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Small (caged) pets - what do I need to know?

(23 Posts)
unknownrebelbang Sun 03-Aug-08 14:40:06

DS3 (almost 10) wants a pet, and we're thinking about it.

So, tell me, what do I need to know before we decide to go ahead and buy?

cornsilk Sun 03-Aug-08 14:44:14

He will get bored of it after a few weeks and you'll be left to clean it out etc.

charliecat Sun 03-Aug-08 14:52:31

If you are going to get him anything get him a rat. They are lovely. Hamster and mice are incredibly boring. Rats are like puppys.
Gerbils interesting to watch, if hes not that hands on.
But require effort with cage building, they both do TBH.
Hamsters are just useless, you just wait for them to die. They are up at night when your ds will be in bed.

cornsilk Sun 03-Aug-08 14:54:37

Get a house rabbit - they are fab.

unknownrebelbang Sun 03-Aug-08 15:42:36

Yes, I realise that cornsilk, but between three of them, I'm sure they'll manage. (Or there's always DH wink)

I so do not want a rat.

oxocube Sun 03-Aug-08 15:50:23

I looked after my friend's rats (in my house) last week and have changed my mind about rats being great pets. These were very smelly, clever, I'll grant you, bloody huge and just, well, too ratty for me and the kids grin.

We have a dog, 3 cats, goldfish and tropical fish and a dwarf hamster who lives in ds1's bedroom. The hamster is actually very sweet and sociable through the day now as well as noisy at night but I think we just struck lucky. I definitely second getting something you like because you might end up looking after it.

Ds is getting a tortoise next month and they can live to over 100 so I'm told which I find a bit scary shock

unknownrebelbang Sun 03-Aug-08 15:53:51

I would love a tortoise, a rabbit and a dog (not necessarily altogether!)

I really don't want a rat for him.

What about guinea pigs?

WendyWeber Sun 03-Aug-08 16:04:06

Girl rats are smaller, prettier & much less smelly than boy ones. Def worth consideration (esp if you can find dumbo ones which are smaller still - they are v v cute)

charliecat Sun 03-Aug-08 16:56:05

I have a siamese dumbo one. He is like a little polar bear

falcon Sun 03-Aug-08 19:12:51

Just looked at your profile pics Charliecat, he's so beautiful.grin

I love dumbo rats.

sarah293 Sun 03-Aug-08 19:15:13

Message withdrawn

unknownrebelbang Sun 03-Aug-08 22:07:09

Nono Riven, DH will be the one in charge of pet patrol.

SlothyMcFrothy Sun 03-Aug-08 22:10:38

Guineas guineas guineas
The dd's have 2 females who live in the lounge
Sweet little things

bonkerz Sun 03-Aug-08 22:14:33

guineas are great! we have 2 girls who get on well and kids love them. Have just got 2 rabbits which are fab too! Much friendlier than the guineas but needs more hands on care.

supastar Mon 04-Aug-08 12:33:01

They are fun and fascinating for about 3 days. All small caged pets smell, most need cleaning out every day, all need food and claen water twice a day, you will need to think about holiday arrangements. Sawdust will get onto the floor (+ poo). Hamsters are nocturnal and bite. Rats are nice but need careful handling. Guineas need gentle handling, rabbits don't enjoy being petted, all of them except hamsters need company not to have a miserable life. DS will be bored of whatever pet within a week and you will be stuck with it for between two and seven years.

Having said that, if YOU genuinelly like animals and would enjoy caring for it every day for years then they can be lovely.

WendyWeber Mon 04-Aug-08 21:37:53

I have to put a word in for rats again!

In the past we have had hamsters, gerbils, guineas & rabbits, & have found rats easily the nicest & most entertaining house pets. They are inquisitive, affectionate & intelligent, love being handled (they come rushing to the door when you open it), will happily sit on your shoulder & snuffle in your ear while you are doing most things around the house and will eat almost anything.

The only thing you have to watch is letting them anywhere near fabrics or electric cables without constant supervision! And they do need very regular cleaning out, but ours now have bio-catolet paper-based litter in the bottom of the cage - no dust & no smell. (You can get it cheaper than that)

unknownrebelbang Mon 04-Aug-08 21:59:23

Given that I will probably end up doing a lot of the cleaning hmm (well, DH, but he's not always available) I can not do rats.

A good friend has rats, and she's said exactly the same, but I just can't have blardy rats.

Selfish, Moi?

WendyWeber Mon 04-Aug-08 22:38:52

Have you tried being introduced to your friend's rats, urb? Before you dismiss them forever? wink

unknownrebelbang Mon 04-Aug-08 22:41:48

Alas, she lives an hour away...

But nononono, I was looking at various rodents, including rats, at the weekend, and I just couldn't.

I'm getting the shakes just thinking about it.

None of the other creatures make me feel like that...

WendyWeber Mon 04-Aug-08 22:47:53

Have a look at my profile - there's a lovely pic (well we think it's lovely!) of DS2 with some of our accidental babies last year smile

Will post a couple more later.

unknownrebelbang Mon 04-Aug-08 23:22:30


Totally irrelevant, but your DS2 is the same age as my DS1.

WendyWeber Tue 05-Aug-08 00:01:47

So do your DS1 & DS2 (& any other DC you may have wink) have any pets?

unknownrebelbang Tue 05-Aug-08 21:00:45


The oldest DC in the world household had a dog for his 30th, and we had her until about 8 years ago.

We occasionlly do a spot of dognapping for a few days here and there.

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