what is the difference between a hamster and a guinea pig

what is the difference between a hamster and a guinea pig

Guinea Pig vs Hamster. Ought to I Get Hamster or Guinea Pig? What’s the Distinction Between a Guinea Pig and Hamster?

guinea pig vs hamster

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In case you are at present debating whether or not to get a guinea pig or a hamster, learn this text to get a greater understanding of which one can be extra appropriate for you! Or, possibly you simply need to know the distinction between guinea pigs and hamsters. Both method, this information will train you the distinction and assist you determine (if you’re debating) which is the proper pet for you!

“A guinea pig is NOT an enormous hamster. They’re fully totally different!”

Are Guinea Pig Cages and Hamster Cages the Identical?

hamster vs guinea pig

Guinea pigs and hamsters are distant cousins, deriving from the order Rodentia. Guinea pigs are members of the Caviidae household whereas hamsters are members of the Cricetidae household. Guinea pigs are greater and heavier than hamsters, roughly 2-4 instances greater and may weigh round 1.5 to 2.6 lbs whereas hamsters solely weigh round 1 to 10 oz. This implies guinea pigs would require a a lot greater habitat with extra room to play, and extra meals than hamsters (which results in extra cleansing as much as do).

Guinea Pig Cage Measurement

guinea pig hamster difference

The Humane Society says one to 2 guinea pigs require a minimal of seven.5 sq. ft of dwelling house and a advisable house of 10.5 sq. ft. The guinea pigs require roomier enclosures, to allow them to train on their schedule and have some personal house. Most pet retailer cages are a lot smaller than minimal dimension necessities. They could be acceptable for the primary couple of weeks when guinea pigs are solely infants. Nonetheless, the proprietor should rapidly look into increasing the cage dimension because the guinea pigs develop.

Listed here are a few cage choices which are applicable for the guinea pigs or you possibly can examine various kinds of cages at Several types of Cages.

C&C Cage

The great ol’ C&C cage. This DIY resolution has been one of the vital widespread strategies amongst guinea pig lovers, lovers, and consultants. The C&C cage makes use of two foremost elements: C&C grids (used as partitions) and coroplast (used as a water-proof base). Though a C&C cage requires some meeting, constructing it doesn’t take a lot time or ability. The two x 3 grid dimension would offer your guinea pigs with the minimal dimension of seven.5 sq. ft (Proven under), and the two x 4 grid dimension would offer the advisable dimension of 10.5 sq. ft.

c&c cage

D.I.Y (Do it Your self)

You may also strive the DIY choices if you’re helpful. GuineaDad constructed a cage with IKEA furnishings, and it supplies about 2 grid by 6 grid house for his three guinea pigs. You may click on the image to observe the video. The probabilities are countless!

diy cage for guinea pigs and hamsters

Pre-built cage

Greater than 90% of pre-built cages which are “made for guinea pigs” aren’t applicable for the guinea pigs. Most of them don’t attain even the minimal requirement of seven.5 sq. ft, not to mention the advisable house of 10.5 sq. ft. One model that’s appropriate for a pair of guinea pigs is the MidWest Guinea Habitat. Nonetheless, many consultants advocate that you just improve to the C&C cage or DIY choices as quickly as potential. Under is an instance of a hutch for guinea pigs.

hutches for guinea pigs

Don’t Overlook the Bedding!

Similar to different small animals, guinea pigs require some type of bedding. Residing on laborious and/or moist flooring could cause issues corresponding to bumblefoot, whereas dusty beddings can result in respiratory difficulties. With the varied beddings on the market, we strongly urge you to not select a bedding solely on the worth. It might save a pair bucks right here and there, however in the long run, utilizing beddings corresponding to our GuineaDad Liner, will prevent not solely cash, however your guinea pig’s well being as nicely.

guinea pig in fleece bedding

Hamster Cage Measurement

hamsters should live in a bigger cage

The Humane Society of america says hamsters require a minimal of two to three sq. ft of house for one hamster. In contrast to guinea pigs, hamsters are advisable to be saved alone and are extra solitary.

Though hamsters want smaller house than guinea pigs, they do higher in an even bigger and roomier atmosphere. There have been research that positively correlate the dimensions of the cage with a hamster’s lifespan (they reside longer and happier in an even bigger cage!).

