Hamsters are indeed rodents, along with other popular pets such as gerbils, guinea pigs, mice and rats. The rodents form a large group of mammals that have conquered most parts of the globe, with opportunistic mice and rats in particular going where no rodent has gone before, into cities, on board ships, and invading remote lands and islands (where they invariably do terrible damage to the local ecosystem).
Many of the rodent family live in burrows, trees, or thick vegetation, something that keeps them safe in a world where most predators have a taste for small rodents.
Rodents range in size from the small mice, hamsters, voles and lemmings, through the medium-sized rats, guinea pigs and squirrels, to big creatures like the coypu (nutria), agouti and musk-rat, and giants like the beaver and capybara. These bigger rodents, along with other species such as coypu, musk-rat and water vole, have adapted to a semi-aquatic life. The rodents we tend to keep as pets, however, are the ones who like to lay low in burrows or other dark places.
The Golden or Syrian hamster (looking cute in the pic below) is one of the most familiar of the pet rodents, and is popular with parents who want a small pet for their children but don't like the look of a rat or mouse's long tail!
Nocturnal and subterranean it may be, but the Golden hamster is still a very popular pet worldwide
Check out our Hamster Breeds page to find out more about the different species of hamster available as pets.