Connect with us

Hamster vs Gerbil – Major Differences and How to make a Choice

Hamster vs Gerbil – As a pet most often choose a hamster, forgetting that there are other rodents who will perfectly cope with this role, for example, gerbil.

This miniature animal is placed on the palm and has a long tail (about 10 cm). To determine the choice of whom it is better to purchase, you need to know the behavior of hamsters and gerbils, as well as some rules for their content.

Hamster and Gerbil species

The most fascinating species of hamster is the Syrian Golden Hamster (or “teddy bear”). He lives from two to three years and feels good only in solitude.

Dwarf species (Siberian, Jungar, Chinese) are much smaller in size than the “Syrians.” They are more sociable and can live in pairs.

Gerbils in the world very much. Mostly Mongolian gerbils get into our house. They do not tolerate loneliness, so it is better to buy two animals at once. Male and female will necessarily bring offspring.

Hamster and Gerbil species

Lifestyle Gerbil Vs Hamster

The hamster can differ quite strong and whimsical character. It is active only at night and has a reputation as a “biting animal.” If you constantly wake him up during the day, he starts to hurt and can bite, so families with young children are not recommended to start hamsters.

Gerbils are active during the day, which allows the child to enjoy the observation of these tender animals. But we must bear in mind that they love to run away from an open cell and have not very good eyesight. When the gerbil is walking around the house, all family members should be especially careful.


The main rules in the care are the same:

  • You need a large cage, which is placed away from the sun and drafts. Bedding can serve as hay, shredded paper, aspen chips. Pine cannot be used, as this tree is harmful to both hamsters and gerbils.
  • It is advisable to install a wheel and a small box with an inlet in the cage. For the tunnels suitable empty cardboard tubes of paper towels.
  • In the cage should always be fresh water. It must be changed daily. It is best to use an inverted bottle with a pipe.

The differences  are as follows:

  • Gerbils travel through the tunnels during the day, and children often watch them with pleasure. It is also desirable to put a smooth and clean stone in the cage. It will serve as an observation deck, as these animals are very curious.
  • Gerbils love to play. They should be provided with toys that do not have any openings where a long tail can get stuck. You can not give items made of soft plastic or cardboard: they will immediately be chewed and torn.

Nutrition: Gerbil Vs Hamster

In pet shops for rodents, there is a large selection of ready-made pellets that contain seeds, grains, corn. Neither gerbils, nor hamsters should be given potatoes, onions, beans, rhubarb, chocolate, and sweets, but there are some peculiarities in feeding:

  • For gerbils, mixtures of seeds, grains, and dried vegetables with a 12 percent protein content and 6 percent fat content are suitable. Hamsters every 2-3 days, you can add seeds, nuts, alfalfa, spinach, lettuce, carrots and apples to your diet.
  • Gerbils are very fond of sunflower seeds but do not be tempted to constantly replenish their cup for food. It is important to alternate the sunflower with fresh vegetables – carrots, lettuce, turnip, and broccoli.
  • Sweet fruits (apples and bananas) should be introduced into the diet of gerbils very carefully and gradually.

Health: Hamster Vs Gerbil

Signs of malaise and hamsters and gerbils are weight loss, runny nose, diarrhea, lethargy, and matted fur.

Hamsters are more susceptible to respiratory diseases, which can become infected even from humans.

Gerbils are susceptible to parasite infestation – fleas and lice. In this case, you will need to sanitize the entire cage and surrounding objects.

As soon as the first symptoms of malaise appear, you should immediately show your pet to the veterinarian. With good care, a hamster can live in your house for two years, and a gerbil – up to 4 years.

Do you prefer a hamster or gerbils?

Which pet is right for you? If you have “limited” space at home but still want a pet that knows how to give you affection, that is intelligent and responsive, let’s see who can do it for you. Always remember to ADOPT, in this way you will give a dignified life to the little creatures who need it.

HABITAT – Hamster and Gerbils

Hamster: lives ONLY and needs a space of at least 60×40 cm if we speak of a dwarf hamster, and 75×45 cm of the cage if we speak of a golden one. To add, unless you have a hamster, there are evening walks of varying length depending on the character of the hamster. Socialization is very simple because when the hamster walks we can sit on the ground and he will approach “spontaneously” exploring.

Do you prefer a hamster or gerbils

Gerbil: depending on the number of gerbils you want, space is variable. For a couple (for heaven’s sake, not intended as male or female or you find 40 gerbils in two months!) Composed of m + mo f + f, it takes at least one 75×45 cm cage with a high bottom. The gerbils love to dig: as you can see in the various video … even if who knows how much time is needed for cleaning! A good layer of litter, games, gnawable houses: everything contributes to the welfare of these small animals. The gerbil’s love walks: obviously, if you have a 3-meter case you can, if you wish, postpone, but if you have a simple cage, a trip in the evening in the corridor is not bad. The gerbils jump a lot and gnaw a lot. Carefully cover the cables.

FOOD: Hamster Vs Gerbil

Hamster: the basis of the diet are grains and vegetables. It is very easy to create their seed mix and if you want you can also do it with items that are in the supermarket in the cereals and dry soups sector. For vegetables, of course, you can imagine that a person with a balanced diet will always have them at home, so it is very easy to “feed” your small rodent.

Gerbillo: ditto, eat grain and basic vegetables. He also loves nuts like hamster, but watch out for fat!

Veterinary care: Hamster and Gerbil

Both of these rodents need a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals – a generic is NOT adequate.


Hamster: the hamster is very fond of his biped. Even if the hamster bites, however, it perfectly recognizes those who treat it with dignity, those who feed it, change it, look after it, replace its litter box, etc. On average, rodents are very intelligent and interactive. As said, then, during the walks it is very easy for the hamster to come near you, nibble at you, give you some lick, “call” and etc. Surely, therefore, we would classify the hamster as very sociable.

Gerbil: in short, here I have some doubts. Surely the gerbils among them make a lot of company, but if you simply shut them up in a display case, you can do nothing but admire them during their excavation works. Let’s say it’s a matter of time and taste: if you have time to let the gerbils out every night, obviously socialization will be easier, if they stay behind glass, even if the habitat is large, they will simply remain an animal to watch. The gerbil is not so “brilliant” we say, but obviously understands its name, comes to take the evening rewards, etc.

Have you done a reflection on who is right for you?



To Top