Hamster Vs. Rabbit: Which Is A Better Pet For You?

Planning to get a pet for your family? Not sure about the factors you must take into consideration while buying one?

I have gone through the same troublesome situation, and so today I have decided to help you out in choosing the correct pet for you and your family. In this article, we shall compare Hamster vs. Rabbit to find out which one suits your lifestyle the best.

Each one of them has its own pros and cons. While Hamsters are more reserved animals, rabbits love to play outside. Both Hamster and Rabbits can make excellent pets taking into consideration a few of the important factors. If you are not into a long term commitment then Hamsters can prove to be the best pet for you.

Choosing to have a suitable pet for your family can prove to be a very difficult task for you. You must always keep a note of a few of the crucial dealbreakers.

Stay with me till the end and I can ensure you would be clear with your thoughts.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Hamster vs Rabbit – Which Is The Best Pet For Your Home?

So, let us begin by checking the difference between hamsters and rabbits. We shall compare them based on various important factors that most to be pet owners consider while choosing a pet for themselves.


Hamsters were first discovered in Syria, later they were found in Greece, Romania, Belgium, and northern China also. Soon they became popular as pets all around the world.

Rabbits were first domesticated in the 5th century by the supreme monks of the champagne region. They were introduced to the British during the 12th Century, after that the breeding and farming of rabbits for meat and fur became widespread throughout Europe.

Species Family

Hamsters belong to Class Mammalia, Order Rodent, and Family Cricetidae.

Rabbits belong to Class Mammalia, Order Lagomorpha, and Family Leporidae.

Variety (Breed)

There are 24 main species of Hamsters. Although there is more variety available which is the result of breeding different coat types; officially they have been categorized into 18 species only.

There are 49 breeds of rabbits recognized officially by the world. They are available in all different sizes, colors, and fur types to choose from.


The weight of an adult Hamster is anywhere between 25-60 grams depending upon the breed. It’s newborn can be even 1.2 grams.

The average weight of a rabbit can be anywhere between 450-2000 grams. The weight of a rabbit majorly depends upon its breed and gender.


The average lifespan of a Hamster is anywhere between 2-3 years. It is dependent upon the breed, and care they get. The oldest living Hamster lived for approximately 4.5 years.

The average lifespan of a rabbit can be anywhere between 8-12 years. It totally depends upon the care you give to them. Rabbits kept indoors have a higher lifespan compared to the ones kept outdoors.


There are currently 24 species of Hamsters the world is aware of, all come in a wide range of variety and sizes. The European breed can grow as large as 13.4 inches (34 centimeters) long. Ther dwarf hamsters grow to around 2 to 4 inches (5.5 to 10.5 cm) long and the Syrian hamster, also known as the golden hamster, usually grows to about 6 inches (15.24 cm) long.

Rabbits can grow up to 8-20 inches in length, depending upon the breed. While smaller species can be as little as 8 inches, larger species can grow up to 20 inches in length.

Herbivore or Omnivore(Classification)

Hamsters are omnivores and they eat both plants and animals (mostly insects).

Rabbits are herbivore creatures. The staple diet of rabbits includes vegetables and plant-based food.


The gestation period of a female hamster lasts about 15-20 days. Females tend to have two to three litters per year. They can give birth to up to 6-8 pups in a litter.

Rabbits gestate for about 30 days. Females tend to have 4-5 litters per year. They usually have litters of between 4 and 12 babies (kits), depending on the breed.


Hamsters are quite clean animals. Most of them will quickly get into the habit of using just one corner of their cage as a lavatory. You can get away by cleaning the cage once a week if you have a hamster.

Rabbits too like Hamsters keep themselves clean, you’ll often see them grooming themselves. However, they may need some aid once in a while.


Hamsters are odor-free animals, they do not usually stink. However, you must clean your hamster’s cage at least once a week or it can prove to be a problem.

