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...and non-rodents. :)

I recently learned something about myself. You have dog people, cat people, bird people, and heck even reptile, arachnid, or snake people. I am a rodent person/small animal person.

I've never not liked having rodents. Even the ones I know I didn't take care of right (my parents decided an aquarium was good housing for a guinea pig... also sawdust shavings, I'm so sorry to all my past pets, I didn't know any better), they were always so fun to watch and even the less personable species were still more personable than some pets I'd had like fish or turtles (not bashing them, just from my personal experience).

So, I've compiled a list of rodents I'd like to research more about because I'd like to own some in my lifetime. I know that these pets will either be in critter nations or bin cages, and I think that's suitable for this entire list... but there are some outlying species that need specialized cages, I know. I also know some species aren't supposed to be around other species (I think you're not supposed to have cats with chinchillas?)... but that's where you all can help me with! I don't know much about some of these guys, and I'd love good resources.

Italic'd animals I know a lot about, bold'd animals I know nothing about, and unformatted animals I know a bit about here and there. Again, I know not all of these are rodents, but most of them are.
  • Hamsters
  • Rabbits
  • Ferrets
  • Chinchillas
  • Sugar Gliders
  • Hedgehogs
  • Degus
  • Natal Mice
  • Mice
  • Gerbils
  • Guinea Pigs
If anyone knows any other rodents that are pet species but I haven't listed... I'd really love to learn about them, too! I know I won't be having all of these animals at once (obviously), but I will be getting one of every species at some point in my rodent career. No better time to start research than the present :p
 

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I can help with ferrets for sure. And mice.

what all are you trying to learn about them?

Ferret info- The best ferret website out there is holistic ferret forum.

Their care is not easy. Don't get a ferret if you aren't serious.

Diet- a ferret is an obligate carnivore. Don't fall for the crud where you can feed them a kibble. It's all junk and causes cancer. They need a full raw meat diet. They can and will kill and eat any rodent in sight and mine are extremely fond of frozen whole rats and mice.

They require a lot of out of cage time. A lot. And they are destructive. They chew, dig, rip and shred.

Cage upkeep can definitely be a chore. And they do smell a bit. The raw diet helps a lot. But you still have the poo and pee and litterboxes and they do have some smell no matter what.
 

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^What about raw food they market for dogs or cats? I can't bring myself to feed feeders. Of any kind. I know it's not wrong of others to do, but to me, because I love them as pets, it feels wrong. I know some of their cousins eat rabbits and such too... are chicken, beef, etc, okay for them to eat?

Obviously this is hypothetical. I wouldn't be getting ferrets for a long, long time if it happened at all, so I'm trying to learn all I can, but I'll check out the forum! Thank you!
 

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I know a bit about rabbits and guinea pigs. We have a fair few of those >.> 10 buns of various breeds, and 5 guinea pigs (we had six but one of the "babies" passed suddenly)

Rabbits are a lot like cats personality wise. You have your loungers, your jumpers, you hyperactive nut jobs, and anti social grumps. They don't have a lot of vocal communication so you have to get really good at body language. Grunts are about the only sound they make to tell you their pissed, and some learn to make the noise if they want something so that's not always reliable. Thumping is a good indication of unhappy. I was trying to kill a spider and making a lot of noise and our rescue Mochi got annoyed and thumped at me every time I missed and hit the ground. XP Store cages are a no go for them, unless modified heavily. They need lots of floor space, and most need some places to jump up on top of. Not all though, My flemmie Voldemort won't jump barely at all. Most people just put up dog X-Pens in their house and that's the cage. They litter train fairly easily once fixed, though you may need a lot of litter boxes, they can be picky. Absolutely a must, must be fixed! Females will get cancer by 3 to 4 years old, are unpredictable hormonal, and tend to mark up walls, both with teeth and pee. Males can be aggressive and cannot be put with any other bun unless fixed, its to dangerous. They also will mark and make a mess tearing things up. Good quality timothy hay pellet fed in moderation for adults, with a daily salad and lots of hay is all they need food wise. You have to mix up their veggies, they can and will get bored and stop eating them if you give them the same thing over and over. Also they have individual tastes and prefer some to others. Most of ours hate Turnip Greens, love kale. Mochi prefers more stem to leaf, Voldemort will inhale anything, Abu and Mufasa would rather eat pellets all day so veggies tend to get pushed aside unless we hold pellets till they've eaten the veg. URIs are a big thing to watch for, but that's a lot of small animal. They can, or do, carry Bordetella so its best not to let them interact with other small animals that can catch it, we've never had any issues though so far. Baths can be dangerous for buns, chills when drying and you can actually frighten them to death. Some enjoy a bath but those are rare. Trancing, where you flip them on their back and they sorta pass out, does not always work! And some put up such a fight it can be dangerous! So far our smaller ones seem easier to trance then the larger, Voldemort has never tranced, while the smaller ones like Susu or Makkuro just flop without any issue and don't seem to care one way or the other. Best forum I've found for buns is Binky Bunny, really nice people, not super active like here I'd say but very helpful. Then The House Rabbit Society has a list of safe veg and how to prepare the best salad for them.


