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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever since I had to give up Amadeus and Gem, I've been feeling depressed and lonely. I need an animal companion (other than Mr. Cat, who is not always affectionate and can't even go outside with me anyway) who can go places with me.

I just can't seem to find one that feels right for me. I am a rat person, I've discovered. Rats are the best pets for me. Unfortunately, my apartment manager doesn't allow any species of rodents, so I can't get a rat, mouse, gerbil, guinea pig, or anything like that. I kind of wish I could have a tiny pocket-sized snake, but snakes are also not allowed in this apartment. :I

So I need a pet that is small-ish, pretty calm, relatively easy to train, known to be affectionate, and is not of the dog, cat, rodent, or snake variety...

Any suggestions?
 

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Not a dog, cat, rodent or snake!?

What about a rabbit? There is debate over if those are actually rodents. ;)

What about a bird? Even small ones like parakeets are supposed to be very intelligent, kind of like rats. Birds are really the only thing I can think of.

Good luck!
 

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Maybe a lovebird? Mine is a bit screechy (Not as bad as some others though ._.) but she's extremely affectionate and I'm working on a harness for her right now so that I can take her outside. She's easy to care for, at least no worse than my rats, and they can be trained. Ivory hasn't had any training, but she does mimic me when I say "step up", even if she doesn't really know what the command means. XD
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I used to think I wanted a rabbit, but I did research and found that rabbits are not the right pet for me. I thought about getting a bird, but I don't know... I've met many parakeets and parrots, and none of them seem to like me. :I


Maybe a different type of bird would be better? I'm not really into the flashy colours, either. (I'm sorry if I seem picky. I just really don't want to get an animal that I won't actually love, because that would be irresponsible and mean to the animal.)
 

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Birds can't go anywhere and take a LOT of work to be affectionate.

How about a ferret? If you still have all your rat stuff the start up would e cheap. Bunnies being affectionate is like cats - either are or aren't and usually only on their terms only. Guinea pigs maybe (don't think is a rodent).

Less affectionate but certainly portable are herps. Skink or bearded dragon are what I have dealt with, I want an uromastyx though.
 

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Also worth noting proper bunny care doesn't involve a cage, so can be difficult with a cat or detrimental to the area you set an X pen up with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would like a ferret, actually, but can they go places with me? Like, can I get a ferret to sit on my shoulder or walk on a leash or something? and how expensive are they to care for?
 

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About the same as a rat in terms of cost; can be more expensive if you get one from a pet store (adrenal problems from neuter). I would recommend an unneutered male if their musk doesn't repulse you (I like it) or a rescue ferret with an implant. Ferrets are really affectionate and bond so tight rehoming them can cause serious health issues so be sure you understand and can do it.

As to walking, yes. Loads harness train their ferrets. Lady at my vet walks hers in to the appointment. They can be a lot like dogs with the care needs of rats. I would go watch youtube videos of them, I bet they will be as affectionate as you need as they are easier to play with and love sleeping too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would prefer an unneutered male, but my roommate would be extremely upset (ridiculously so, in my opinion) if the ferret were to spray. Is there a way to reduce the odor of ferret musk without surgically altering the animal?
 

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I used to think I wanted a rabbit, but I did research and found that rabbits are not the right pet for me. I thought about getting a bird, but I don't know... I've met many parakeets and parrots, and none of them seem to like me. :I


Maybe a different type of bird would be better? I'm not really into the flashy colours, either. (I'm sorry if I seem picky. I just really don't want to get an animal that I won't actually love, because that would be irresponsible and mean to the animal.)
It's fine. I totally agree, you shouldn't get an animal you don't want with all your heart. Whatever you pick will be lucky to have a considerate owner like you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's fine. I totally agree, you shouldn't get an animal you don't want with all your heart. Whatever you pick will be lucky to have a considerate owner like you.
Aw, thanks. c:
 

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Sugar glider?

They're very "rodent-like" and are marsupials. Though I don't know how trainable they can be. They bond closely with their owners (too close in my opinion, but some like it) and I have seen people take them out with them.

Hedgehogs are another non-rodent small pet, but I highly doubt they can be cuddly if that's what you want. Don't know if you could bring them out with you...

Honestly, Sugar Gliders sound like the best option to me, but they are very long lived, so if you get one... you're stuck with it for a while unless you rehome it which is detrimental to their health due to the fact they bond so closely with their owner.

If it were me, however... I wouldn't get anything. I know how I feel about my Rodentia and if I were in your situation, I would decide it would be better to have nothing at all rather than the wrong thing. Any rodent-like replacement (such as gliders and hedgehogs) live for a long time which is a huge commitment for someone who is just using them as a replacement. What if in a few years if you CAN get rats again? What happens to the replacement? Now, that is assuming you can't find a type of pet that you love nearly as much as rats. If you can find something, then that would be different of course. :)

Sorry I'm not much help! I do think you should look into Sugar Gliders, though, and see if they call to you. They are charming little creatures. I had a chance to hold a few last year and they were so soft and sweet. Nearly convinced me to get some... but alas, they don't fit me very well.

