A Rabbit or a Hamster, which one is more suitable for you as a pet? They might seem similar to handle, but they have major differences between each other. Today we’re going to help you decide which one would make a better pet for you and what you need to know about them.
People all around the world are falsely assuming that rabbits and hamsters belong to the same family – Rodents (Rodentia). But to their surprise, rabbits don’t fall into that category, they are representing the family of Lagomorphs (Lagomorpha).
So what’s the big deal about it, you might ask. There are key differences in their teeth and their digestive systems, thus the difference in their diets.
Cage – Rabbit vs. Hamster
Rabbits are much bigger than hamsters. Even the smallest bunnies are larger than hammies. This directly reflects on the size of the cage they’re going to be inhabiting.
Hamsters are much smaller in size than bunnies. It means that if you are to let them roam freely around your house, you might have trouble finding them, as they like to hide under beds, sofas, between cabinets, etc. They also require smaller cages or terrariums.
The hamster’s cage needs to be extra secure and it needs to have lots of toys and hiding places. These small creatures are masters in the art of escaping. Their small body can fit in very small places and you need to be extra careful when cleaning and opening the cage.
Compared to the pet rabbits, hamsters can live their whole life in their cage. This needs to be considered if you are mostly working and just don’t have enough time to play with your pet.
Bunnies are extremely social. Some rabbits are more social even than cats. This answers the question of why you MUST NOT keep them in their cage all their life. They must be periodically taken out. Let them roam your house or other specific areas.
Bunnies, however, tend to be aggressive at times, you need to give them enough attention and petting to win them over. But they won’t just bite, headbutt, or punch you for no reason, rabbits are forgiving creatures.
Hamsters are a prey animal, it’s their instinct to burrow, hide, and run. So when you’re getting him a cage, you should make sure you get one that’s a bit larger, so that it has enough space for him to feel safe. You should also put various items, such as logs, rocks, and other decorative goodies along with the hamster.
Hammies are difficult to tame, it takes time, attention, and care. Don’t give him attention and he becomes grumpy, or give him too much of it and the outcome is the same.
Many of the hamsters tend to be awake at night, so if you’re getting a hamster and you’re going to bed early, there are high chances that you won’t meet him often during the day.
While they are awake, they are either extremely lazy or hyperactive. No average. However, when they get older, they kind of ease-down.
Rabbits are territorial, so when you’re letting them roam, they might mark your sofa, shoes, carpet, and overall everything that they decide.
Hamsters are also very territorial, they’ll fight anybody unknown to them, willing to trespass their domain. Hammies are incredibly prone to being scared.
Rabbits live up to about 12 years. That means you’ve got to commit to him. You have to become friends and adapt to each other’s character. But that becomes an easy task if you are giving the bunny enough attention and care, he’ll make a good part of the family in no time.
The life expectancy of the hamster isn’t so long. They live up to only three years. It is much easier to commit to a hamster than a rabbit in that manner.
Food & Diet
If movies and cartoons have taught us anything, it is that rabbits love carrots. While that is true, their diet doesn’t solely depend on the carrot intake. Bunnies love all kinds of fresh fruits and veggies. They especially like the leafy green ones.
Hamsters adore foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables. But to give them proper and consistent nutrients, you should get them any commercial hamster food. There are plenty of them.
Cuddling – Rabbit vs. Hamster
Bunnies are very social animals. most of them love to cuddle. When you are in good terms with the rabbit, he’ll love to cuddle with you. Bunnies are cute and fluffy, who wouldn’t want to cuddle with them?
Hamsters, on the other hand aren’t very likely to cuddle. First, their size makes cuddling dangerous. Second, they tend to get stressed and aggressive when they’re not in control. You may want to cuddle them forever. But they don’t want to and will try to get away.
Do Rabbit and Hamsters Get Along if Living Together?
If you choose to get both, a hamster and a rabbit, DO NOT EVER experiment putting them in the same cage. It will be a huge stress for the hamster, and the bunny, being overly-social might harm the Hammie.
Conclusion – Rabbit or Hamster as a Pet
Rabbits are very social and demanding for attention. They also take great commitment. However, they reward you with cuddles and affection.
While hamsters aren’t that requiring in terms of attention. They aren’t as social as the bunnies, that’s why they prefer sleeping during the day. Hammies are much harder to tame. But looking after hamsters is much easier than it is for rabbits. One thing that you should keep in mind, is that they are ‘exotic pets’ . It would be hard to find a veterinarian for these small creatures. Even if you do, it might be costly.
It’s simple – if you want to be able to commit more to your pet, want cuddles and affection, your choice should be a rabbit.
If you are mostly working or just don’t have enough time to play with your pet, but still want to look after a companion, your choice should be a hamster.