Guinea pigs need total horizontal space. They have bad backs so ramps to higher levels, if you have them, need to be low enough they can climb without issue. Store cages, aside from maybe the Midwest Guinea pig Habitat, are a no go. Much to small. They need a min of 7.5 sq feet for a single or pair, 10.5 preferred for male pairs min. Larger is best. I have my pairs in about 12 sq ft table cages (literally just tables with hardwire cloth around them, open top) and our blind single boy is being moved onto his own 8 sq ft table. They MUST be kept in at least pairs, girls are easier to keep in groups, boys tend to be more territorial so you need more space for them usually. Some boys just don't care, Healer had two little skinny pig babies who he loved dearly, and they were our trio of boys till Loup died suddenly. Now its just him and Garou. But others are very picky, Odair only likes Porcupine, that's it. Anything else and he is rude, grumpy, and then downright dangerous as things progress. Roosie is our special blind rescue. He cannot be in the same cage as another pig or else he panics and attacks if startled. But he cannot be alone either, so his cage is side by side to the others so he can visit and "chat" and that makes him happy. He usually sleeps beside the barrier. They need Hay (timothy is the usual but any grass hay works), Veggie, and Pellets daily. Vitamin C is a must, most good pellets have it in them, but foods like Green Bell peppers have a lot so that can be given daily to ensure proper vitamin C levels. Ours aren't particularly fond of them but have learned to love them. At least with ours they are less picky about change in their salad then rabbits. Ours get Red or Green leaf and bell pepper as their standard and then I'll throw in random bits like tomato, carrot, or parsley. Odair and Porcupine love pumpkin, Healer likes oranges, Roosie hates everything. They usually like a good lap snuggle, Healer isn't one for being picked up or touched a lot but he had a bad start in life. They are very vocal! Anyone who tells you they are quiet has never had one, or they did not take care of it right! Wheeks, chitters, chirps and a whole lot of other sounds. So loud! And smart, they know when its food time and they go nuts. I use fleece as their bedding, just fleece pads with an absorbent material in the middle. From my experience this has the least smell at all. And it is cheaper long run! Plus my boys love it and its colorful and fun. They are very skiddish pets though, even the most friendly will likely run or make a fuss if you try to pick them up, so if you get them don't let that get you down. Popcorning is adorable but the older pigs don't do it much, kinda like rats. I say guinea pigs are a good entry level exotic for people. And keep an eye out for Cuy. I've heard some places have tried to sell them as "Exotic" guinea pigs. These are the livestock of guinea pigs, bred in south america for food. They get much larger, 4lbs at least, then your normal guinea pig, and only live 3 to 4 years as opposed to the 6 to 8 average for a normal guinea pig. They tend to be more wild and skiddish and take a lot more work, but I've seen people with Cuy and they say they can be just as sweet and cuddly as any other. I think Odair might even be half Cuy, would explain his size and behavior (he's a good 3.5lbs).

I know a tiny bit about Chins, They need large tall cages. You don't want to get them wet, they require a dust bath to keep themselves clean. But they shouldn't have unlimited access to the bath. They take a bit to warm up to people, more jumpy and harder to trust then some other small animals. Their diets are very sensitive. I don't know exactly what they need but I know I have heard its more delicate then some others. Most people keep them as pairs but you can keep them as single. I was speaking to a long time breeder and she recommended for a new owner to get just a single, not a pair, especially for males. She's had males just outright flip and kill their cage mate without warning. They are an animal I plan on getting one day but its far off so I haven't done super amounts of research yet.

Someone on here is rehoming some Spiny Mice, they looked pretty interesting as pets. Just something to maybe ad to your list!
 

