Hamsters and rats are both small rodents often kept as pets. While they may look similar at first glance, there are actually some big differences between these two animals. For example, hamsters are typically shorter and stockier than rats, and they have much shorter tails. Hamsters also tend to be less social than rats and generally prefer to live alone.
Hamsters And Rats Differences
Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae, which contains 19 species classified in seven genera. These genera are:
- Boden Wahrman
The name “hamster” is derived from the German, meaning “storing things in” (or “hoarder”), which refers to their tendency to hoard food. Hamsters are typically stout-bodied, with tails much shorter than their body length and have small, fur-covered ears. The size of a hamster varies by species, with the largest (the European hamster) measuring up to 34cm (13in) long and weighing up to 850g (30oz).
Rats are mammals that belong to the order of rodents. Rats are typically small animals, with adults measuring up to 16 inches in length.
In some regions, rats have been known to grow to a larger size than their North American counterparts. In fact, there are reports of African giant rats that measure up to 4 feet in length.
Rats typically grow larger in warmer climates and when they have access to a high-calorie diet.
Rats were first domesticated by humans at least 10,000 years ago for their meat, fur, or use as laboratory animals.
The rat’s association with humans has made them common pests around human settlements worldwide. Although often considered pests, rats play an important role in research and have been domesticated as pets. Here is a look at the history of these creatures.
The primary physical difference between hamsters and rats is their size. Hamsters are much smaller, usually only growing to be about 4-5 inches long, while rats can get as big as 18 inches (or even longer in some cases).
Another big physical difference is that hamsters have very prominent cheek pouches, which they use to store food. Rats don’t have these pouches. Additionally, hamsters tend to have shorter tails than rats do.
There are also some subtle differences in their fur. Hamsters typically have thicker fur that is harsher to the touch, while rat fur is thinner and softer. Finally, hamsters come in a wider variety of colors than rats do.
Rats tend to be more social than hamsters, and will often live in pairs or small groups. They are also more active than hamsters and need more space to roam. Hamsters, on the other hand, are mostly solitary creatures and do not do well when kept with other hamsters. They are also less active than rats and can be kept in smaller spaces.
Hamsters And Rats Diet
Hamsters are omnivorous, meaning they will eat both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they eat a variety of things, such as seeds, grains, nuts, insects, and even other small animals. Domestic hamsters have a diet that is similar to their wild cousins. However, their diet is often supplemented with pellets and other commercially prepared foods.
Rats are also omnivorous. In the wild, their diet consists of things like fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, insects, and even smaller animals. Like hamsters, the diet of domestic rats is often supplemented with pellets and other commercially prepared foods.
Hamsters And Rats Health
Rats and hamsters are both rodents, but they have some notable differences. For one, rats are much larger than hamsters. Rats also have longer tails and noses. Hamsters, on the other hand, have much furrier tails.
When it comes to health, hamsters are generally quite a bit harder than rats. Hamsters are less likely to get sick, and when they do get sick, they tend to recover more quickly than rats. This is likely due to the fact that hamsters have a very high metabolism, which helps them to fight off illness more effectively.
Interaction With Humans
Most hamsters are nocturnal animals, meaning they sleep during the day and are active at night. This can make them less than ideal pets for young children who are likely to want to play with them during the day. However, there are some hamsters that have been bred to be more active during the day, making them better suited as pets for younger children.
Rats, on the other hand, are generally more active during the day and less active at night. This makes them better suited as pets for people who want a more interactive pet that they can play with during the day.
Hamsters And Rats FAQ:
Is a hamster related to a rat?
No, hamsters are not related to rats. They are both rodents, but they are different species. Hamsters are native to Europe and Asia, while rats are native to Africa and Asia.
Are hamsters rats without tails?
No, hamsters are not rats without tails. They are two different species of animals. Hamsters are small, furry rodents that are popular pets, while rats are larger rodents that can carry diseases.
Do hamsters keep rats away?
There’s no guarantee that hamsters will keep rats away, but they may help to deter them. Rats are attracted to food and shelter, so keeping your home clean and free of clutter will make it less appealing to them. Hamsters are also known to be good at catching mice, so they may help to keep the mouse population under control, which could in turn help to reduce the number of rats.
Do rats smell more than hamsters?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it largely depends on the individual rat or hamster. Some rats may have a stronger natural scent than some hamsters, while others may be less smelly. Ultimately, it really varies from animal to animal.
Can rats and hamsters play together?
No, hamsters can’t live with rats. A hamster is territorial, and solitary, and will try to attack anything that crosses his path.
Hamster vs rat size?
Rats are generally larger than hamsters. Adult hamsters typically weigh between 3 and 8 ounces, while rats can weigh up to 12 ounces or more. Additionally, hamsters tend to have shorter tails than rats.
Are hamsters smarter than rats?
There is no definitive answer to this question as intelligence is difficult to measure in animals. However, some experts believe that hamsters may be slightly smarter than rats due to their larger brain size relative to their body size.
Hamster and rat similarities?
There are several similarities between hamsters and rats. Both are small, furry rodents that are popular pets. They are both relatively easy to care for and can be friendly with humans if properly socialized. However, there are also some significant differences between the two animals. Hamsters are generally much less active than rats and prefer to sleep during the day. They are also more solitary animals, while rats are social creatures that enjoy being around other rats.
So, in summary, the main differences between hamsters and rats are their size, lifespan, and temperament. Hamsters are much smaller than rats and usually only live for 2-3 years, while rats can grow quite large and live for up to 5 years. Hamsters are also generally much more docile and easygoing than rats, which can be quite aggressive.