Rats and Hamsters both indeed descend from the family of rodents. However, the two are different types of species and strongly vary from one another in terms of look, biological buildup, and reproductive process as well.
But if you ask if a rat and hamster can have babies or not then the answer to your valued question will be NO! A rat and a hamster can not mate with one another. Firstly, the two species reportedly highly dislike each other and rarely appreciate each others’ presence. Secondly, the arrangement of chromosomes in rats is very different from what hamsters have, which makes mating further impossible.
If you own a pet rat along with a pet hamster and are curious about them to mate, you need to pause and read. It is utterly crucial to educate yourself about your pets to understand them and their habits better. The fact that these two animals can not mate has a lot of biology behind them.
I encourage you to kindly have a thorough read of the article below to understand your pet rat and hamster better than before. Good knowledge of the reproductive system of these pets can also help you find the right mating partners for your little fur babies.
Why Mating Is Not Possible Between Pet Rat And Hamster?
First of all, to start with, I would like to tell you that belonging to the same family does not prove any point for the mating process. A hamster as an animal is more aggressive, dominating, and territorial. On the other hand, pet rats which are also known as fancy rats are calm and demand companionship.
When a hamster is kept with a pet rat, it is most likely it will start a fight. Hamster is the one who will lead the fight as they are very protective about marking their territory. Your pet can easily become stressed and may develop a trauma due to the same.
If your pet rat friend is young or weak, there are chances that the overpowering hamster will stress it to death. Thus, it is crucial as a pet owner to keep the two animals in separate cages or different rooms, if you are adopting both species together.
I will always suggest keeping your pet rat in a group. This often helps rats build and find the kind of calm companionship they generally love. The biological or bodily compositions like reproductive patterns, habits, food habits, and diseases are also different in both hamsters and rats.
Moving on to the main reason behind this impossible mating is the chromosome composition in both species is different. A rat has 42 chromosomes. On the other end, a Syrian hamster has 44 chromosomes and a roborovski dwarf hamster owns 28 only. This way it is not possible to birth any offspring by mating both the animals.
Thorough online research will give you evidence and reviews that many rat and hamster owners and breeders have experimented with the mating process. However, all to vain, as the progeny resulted as visually unattractive and could not survive. These kinds of activities fall into animal cruelty and I do not appreciate, suggest or encourage it.
As pet owners, it is our responsibility to take the best care of our animal friends. They deserve to live a healthy life with proper food, shelter, and mating requirements. It is advisable to pair a pet male rat with a female rat and a male hamster with its female type only.
In the next part of the article, I will tell you about the reproduction process of both pet rats and hamsters in detail. Educating ourselves on our pets is the only way to learn to appreciate their existence and take the best possible care they deserve.
All About Reproduction In Pet Rats
Pet rats which are also known as fancy rats that most animal lovers adopt because of their small cute gestures came from Norway. The rats from this part of the world are adored for their soft furry body and beautiful colors.
In many parts and religions of the world, for example in Chinese and Hinduism rats are considered equivalent to Gods. However, the opposite mindset also rules among people in Europe after the outbreak of the Plague.
The advancement of science and further human-animal interaction has bettered our bonds with rats and now globally we adopt fancy rats as our pets. If you are planning to bring home a cute little and furry fancy rat or you already own one, it is important to learn all about their habits, instincts, and reproductive needs.
Fancy pet rats become eligible for mating as soon as females turn eight to twelve weeks old. Males mature for reproduction before females in between six to ten weeks of maturity. However, it is not a safe choice to allow mating between two pet rats during this period.
We have to be responsible pet parents and keep a check on our rats to prevent them from mating early. Female rats are very young and weak even after turning twelve weeks. I prefer keeping male and female rats in different cages during this period. Playing times should also be scheduled simultaneously and males and females should be separated from playing together.
It is only after your pet male rat and the female rat turns four months old that you should allow them to mate and give birth to offspring. The females need to be mature and strong enough to carry the babies in her womb. Pregnancy becomes noticeable in female rats around two weeks after mating. Weight gain and swollen mammary glands are major signs that your pet rat is pregnant.
Rats give birth from eight to eighteen babies at once. In my experience, when my pet rat Goofy gave birth, it was a litter of twelve pups. I was surprised by how strong female rats are to give birth to so many pups at once. It is important as pet parents for you to give them ample food, the right bedding, and an undisturbed atmosphere to rest and relax during this period.