Pre-built & DIY cages

For hamsters, there are some acceptable pre-built choices obtainable, however a commonality discovered amongst small animals is that, extra doubtless than not, the cages supposed for hamsters are additionally really smaller then they need to be. You may go for pre-built cages however do not forget that greater remains to be higher and to ensure the cage dimension on the very least meets the minimal requirement.

There are additionally some DIY choices the place you need to use the plastic bin to create cages for hamsters. Many consultants will advocate a bin that’s bigger than 30 gallons.

different types of hamster cages

Another choices are utilizing 40+ gallon aquariums and changing IKEA furnishings to make the cage! Once more, the DIY potentialities are countless. A well-liked method to create hamster enclosure is by creating an superior hamsterscape, the artwork of making a good looking and pure enclosure for a hamster, as proven by @life_of_pepijn above.

hamster cage types

Don’t Overlook the Bedding!

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The most well-liked substrates for the hamsters are paper beddings and wooden shavings, however identical to it’s for guinea pigs, not all wooden shavings are appropriate and/or is protected for hamsters. Since hamsters like to burrow, hamster lovers encourage house owners to have the bedding thick sufficient (2 to three inches) for hamsters to burrow below and navigate.

hamster burrowing into their bedding

Similar to guinea pigs, hamsters even have a delicate respiratory system. The respiratory an infection in hamsters might come from micro organism and irritation/irritation from the mud. Fleece could also be appropriate to make use of as an adjunct (like a hammock or a small space of fleece, it is strongly recommended to offer a bit of a cage or a field the place hamsters can nonetheless burrow.

Distinction Between Interplay with Guinea Pig vs Hamster

Guinea Pig Conduct

Guinea pigs are neither strictly diurnal nor nocturnal, which means they will play with you all through the day (extra time for enjoyable proper?). The guinea pigs are social animals and really loving, so this can be very uncommon for a guinea pig to chunk. They’re very light and mild-mannered. You may cuddle along with your guinea pigs as quickly as they change into accustomed to their environment and get comfy with human interactions. Since guinea pigs are greater than hamsters and still have weak spines, they have to be dealt with with each fingers supporting their backside and stomach.

holding guinea pig

Guinea pigs love flooring time once they can discover a bigger space. You’ll have the ability to witness numerous popcorning and zoomies throughout these instances. We advocate utilizing a guinea pig fleece liner to assist them navigate the ground and defend their delicate ft throughout their flooring instances.

floor time with guinea pigs

Guinea Pig Vocalization

Guinea pigs are very social and expressive leading to totally different sounds.

  • “Wheek” – They will whistle or generally generally known as “wheek” to welcome you residence, or signify their happiness, and even basically demanding you present them their pleasant bellies with veggies. These numerous guinea pigs’ expressions are certain to spark some pleasure to whomever is ready to witness.
  • Purring – This sound has quite a few meanings, that’s based mostly on its tone. A deep relaxed one signifies that the guinea pig is glad, the next pitch purr is extra doubtless signifying their annoyance, and a shorter one could signify concern.
  • Chirping – A peculiar noise that you could be hear is much like a fowl chirping. There isn’t any certainty of why guinea pigs make this noise, however could also be heard when a guinea pigs lose a associate.

Guinea Pig Lifespan

Guinea pigs have a mean lifespan of 5-7 years with many dwelling upwards into the double digits! As you possibly can see, when trying to undertake a guinea pig you should be on this invested within the long-term dedication.

guinea pig lifespan

There are various elements affecting a guinea pig’s lifespan starting from its weight loss program, well being circumstances, and even breed. Lots of the well being circumstances might be handled, so long as it’s handled early corresponding to bumblefoot or overgrown enamel. Bumblefoot might be simply prevented with the usage of our GuineaDad’s Fleece Liner. The power of the absorption in our fleece liners prevents guinea pigs from staying in moist environments which is a typical issue present in bumblefoot circumstances.

To make sure that guinea pigs have the perfect probability of dwelling their lives to the fullest, elements to think about are an excellent weight loss program, a large enough dwelling house, day by day train, social interactions with you and different guinea pigs, and good hygiene.

Hamster Conduct

Hamsters are extra solitary and quieter than guinea pigs. Hamsters might be affectionate to people, however with out correct time to achieve their belief hamsters do chunk. They require day by day dealing with and interplay to develop accustomed to you (identical to guinea pigs!). Hamsters are small, to allow them to be dealt with with one hand as soon as they change into adjusted. One other side totally different from guinea pigs is that hamsters are nocturnal so you will note them extra energetic within the night, evening, and early morning.

how to handle a hamster

Hamster Vocalization

Like guinea pigs, hamsters are additionally capable of vocalize to precise no matter it could be they want to specific. Listed here are some widespread sounds which are typically related to hamsters.

