Flag

Q: Hamster or Rat?

August 28, 2008 | By HAMHATTIE | 7 answers | Expired: 2200 days ago

HAMHATTIE

I;m not sure which to get. I had a hamster named Ham and I loved her like a sister and when she got sick she died and I was very chushed! I think I should get a rat because they live longer, you can walk them, and the're great! How hard is it to train a rat to do tricks? Comments and advice are welcome!

Readers' Answers (7)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
Tessa
Flag

Sep 01, 2008

I have had many small pets in my lifetime..gerbils,hamsters,guinea pigs,rabbits,chinchillas,hedgehogs and rats. I personally reccommend rats over hamsters. They are very social,enjoy being handled and interacting with their owners,can be trained, learn their names and are all around marvelous pets. There are a few things to consider ,however, rats need to be in with other rats. Of the same sex so that you don't have a population explosion. Keeping 2 is no more expensive than having one. Rats diet needs to be a tad more varied than a hamster's and frankly commercial diets that most pet stores sell for rats aren't very good for them. You are welcome to look at my rat pics on my page and ask me any questions you may have about rats. If I don't know the answer, I can find it out for you. Keep in mind that like hamsters,rats' lifespans are not very long. 2-3 years is average. Good luck on making your choice on a new rodent to love.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Ronatha
Flag

Aug 30, 2008

Rat-rat-rat-rat!! Get two of the same sex--they are not as happy alone and bond with you just as much. They are very clean! Mine potty trained themselves except for an occasional pellet if they could not get to their chosen potty area in their cage. They are easily trained and affectionate. They LOVE to play with you--especially wrestle! Mine never bit anyone--even whar I held them for their anesthesia injections--they just looked at me and winced (I had them spayed to prevent mammary tumors that is not uncommon in female rats). Food traing works very well with them. I had 2 female Himilayan rats (sisters) for research and they became beloved pets!

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Stephanie  C.
Flag

Aug 29, 2008

I agree with Jessica: all the hamsters I've known have bitten someone. None of my rats have. They live longer, are friendlier and cleaner and easier to feed.
Just remember, they grow to the size of their environment (bigger cage=bigger rat) make sure you get one that has been hand raised. Don't handle any small animal when you're sick, they'll catch it and die.
Rats can be a lot of fun.
From my experience guinea pigs are fun, but can be really dirty.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Jessica H.
Flag

Aug 29, 2008

In my opinion and experiences, rats are a little less tempermental than hamsters. Hamsters startle easily. I have NEVER been bit by a rat, but I have been bit by nearly every hamster I've handled (so I don't handle a lot at all anymore). Grant it, the situations the hamsters were in were stressful at the time, but even rats in similar situations weren't prone to biting.

Again, these are just my personal experiences, others will have different opinions :)

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Jill R.
Flag

Aug 29, 2008

Hamsters and rats have short lifespans, but both can make great pets.
But, what about a guinea pig? They make wonderful pets too. Y

This video may talk you into it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub3sX3praGE

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Michele Z.
Flag

Aug 28, 2008

A rat probably is hardier and may live longer than a hamster, but perhaps a hamster would do better without a companion. You might also want to consider how much money you are willing to spend for food (and other supplies) each month. Rats will eat almost anything and you could probably use leftover food for it; hamsters are more likely to require an appropriate "hamster diet" (i.e., food specifically manufactured for hamsters). You should take into account the size cage that you have or will have. A rat probably needs more space than the smaller hamster. Stated differently, you need to take into account numerous factors, but neither pet is going to be very expensive to maintain.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Catwoman1998
Flag

Aug 28, 2008

I bet a ferret would be able to do tricks better than a rat. I had a rat once...he lasted a week at my home. He bit both my son and I very hard. He stunk and just was not friendly. Back he went to the store, cage and all. Some people may have had better luck, but I am now turned off all rat pets from that. Funny thing is, I was petting him, trying to make him feel safe and comfortable and when I was done and taking my hand out of the cage, he attacked me.Yow!

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement

See more ›
Know the Answer?

There are always new questions that need answers. Contribute your knowledge about pets.