Are you confused between hamsters and gerbils which one is appropriate for you? We can understand your confusion as both are adorable and furry creatures in the environment that looks almost similar to each other. Both these rodents are wonderful pets that can be chosen as household pets.
We would recommend knowing the requirements of you and your family before choosing such omnivores animals to keep as household rodents. In this article, we will be discussing the top 5 key differences between hamsters and gerbils in brief through which you will have a clear picture in mind that there are some characteristics that make the rodents different from one another.
Are you confused about choosing the appropriate pet for your household among hamsters vs gerbils?
Before mentioning any pet to your household, just be unsure whether they will be appropriately fit in your family. If we talk about hamsters and gerbils then both these pets are rodents which are small. They look like each other and of which people get confused in choosing the correct pet for their household. Here, we look upon the important differences which can be easily seen by our naked eyes.
Top 5 Key Differences of Hamsters vs Gerbils – Identify Them Easily
1. Number of Species
Do you what is the number of species which are still alive today? If not, we help you by letting know the answer.
- In today’s world, you can find around 20 species of hamsters while gerbils are more in number approximately 100 species.
- Among the huge number of gerbil species, only 2 species are recommended to keep as pets.
- The gerbil pets which are recommended for household pets are the Mongolian gerbil and fat-tailed gerbils.
2. Difference Between Hamster and Gerbil Tail
With the help of tails, you can easily identify the difference between a hamster and a gerbil.
- Hamsters have short tails in comparison to gerbils which are 4 inches.
- Gerbil tails can be visible with or without hairs.
- If you wish to have a gerbil as your pet that consists of hairy tails then try to look for Mongolian gerbils.
- While the gerbils with bald and fatty tails are fat-tailed species. Because of their fat tails, you can easily identify gerbil species.
- Hamsters consist of short and stubby tails which are calculated as one inch long only.
3. Hamsters’ vs Gerbils Face
Both rodents are cute and can be identified with the help of their faces as well.
- You can identify hamsters and gerbils by their faces. The hamster’s faces are round in shape while the gerbil’s consists of a narrow face.
- Hamster has blunt nose while gerbils have long nose that looks similar to rats’ face.
- Hamsters’ cheek pouches are like pockets that they utilize for storing the food which is easy to carry from one place to another. While on the other hand, gerbils expect their food to be their nest area.
4. Body Difference between Hamster and Gerbil
It is easy to differentiate the rodents by watching their body appearance.
- As mentioned above the gerbils have long tails. Similarly, they have long feet and bodies.
- Hamsters’ bodies are short as compared to gerbils because of which they look super cute like a ball of fluff.
- Hamsters’ legs are short and hence they are not agile in nature.
5. Compare Hamsters and Gerbils as per temperament
Another way to differentiate both gerbils and hamsters is to check their social habits and temperaments.
- Hamsters are active rodents during night time hence they are stated as nocturnal. While the gerbils are active during the day time.
- Hamsters do not like to share their area with others which is one of the reasons you should keep them alone. The gerbils are good to share their space with others and live happily in pairs.
What is Common Between Hamster and Gerbil?
- As a pet lover, you can adopt any of the options from a hamster or gerbil as a household pet.
- Both rodents are omnivore pets who generally feed on plants and insects.
- You can see a coat of fur on the bodies of both rodents.
- Hamsters and Gerbils both might suffer from diseases like rabies. Such diseases can affect human health as well.
- Another similarity between hamsters and gerbils is that their teeth will grow constantly throughout their life.
How To Clean The Household Rodents – Hamster and Gerbil?
If you are concerned about the hygiene of these rodents, then you will be happy to know that these are clean and shiny species. They do not need a water bath or any sort of shampooing. If you wish to make them clean in a week, then it recommends going with a sand bath because such rodents love to clean themselves in the sand.
What type of sand can be utilized for baths?
As per feedback from other pet owners, you can utilize chinchilla sand in respect of dust. In this manner, you can prevent your household rodents from having health issues. There are numerous benefits of sand baths the coats will be healthy, and free from oil and any kind of potential parasites.
What do Hamsters and Gerbils like to eat?
Hamsters as well as gerbils are omnivores. Here, we will have a glance at their diet like what they prefer to eat.
Hamsters: If we talk about hamsters then they love to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, mealworms, herbs, and boiled eggs. Another tip when you have a hamster as your household pet is to provide access to fresh water.
Gerbils: Such rodents love to eat fruits and vegetables like watermelon, apple, pear, oranges, cucumber, pumpkin, and much more. They enjoy eating pumpkin seeds which is one of the healthy treats for gerbils.
Do Hamsters or Gerbils Bite?
Yes, if we talk about the hamsters then they usually bite more often. While gerbils are completely different from those hamsters. Gerbils rarely bite, therefore, if you have a child at your home try to keep all such points in your mind before choosing any of the rodents as your family member.
What kind of Hamsters Species can be Kept as Household Pets?
Hamsters consist of lots of species but only a few of them can be considered pets. Here, we will discuss the different species of hamsters found in distinct parts of the world.
- Syrian hamsters are one of the species which are easily found in the Syrian desert.
- Other species that are smaller in size and known as the Chinese hamster are found in the areas of China.
- While in Russia and Siberia, you can search for dwarf hamsters.
What kind of Gerbil Species can be Kept as Household Pets?
Gerbil rodents are easily found in a variety of species which are more than 100 in number. The species are from different countries like Africa, India, and Asia. The rodents which are from sand rats and jirds can be easily adopted as household pets.
· One of the known species is the Mongolian gerbil rodent which has the biological name “Meriones unguiculatus. These are called to be gentle animals and found as popular pets in homes.
How much cleanliness is required for Hamsters and Gerbils Rodents?
Cleanliness is one of the prominent factors to live long as well as being free from germs, bacteria, infection, or diseases. Therefore, it recommends making a habit of cleaning your pet’s areas like their cage, bowl, etc stuff on regular basis.
- If we compare hamsters and gerbils then you must be amazed to know that gerbils produce less waste with respect to hamsters. Therefore, you will be managing less stink in the case of gerbils’ rodents which are known as desert animals.
- If you opt hamster as your household pet then it is advisable to clean their cage more frequently than you will do for gerbils.
Hamsters and Gerbils can be Friends and Stay Together?
No, it is not possible to make them stay together. The reason behind the query is hamster rodents are territorial in nature. Hence, they can easily attack and even kill others who try to come closer. They do not have their minds even if the hamster’s own siblings come closer in contact. Therefore, we would recommend making them stay separated and not come in closer contact as it can be risky as well as dangerous.
In conclusion, now we can specify the major differences between hamsters and gerbils. Both have different sizes, tails, faces, social abilities, and much more. Gerbils do live a longer period in comparison to hamsters. If you are a rodent lover and looking for a household pet then you can choose either a hamster or a gerbil as per your own requirement.
Also, you must be aware that these rodents are able to infect you as well. Sometimes, there are cases when they meet with deadly diseases like rabies which are harmful to humans.