  • Squeaking and Squealing – This sound might be heard when your hamster is attempting to warn you of one thing. An instance of this can be when they’re first being held or have been held too roughly.
  • Screaming – This because it sounds is often heard when your hamster is expressing their concern.
  • Hissing – Hamsters are at instances aggressive creatures, and this sound is related to that side of aggression. When hamsters hiss it’s often signaling as an indication of warning.

Hamster Lifespan

how long do hamsters live

Hamsters reside 2 to 2.5 years, however identical to guinea pigs, their age is correlated with numerous elements corresponding to its species, genetics, weight loss program, train, dwelling atmosphere, and high quality of care.

To make sure that hamsters are capable of reside a protracted and full life, hamster dad and mom can do their half in ensuring their atmosphere and their weight loss program is greatest and appropriate.

How a lot time are you able to dedicate to spend along with your pet?

Every day To-Do’s with Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pig eats extra which sadly means extra “raisins” in comparison with hamsters. The guinea pig cage must be spot cleaned (poop and hay on the ground eliminated with broom or vacuum) a few times day by day. Guinea Pigs not solely want one other companion guinea pig to work together with but additionally thrive with human interplay. That you must be keen to speak to them, spend time with them, and supply them with ample flooring time day by day.

spot cleaning guinea pig cages

Cleansing with GuineaDad Liner makes the method far simpler and fewer time consuming!

spending time with guinea pigs

Every day To-Do’s with a Hamster

Hamster’s require comparable duties, however don’t require as a lot flooring time. in keeping with hamster101 most hamster house owners launch their pets from their cages each day, and plenty of consultants advocate that they be permitted this freedom at the least as soon as per week Hamsters do require day by day interplay in order that they develop accustomed to your presence in order that he/she gained’t chunk. It’s endorsed to vary hamster’s meals day by day, however not like guinea pigs, contemporary meals isn’t one thing that must be supplied daily. As a matter of reality, offering contemporary meals each different day is ample to complement their weight loss program with a balanced diet!

handling a hamster daily

@hamster_fredster’s day by day routine consists of spot cleansing, sieving sand, altering the water, and including boredom breaker and a salad!

Dietary Distinction Between Guinea Pigs and Hamster

Guinea Pig Vitamin

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When it comes to diet, guinea pigs are herbivores and require a moderately fundamental weight loss program. They should be supplied a limiteless quantity of hay and contemporary water, together with 1 cup of contemporary greens (bell peppers, cucumber, purple leaf lettuce, and so on) each day. GuineaDad Nourish Collection supplies the freshest Timothy Hay for guinea pigs in probably the most handy packaging so that each one it’s essential do is open it and clip it to the cage! The hay supplies them with the fiber essential to help with digestion and in addition assist grind down their ever-growing enamel. The contemporary veggies are given to complement their weight loss program with essential nutritional vitamins and minerals corresponding to Vitamin C, since guinea pigs are unable to provide their very own. By offering them with the Vitamin C, it may well stop the contraction of problems corresponding to scurvy.

guinea pigs eat fresh green timothy grass hay

Hamster Vitamin

food hamsters can eat

Hamsters are omnivores, which is greatest supplemented with meals they might eat within the wild (hamsters would eat vegetation and bugs within the wild). It’s endorsed to feed hamsters at the least 10 grams of dry hamster meals a day and will include at the least 16% protein and 5% fats. Aside from that, not like guinea pigs, hamsters can eat numerous kinds of meals (seed, grains, nuts, fruits, greens, and bugs).

hamster nutrition

Info on Hamsters and Guinea Pigs On-line

It appears to be a typical problem for small animals in terms of searching for data. For each hamsters and guinea pigs (and different small animals I’m certain), there are numerous voids in terms of data concerning hamsters and guinea pigs, so ensure that to look completely!


I hope this information helps you decide to go for guinea pigs or a hamster! Being GuineaDad, I’ve to confess that I’m biased. I’d extremely advocate guinea pigs to anybody keen to decide to caring for guinea pigs for his or her complete life span. Nonetheless, it’s as much as your choice as they each have their professionals and cons.

