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Hamster or guinea pig?

(10 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 14-Dec-12 13:44:59

Which make better pets? Pros and cons? I know GPs live outside which is fine in the summer but isn't it a pain in the winter to go out to feed them, play with them etc? We don't have a garage they could stay in. We do have a shed but it's right at the end of a long garden which isn't v practical.

We have a cat, would a hamster be safe with her?

Dds ages are 11, 9 and nearly 6. Youngest in particular is v keen on a hamster.

SledsImOn Fri 14-Dec-12 13:47:16

I think hamsters are usually Ok on their own while piggies need company - I mean, other pigs! In your situation I'd go with the hamster option.

We had two pigs and now one has died, and the other is very lonely...hamsters just seem to amuse themselves, by eating mostly. Though we had one that used to go up and down stairs...he died when a large book fell on him one evening. sad but it was a good innings.

derekthehamster Fri 14-Dec-12 13:47:37

I've had both. G pigs are more fun, but a lot more work. I never left them outside during the winter, we moved the hutch into the utility room.

We've had 4 hamsters, lots of fun, easy to clean out and look after, but are nocturnal, which is great for students, not so great when you're 6

SledsImOn Fri 14-Dec-12 13:48:04

The cat won't be an issue unless they are left unsupervised and out of the cage. It might sit and stare at the cage.

Aspiemum2 Fri 14-Dec-12 13:50:30

Guinea pigs! They are better than anything!
Hamsters are great if you have less time/space and want a quieter pet but guinea pigs are ace - their squeaks of delight at feeding time are awesome grin

GaryBuseysTeeth Fri 14-Dec-12 13:54:52

Hamsters are easier.
If your kids get bored of them, they don't live as long as G.Pigs so only a few years of cage changing.
GP are more expensive (like Sleds said, need company) in terms of food/hay/lifespan/housing, for most hamsters you're recommended to only have one at a time.

Most small animal rescues will have a selection of hamsters, so you can get an older one who might be tamer than a baby from a pet shop (and less chance of the hamster being sexed wrongly/pregnant).

I had 4/5 hamsters as a child, the only downside is they can be very noisy at night (one of ours had to spend nights in the bathroom because he was noisy).
The cats only killed one of them & that was when he wasn't being supervised when my youngest sister took him out the cage.

funnypeculiar Fri 14-Dec-12 13:56:33

Hamsters are nocturnal - easier to look after, but much less fun. Ime, some hamsters are friendly, others less so - I've tried taming a couple of complete buggers who were just not going to be people-friendly.
Guineas are very tolerant - will sit and be stroked/played with/dressed in dolls clothing grin - they do need more looking after, and you do need a couple - they like to chat. But they are much more engaging. Ideally, they do need to be in a shed/garage over winter - or inside. Ours do live outside at the mo - in a sheltered area with extensive protection - but I would rather they were inside. They came inside last winter, and yes, that made a big difference to how we engaged with them. I make an effort to bring them in at least once a day for cuddles, but I work from home.
Neither will get on well with your cats I would think - will be a case of keeping them apart

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 14-Dec-12 14:53:45

I've never had a hamster but my boars are number 13&14 for me (they are my DC pigs)

They are alot of work- not small enough or agile enough to stay in a multi-storey cage and climb like rats/mice/hamsters.
They like flat space and lots of it.
Mine are in/out pigs (came in at night last week).
They are quite prone to illness especially respiratory.(This time of year is the worse TBH, damp, cold,)

Some people find them boring- they do have fantastic personalities but are very food orientated......and it all comes out the other end. grin

My 2 boars will 'happily' wear Santa hats, Jubilee Hats.
GP1 (my daughters pig) is still having therapy after being dressed in her Build-a-Bear skating outfit .
I mean, chubby boars don't skate do they? confused

Floralnomad Fri 14-Dec-12 14:57:42

Guineas are ok indoors all year , just put them in a run in the summer. I'd go for piggies or rats which are the best rodent for children .

reddwarf Fri 14-Dec-12 15:12:21

I'd go for hamster. We had gp once, they were v. unfriendly, pood A LOT and one kept trying to buggar the other. Absolutely no fun.

Our hamster otoh used to go mad when we came into the room, doing spider man tricks on his cage bars, hilarious antics, the kids loved him. and watching his cheeks bulging bigger and bigger when he kept taking the sunflower seeds smile

ANd yes, they prefer to be alone, so no baby danger. Ours was a dwarf hamster, and semi-nocturnal, so he'd be out and about in the late afternoons/evening, so fitted in with school fine.

And very easy/low maintenance. We have a cat too. I was terrified she'd eat him, but she never managed it.

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