Hamsters are tiny pets. There is no denying that. But can these agile rodents slip under a door if they were to make an attempt? Here is what any owner needs to know.
So, can hamsters fit under doors? Hamsters are capable of fitting under most doors. In fact, hamsters can squeeze through any gap that is similar in size to their heads or around 1-2″. It is therefore essential that you block such gaps or prevent access to any door to prevent any potential escape.
Hamsters are curious.
And they want to explore.
Not even a door can stop them.
In fact, it is quite remarkable how small they can make themselves.
So, if your hamster were to escape, or you were to allow them to free roam, there is always the possibility that they could venture further afield.
Not to mention that hamsters have been known to climb up and downstairs.
Quite frightening, really.
That being said, there are many practical things that you can do to keep them safe and escape-proof your home going forward.
Let us now explore the topic further to explain how!
Can Hamsters Go Under Doors?
Hamsters can go under doors, and there are many anecdotes of owners who have seen their hamsters escape in this way.
Of course, every home and door is different, but you have to remember that there are some general recommendations for door gaps.
Framers will typically work to a standard specification.
For instance, interior doors are designed to be 2 inches from an unfinished floor.
This means that when a floor is finished, such as after it has been carpeted, there is usually around a 1-inch gap from the bottom of the door to the floor.
And without carpet, such as is the case with wooden or tiled flooring, it can be more.
And that’s all it takes.
Thankfully, to exclude drafts and wild rodents coming into your property, exterior doors are designed without gaps at the bottom.
So, while your pet hamsters may escape, access, and run around the house, the chances of them slipping under and leaving your property are thankfully greatly reduced.
The one caveat being if your exterior doors have weather-stripping that has worn away.
Then you could be out of luck.
Because there could be a gap.
This leads us to the next section.
Can Hamsters Get Through Small Gaps?
Hamsters can fit through gaps as small as 1-2″ and will actively attempt to do so if given the opportunity.
This is precisely why hamsters have acquired the reputation of being escape artists.
In fact, many new owners are shocked to find that their hamsters managed to escape their brand new cages.
This is sometimes due to incorrect setup or forgetting to lock the cage correctly.
But there is another likely scenario.
The gaps in the cage are too large.
This happens more than you might think.
But you may be wondering why a hamster would want to even slip through a small gap?
Well, the reasons are plentiful.
And it has nothing to do with their care or dissatisfaction of their cage necessarily.
Instead, it has a lot to do with their instincts.
This is exactly why wheels are often advised for hamsters; to give them a chance to run and fulfill their exploratory needs.
Even if they have an abundant supply of food, a hamster instinctively will want to roam.
Just as they do in the wild to find food.
So they will try and find a way, even if it means slipping through a small gap or an insufficient cage.
And if and when they are out, tight spaces are actually preferred too.
It gives them a sense of protection, one that can conceal them away from potential dangers (such as is the case in the wild in the form of predators).
At the same time, in the wild, hamsters live in small holes in the ground.
They are biologically hard-wired to see small gaps as a potential home.
Tight and small gaps are seen as security for hamsters, so they will actively try to squeeze through them given an opportunity.
This is precisely why tubes and tunnels are often recommended for hamsters; and that these are the kinds of things you should provide in their cage.
It provides comfort for them.
It all makes sense.
How To Stop Hamsters Going Under Doors
If you own a pet hamster that has a knack for escaping, or you just want to let them roam in a room that has doors with gaps, there are some things you can do to keep them safe.
Let us now look at some practical options:
First and foremost, you can consider getting a pen for your hamster to run around in.
The beauty of a pen is that they allow your hamster the opportunity to run freely.
Plus, you can keep them in a safe, detained space without any of the other risks or hazards that could be present in your average room, such as electric wiring.
Just make sure you purchase a pen designed for hamsters, such as this cost-effective best seller on Amazon:
- ★【High-Quality Materials】:We use durable Polyester fabric，surrounded by nets, you could watch your pets at all times, as well as ensure the ventilation of the playpen and eliminate odors.
- ★【Size】：Width & Height after expansion 47 in*15 in (120 cm*38 cm), 10sq.ft， easy to clean.Easy to carry, foldable into a round shape,9.4 in*9.4 in（24cm*24cm）,suitable for outdoor travel, home use.Suitable for small animals pet playpen, suitable for hamsters, chinchillas, guinea-pigs, mice, gerbils, ferrets, squirrel, bunny, reptile or other small animals.
- ★【Suitable Range】：suitable for outdoor travel, home use.Suitable for small animals pet playpen, suitable for hamsters, chinchillas, guinea-pigs, mice, gerbils, ferrets, squirrel, bunny, reptile or other small animals.
- ★【Easy to Install and Store】: it has the elasticity of the spring, pay attention to keep away from your body and face while opening 6 panels, be careful not to hit others.
- ★【EASY to set up and clean】：This playpen is easy to set up and store, and can be rinsed directly with water.
With a playpen, you do need to be careful when and where you set it up.
It’s generally not a good idea to do so outside, or otherwise, you risk aerial predators!
Exercise/ Run Around Ball
Another great option is a run-around ball.
These large balls, often made from plastic, allow you to place your hamster inside and put them down on the ground.
From there, your hamster will run around getting much-needed exercise and exploration.
You’ll hear the ball move around, which helps you know where your hamsters are at all times.
There are several fantastic options on Amazon.
Just be careful here.
Some balls are not fit for purpose, and there are reports of the lids coming off and hamsters escaping.
Not what you are hoping to achieve.
Line The Doors
The final effective option is to line the gaps of doors with a fabric draft stopper, like the following bestseller on Amazon:
- 🔶Easy to install: 34 "adjustable size for most homes. Please measure the size of the door and then carefully purchase it and keep the door clean.
- 🔶 Large-size sponge: not ordinary slender sponge, which will not move with the opening of the door
- 🔶Hook-and-loop fixation: Hook-and-loop fixation is used on the door to prevent the double protection from moving with the opening of the door
- 🔶Block light and windshield: can block the cold/hot wind/smoke outside, making the indoor more comfortable
- 🔶 Can be recycled without damaging the door: detachable bag, can be repeatedly washed and used, can be machine washed. Please keep low temperature when drying
These stoppers essentially remove the gap and will keep your hamster inside the room.
They are designed for temperature control but work excellently at blocking an escape route for hamsters too.
They are ideal for putting down in the room where your hamster’s cage is.
This way, if they were able to escape for any reason, they’ll not be able to leave the room.
It will make finding them much easier.
One thing to consider with these draft stoppers is that they should never be put down in a room where you may be keeping other pets (such as cats) and that your hamster could access.
Otherwise, your hamster will not be able to escape when they may need to most!
Hamsters can fit under doors and incredibly small gaps.
What they are able to squeeze through is quite unbelievable.
In fact, if you were to lay a quarter coin down on its side – the diameter of the surface (around 1″) is around the size a hamster can get through.
And they’ll likely attempt to do so.
Hamsters have an instinctual need to explore and to get into tight spaces.
It is a survival mechanism in the wild, after all.
So, if you own a pet hamster – keeping them safe is as much about ensuring the cage is appropriate as it is as ensuring it is securely locked.
Plus, you should also seal any gaps around your home, such as behind cabinets, around pipes, etc.
Especially in the room, your hamsters’ cage is kept.
Should your hamster get loose, keeping them detained will be much easier!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.