Cats and dogs can already be considered staple pets in every household. But, if you’re looking for a little pet that’s easier to maintain but still fun to be with, consider adopting a pet rodent!
Other than not having too much space in your room, pet rodents do not require much attention. They can spend all day playing inside their cages on their own! If not, they will be sleeping peacefully.
If you’re ready to be a rodent parent, this list will help you decide which rodent should be your next pet!
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Fun Facts on Popular Pet Rodents
While undeniably low maintenance, pet rodents must still be cared for because of their companionship to their human friends. Like any other pet, make sure to know what temperature they’re comfortable in and what kind of food must be avoided.
Here are some fun facts about popular pet rodents to get you started!
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The most popular pet rodent on this list might be the hamster. Smaller than guinea pigs but bigger than mice, hamsters are night creatures. You might have noticed how they usually have less energy during the day, but suddenly come alive from twilight to night!
Their huge cheeks have a purpose other than making them cute and charming—they use these to carry food back to burrows underground! So, don’t be surprised if you see a hamster with expanded cheeks. Their heads can triple in size with the food they carry!
Not everything about a hamster’s head is endearing, though, as they have poor eyesight caused by being near-sighted and colorblind. Because of this, they become heavily reliant on their sense of smell.
If it’s your first time having a rodent pet, hamsters are definitely for you. They are easy to breed, even as pets, and they are not afraid of people!
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Another popular rodent that can be adopted as a pet is the guinea pig. They are known for being teachable, primarily through food as a reward.
Unlike hamsters, who come alive during certain times in the day, guinea pigs do not need to sleep for a long time. These rodents prefer short naps. They also prefer jumping in the air while extending their four feet! This unique hobby is also called “popcorning.”
If you’re thinking of having a pet guinea pig, make sure to allot a lot of space. They like running around their area. It’s a plus if you have tunnels they can cross too!
Do not be surprised if these areas will all smell like guinea pigs. They are a little possessive over their space. They rub their chins and cheeks to mark their things and make their home smell familiar and comfortable!
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If you are more into desert creatures, a gerbil is the pet rodent for you. Also called the desert rat, their natural habitat is the desert.
Because of being isolated from other animals, gerbils are quieter and calmer than other rodents. They also spend their free time taking short naps. They don’t mind having this during days or nights—they are active as metaturnal animals.
You don’t have to worry about bonding with them, though! They are playful—shown by how they playfully wrestle with other gerbils.
As desert animals, gerbils developed the ability to cut their tail if they ever get caught by a predator. Don’t test this ability once you get a gerbil pet, though!
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Many kids confuse mice with rats, but mice have rounded ears, pointed snouts, and almost hairless tails that can grow as long as their bodies!
Planning to have a house mouse as a pet? Better stock up first; mice eat almost 15 to 20 times daily! This is also why mice in the wild build their houses near their primary food sources.
Like hamsters, mice are nocturnal animals with poor eyesight but a strong sense of sound and smell. They use these to discover more about their surroundings, clearly remembering places, marks, and obstacles!
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With their thick yet very soft fur, chinchillas are the ideal pets if you want a rodent smarter than rabbits and just a bit bigger than ground squirrels!
Chinchillas can be your pet for a long time since they can live for up to 20 years. They can even be taught tricks to play with humans! They are also low maintenance, but you need to have patience once they start to roll around sands!
These rodents are also hyperactive, especially during dusk and dawn. They will just sleep for the rest of the day—as long as they have ventilated cages with cool temperatures!
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If you are particular about having a pet rodent with good hearing or eyesight, you still have a shot at a degu! While they are more related to the chinchilla, degus look more like an oversized gerbil. They usually have brown fur with thick skin and rounded ears.
Unlike most rodents, degus are awake during the day. They are also more active, so you want to include an exercise wheel in their cage. Make sure to get a sturdy one, though, as degus can live for ten years or more!
Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Rodents
Are rodents good pets?
Rodents are very popular pets, especially for kids. They are very low maintenance regarding food, cage, and other needed care. The most common pet rodents in this list are hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, chinchillas, and degus!
For a deeper dive into this question, here’s what the experts have to say on rodent ownership.
Do pet rodents smell?
Contrary to popular belief, pet rodents are clean animals. They can clean up after themselves, so you wouldn’t have to worry about having always to bring them to a bath! If you ever encounter smelly problems with your pet rodents, you might want to check their cage—the smell might not be from the pet themselves!
What is the easiest rodent to keep as a pet?
All rodents are generally easy to maintain as pets, but mice are the easiest of all. They do not require a large cage and do not need much attention. But if you consider having a mouse as a pet, you might want to give it a companion! They are also not pricey, so that you can get two or three of them as pets!