Rodent Pets: A Comparison

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Take a look at the differences and similarities between popular rodent pets, including gerbils, Guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and rats. Compare their size, lifespan, and native areas.

  Gerbil Guinea Pig Hamster Mouse Rat
Length* 4–6 in. 10–11 in. 3–5 in. 2–3 in. 6–8 in.
Tail long none short long long
Cheek pouches? no yes yes no no
Lifespan 3–4 yrs 4–6 yrs 2–2.5 yrs 1.5–2 yrs 2–3 yrs
Native area Africa, Asia South America Asia, Europe worldwide worldwide
Fun fact is a very good digger squeals like a pig when excited has poor eyesight but keen hearing its heart can beat 700 times a minute can swim underwater

*not including tail

Types of rodents

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