Animals Small Pets

Hamsters vs Gerbils: Which One is the Better Pet?

Hamsters and gerbils are both popular small pets that belong to the rodent family. They are cute, furry, and easy to care for. But they also have some differences that may affect your choice of pet. In this article, we will compare hamsters and gerbils in terms of their appearance, personality, lifespan, grooming, social needs, and more.

We will also give you some tips on how to choose the best pet for you. Let’s compare Hamsters vs Gerbils and find out which is the best pet for you.

Comparative Guide: Hamsters vs Gerbils

SizeTypically smaller, 2 to 6 inchesSlightly larger, 4 to 6 inches
Lifespan2 to 3 years3 to 4 years
TailShort, stubby tailLong, slender tail
Social BehaviorGenerally solitarySocial; prefer living in pairs/groups
HousingCan be housed alonePrefer living in pairs or groups
Nocturnal/DiurnalMostly nocturnal (Primarily active during the night)Diurnal, more active during the day
DietOmnivores, eat seeds, fruits, etc.Herbivores, mainly eat grains and seeds
ChewersHave a tendency to chew on thingsAlso may chew, but less destructive
ExerciseNeed exercise wheelPrefer a wheel and other toys for activity
BreedingCan be aggressive if not introduced properlyGenerally more tolerant during introductions
TeethContinuously growing teethContinuously growing teeth
Popular SpeciesSyrian, Dwarf, Roborovski, ChineseMongolian, Fat-tailed, Duprasi
Comparative Guide: Hamsters vs Gerbils – Size, Lifespan, Behavior, and More!

Difference between hamster and gerbil

Difference between hamster and gerbil
Hamsters vs Gerbils: Which One is the Better Pet? 5

Appearance: hamsters vs gerbils

Hamsters vs Gerbils

One of the most obvious differences between hamsters and gerbils is their appearance. Hamsters are round and fluffy, with short and stubby tails. Gerbils are slender and sleek, with long and furry tails. Hamsters have short and wide faces, while gerbils have long and pointy faces.

Gerbil size vs Hamster size

Hamsters come in various sizes, from 2 inches to 6 inches, depending on the breed. Gerbils are usually around 4 to 6 inches long.


Hamsters and gerbils have different personalities and behaviors. Hamsters are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are active at night.

Gerbils are diurnal, which means they are awake during the day and sleep at night. Hamsters are shy and skittish, while gerbils are curious and friendly. Hamsters are solitary and prefer to live alone, while gerbils are social and like to live in pairs or groups.

Gerbil vs Hamster Lifespan

Hamster vs Gerbil

Hamsters and gerbils have different lifespans. Hamsters usually live for 2 to 3 years, while gerbils can live for 3 to 4 years. Of course, this depends on the breed, diet, health, and care of the pet.


Hamsters and gerbils have low grooming needs. They are both self-cleaning animals, which means they groom themselves regularly. They do not need baths unless they get very dirty or sick. They only need a clean and spacious cage, fresh water, and quality food.

Social Needs

Hamsters and gerbils have different social needs. Hamsters are not naturally social animals. They are territorial and aggressive towards other hamsters, especially those of the same sex. They are best kept alone in their own cage, or they may fight and injure each other.

Gerbils are very social animals. They are happiest when they have a companion of the same sex or a bonded pair. They groom, play, and cuddle with each other. They are also more likely to bond with their owners and enjoy being handled.

How to Choose the Best Pet for You

Hamsters and Gerbils

Hamsters and gerbils are both great pets, but they have different pros and cons. Before you decide which one to get, you should consider the following factors:

  • Your lifestyle: Do you want a pet that is active during the day or night? Do you have enough time and space to provide a suitable environment for your pet?
  • Your preference: Do you prefer a pet that is round and fluffy or slender and sleek? Do you prefer a pet that is shy and quiet or curious and friendly?
  • Your budget: Do you have enough money to buy and maintain your pet? Do you have enough money to pay for veterinary care if your pet gets sick or injured?
  • Your responsibility: Are you ready to commit to taking care of your pet for its entire life? Are you willing to learn about your pet’s needs and provide them with the best care possible?


Hamsters and gerbils are both wonderful pets, but they are not the same. They have different appearances, personalities, lifespans, grooming, and social needs. You should choose the pet that suits your lifestyle, preferences, budget, and responsibilities. Whichever pet you choose, make sure you love and care for them well. They will reward you with their loyalty and affection.

Sources and References
  1. wikimedia 2.msdvetmanual

About the author


PetsCareWorld is a website dedicated to providing reliable and helpful information about pets and their care. Our team consists of experienced pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers, and writers. The team shares a common love for animals and a desire to help others. We cover topics such as pet health, nutrition, grooming, training, behavior, and more. Our articles are based on scientific research, expert opinions, and personal experiences. We also feature stories, tips, and reviews from our readers and community members. We want to teach and motivate pet owners to choose wisely and take good care of their pets. We give honest and helpful information that makes pets and their owners happier. We like to hear from our readers and get their ideas. We hope to make a nice and friendly group of pet lovers. Thank you for visiting PetsCareWorld and we hope you enjoy our content.

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