are guinea pigs and hamsters the same thing

Are Guinea Pigs and Hamsters the Same Thing?

Hamsters and guinea pigs are two of the most popular pocket pets and it’s common for people to confuse them for one another. While both animals are small, furry rodents, there are significant differences between them.


  • Size – Hamsters are much smaller, averaging around 5 inches in length, while a full-grown guinea pig will average 10-12 inches long.
  • Shape – Hamsters are quite round and have short stubby legs, while guinea pigs have a more elongated body, similar to a rabbit.
  • Origin – Hamsters originate from Syria and parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Guinea pigs originate from South America.
  • Personality – Both guinea pigs and hamsters can be held and played with. However, hamsters can be more active and nippy depending on their breed, while guinea pigs tend to remain calmer and more content.
  • Lifespan – Hamsters typically only live around 2-3 years, while guinea pigs can live anywhere from 4-8 years.


  • Nocturnal – Both hamsters and guinea pigs are nocturnal, meaning they are active during the night.
  • Habitat – They both require adequate space to roam, so it is best to keep them in a cage for safety and interaction.
  • Food – Both animals require a well balanced diet of hay, vegetables and grains.

To summarize, hamsters and guinea pigs are two very different animals but similar in some ways. Do your research and pick the animal that’s right for you, whether it’s a hamster or a guinea pig!

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