Rabbits are odor-free animals too. However their urine can sometimes be really foul. Clean its living area at least once a week to avoid any other problem related to smell.

High/Low Maintenance

Hamsters are low maintenance creatures. They are not that hard to look after. They are cheerful even when left alone.

Rabbits are not so low maintenance pets. They need your attention. They may start to feel lonely if kept separate for a long time.


Hamsters make great pets for school-aged children. Children younger than 5 years must not be given to handle it.

Having a rabbit for your child as a pet may not be a great idea. Though your child may bond with them, they should not be given their responsibilities.


To keep your Hamster happy you must prefer to have a large cage. It gives them ample space to run and play. An ideal cage size for a Hamster would be 24 inches by 12 inches, and at least 12 inches tall.

A cage of rabbits must at least be 8 times its size. They need space to run. Insufficient exercise may prove fatal.


Hamsters are better off alone. It is advised not to keep more than one Hamster in an enclosure. They may even fight themselves to death.

On the other hand, Rabbits are better off with some company. A rabbit can get lonely and depressed if left alone.


Hamsters are most active at night. Their exercise wheel may disturb you a lot. It is advised not to keep your Hamsters cage in the room you live in.

The sound of rabbits may prove quite annoying,.They sometimes show strange behavior and make a lot of noise. It is a big no for you to keep your Rabbits in the same room where you live.


Hamsters are not aggressive creatures but may bite you due to fear. However you can train your hamster from stop biting you.

Rabbit generally do not bite until poked. They are sweet creatures.


Hamsters are usually submissive and like to stay alone. They do not prefer companies like other pets. They sometimes get aggressive too. When adults are kept together they may get violent too.

Rabbits as pets can really show a very distinctive kind or character or behavior. They are playful pets and you will enjoy a lot seeing you play. They are also said to be loyal like dogs.


Hamsters feed on both animal and plant-based food. They love to eat nuts, fresh veggies, and fruits. While others love to eat small insects, lizards, etc.

Rabbits diets are mostly plant-based. They do not eat meat. Their diets include grasses, hay, and fresh vegetables.


Hamsters usually love to live alone and sometimes it can truly get difficult to tame them. They are very aggressive and often bite their owners but you can train them to stop.

Rabbits are docile creatures. They can be aggressive too when not handled properly. They often hurt themselves.


Hamsters usually shed with change in temperature. If you are extra sensitive to fur, then your hamster’s shedding may be burning your allergies as well as making your hamster’s cage a bit more unkempt than usual.

Rabbits usually shed every three-four months or so. Spots on rabbits are common when they shed. Some rabbit owners keep rabbits open at home, which may lead to the spreading of their hair, all-around their homes.

Cost to buy

Hamsters usually cost less than $20 to buy. They are mostly available in pet stored and with breeders as well.

Rabbits cost between 20-40$ if you want a general breed and get it from a pet store. On the other hand, it many cost as less as 10$ if you get it from a shelter or rescue team. High breeds can even cost up to 100$.

Cost to keep up

A Hamster cage would cost you approximately $60 for a decent one. Initial bedding, food, and cage supplies would cost approximately 30-60$. The total monthly cost can go up to 600$.

The initial setup for rabbits is really high. A hutch alone can cost up to $250.Their health care can cost up to $150.The total monthly cost can even cost up to 800$.

Vet cost

You must take your hamster for a visit to the vet for at least once in a year. This visit can cost up to 30$. Hamsters do not need vaccines.

Regular checkups for Rabitts can cost up to 40$. If you want to neuter your rabbit, then the cost may range anywhere between 100-250$ depending upon where you live.


Hamster Vs. Rabbit: Which is a better pet for you? Hamsters and rabbits both make for an excellent pet.

Hamsters can be kept in average-sized cages and doest not need much attention. On the other hand, Rabbits need a lot of space and also attention.

Both have their own pros and cons. You can end up choosing any of the two pets that make you happy.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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