Home Rodents Gerbils Pet Gerbil and Hamster: Their Differences

Pet Gerbil and Hamster: Their Differences

  • Sizes. The hamster is somewhat larger than the gerbils, including the tail. The tail of a pet gerbil is long and hairy with a tuft of hair at the end. That of a short and somewhat chubby hamster.
  • Physical differences. Gerbils differ physically from hamsters almost as much as ferrets from hamsters. Gerbils have more elongated snouts, like mice. The hamsters, shorter. In addition, the hamster has shorter and sturdier legs.
  • Average life. The life span of hamsters is usually two years, that of gerbils five, mentioning some varieties that have lived to seven years.
  • Colors and varieties. The hamster, like ferrets, can be seen with many different colors and coats. Pet gerbils no, they are more monochromatic. Most likely because they came later to breed as pets.

A manager of a pet store will surely remind you that pet gerbils are less frequent when buying small pets in these establishments. The variations effected by crosses in these wild animals have not yet reached the level of, for example, those of the well-known ferrets.

Two gerbils eating together
By vk446
  • Different behaviors. Gerbils are generally curious, vital, and even funny animals. The hamster, on the other hand, tends to develop calmer and more relaxed behaviors.
  • To bite. Hamsters tend to bite even if you have had them with you for a long time, as do ferrets. The case of gerbils is totally different. Pet Gerbils, conveniently socialized, rarely bite so they are highly recommended for children.

Night and day for pet gerbils and hamsters

  • Daytime and nighttime habits. Hamsters, surely you know, are nocturnal companion animals. Pet gerbils, on the contrary, are diurnal. However, in captivity, they can have both nocturnal and diurnal behaviors. What’s more, they take their naps when they feel like it. It is not a joke.
  • Organic waste. Gerbils are wild desert animals that generate very little organic waste. In the spaces where they live they do not smell bad and they stay clean for longer. In the case of hamsters, surely you know, they smell bad and their water scoops have to be cleaned more frequently.
  • Loneliness. The hamster is more solitary and territorial, as is also the case with ferrets. Hamsters have to be separated even in their cages to prevent them from fighting. That said, Chinese dwarf hamsters and Campbell’s dwarves can form stable groups because they are not as prone to fighting each other.

In the case of a pet gerbil, there is higher latent sociability. All they need are those play areas that you can buy at pet stores. And so happy.

  • Food. Hamsters and gerbils eat practically the same food, however, an excess of vegetables and fruits in gerbils can trigger diarrhea. This food should be present in your diet in a staggered way, once or twice a week at the most.
  • Bags. And since we are talking about feed and food, to say that the hamster has characteristic bags next to its mouth in which they keep food, hoarding it. Gerbils do not have this behavior, nor the characteristic receptacles.


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