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Mice vs hamsters

Meece17Meece17 Lemming
Just curious because health problems in mice is talked about sooo much. Would you say mice have more health problems than other small pets like hamsters? Feel free to rant;)


  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,333
    No rant from me Meece. It`s a valid question and I would say hamsters generallyl are healthier. I kept mice for a good ten years or more and saw my fair share of illnesses and premature deaths due to mainly respiratory problems and tumours. I decided to keep a few dwarf hamsters after my last female mouse Maisy passed on from a tumour and they have been so easy. All lived good long lives apart from my female Chinese hamster who took a turn for the worst one Sunday and saw an emergency vet. She still died by the Monday morning and it hit me very hard as she became such a little friend.

    I`ve only had the one Syrian hamster and he was lovely, but shy, so wasn`t really a hamster who sought out company, he loved playing in his cage, on his wheel and looking at me from his cardboard box while he done his evening wash!

    I have had....five hamsters since keeping my mice and they have all been wonderful. A male Syrian, a Chinese female, two separate male Roborovski and now my Russian dwarf male, who is over two now. They can have a reputation for nipping/biting, but sometimes it`s just their character and you can work around that. x
  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    I was wondering the same thing recently Meece17, so thanks for posting this :)

    The main health issues I've had with mice have been respiratory problems and tumors. And they've died anywhere between 10 months, and 2 years 7 months. I've never had a hamster, but have sort of been considering getting a hamster lately.

    For the people who have owned both - what would you say are the main behaviour/personality differences between hamsters and mice?
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
  • KawaiiKawaii Lemming
    Posts: 256
    This is why I will never own mice... I would get way to upset, and my hammies have all lived to 2 1/4 years - 3 which is about as short a life as I can manage when it comes to small furries!
    Teeny meecy faces though ughn... Must. Resist. The. CUTENESS.
    I will probably cave one of these days though. I blame this forum totally mwahaha.

    Proud owner of 2 chinchillas and a dwarf hamster

    (chins for the win!)

     If I'm not active I have probably forgotten my password (again)....

  • SummergirlSummergirl Lemming
    Posts: 46
    I have had both. Had hamsters for over ten years, and mice, now, for five years.  Hamsters can live alone, but do like to have a friend. Syrian hamsters must live alone. Female mice must have companions, so as they pass away, you keep getting more. If you want to stop having hamsters for a pet for a while, you can after they pass away. But with mice, it is difficult to let the last one be alone, as they will grieve and die. So you get the picture.
    As for their health, they both live about two years, some a little longer. I have not had much illness with my mice until they do pass away. I have had hamsters (from pet shops) who have had diabetes. This is hard to treat and most don't live long. Mice don't seem to have that.
    Hamsters (the dwarfs) can be nippy and sometimes draw blood. You may have to wear gloves to handle them. Mice, in my experience, don't bite or at least just nibble, never drawing blood. Although, I have only had females and this is my experience.
    I love both species, as they are adorable and I always want another one! I am 79 now, and I wonder who would take my babies should I pass away? Not very many people I know are into rodent pets. At least they don't live too long, and maybe I can outlive them. LOL
  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    Summergirl - I keep female mice and I know what you mean, you get caught in an endless cycle of mice because you don't want one to have to live alone! I've never been bitten, but they do like to nibble on my fingernails if they get too long X(

    Are hamsters less agile than mice? My girls are super agile and crazy climbers, but when I've seen videos of hamsters they seem kind of... clumsy. No offense hamsters! X(
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 360
    I have gone from having no animals (although historically I have loved and had cats and generally am an animal lover (but not spiders, sorry)) to having mice. They are my world, often to the exclusion of my family and partner (who also loves them). In an echo of another post I don't think they are children pets or low maintenance, if you do it properly. If I am not spot cleaning or cleaning their bowls and changing their water I am cleaning them completely or dosing them with medicine twice daily.   
    I wouldn't change them for the world.  I don't deserve the apparent love from those I have dosed; they should hate me.  But they are beautiful, trusting, loving animals who give such a lot.  Their little furry faces welcome me at any time, even if they want to be asleep.  They have never bitten in anger or malice (but I do have another story of biting to share).  Their Tiny Little Hands (oh yes Kawaii) grab food from me and reach up and beg for pickup.
    I think hamsters are slower but maybe more calculating, perhaps they trundle.  I had a hamster as a child.  He lived an OK life I hope (I was too young to do him justice).  He died peacefully at an age with a tumor.  Mice I think are 'quickly, do it now, jump around, build a nest, let's play, I'm gonna chase you, oh I'm tired'. 
    Mum to ratties Bosley, Ruby, Emily and Jean, Teddy the hamster and George the gerbil.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • SummergirlSummergirl Lemming
    Posts: 46
    Hamsters are not the climbers that mice are. They do like to come out of the cage and run around your room (if you have made it hamster -proof).  My last hammie liked for me to lie on the floor and she would run all around the room and as she came by me, she would give me a little bite and then make another round of the room. She even like to do this in the middle of the night. I cannot let my mice go free in a room with furniture. I would never see them again.
    I had one little white dwarf hamster, who I called Jimmy, who was very close to me. My clothes closet was his home. I had his house, toys, and wheels all around the room, with a gate across the doorway. I was gone for a week and wondered if he would remember me when I got home. (My man was home with him). When I came home and called him, he literally leaped out of his little house and came running to me!
    I have some of my mice who have been as close as Jimmy, but they have their partners or "sisters", so they don't depend totally on my love. This is freeing in a sense.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    edited May 2016 Posts: 1,051
    I've had Mice and Syrian hamsters (but not dwarf hamsters). The Mice definitely have more health issues but it's almost like I was a Mouse in another life because I'm uncontrollably drawn to their little characters.
  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    AnnB - I always joke that I was a mouse in another life too, there's just something about them that I'm so drawn to :\"> I can't see myself EVER being mouseless now... yes they are prone to certain health issues, but it's all worth it. Mouse personalities are the best!
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
  • Posts: 529
    I've got mice and hamsters, have been keeping both for a few years now (the hamsters longer). I find hamsters generally seem healthier and I also hate seeing genetic issues crop up in mice when I've got a few from the same family, I know not everyone in the family will get those issues but its still really not nice thinking more could :(

    I agree with those who find hamsters a bit clumsier than mice, although you do get the odd exception. Splodge is a syrian hamster and he's almost as agile and acrobatic as a few of the mice when it comes to climbing
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
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