Both mice and hamsters are really great pets, but there are some differences in temperament and how they will need to be kept, that require some careful consideration.
Mice, unlike hamsters, shouldn’t be kept on their own. They exist in groups, and so to keep these animals happy you’ll want to keep them in mischiefs (groups) of two or more. Despite being a lot smaller than most hamsters, they are very active animals and will need a lot of space to roam around in. Mice will jump and climb and skitter all over their enclosure, something which is great fun to watch. These habits mean that they will need a lot of space to run around in, and this will increase as the size of the mouse does.
Whilst some hamsters need to be kept alone, mice always need to be in pairs or groups
Some other differences include smell. Whilst some owners claim that their pets product little odour, many, especially owners of mice, report that their pets’ cages produce a strong odour if not cleaned out very frequently. Mice scent-mark parts of their enclosure to communicate, but unfortunately this smell is quite pungent and means that they may need to be cleaned out a little more frequently than a hamster.
Depending on the hamster species you choose, you may or may not be able to keep them in pairs, and they may be a significantly larger than a mouse. When making your decision, it’s wise to think carefully about what you’d like out of a pet, and what in turn you can provide. How many pets would you like? How much space do you have? How much time can you offer your pet? The answers to these questions should give you a good indication as to which is the best pet for you.