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Sugar gliders aren't rodents I don't think they're marsupials (aka they keep their babies in pouches similar to kangaroos) If I remember correctly they are insectivores but their main diet in the wild is fruits (hence the name sugar since they like sweets) most people just feed them a home made mix of all sorts of fruits and baby food and etc. (Infact I haven't seen anyone who's given them a kibble of any sorts) they are also group animals so you need AT LEAST two but more the merrier. Sometimes they can't be the best pet because when they just wake up they pee everywhere. So if you remove them from their pouch while they're sleeping, have a towel at hand. They also make a barking sound for sometimes no reason other than they want attention. (That's as far as my knowledge on them goes since I have never had one)

You'd think I'd know more about hedgehog's since I actually have one but I actually don't. I have had him for almost a year now and everything has run smoothly and such. What I do know is they hurt a lot. I would pick them up with gloves until they uncurl. (gloves, bedding, fleece) There is no exact temperature to keep them at but 65-75/80f is a good range. It really depends on the hedgehog really you just have to keep checking in on it. If it gets too cold it can go into a hibernation and die since they're not really built to hibernate. The same can go for if they get too warm but it's easier to bring them out of a warm hibernation. Cedar and pine are no when it comes to bedding. Aspen is depends on the hedgehog. Some can have an allergic reaction to it but it's sort of rare so if you do choose aspen just keep on eye on the hedgehog for the next few days. They are very clumsy animals so you can't have multiple levels in the cage or they could fall and hurt themselves. Don't get a grid wheel. I had a grid wheel for a long time with my hedgehog and it was fine but one night he got his foot crammed into one of the holes so I took it out and go a non-grid the next day. Hedgehogs are actually fairly messy animals. They poop a lot and it gets kind of smelly so just be prepared for that. I don't know of any illnesses a hedgehog can have but keep an eye on temperature, there's no crust around it's eyes or ears and make sure the base of it's spikes isn't flakey because that can be a sign of mites or it could just be dry skin. A hedgehogs skin can become dry if you live in a very dry area (example: the mountains. Air is thin so it's not humid) I live in Colorado so it's pretty dry here so I keep a humidifier in my room just in case. There are also several oils you can get to help with dry skin. Hedgehogs can be bathed just not often. I have never used a soap with mine I just take a tooth brush and clean off his quills where they need to be cleaned. They are insectivores and I feed mine a food that the breeder I got it from sells which contains a sort of kibble and dried meal worms. I also have a booster that I sprinkle over it. Hedgehogs really LOVE kale. I don't know why but the second mine eats it he immediately self anoints. There is no confirmed reason behind self anointing. I've heard it's because they like the smell of the food so they put it in their quills to smell later. Self anointing is basically when they froth at the mouth then rub it on their quills. It's pretty terrifying to first see (trust me, I was crying) I am not sure what else to say now so I am going to end it with: don't wake a sleeping hedgehog unless it's night. They will not be happy especially if they're already grumpy in nature.
 

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Sugies are very high maitenance. They need large cages, special food (a sap replacer staple like bml or hpw) plus fruit and veggies nightly, cannot be a single glider 99.999999999% of the time, they smell, they pee and poop wherever and cannot be litter trained, they're nails are ridiculously sharp if not trimmed regularly, the wall behind their cage will look like a poo/food warzone unless you put something up, bonding with one can take years depending on the glider and situation, and they need plenty of out of cage time at night. Do not get a pair (or colony) unless you have loads of time and money on your hands. They also seem to get sick all the dang time and vet visits with an exotic vet can add up quickly. Neuters range from $50 to $600 depending on where you are and females should not be spayed except in the most dire of emergencies. They don't need shots, but annual check ups are highly recommended. Feel free to ask questions. My mother used to have a colony of eight until keeping up with them became too overwhelming for her. She was always too sleepy whenever they woke up and they always really wanted to play, so now they live with our neighbor who's basically retired and spoils them rotten. They love him and open his bird cages so their feathered brothers and sisters can fly free xD We love hearing about them :)
 

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Oh, they can eat raw cat food, beef and chicken and other meats as long as you get it all in the right amounts of bone to organ to muscle. Holistic ferret forum has mentoring programs for that.

Mine just happen to be extra fond of whole prey. Also serves as a good warning- because a ferret WILL kill other pets. Birds and rodents are both fair game to a ferret.
 
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