Always wanted a small furry, and now y 3 1/2 yo DS is no longer terrified I'm thinking about getting one. Do they do better alone or in pairs? Which is more tameable, mice or hamsters? What about food / bedding / health etc? I'm actually quite clueless as my mum was very anti pets.
If thats the route you want to go down then a syrian hamster would be your best choice. They must be kept alone! Food - Harry Hamster is a good one, but any standard hamster mix won't do them any harm Bedding - Avoid woodshavings. Megazorb, carefresh are good ones but its trial and error really to find what works for you. A hammy will need nesting material such as shredded kitchen roll/toilet roll - mine have always likes a mix. Taming wiose - it takes time and patience (just like with anything) . Health wise - they are pretty easy. Ours have never had the vet. The main thing to look out for is wet tail - google and you will get all the info
Now - for a 3 1/2 yo I would say avoid!!! We got ours when ds was 18months - she was mine! She was too quick for ds to handle and to be perfectly honest I would be worried about dhammy biting him - she caught me once and I bled like a pig! It was enough to make me wary for a while so I can imagine that would be it for a small child. Another issue you will have is the fact that hammys come out at night - while dc is sleeping! My ds gace up in the end .
My ds is now 5 and we have two guineas and a hammy. Hammy is in his room - ds rarely handles him, again because he is fast and I still don't think he could hold him securely without harm. The guineas he loves - cuddles, helps to feed, sneaks them parsley treats - much much better young childs pet imo.
Either way - if you get a small furry - only get it if you want it!!
Have you considered gerbils? They look similar to mice and are so easy to look after. We have a gerbilarium for ours which they dig around for hours very happily. The main advantage of gerbils over hamsters is that they are awake quite a lot during the day, which is nice for the children. They are exceptionally clean animals and don't smell at all. The gerbilarium only has to cleaned out every 3-4 weeks. They are very curious animals and extremely tame, they always come over to the cage door as soon as we walk in the room! And they have not bitten once Something to think about?
Hi- I've never had hamsters or gerbils (Guinea-pig house here )
I had mice when I was a teenager. Male mice absolutley STINK Female mice don't. We had 2 girls, one was already pg so we had 8 at one stage. They are very nimble, fast, athletic. Ours weren't bitey at all.
But , all the school classroom pets I've seen (apart from one guinea-pig who the teacher brought from home so she had company) were gerbils. They seem on paper to be the best out of mice/hamsters/gerbils.
GPs are non-scarey but quite alot of work. And probably too big for a 3.6 yo to handle alone. And they tend to not do much in their home unlike mice or other small furries. My dad made a 3 storey mousehouse that they loved climbing about in
Rats! They're like little dogs, up excited to see you when you get in, you can leave the cage open and they'll happily run around and play and will go home to go to bed. Much easier to handle than gerbils/mice/hamsters and far less bitey.
Best small animal I've had (and I've had them all!)
Fancy Mice all the way, they don't mind never leaving their cage not as nosy as hamsters they don't bite they don't live too long they aren't grumpy they aren't fragile. They can live in a small colony ( I would get 2 or 3 together).