A newborn baby rat is both blind and deaf. They need time to fully open their eyes and develop ears and thus you must keep them under severe care for around 10-12 days along with their mother. Be extra careful about cleaning litter and bedding of the rat cage or box during pregnancy and right after the litter is born.
One of the other important facts to be taken care of as a pet parent is the time before further pregnancy. A minimum of two months gap is mandatory for the mother rat to gain strength and health before birthing another litter of pups. Healthy pet rats are also responsible for keeping your living space healthy.
Many owners have reportedly witnessed abandoning and abortion by their mothers. This happens mostly, if the mother is sick, has a lack of bedding material, or least food available to provide for all the pups. Mother rats are witnessed to even kill and eat their babies in many cases due to lack of food and crowded cages.
Mating, pregnancy, and reproduction is a tricky and tender process for all animals and your fancy pet rats too. Thus it is our responsibility to make it easier and better for them during this time. After all, our furry friends are worth it all.
All About Reproduction In Hamsters:
Hamsters descend from the biological family of Rodentia. These small animals develop colorful fur varying from golden and grey to white. They are also considered distant family members of rats and mice. The most famous breeds that pet owners adopt include the Syrian hamster, golden hamster, and roborovski dwarf hamster.
In physical appearance, the hamsters differ from rats. Hamsters are smaller, active, and have a very small extension rather than a tail. The reproduction process among hamsters is more tricky as compared to rats. It is advisable to breed hamsters only under the direction of certified breeders.
A hamster gets ready for reproduction as soon as they age ten weeks old. However, similar to pet rats, it is not the ideal time for them to mate. The females are not fragile, sensitive, and not ready to carry babies in her womb during this stage. It is only when the hamster matures around five months, the mating process becomes safe.
Unlike most animals or adoptable small pets, female hamsters are more aggressive as compared to males. Visiting a certified breeder makes the mating process easy as they are trained to handle the species of pets during these sensitive periods.
Veterans have it that mating hamsters among different breeds are also not safe. It is important to mate hamsters among their particular breeds only. As pet parents, we should be responsible to understand the physical and sexual needs of our small furry friends and make safe choices for them.
It takes around sixteen to twenty-two days for hamsters to get pregnant. Females can give birth to a litter of six to eight pups at once. Visual indication of a pregnant hamster is similar to that of rats. However, along with weight gain and bigger mammary glands, hamsters also have vaginal bleeding as their due date nears.
The litter of hamster pups is born hairless and grows fur as they age. As a pet hamster parent, you have special responsibilities to help them during this sensitive duration of pregnancy.
Keep a regular check on proper bedding, food, and hamster feces as the due date nears. Make sure that there is ample space for all the pups in the cage or in the box where they are born. Keep the pups close to their mother for at least thirty days and keep providing moist food to help the mother hamster feed her kids easily.
The more responsible we become as pet parents the more we will be able to give them the healthy, happy life they truly deserve. We should not forget that both hamsters and rats are wild animals and have survival instincts, habits, and biological buildup that are distinct to them.
Forced mating of hamsters and rats falls under animal cruelty as this can be very painful for both or either animal and may cost them death. It is only by educating ourselves right about our little furry friends that we will be able to play our responsible part.
Can We Keep A Pet Hamster And Pet Rat Together?
The only answer to this final question is NO! Hamsters and rats may belong to the same rodent family but are completely different from one another. It is not safe and wise to keep the two species in the same cage or box at all.
Hamsters are aggressive and overpowering or territorial as compared to calm and curious rats. Keeping them together in one cage can result in frequent quarrels and fights. Scratching one another can also result in infection among the small pet animals.
You may witness them play together on rare occasions or be good friends. But, they can’t mate or stay in the same cage at all. Both hamsters and fancy rats make great pet friends with whom we love to cuddle and play. However, keeping the two small animals separate is the only means to protect them and keep them healthy.
Rats are usually the ones who love to stay in groups and develop good human companionship as well. Hamsters may be smaller as compared to rats but opposite from rats.
Pet parenting is a daunting task to many pet owners. One needs to prepare themselves before adopting any pet. Besides providing proper care, home, food, bedding, and healthy living space, a responsible pet parent also needs to take care of the sexual needs of their fur babies.
Proper education, backed up by rich research and close observation of our pet friends can help us in the parenting process at best. I hope this piece of article helps with all the information you needed to know on pet hamster and rat mating.