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cat lover 10-06-2010 09:30 AM

Hamsters, Gerbils, Rats or Mice?
What type of small animal do you think makes the best pet for a child? Do you think any of the above ones are very trainable? And then keeping the cage clean.... do you expect the child to do this or do you do that part?

happymomof4 10-06-2010 09:39 AM

When my kids where younger we had hamster, gerbils, guinea pigs, hermit crabs, lizards. The kids where responsible for cleaning the cages and feeding them. I like the hermit crabs the best. I am not big on the others just because I can't stand mice or anything like them!!!!! The kids did very well with taking care of them.

We had rabbits outside in cages for a few years. It got to the point where I was the only one taking care of them. So we found somebody to take them cage and all. The rabbits we would put on leashes and walk them around the yard. It was fun.

DeBora4BobbyL 10-06-2010 07:00 PM

Right now, each child has a hamster. However, there new pere breeds do not get along with each other. When I was young, I could buy all the hamsters I wanted as long as there wasn't more than 1 male. Now, you cannot put 2 hamsters together, no matter their age or gender. Other than that, they are great pets.

cyncerp 10-31-2010 11:17 AM

My kids had pet rats. Hamsters and other rodents are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day. If you disturb them, they BITE. Rats never bit my kids, came back to their cage if they got loose, not down the register, to die and smell. You could feed them anything, never had to make an emergency run to the store for food. I just loved them, they learned tricks, too.

DeBora4BobbyL 10-31-2010 11:49 AM

These new pure breed hamsters just don't get along. They are temperamental than the ones I used to have. I think, eventually, we might put them together in the evenings or something outside their cages and see if they learn to tolerate each other. They are tame with humans though. It is other hamsters they become hostile with. Used to, I only worried about this between males.

justEricka 05-25-2011 09:47 PM

my son gave me 2 gerbils as a gift. they are pretty neat...yes they sleep alot..and are up in the night..and since they sleep in my room..i hear them all the time...but that doesnt bother me like it does some. they will sit in my hand and eat and take food from me. they also will come when you tap the side of their cage to see whats going on. no one messes with them but me...they get along fine, and i have 2 little balls that we put them in when i clean out the cage...i dont want anyone else messing with them, becasue if one gets loose, the cats will eat them. but they are sweet natured. i like them.

DeBora4BobbyL 05-25-2011 09:56 PM

Well, my DGDs hamster died night before last. We've had it about a year and a half. I understand they live up to 2 years. We've been trying to decide on another pet. I understand that mice make better pets because they aren't inbred. So, we are seriously thinking about going that direction. DGD wanted a guinea pig, but I understand they are very nasty and pee and poop a lot, which means cleaning their cage often. She loves chinchillas, but they cannot get wet because they have something like 60 hairs per hair follicle. They take dust baths.

RobertaD 05-26-2011 05:49 AM

We had gerbils as they don't bite as much as a hamster can/does. There is no way I'd have mice or rats as pets nor snakes!


justEricka 05-26-2011 07:23 AM

we had guine pigs..they dont bite at all..never had one bite even when my dds were small..and not too soft

they were great..but take more time..because they will talk to you and want to hang out...ours was out of the cage alot of time....and the cats didnt bother them after the

DeBora4BobbyL 05-26-2011 07:27 AM

I did some research. Guinea pigs are fearful at first but can be very friendly once they bond with you. They also urinate very often and can smell. Hamsters of today at aggressive. I agree. Gerbils also make good pets and aren't solely nocturnal. However, they are very social and you need to have more than one as they aren't happy living alone. Mice make good pet, but are nasty. Rats are clean and don't urinate often and you can let them out of their cages and play with them without worry that they'll run away once you have bonded with them. I am about sold on getting my DGD a rat. All these rodents aren't much different except in size and tail length.

justEricka 05-26-2011 01:56 PM

my gerbils hang out and play together...but jerron got me 2 of them...i think rodents are good..and if i was going to get a the type would get a hairless rat just because they are cool

bunnyboo 07-15-2011 02:18 AM

We have 2 hamsters right now. My kids have had hamsters and rats. I've loved them all but I prefer the hamsters. Everyone of the hammies we've had has loved to sleep in the cleavage of my bra. They are so sweet and funny. The only time I've been nibbled is if my hands smelled of food and then they never actually bit me just sort of tasted to see if I was food.

DeBora4BobbyL 07-15-2011 11:38 AM

You must handle your hamsters quite often. Our hamsters have only tried to get away. The rat seems so much friendlier and has not bitten once.

bunnyboo 07-15-2011 12:57 PM

:puck: Yes we handled them from the moment they came home. At first they were skittish but with time and patience now they crawl up our arms & on our heads & nestle into us when their tired. 1 is a fat little thing & the other is normal size. When I give them a snuggle they put their paws on my face, it's so cute. The rats we were cute too & I loved them but I like the small size of the hammies. When my son was younger he had 1 hamster we used to take in the car with us, but only in the spring & fall when it wasn't too hot or cold, & she used to sit up on the dashboard & look out. It was hilarious. As long as you take your time getting them used to you any of the rodent family is fine, it just comes down to preference.:grinning:

dottie 08-18-2012 02:45 PM

We had guinea pigs and they are pretty fun little guys. They do squeal a lot but I thought it was cute. Also ours were trained to a point. If you would yell their names they would run down our long hallway squealing the whole time towards you. We all loved them.

cat lover 08-18-2012 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by dottie (Post 1081248)
We had guinea pigs and they are pretty fun little guys. They do squeal a lot but I thought it was cute. Also ours were trained to a point. If you would yell their names they would run down our long hallway squealing the whole time towards you. We all loved them.

Hello Dottie! One of my sons used to have guinea pigs and they were adorable! They really weren't trained like yours though. I used to love holding them too!

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cat lover 05-11-2016 07:39 AM


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