Oh, also worth noting, not only for you but for anyone in a similar situation, if you are diagnosed with anxiety or depression, etc, and rats assist in making you feel better, you can have them as ESAs (emotional support animals) even in housing they normally aren't allowed in. I believe all you need is a doctor's note from someone qualified to diagnose you with such issues that says you need such and such pet as an ESA. Again, not necessarily directed towards you, OP, as I don't know if you would be eligible for that, but I know many people on this forum have anxiety or depression which this information may benefit. I have an anxiety disorder myself and have looked into making my rats official ESAs, but the landlord of the place I am about to rent is fine with them, so no need at this time.
 

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I would prefer an unneutered male, but my roommate would be extremely upset (ridiculously so, in my opinion) if the ferret were to spray. Is there a way to reduce the odor of ferret musk without surgically altering the animal?
Why would u want an unneutered male?
 

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To be honest, not really. Supplements and diets don't do much (if you've never met a ferret, it's hard to explain). I do know that it is thought that neutering ferrets at an older age may reduce the chances of problems so maybe you can find a retired breeder or something. Pet stores neuter them well before sexual maturity which is thought to be the problem.


A neutered male ferret will have a high chance of adrenal problems that can necessitate surgical implants or lots of medicine. They can be costly, obviously. It is because pet mills neuter ferrets too young. I believe females may also suffer this, but I do know that females need to be spayed before their first heat. Tht is why a ferret who already has an implant (older rescue) or an unaltered male can be the safest, cheapest bet.


A renter from my family once had sugar gliders. They take a bit of work to stay friendly to my understanding (constant reinforcement). For less flashy birds that may still be affectionate, I would look at some conures or maybe cockatiels? Cockatiels can cause allergies though. You also should probably go sit in a pet store and listen to them go about their business because birds change everything. If they won't tolerate their cage being covered like mine, you will get called awake every sunrise. You will rarely have moments of quietness. They have an opinion on everything. I love it to death, my keets, but birds are often surrendered to the shelter because lo and behold they are noisy...a lot of it isn't always singing. My parakeets love to click and are fickle and temperamental so also squawk a lot. Birds can also take a while to take and train, usually a month or month and a half for me to teach step up.
 

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Do you have a private outdoors space (your own yard)? If so, you could look into chickens. They aren't terribly smart, but you get some hens and you'll have eggs every morning. I think they can bond, too, but aren't too needy, and kept outside the smell/noise won't be a problem.

If you live in an apartment complex and don't have your own land area that could be a problem though. Honestly, you really shouldn't keep chickens in your house. :p
 

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Do you have a private outdoors space (your own yard)? If so, you could look into chickens. They aren't terribly smart, but you get some hens and you'll have eggs every morning. I think they can bond, too, but aren't too needy, and kept outside the smell/noise won't be a problem.

If you live in an apartment complex and don't have your own land area that could be a problem though. Honestly, you really shouldn't keep chickens in your house. :p
Never mind that. I was rereading your message and saw you have an apartment.
 

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Gosh... It's really hard to find pets like rats. If I may ask, what kind of birds do you consider flashy? Just bright colors or do you have a problem with all birds being considered flashy? I'm not judging you, I'm just trying to see if I can think of something for you... Birds seem to be your best bet, but if you really don't like them or their colors then I could try looking for a different route. :3
 

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If you'd consider a bird, I recommend a cockatiel. I had a female I got as a baby who was the plain standard grey (no flashyness at all, just dull orange cheeks. Nowhere near as brightly colored as males who aren't very "flashy" either). When she went through her teenage times she was kind of pissy and not very affectionate, but after she was a couple years old, she was VERY affectionate and loved snuggling with me. She had the cutest pissy personality and would fuss about a lot of things but never ever bit, just complained and acted cute. She would get very excited when I came home and would dance and run back and forth in front of the door and peep until I opened her cage and said hello and gave her neck skritchies and kisses. I really miss that birdy! Cockatiels do produce a little more dust than some other birds, but shouldn't be too bothersome if other pet dander doesn't bother you. They can make noise of course, but my girl didn't make too much. Just loud happy PEEP PEEP PEEP when I would get up in the morning and when I'd come home. Assuming they don't die early from an injury or illness, they should live to be a nice 20 years old. I'd love to have a cockatiel again some day!
 

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I just woke up and I'm too lazy to read the responses...

New pets: A pot belly pig.. they're pretty much like dogs, except you can litter train them. Or a guinea pig. They take a while to warm up to you, though.
 

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Oh, oh, oh. We own a green cheeked conure. It's on the small sized of parrots. It's like owning a 2 year old.. but he's super cute And awesome opossum.
 
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