Differences Between Pet Rat and Pet Hamster – BE AWARE!

  • Brit
  • September 22, 2022

I was an owner of seven different hamsters in my life. I got my first hamster when I was probably 9 and it kept going from there.

Differences Between Pet Rat and Pet Hamster

Owning a hamster versus owning a rat is very different. Not only is their care and needs different but their personalities are different also.


Hamsters need food on a regular bases. Their diet can include seeds, plants, roots, and insects. This is different from rats because you should absolutely not feed your rats seeds as part of their staple diet. Rats should be fed lab blocks.

However, there is a brand called “Living World Hamster Extrusion” that is in lab block form and suitable for hamsters.

ALSO SEE: Best Pet Rat Supplies List


Training for each animal is an individual experience in itself. And in my experience, it’s a lot easier to train a rat than it is to train a hamster. Hamsters are less social in the sense that they don’t really play with you, but they can play around you.

Their memory span is also not very long so if you teach your hamster a trick, they will probably forget it the next day. Rats can retain training for up to 3 months and sometimes it’s been proven that their memory can go back further.

Hamsters are also nocturnal similar to mice while rats are more adaptable to a different sleeping schedule.

ALSO SEE: How Large do Rats Get?

Differences Between Pet Rat and Pet Hamster


Housing a hamster takes less space than raising a rat primarily because hamsters are solitary animals. You should never keep them together because they become territorial and unlike rats, they will fight to the death.

Thus, there is less of a demand of space for two animals since you only need to house one animals.

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