That's it, you've made up your mind and want a little pet? Yes, but which one? The hamsters and the guinea pigs are cute, fun to look at and relatively easy to maintain. Not easy to make a choice, we grant you!
So before making a decision on the best choice, here's how to properly differentiate the two species, understand their needs and characteristics.
Hamsters are small rodents that belong to the Muridae family. There are several species of hamsters, some of which are more adapted to life in captivity than others. Among the most popular are the Syrian hamsterthe dwarf hamster Russian and the Roborovski hamster.
Characteristics of hamsters
Hamsters are generally between 5 and 15 centimeters in size. Their weight varies between 25 and 180 grams depending on the species. Hamsters live mainly at night and sleep during the day. This means that they will be much more active and entertaining to watch after dark.
Feeding and habitat of hamsters
Hamsters are primarily herbivores and feed on a wide variety of seeds, vegetables and fruits. There are also commercial mixes specially designed to meet their nutritional needs. As far as their habitat is concerned, hamsters need a cage They need a litter box adapted to their size and equipped with accessories such as a wheel for running, tubes for climbing and hiding places for sleeping. They also require absorbent, dust-free bedding to keep them comfortable and maintain a clean environment.
Understanding guinea pigs
Guinea pigs, also called guinea pigs, are rodents native to South America. They belong to the Caviidae family. Guinea pigs are larger than hamsters and usually live in groups.
Characteristics of guinea pigs
Guinea pigs measure between 20 and 35 centimeters in length and weigh between 700 grams and 1.5 kilograms. Unlike hamsters, they are daytimeThis means that they are active during the day and sleep at night. Guinea pigs are generally more social and less fearful than hamsters, which can make them easier to handle and pet.
Feeding and habitat of guinea pigs
Guinea pigs have a mainly vegetarian diet consisting of hay, fresh vegetables and special pellets for guinea pigs. They also need a regular source of vitamin C, as their bodies do not produce it naturally. Their habitat should be large enough to allow them to move around freely and maintain good hygiene. Guinea pigs need a litter box, hiding places and toys for fun and entertainment.
Comparison between hamsters and guinea pigs
Space requirements and maintenance costs
Hamsters generally take up less space than guinea pigs, which can be an advantage if you live in a small home. Maintenance costs are also generally lower for hamsters, as they use less energy and are less expensive to keep. food and require smaller cages.
Activity level and interaction
As mentioned earlier, the hamsters are nocturnal and the daytime guinea pigs. If you prefer to interact with your pet during the day, a guinea pig is probably the best choice. But, if you find it fascinating to watch an active animal at night, a hamster is an excellent choice.
Need for companionship and life expectancy
Guinea pigs are social animals that enjoy each other's company and can suffer from loneliness if they are alone. Hamsters, on the other hand, are often territorial and may fight if they share their space with another hamster. In terms oflife expectancys, the guinea pigs generally live longer than hamstersThe average life span of a hamster is 5 to 8 years compared to 2 to 3 years for hamsters.
Easy handling and care
Guinea pigs are generally easier to handle and less likely to bite than hamsters. They are also less agile and quick, which reduces the risk of them slipping out of your hands when handled. Both animals need regular attention and maintenance of their habitat to stay healthy.
In the end? The choice is yours alone!
Ultimately, choosing between a hamster and a guinea pig will depend mainly on your personal preferences and lifestyle.
Consider the amount of space you have, the amount of time you are willing to spend with your pet and your expectations for interaction. In any case, both pets can bring a lot of joy and affection to their owners.