Based mostly on what’s written, I’d say caring for guinea pigs requires a bit extra diligence, and time compared to hamsters, however with such a pleasant fluff, it’s all price it!

Based mostly on my years of expertise with guinea pigs and elevating three lady piggies myself, I’ve by no means regretted a single second. I received so dedicated to them that I made a decision to start out GuineaDad. You may think about how a lot love and emotional assist I get from guinea pigs.

Since I, personally don’t have a lot expertise with hamsters, I requested round to get some opinion and enter on what elevating hamsters are like from these people:

wish they knew before getting a hamsterlife of pepijn instagram

The very last thing I need to inform everyone seems to be to do sufficient analysis in regards to the pets earlier than adopting them. They completely deserve on a regular basis and work!

If anybody else has experiences with hamsters, has extra information on any of the matter, or would love for me so as to add something please share within the remark!

Yow will discover extra details about guinea pigs and hamsters under, together with the infographics. Get pleasure from!

Superior Movies for Guinea Pig and Hamster Care + Fundamentals!

Guinea Pig Care:

You may watch our different movies, corresponding to our Q&A’s to reply extra of your questions!

Ideas Earlier than Adopting Guinea Pigs:

Guinea Pig Starter Equipment:

What Guinea Pig Bedding Ought to You Use:

Finest Strategy to Clear Guinea Pig Cage:

Hamster Care:

We have been capable of be taught rather a lot from Victoria. Watch the movies in her channel to garner extra information on hamsters (and rabbits!)

Primary Hamster Care:

The right way to Set Up A Hamster Cage:

The right way to Clear Hamster Cage:

Proudly owning a Hamster on a Funds:

Extra Enjoyable Information

There are a bunch of variations in terms of hamsters and guinea pigs. Though they’re each associated in a method, they’re like distant, distant, distant, distant cousins. They’re each elements of the Rodentia order, however guinea pigs are from the genus Cavia household, whereas hamsters belong to the Cricetinae household.

difference between guinea pigs and hamsters

LIFESPAN – Guinea pigs have an extended lifespan than hamsters, virtually thrice longer! Guinea pigs can reside for 4-8 years, whereas a hamster’s lifespan is 2-3 years. In case you are debating between a guinea pig and a hamster, that is one thing main it’s best to contemplate.

SIZE and WEIGHT – Measurement is one other main distinction. It’s fairly apparent that guinea pigs are just a few instances bigger than hamsters. A guinea pig is across the dimension of a big potato and weighs 1.5-2.6 kilos whereas a hamster is the dimensions of a strawberry and solely weighs 1-10 ounces.

FEET and HANDS and TAILS – Guinea pigs have 4 ft and no tail whereas hamsters have 2 fingers, 2 ft, and a tail. Guinea pigs are primarily on all fours and by no means use their entrance paws to carry issues the best way hamsters do. Hamsters have a tendency to take a seat up on their hind legs and maintain seeds of their fingers to chew on. Guinea pig ft are delicate, so it’s greatest to offer guinea pig fleece lining of their habitats and the place they play.

ACTIVITY – Guinea pigs are extra day energetic, however actually solely take quick naps equaling 4 hours whole. Hamsters are extra nocturnal, so chances are you’ll not need to hold them in your room in case you have a squeaky operating wheel.

OMNIVORE vs. HERBIVORE – Hamsters are omnivores, which implies they eat each plant-based and animal-based diets. Though not numerous new pet house owners know this, you possibly can feed mealworms to your hamsters! However, guinea pigs are herbivores, which implies they solely eat a plant-based weight loss program. Guinea pigs ought to at all times have a limiteless quantity of Timothy hay for guinea pigs to munch on, and it ought to make up the vast majority of a guinea pig’s weight loss program. Guinea pigs additionally produce caecotropes, which is a softer stool that they ingest. Don’t be alarmed should you see this. It’s regular, and so they take again the vitamins within the feces.

COMPANIONSHIP – Guinea pigs are very social creatures and are greatest saved with a pack of guinea pigs. If it’s not potential to have a couple of, spend numerous time with the guinea pig. Nonetheless, hamsters are higher left in solitude as a result of they’re very territorial. Conserving a couple of in a cage might result in preventing.

guinea pig hamster difference

REPRODUCTION – Guinea pigs give start to pups, and every litter carries 2-4 pups. Typically they could even carry as much as 13 pups at one time. On common, hamsters can provide start to 6-12 pups, however the most might be 20 pups!

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