Which small pet is right for me?
Cats and dogs make great pets, but they’re definitely not for everyone. But small animals can make for incredibly lovable companions too. But what if you only have a small room? Or what if you simply don't like dogs and cats? Cute rodent may be your thing, they can be surprisingly loving! Keep reading to find your ideal small friend 🐹
The classic Hamster
The favorite pet of children, hamsters are fun and active, but they are nocturnal, so beware of the noise if you put him in your bedroom. Hamsters are solitary creatures and relatively self-sufficient, they can entertain themselves with wheel, tubes, and toys.
Unlike rabbits and guinea pigs that need companionship, hamsters can't be put with another hamster. Except for dwarf hamsters, they are more sociable and can get along well with each other if they know each other from a young age. However, Syrian hamsters also called Golden Hamster are naturally solitary creatures, they should live alone.
The goofy Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are more suitable for children as they are much more active during the day than hamsters, and are easier to handle due to their bigger size. Guinea Pigs prefer a large space where they can run around and play. They are a social animal and will happily come to interact with you. However, Guinea pigs absolutely need to be with others of their species, as they can die from loneliness.
You need to have a cage with big floor space and enough for at least 2 Guinea Pig and of course, lots of toy and hideout. They come in all shape and form, with long or short hair, curly or straight or even hairless!
The cute Rabbit
Contrary to popular belief, bunnies are difficult to care for and are temperamental. Rabbits are complex and smart creatures, and they need a stimulating environment to be happy. They need space for sleeping and resting, but they also need to run around and play. They are social creature and need the companionship of their own kind.
They can live 12 years, so it's a long time commitment and you should think carefully before taking a pet Rabbit. It's not a suitable animal for children as they may handle them to forcefully. Rabbits like to be pet from time to time but they won't snuggle with you too long.
The fun Gerbil
Gerbils are really interesting pets to observe as they dig tunnels and climb through their enclosure. Gerbils are naturals digger, so make sure to have deep solid glass walls. They’re mostly active at night so they may not be suitable for young children as they may feel frustrated to not be able to interact with them during the day.
In the wild, gerbils usually live in large groups. So it’s best to get two or three gerbils that have grown up together. Obviously, it’s best to keep male and female gerbils apart if you don't want to end up with lots of baby gerbils to rehome.
The smart Mouse
Mice are naturally curious and can provide hours of fun to watch as they climb ropes, run through tunnels, build nests and hide food. They usually sleep during the day and are more active in the evening and at night. Mice are usually friendly because they’re so small and quick and due to their small size, they are fragile animals, and you should handle them with care.
Mice are really sociable animals and it's essential to have the company of other mice, but always make sure they have enough space in their cage. Mice like to climb, so buy wired cages but be careful, they can squeeze through really tiny gaps so make sure that they can put their head through spaces between the bars.
The misunderstood Rat
Rats are the most underrated pet, many people still believe they are nasty creatures full of disease, and they couldn't be more wrong. Rats are highly intelligent, they make very friendly pets and they can even learn tricks. Rats absolutely love social interaction and you can truly form a strong bond with them. They crave companionship, so make sure to have at least 2 rats, as they can get depressed if they are alone.
Rats need more cage space than mice, hamsters or gerbils, they need to climb, so make sure to have a tall wired cage and platform with few levels. They also enjoy some tunnel, toys, and hammock to keep them active. You can set up an obstacle course in their cage and watch as they work out their way around.
The sweet Chinchilla
Chinchillas are highly active creature. They're great to watch as they explore their cage and play with toys. But Chinchilla's live much longer than other small pets, they can live for up to 15 years so it's important to bear this in mind, getting a chinchilla is a big and long term commitment.
They will need large enclosures with enough room for a pair of Chinchilla. They are social animals and they get lonely and stressed if they're kept on their own. They also need a very large cage with a dust bath as they love to roll in it to wash themselves, the dust absorbs oil and dirt from the fur which keeps the coat clean.
The playful Ferret
Ferrets are full of energy and fun. They are really sociable and active, they need a large enclosure with plenty of things to climb on and play with, as well as daily free time in your house or bedroom. Ferrets love attention from their owner and like being picked up for cuddles. As much as they love human company, they also need another furry ferret friend as they can get lonely if they’re kept by themselves.
Like Chinchillas, ferret lives longer than other small pets and will need more care too. They can live for up to 10 years and will need at least 1 hour a day of exercise outside of his cage. So if you decide to adopt a ferret, make sure that you have the time, money and space.
Birds and Reptiles
Birds and reptiles of all kinds are increasingly popular as pets, but many people adopt before any research. They can make wonderful pets, but you can be easily overwhelmed when you realize how expensive and difficult some are. They aren’t for everyone. Make sure you’ve done your research before considering them.
As animal lovers, My Pawed Friend will make a separate blog post about birds and reptile!