Hamster or Guinea Pig – Which One Is Better?

In the world of small pets, you will find the utterly adorable and chubby pets; hamster and guinea pig.

Each little creature has cute features, but if you are getting a pet, you would have to consider many other things.

For instance, ask yourself, what does it take to take care of a hamster or a guinea pig.

So, hamster or guinea pig – which one is better? Honestly, the answer depends on your personal preference. However, hamsters won’t play with you in the day as they are nocturnal animals. They also do not appreciate a lot of touching. Guinea pigs are more suitable for children but require greater space due to their larger size. Guinea pigs, unlike hamsters, get along well with other pets as well.

Go through this article, and you’ll know which pet is easier to take care of; a hamster or guinea pig?

What Is It Like To Own A Hamster?

For starters, we need to consider whether or not your house is safe for small pets.

Next, you need to check for things like; what do they eat? Are they social pets? And much more.

Additionally, you have to look at the pet itself and ask yourself if it is the right choice for you. Some people prefer active and playful animals like guinea pigs.

You’re one of many people who struggle to select one of the two pets, and that is why I’m here to help.

As you will go through this section, you will learn that hamsters are a low maintenance pet compared to others. Additionally, they can be an excellent pet for adults.

Do hamsters take less space?

The size of a pet is essential because it gives you an idea about what type of cage is best suitable for it.

A hamster can grow up to 7 inches and weigh 2.5 ounces. Unlike guinea pigs, they don’t require a lot of space.

Ideally, you could get them a cozy little cage with a hamster wheel which they can use for exercise.

If you don’t want to give up too much space for a new household pet, I’d suggest choosing the hamster.

Day or Night

Hey, if you are a night owl and want a cheek cuddler, hamsters are meant for you.

These little guys are nocturnal animals; meaning they stay awake in the night, and sleep through the day.

People who prefer to play with their pets in the day are not going to have a blast owning a hamster. They are infamously known to bite you if you ever try to play with them in the morning.

There is only a slight chance that your hamster might recognize you as their owner. More on that in this article.

Are hamsters a short-term or long-term commitment?

There are two breeds of hamsters; Syrian hamsters and the dwarf hamsters. The Syrian hamster lives for 2 to 3 years, while their dwarf counterpart has a life span of 1 to 2 years.

So, if you don’t plan to make a long-term commitment for any reason at all, getting a hamster is the way to go.

Are you looking to become a pet parent for more than one pet?

The case of hamsters is quite the opposite of a guinea pig because they aren’t as social.

A lot of people ask me if hamsters feel lonely. That’s something that I cover in depth over here.

To the contrary, if you already own a pet and plan to put your hamster in the same cage; there is a slight chance you could have a mini-WrestleMania on your hands.

Hamsters usually prefer to remain on their own, without any cage-mates.

Don’t let this attitude fool you; hamsters are big softies on the inside. They need some play time to bond with you.

Spend about 15 minutes with them out of the cage, and your hamster is going to be a jubilant critter.

What Is It Like To Own A Guinea Pig?

Contrary to what the name suggests, guinea pigs are not even remotely related to pigs.

If you’re asking yourself, “a guinea pig or hamster for a child?” then you should certainly go with the latter.

Do you have enough space at your house for a guinea pig

Guinea pigs are bigger than one would assume. The adorably playful pet can grow up to 8 to 12 inches, which is why it requires a bigger cage.

To give you an idea about how big a guinea pig can get; imagine that they are nearly as large as a kitten. The Peruvian breed of guinea pigs is almost 20 inches long.

Giving them an exercise wheel is a bad choice because they have a delicate spine. Don’t let the guinea pig use the wheel because they could hurt their spine.

In regards to space, these are the factors you will have to consider while choosing between a hamster or a guinea pig.

Are guinea pigs awake in the day or night?

Guinea pigs are relatively active pets, and they require a certain time of the day to exercise.

They often have a similar sleeping pattern as their owners, unless you are a night owl. These cheeky cuddlers are probably all ready to entertain you through day and night.

Are guinea pigs a short-term or long-term commitment

From the nature of a guinea pig, it is easy to build a bond, and you are in luck if you want this bond to last for a long time.

Guinea pigs have a lifespan ranging between 5 to 7 years. In some rare cases, they can even live up to 10 years.

In conclusion, if you are all set for making a long commitment, what are you waiting for? Head over to the store and get yourself a loving guinea pig already.

Are you looking to become a pet parent for more than one pet?

Guinea pigs are incredibly social; they form bonds that last for life. They prefer the company of a pet or their pet parent.

If you so much as walk past their cage, a guinea pig will start making noises to get your attention, yearning for some bonding time.

Considering that they have a large lifespan, I would strongly suggest getting other pets to give them company.

Guinea pigs like to stay in groups or pairs. However, they are not fond of larger animals like cats or dogs.

Thus, making these little guys the perfect pet for those people who want someone to spend time playing.

Buying One Of These For Your Children?

Here’s the question that bothers most people:

A guinea pig or hamster for a child?

If this is you, this section of the article will satisfy your query.

First and foremost, let’s take a close look at hamsters. These little guys are nocturnal, meaning your children won’t get a chance to play with them in the day.

Since these little guys tend to bite, it could potentially hurt the kids.

Then, we have guinea pigs, which we would recommend for your children. Why?

Unlike hamsters, a guinea pig stays awake throughout the day and is eager to play.

You don’t have to worry about your children staying awake through the night to play with the guinea pig either because they tend to have the same sleeping schedule as humans.


I should caution you that both of these pets can get infected with zoonotic diseases. These are a disease which can transfer from animals to humans.

Moreover, neither of these pets are perfect for your child.

Guinea pigs require daily cleaning and extensive care. On the other hand, hamsters are nocturnal and bitey.

Additionally, it is difficult for a kid to handle such small pets. These fragile animals could easily slip away if their grip on them is too loose, or they could hurt them if the grip is too hard.

Nevertheless, with supervision and responsible behavior, they could take great care of them. It is actually a great way to teach your children how to become more responsible.


So, should you get a hamster or a guinea pig? Honestly, the answer depends on a lot of things.

We would suggest getting a hamster for an adult because they don’t require a lot attention. Adults have a busy schedule, they rarely have time for loved ones. Having a pet around could bode well, and a hamster is recommended.

Alternatively, for children, we would recommend getting a guinea pig. Compared to hamsters, these are more playful and they get along with other animals. Thus, making them the perfect pet for your children.

Related Questions

Do hamsters or guinea pigs smell more? Generally, guinea pigs are great starter pets because of their size, and they do not bite. However, they can be a bit smelly.

To avoid this, you will have to bathe the guinea pig and clean their cage regularly. Male guinea pigs may have a peculiar smell due to their musk.

Can you cuddle with a guinea pig? Out of all the rodents, guinea pigs are the ideal rodent to cuddle. Unlike others, you can also cuddle with them in your lap for a much longer time in contrast to others.

Can you keep hamsters and guinea pigs together? Unfortunately, letting them live together can lead to issues.

Aside from the fact hamsters like no one’s company, the two animals require different cage sizes. Additionally, guinea pigs eat and drink more than hamsters. Guinea pigs also like to run around and stay active.

Are guinea pigs friendlier than hamsters? Hamsters are smaller than a guinea pig; they require a smaller cage and lesser food. They are a great pet with whom you can build a strong bond.

However, guinea pigs are a better pet for both adults and children.

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