Can Mice and Hamsters Crossbreed? Hybrid Hamster-Mouse?

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If you are thinking about crossbreeding a hamster and a mouse, then this article is probably going to disappoint you a bit. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to crossbreed them. These two species have no interest in breeding with each other either.

It is usually true that most animals cannot breed with other kinds of animals. First of all, there is no way to get these two species attracted to each other. This is not such a big problem, as one can always do the fertilization artificially.

But even then, nothing would happen. The eggs of the given species would simply not react to the sperm of the other one. Are you interested in further details about this crossbreeding question? Keep on reading and we are going to explain you why it is impossible.

Hamster-Mouse Hybrid – Is it Possible?

They are two different kinds of animals and as such, they cannot breed with each other. Their incompatibility also means that their genus greatly differs. For breeding, it is very important to have similarities in the genus.

Not to mention that they would need to have the same number of chromosomes, otherwise it is impossible. Mice and hamsters are not closely related when we take a look at it scientifically. In fact, scientists have figured out a way to overcome the differences between the two species.

They can make the fertilization happen. However, the result is always an embryo that stops to evolve after a few cell divisions and dies.

What is the Difference Between a Mouse and Hamster?

The main problem here is that the hamster nucleus and the mouse cytoplasm are not compatible at all. The two DNA’s are different and there is nothing you can do about it. Scientists tried to remove the nucleus of the mouse egg and place a hamster’s nucleus into it instead.

We are talking about the part that contains almost all of the DNA from the species. Even with these nuclear transplants, creating a hybrid wasn’t successful. However, there is another method that includes merging two embryos.

Let’s say you take a hamster embryo and a mouse one and merge them in the lab. These cells can be merged and they can also result in a normally developed animal. But here comes the twist: this method also proves that the two species are incompatible.

At one point, the stronger cells start to dominate and the result will be a mouse, not a hybrid. No matter what you do, one of the species is going to dominate with its cells. Even gene manipulations resulted in an almost 100% mouse, which can’t be called a hybrid.

Can You Keep Mice and Hamsters Together?

You can, but you need to keep in mind that hamsters need a lot of space in the cage. They are solitary animals and they don’t need anyone to accompany them. For example, Syrian hamsters don’t get along in the same cage and they will eventually kill each other.

This is not the case with Dwarf hamsters who can be kept together. However, they need to grow up together or at least be of the same gender. This already suggests that hamsters might be aggressive towards other rodents, which is true.

If you place a mouse in the same cage with an adult Dwarf hamster, it will be very likely that he is going to attack the newcomer. You can keep them together if they grow up together, yet it will cause a lot of stress to them. Therefore, it is not the healthiest option but it’s certainly possible.

If it’s possible, then use something to separate the cage into two different parts so that they can’t get close to each other. Also, don’t expect them to play together when it’s play time. Make sure to take only one of them out of the cage.

What Animals can Breed with Mice?

There are no other animals that can breed with mice. Even if you would put a wild mouse and a pet mouse together, they will probably not breed with each other. Not to mention that even rats and mice are two completely different species and can’t breed with each other.

There are simply too many differences in their genus. Even in a laboratory, there is no method that can cross the gap between the two species. Based on these findings, you can only imagine how much difference there is between mice and other animals.

Rats have no interest in mating with mice and sometimes they even kill them as their predators.

Can Wild and Pet Mice Breed?

They can, yet they don’t want to most of the time. Scientists have home-bred a couple of generations of mice in captivity and then released them to join wild mice in their natural environment. As it turned out, mice that lived in captivity didn’t really want to mate with the wild ones.

The reasons are not clear. Differences in behavior, smell or other physical factors might play a big role in the phenomena. Nevertheless, 189 mouse babies have born during the study and only 17 of those were the result of wild and pet mice breeding with each other.

Conclusion

As you can see, pet mice can’t even breed with wild mice most of the time. Breeding them with rats or hamsters is completely out of the questions due to certain differences. Crossbreeding requires the genus, the chromosomes to be similar by a large percent.

If these criteria are not met, then nothing is going to happen. There are plenty of artificial ways that scientists have tried out in laboratories and every one of them failed at the end. There is literally no other animal that a mouse could successfully crossbreed with.

On the other hand, keeping hamsters is possible, yet not recommended. You need to buy a really big cage for that and maybe even separate it into two parts. Mice can be quite peaceful, yet hamsters are rather aggressive towards other rodents and their own species as well.

avatar I’m Peter King, writer and editor of this blog. I’m a lifelong animal advocate and volunteer at the Animal Rescue League. On this blog I help people learn about pet mice. As a responsible pet owner, you should learn about your pet’s need before getting it. If you have any question or need help, please leave your comment below.

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