Is a Hamster a Rodent?

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Many people aren’t clear on whether or not hamsters are actually rodents.

There is probably a lot that you don’t know about your pet.

The term “rodent” doesn’t bring to mind the most flattering picture, but there are lots of different kinds of rodents in the world.

Are Hamsters Classified as Rodents?

Hamsters are indeed classified as a rodent, just like mice or rats. Rodents lack canine teeth and have powerful incisors that gnash their food quite effectively. 

The four teeth that are located on the top and bottom of the animal’s mouth make it easy for them to chew their food quick and efficiently. This is a crucial aspect of avoiding becoming prey to another animal.

Are all Hamsters Related?

Pretty much all hamsters in the world are closely related, despite originating from different regions. Some of these rodents are from Syria, while others come from China. They do, however, have the same ancestors in common.

There are a number of hamster genera that fill under the same subfamily known as Cricetinae. This includes Mesocretus, which are the golden hamsters, as well as Phodopus, which are dwarf hamsters.

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Hamsters and the Animal Kingdom

All hamsters are part of the Anamalia kingdom or Metazoa. This encompasses every single animal on earth. Hamsters are technically mammals and are part of the Rodentia order, which includes every single type of rodent.

These rodents are part of the Cricetidae family, which also includes mice, rats, voles and a number of similar animals.

Hamsters vs. Other Rodents

Hamsters have more in common with other rodents than you might think. For instance, these animals are part of the same phylum, class, order and even superfamily as all other rodents in the world. Each hamster has its own subfamily, but the big picture always comes back to rodents.

Do Hamsters Spread Disease like other Rodents?

While rodents in general have a reputation for spreading disease, this is not the case with hamsters. These particular rodents aren’t known for passing disease onto humans, and it is very rare.

There are a handful of illnesses that a hamster can potentially spread to a human being, but it’s unlikely to happen for a number of reasons. First of all, most of these animals are actually quite docile and do not bite unless provoked.

That being said, it is important to handle your hamster carefully and take proper hygienic measures when cleaning out their cage. There are certain bacteria that can live in hamster feces, so you should always wash your hands after coming into contact with it.

Do Rodents Make for Good Pets?

Some people might not regard rodents as making great pets, but the fact is that they can be in a number of ways. These animals are small and very easy to take care of for starters. You won’t have to worry about having to invest a lot of time or money into a hamster.

Another great thing about hamsters is that they don’t typically need to be taken to a veterinarian, though an annual checkup examine is recommended. This means that you can have a furry companion without a lot of expense or inconvenience. This is a very beneficial situation for most people, especially those with busy lives.

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Rodent Diet

A vast majority of rodents, including hamsters, are omnivores. This basically means that they eat other animals in addition to plant matter. Wild hamsters have been known to eat various insects and various lizards, as well as fruits, vegetables and leaves.

Anyone who is planning to keep a rodent as a pet needs to keep in mind that these animals need a fairly high-protein diet with not too much fat. It is acceptable to give your rodent a wide range of fruits and vegetables as snacks from time to time.

There are a number of pellet foods and loose seed mixes that are specially formulated for hamsters. It is crucial that you get hamster food, as there is no general rodent pet food. This will ensure that they stay healthy over the long term.

Hamster Body and Size

Rodents come in all different sizes, and hamsters vary quite a bit in terms of their overall size. For example, dwarf hamsters tend to be on the smaller side, around two inches long. Syrian hamsters can grow to be anywhere from 5 to 7 inches long.

It is important that you take your hamster’s size into consideration when buying their cage, exercise wheel and other things. This will help to keep your rodent friend comfortable, which helps to ensure a long and healthy life.

Hamsters have shorter tails than either rats or mice. They tend to be significantly bulkier than the average mouse. One of the things that separates hamsters from these other rodents is their mouths, which have pouches for hoarding food. This has played an important part in the hamster’s survival throughout history.

Should I have a Rodent as a Pet?

The fact is that rodents can make for excellent pets, but they aren’t for everyone. If you have a deep fear of these animals, you’ll probably want to opt for some other animal to keep at home. It will be necessary for you to handle your pet rodent on a regular basis. These animals can make for excellent overall companions.


  • Hamsters are indeed classified as rodents, but they are unique in a number of ways.
  • Pretty much all hamsters share the same ancestors, despite being from different parts of the world.
  • All hamsters are part of the Anamalia kingdom, which includes every animal on earth.
  • These rodents are part of the Rodentia order, which includes every rodent on the planet.
  • Hamsters have larger bodies but shorter tails than mice.
  • A typical rodent’s diet consists of various insects and plant matter, including fruits and vegetables.
  • It is important for hamsters to get a good amount of protein on a regular basis.
  • Rodents actually make for good pets, as they are low-maintenance and provide good companionship.
  • If you have a very busy schedule or cannot afford an expensive pet, a hamster is an excellent option to consider.
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