Gerbil vs Hamster

By Dave
Last Update:

Two common species of small pets that are frequently kept are hamsters and gerbils. But when choosing between gerbil vs hamster, who wins? These cute animals are simple to take care of and make wonderful companions for individuals of all ages. Which one is more suitable for you and what exactly are the differences between hamsters and gerbils? Let’s look more closely.

Appearance
Personality and Character
Gerbil and Hamster Needs
Health and Care
Gerbils vs Hamsters

Appearance

There are visual similarities between hamsters and gerbils, but there are also some obvious differences. Hamsters are often larger than gerbils and have a chunkier structure. They have a round, hairy body and short, sturdy legs. Brown, black, white, grey, and even some more uncommon hues like purple or golden are just a few of the colors and patterns of hamsters.

Gerbils, on the other hand, have longer tails and legs and are smaller and more slender than hamsters. They have furry bodies that are often sandy in color, though they can also be white, black, or grey. Gerbils frequently get mistaken for mice or baby rats because of their distinctly “rat-like” look.

Personality and Character

When deciding which pet is best for you, personality differences between hamsters and gerbils could be a key consideration. In general, hamsters prefer to live alone and are more solitary than other animals. In most cases it’s vital to only keep one hamster per cage. They have the potential to be aggressive and may fight if kept together.

Gerbils however, are gregarious creatures and love living in couples or small groups. Although they are less inclined than hamsters to fight amongst themselves, it is nevertheless crucial to introduce new gerbils slowly, and monitor their behavior.

Both hamsters and gerbils are lively and curious animals that enjoy exploring their environment. Giving them toys and exercise gear helps keep them happy and healthy because they enjoy playing and running.

hamster-standing-next-to-wood-block

Mental and physical stimulation is necessary for all pets. And the hamster seen here is no exception.

Gerbil and Hamster Needs

Gerbils and hamsters need similar care. They have somewhat different requirements though. Both animals need a tidy, secure cage with lots of bedding for burrowing and building nests. They also require consistent access to fresh food and water.

Hamsters are nocturnal animals and are most active at night. To rest and sleep during the day, they require a lot of silence and darkness. Gerbils however are diurnal creatures. They are active mostly throughout the day. To stay healthy and happy, they require a lot of light and stimulation during daylight hours.

Gerbils and hamsters both enjoy chewing, so it’s crucial to give them chew toys to keep their teeth healthy and stop them from gnawing on their cage or other items. Also, they both need frequent exercise, and giving them a wheel or other exercise apparatus can help them stay healthy and active.

Health and Care

Gerbils and hamsters make generally healthy pets, however they can have certain health problems. Hamsters are at danger for obesity and dental issues, which can be averted by providing them with a balanced diet and plenty of opportunities to gnaw on objects. If their cage is not well maintained, they could get respiratory infections or other ailments.

Gerbils are more prone to getting parasites or skin conditions, especially if they are housed in an unclean or humid environment. They need to be given access to a healthy diet and lots of chewing opportunities, much like hamsters. They can also experience dental difficulties or digestive problems.

Gerbils vs Hamsters

Gerbils and hamsters make wonderful pets that can bring their owners’ plenty of happiness and love. It’s crucial to take into account both the personality and demands of the pet as well as your own lifestyle and tastes while deciding between them. We love all small pets and you can’t really go wrong here. So choose the pet that best suits your lifestyle and show them plenty of love!

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Dave loves animals and loves writing about them as well! He specializes in discussing small pet behavior.