Many hamster owners are unsure if their animals are rodents. “Is a hamster a rodent?” they frequently inquire. with some trepidation. Most likely as a result of “rodents'” bad reputation!
The most well-known rodent species are mice and rats, which are frequently viewed as disease-carrying vermin while being kept as pets by many people.
What are rodents?
When someone mentions “rodent,” you might immediately picture either rats or mice, but rodents actually span a wide range of taxonomic categories. You probably already know that rodents include squirrels and voles. However, did you know that rodents also include chipmunks and prairie dogs? What about porcupines and groundhogs? But if you believe that rabbits are also rodents, I’m sorry, you’re mistaken.
All mammals that are classified as rodents fall within the Order Rodentia, which includes more than 2,000 different species and makes up around 43% of all mammals worldwide. The capybara of South Africa is the biggest rodent in the entire world.
Also, know How long does a hamster hibernate?
It weighs around 110 pounds on average, is about the size of a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, and is about that size (50 kg). The pygmy jerboa, which weighs less than 1/5 ounce, is the tiniest rodent (5 g). Undoubtedly, there are several rodent species that we never encounter because they don’t dwell in our area, don’t interact with us, or are found in particular, isolated settings.
Is a hamster considered a rodent?
Yes! Hamsters are rodents. Simply said, rodents are a group of mammals that lack canines and have powerful incisor teeth that continue to grow throughout their lifespans (one of our favorite hamster facts is that they have teeth that never stop growing!). In humans, the four front teeth in both the top and bottom rows are called incisors. This indicates that there are eight incisor teeth in all humans. The incisor teeth of hamsters are four. They are situated at the front of their mouths, with two in the top row and two in the bottom row of teeth.
What other species are rodents?
In reality, rodents are the most prevalent kind of mammal. Rodent species make up about 40% of all mammal species. Rats, mice, squirrels, guinea pigs, porcupines, and beavers are examples of other rodent species.
The differences between mouse and hamster
Although the mouse and the hamster, which belong to different rodent groups, have extremely similar appearances, it is vital to consider their distinctions. It would be possible to tell a mouse from a hamster by some biological characteristics, such as body size, physical characteristics, and some of their behaviors.
Some of the distinguishable features include:
- A mouse has a smaller body than a hamster.
- A hamster’s tail is small and occasionally furry, but the mouse’s tail is long and slender.
- A hamster is a solitary animal, whereas a mouse is a gregarious creature.
- The hamster is drowsy, lazy, and simple to handle while the mouse is energized, energetic, and difficult to handle.
- The hamster is an omnivore, but the mouse is a herbivore.
- Hamsters have smaller ears than mice do.
- The mouse’s fur is short compared to the hamster’s lengthy coat.
- The mouse has an extended physique, whereas the hamster has a compact one.
- The mouse is a polyoestrous animal that breeds all year long. However, hamsters only breed during certain seasons.
The differences between hamsters and rats
Two of the most popular mini pets available to folks who want to take care of them instead of the more demanding dogs or cats are rats and hamsters. Because they are both little animals and look similar, it can be very simple to mistake rats with hamsters at first glance. Although they are not the same, rats and hamsters can be thought of as cousins (maybe once or twice removed). Even though they are members of the same superfamily, rats and hamsters have different families and subfamilies.
- A rat is a rodent that ranges in size from medium to large and has a pointed muzzle, a long, slender tail that is hairless, and agile forepaws. A hamster is a member of the Rodentia order’s Cricetidae family of rodents. They have short, stocky legs and wide feet, a stocky build, and a diminutive height.
- Rats and hamsters differ from one other in terms of preferred habitats and enclosures. The two rodents appreciate similarly warm surroundings when found in the wild, despite the fact that there are substantially more wild rats than wild hamsters. Rats, on the other hand, are widespread and frequently found close to urban areas, while hamsters prefer deserts and sand dunes to city streets.
- Rats and hamsters behave very differently from one another in some important ways. Rats, on the other hand, are active both during the day and at night, whereas hamsters are infamously nocturnal. This is crucial to take into account, especially if you want to adopt a rat or a hamster, as the latter may keep you up at night more frequently than the former.
- Hamsters are primarily solitary animals both in the wild and in captivity, although rats are also very gregarious animals. Although many species or varieties of hamsters cannot coexist with other hamsters, they may still find human interaction to be enjoyable. Rats enjoy living with other rats or receiving frequent attention from their owners because isolation can make them depressed.
- The diets of the two animals are the final distinction between them. When housed in captivity, rats and hamsters consume similar foods, although rats in the wild are generally more adaptable than wild hamsters. Rats, for instance, consume trash and human food in addition to fruit, nuts, seeds, insects, small animals, and eggs. In contrast, hamsters consume seeds, nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables, and cracked corn.
- In contrast to hamsters, which are infamous food hoarders, rats are also very opportunistic eaters and do not always save their food. They tuck their food into their cheeks so they can consume it later!
Rodents are not in any way “dirty” or that you should be discouraged from keeping them just because some wild rodents, notable rats, are linked to disease. Hamsters are wonderful pets.