Are Hamsters Related To Rats And Mice? Differences Between Them

Hamsters are popular pets across the globe because of their tiny size, cuteness, and availability in the pet industry.

Are Hamsters Related To Rats And Mice

The Syrian hamster and the Phodopus hamster are the most popular pet hamster species in Mesocricetus and Phodopus. Mice, rats, and voles are all closely related to hamsters. So, are hamsters related to rats and mice in any way?

This may be challenging for some individuals, but it is not difficult to tell a hamster or mouse apart. Mice and hamsters have several taxonomic similarities, including being members of the same kingdom, class, phylum, and superfamily. 

Both of them are rodents. The distinctions between them, on the other hand, are immediately apparent.

Are Hamsters Rodents?

Hamsters are rodents. Even though hamsters originate from all over the globe, there are just a few kinds that are popular pets.

Hamsters Are Rodents

Unsurprisingly, the Syrian desert is where Syrian hamsters first appeared in scientific literature. Three distinct species of Dwarf Hamsters originate in Russia and Siberia: the Chinese, the Russian, and the Siberian.

Differences Between Hamsters, Mice, and Rats

Hamsters and mice vary significantly in many ways. In contrast to mice, hamster species may grow considerably bigger and come in a wide range of colors, while mice or rats tend to be brown or gray.

In terms of nutrition, domestic hamsters tend to consume a broader range of foods than mice do. A mouse environment is also different from a hamster habitat since mice have a more flexible lifestyle.


Simply observing the animals may help you distinguish between a hamster and a mouse and a rat. The legs and tails of hamsters are tiny, whereas the body of mice and rats are thin, and the tails are pretty long and narrow.

Mice are usually found in a single hue to assist them in fitting in with their surroundings. However, hamsters, owing to their domestication, may be found in a range of different colors.

Even though it is dependent on the unique species, there are hamsters and mice with colorful patches or blotches, as well as white underbelly and colored backs. Certain mouse species are also monochrome to better survive in the wild.

Mice have bigger ears and eyes than hamsters, which helps differentiate them. However, since some hamsters have abnormally big ears, it is best to start by assessing the animal’s general size and form.

Hamster Vs Mice and Rats


Hamsters and mice prefer different habitats. Most hamster varieties are domesticated. Thus they prefer a stable environment and habitat to mice and rats.

Mice and rats live in fields or your home’s walls.

Whether they live in a cage or in the wild, hamsters of various breeds like to spend time in a quiet, warm nesting box. Like rats, mice live in underground tunnels in the wild or on the walls of your house.


What hamsters and mice consume differs. Captive hamsters eat pellets, hay, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Mice and rats are opportunistic omnivores, eating anything they find, unlike hamsters.

Hamsters stockpile food in their nests or cheeks, whereas mice don’t. Mice do not know when their next meal will come, so they eat what they find immediately quickly. Hamsters save their food.


Hamsters have tails, unlike mice. In contrast to mice, hamsters are born with tails that are smaller and nubbier than their body. Hamster tails are centimeters long, whereas mouse tails are inches long.

Hamsters do not require a long tail for balance, unlike rodents. Mice are more acrobatic than hamsters. Thus a long tail helps them balance.


Finally, hamsters and mice or rats behave differently. Their habits differ by breed and domestication level.

Hamsters are nocturnal, whereas mice or rats are busy all day. Mice are shy and curious, but hamsters are gregarious and easygoing.

Many pet hamsters need more exercise than mice. Pet mice like running on wheels, like pet hamsters.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a Hamster a Rat or Mouse?

Hamsters are rodents (order Rodentia) belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae, containing 19 species classified in seven genera. They have become established as popular small pets. The best-known species of hamster is the golden or Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), the type most commonly kept as pets.

2. Are Mice Scared of Hamsters?

No, hamsters do not attract pests. Although hamsters and mice are both types of rodents, that is where the similarities end. In most cases, rodents of different species do not get along.

3. What Are Hamsters Closest Relatives?

Hamsters are tightly linked to voles, and mice from the New World. Taxonomists divided the Muridae into a different family, the Cricetidae, in the mid-20th century; however, this separation has been overturned.

Last Words

“Are hamsters related to rats and mice?” is answered here.

Although hamsters are not the same as mice or rats, rodents need daily dishes, water bottle washing, and weekly cage cleaning. To keep your pet’s cage clean, wash all its toys and accessories using hot soapy water.

Clean your pet’s cage and accessories with a mild bleach solution, then rinse and dry thoroughly before bringing them home.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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