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Rat or hamster?

(31 Posts)
KitKat1985 Sun 16-Jun-19 19:07:04

I'm thinking of getting a pet that my DDs (4 and 2) can enjoy. DD1 in particular has autism and adores animals, and I think she would love to have a pet of her own. However I'm very aware that I'm going to end up looking after it, so something small and easily manageable is probably best as I work full time etc so wouldn't be fair on the animal to get anything that requires loads of time (I did also consider guinea pigs but we have a lot of foxes around here so not sure it's a great idea).

I had a hamster as a pet as a child who I loved and he was very sweet, but obviously being nocturnal I'm wondering if the DDs would really enjoy a pet that's largely going to be asleep in their waking hours. Are rats better? I've not had rats before but am aware that they obviously need a bigger cage and to be kept in pairs, but are also supposed to be intelligent and interactive so wondering if this may be better for the kids?

Nat6999 Tue 18-Jun-19 20:01:50

We've always had Syrian hamsters, they only live around 2 years but the ones we had were always lovely, they aren't always nocturnal, ours soon fitted their sleep around living with us, they used to be awake when ds came home from school & very often during the day. Only advice I have is don't buy from Pets at Home if you can, find a private pet shop or breeder.

BarryMcguigan Tue 18-Jun-19 19:54:17

@KitKat1985 fair enough! Good luck choosing I bet your children will be thrilled smile

novasglowx Mon 17-Jun-19 22:36:28

Have you considered mice as an inbetween measure? Girls are lovely, work well as a pair. Much less smell than boys and brilliant little personalities

Walney Mon 17-Jun-19 21:20:27

I love seeing people recommending rats as we've had a few over the years. Agree on them being sociable so having at least two. Ours have all been lovely and had their own personalities, great pets.

MoobaaMoobaa Mon 17-Jun-19 20:08:42

What about degus. They are lovely. bigger the gerbils and hamsters, and so cute.

KitKat1985 Mon 17-Jun-19 19:59:20

I'd love a cat but DH is scared of them. hmm Aside that we live near quite a busy road so would be worried about the poor thing getting hit by a car.

TheSilveryPussycat Mon 17-Jun-19 13:48:43

Rats are lovely. I've kept them over the years. IME females are lively and fun, males are lazy chilled.

BarryMcguigan Mon 17-Jun-19 11:06:57

Honestly... I'd consider a cat. Any caged animals is so much harder work than a cat in my opinion. Their cages need cleaning daily to prevent smells and they need such careful handling to get them used to people and to stop them nipping. If you have outdoor access then a cat can enjoy the garden and you can put down food and water once a day (and with a garden most cases you can avoid a litter tray)

Bumply Mon 17-Jun-19 08:07:39

Gerbils are more active during the day compared to hamsters, and they live longer as well. Just don't put them in plastic habitats as they'll chew through and escape.
Not had rats so can't comment on that comparison

TroysMammy Sun 16-Jun-19 23:10:52

Rats. Hamsters have bad eyesight so can be bitey solitary and nocturnal. Rats are friendly, fun and love company.

thethethethethe Sun 16-Jun-19 23:07:28

scent marking (urine) and prone to illnesses.

IHeartKingThistle Sun 16-Jun-19 23:04:41

Oh we loved our rats. Lovely pets. Wish they lived longer than 2 years!

BikeRunSki Sun 16-Jun-19 22:53:21

I had both, at different times, when I was a child. Hamsters are actually a bit rubbish as pets, nocturnal, not that affection and font live that long. Rats are far cooler.

Laurajjj Sun 16-Jun-19 22:49:34

Rats. They are so much more tamer, plus they smell less than hamsters

PinkCrayon Sun 16-Jun-19 22:48:35

I had rats and hamsters as a child.
Rats make the better pets.

ASilhouetteAndNothingMore Sun 16-Jun-19 22:45:53

I've got 2 very well trained rats. One is a dumbo rat, she's bigger and more chilled out, the other one is smaller and more inquisitive. My sons gave trained them to sit on their shoulders.
They are very affectionate. Perfect pet for children.

Wolfiefan Sun 16-Jun-19 22:41:56

A cat can live for over 20 years though. A small rodent less so.

thethethethethe Sun 16-Jun-19 22:20:14

Interesting to hear about rats - they freak me out a bit because of their reputation / seeing them in the wild.
Why not get a cat? Very rewarding and very easy to keep. You can even leave them at home for a few days and they're fine.

stairway Sun 16-Jun-19 22:17:22

Also rats have a good grip and will happily sit on your shoulder while you go about your day.

stairway Sun 16-Jun-19 22:13:35

Rats are the are the rodent equivalent of a dog intellegent and affectionate. They do need a large cage and a lot of stimulation. We had them as class pets they never bit anyone and the play monitors were terrified of them! It meantime during wet plane we had the classroom to ourselves.

LuluBellaBlue Sun 16-Jun-19 22:04:49

Rats!!!

parrotonmyshoulder Sun 16-Jun-19 22:02:57

Just got rats here to share with my 10 year old. I had them when I was younger, much better pets than the hamsters I’d previously had.
Unless you’re really going to enjoy them though, I think your children are too young.

crocsaretoocoolforschool Sun 16-Jun-19 21:58:01

I'd go for rats every time

They make lovely pets, are really sociable and not generally nibbly of peoples fingers

lovesawindyday Sun 16-Jun-19 21:51:02

i had a
fancy rat when i was a kid they are really good pets never bit me and used to great me when i got home from school. they are quite intelligent 😂

TeaKettleBell Sun 16-Jun-19 21:43:21

Wait until they are a bit older.
Hamsters a bit less... verminy.
Sorry rat owners!

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