Are Gerbils Bigger Than Hamsters

Are Gerbils Bigger Than Hamsters

Welcome to the size showdown!

Are gerbils bigger than hamsters?

You’ll soon find out as we take an in-depth look at their size, habitat requirements, lifespan, and physical characteristics.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which pet is right for you and your family.

So buckle up and get ready to explore the world of small furry critters!

Key Takeaways

  • Gerbils are generally larger than hamsters.
  • Gerbils can reach up to four inches in length.
  • Hamsters typically reach sizes of two to four inches.
  • Hamsters may have more mass and weight due to their thick fur coat.

Size Comparison

You may be wondering whether gerbils are bigger than hamsters. To compare their sizes, it’s important to consider the species of each, as different hamster and gerbil varieties can vary in size. Generally, gerbils are larger than hamsters and can reach up to four inches in length. On the other hand, hamsters typically reach sizes of two to four inches, depending on the species. However, even though the gerbil is larger in size, hamsters tend to have more mass and weight due to their thick fur coat.

It is also important to note that the size of a gerbil or hamster can be affected by their feeding habits and activity levels. For instance, gerbils that are fed a high-calorie diet and are encouraged to exercise will tend to be larger than those that are not. The same can be said for hamsters. Therefore, a hamster can be larger than a gerbil depending on their diet and activity levels.

Habitat Requirements

Apart from size differences, gerbils and hamsters also vary in the type of habitat they require. Both need a cage that meets their individual nesting habits and dietary needs.

Gerbils are the larger of the two and require a much larger cage, at least 24” x 12” x 12”. Gerbils need an enclosure that’s well-ventilated and has plenty of space to burrow. For nesting, they need an area with soft substrate such as wood shavings or paper bedding. They also need access to fresh water and food dishes, as well as items to chew on, like a gnawing stone or a wooden block.

Hamsters, on the other hand, need a much smaller cage, at least 12” x 12” x 12”. Hamsters are smaller and more active than gerbils. Therefore, they require a much bigger wheel for running and a higher cage that’s well-ventilated. They also need a nesting area, food and water dishes, and chewable items like a gnawing stone.

When deciding on a habitat for gerbils or hamsters, it’s important to consider their individual needs. A pet owner should also research the type of diet that their pet requires in order to provide the proper nutrition. With the right care and attention, these animals can both thrive in their new home.


You may be surprised to learn that both gerbils and hamsters have relatively short lifespans. In fact, gerbils tend to live a bit longer than hamsters. On average, a gerbil will live anywhere from two to four years in captivity, while a hamster can live between one and two years. However, if given the proper care and diet needs, gerbils can live up to five years, while hamsters may live up to three years.

It’s important to note that both of these small rodents require different care depending on their breed. For instance, some breeds of hamsters are more prone to health issues and can have a shorter lifespan. In contrast, gerbils are usually healthier and may live longer due to their higher activity levels and playfulness. With that said, diet is another factor that can affect the lifespan of both gerbils and hamsters. A well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help keep these small rodents healthy and extend their lifespan.

Physical Characteristics

Building on the previous discussion of lifespan, another difference between gerbils and hamsters is their physical characteristics.

First, gerbils typically have longer tails than hamsters and their fur is usually softer and finer. Additionally, the color of gerbils can vary much more than hamsters, with everything from light brown to gray to even black.

On the other hand, hamsters typically only come in shades of brown or gray, and their fur is coarser than gerbils. Lastly, both gerbils and hamsters come in a variety of sizes, with the Syrian hamster usually being the biggest.

When it comes to physical characteristics, gerbils and hamsters have distinct differences:

  • *Gerbils* typically have longer tails and softer, finer fur.
  • *Gerbils* have a wide range of color variations, from light brown to gray to black.
  • *Hamsters* mainly come in shades of brown and gray, with coarser fur.
  • *Syrian hamsters* are usually the largest of all the hamster breeds.

Adopting the Right Pet

Now that you understand the physical differences between gerbils and hamsters, it’s time to decide which pet is right for you. Adopting the right pet is essential for a successful pet-owner relationship. To determine which pet is best for you, consider the following factors:

Socializing NeedsModerateHigh
Activity LevelsHighModerate

Gerbils are independent animals who don’t require as much socializing as hamsters. They can thrive with moderate interaction, making them a good option for people who are busy or away from home a lot. However, gerbils do need plenty of activity, so they require a large and safe cage with plenty of toys.

Hamsters, on the other hand, are more social animals and require frequent interaction. They need a lot of playtime outside of their cage, making them a better fit for people who have more free time and are home more often. They also require a large cage but don’t need as many toys.


Overall, gerbils and hamsters are both small rodents that make great pets. However, when it comes to size, gerbils are slightly bigger than hamsters.

They both require a comfortable habitat and have similar life spans. Ultimately, the choice of pet comes down to personal preference.

When it comes to gerbils and hamsters, it’s like choosing between two peas in a pod – both are equally lovable and fluffy, just in different sizes.

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