your hamster could fit under your door, you can get a door gap filler. You can slide the filler under the door to cover the gap.

Hamsters can bite through many things, including foam or plastic door gap fillers.

Some door gap fillers are thick, so you’ll notice if they’ve been tampered with before your hamster can escape because of the bite marks.

If your hamster is biting through the good gap fillers, it may be time to get it a playpen instead of letting it roam around the room freely, which is true even if you’ve covered the gaps.

can hamsters squeeze through bars?

How to Hamster-Proof a Room

Your first step is to hamster-proof the room it will stay in. Even if you buy an aquarium tank, the hamster could still escape from your hands as you handle it and scurry off into a gap in the wall.

Here are some ways to ensure you don’t lose your hamster:

  • Room type: Choose a room that isn’t cluttered. If your hamster gets lost, you can find it
  • Check the walls for holes: Areas holes appear are near electrical sockets and wall joints.
  • Door gap-fillers: These put a dampener on the hamster’s escape plan.
  • Close doors and windows: Ensure there aren’t any electrical wires or bookshelves near the window that your hamster can use to get to the windows and climb out.
  • Get a playpen: Sometimes, hamsters get overwhelmed by the space they find themselves in and feel unsafe. They try to find the nearest hole they can squeeze through, so they can feel protected.

What Size Hole Can a Hamster Fit Through?

Hamsters can fit through any hole that’s as big as their head.

Most of the “fat” around a hamster’s face is fur. Their faces are slimmer, so they can squeeze through a hole a few inches smaller than their face.

If you want to know just how small a hole your hamster can squeeze through, there’s an experiment you can perform. Get a cardboard box and create a sliding door that is the only exit out of the box. Cut out a circle your hamster can fit through on that sliding door.

Create different doors with holes in decreasing sizes. Place your hamster in the box and coax it into squeezing through the hole. A point will come where your hamster can no longer fit through the hole.

Take that limit and decrease it by a few millimeters. Hamsters may not try too hard to squeeze through a tight hole if they’re happy and comfortable. If they view squeezing through the hole as a game to get food, they may give up trying sooner.

However, hamsters can flatten themselves further when they’re in danger. Adrenaline can make animals do things they normally wouldn’t be capable of doing.

If there’s a perceived threat, they’ll try their hardest to escape, and that often means squeezing through gaps that are nearly impossible for them to escape through.