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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Help me pick a rodent!

Hey guys!

My girlfriend would like a little rodent pet and would be very devoted to taking care of it, but there are some practical issues that make the choice a little tricky!

She would need a pet that meets the following criteria:
- Doesn't need a lot of space (happy in a small cage; so a small rodent)
- Can be happy alone or in a pair (either one works)
- Isn't too hard to take care of or too time-consuming (she has a day job)
- Is generally human-friendly and not aggressive or terrified of contact

What would you suggest in her case? Any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 02:15 PM
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what about mice ? or gerbils ?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 02:34 PM
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Syrian hamster!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 03:53 PM
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Yeah, I second the hamster. Get a male, they smell less and tend to be friendlier than females, in my experience.



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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm sort of doubting between Syrian hamster and gerbil.

Gerbils look adorable, anyone here have any experience with them? They look like they might be a little terrified of humans

I also wonder, should you get them in pairs (hamsters/gerbils) and does that decrease the chance of them having a bond with their owners?

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 06:11 PM
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They are very energetic, so they need a bigger cage than a hamster would, and they would also be kept in pairs. My gerbil was very jumpy, and not very handleable.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 06:15 PM
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Syrians need to be alone. I had such a fantastic bond with my hamsters that I could put their heads in my mouth and they wouldn't even flinch. And they loved riding around on my shoulders.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 09:57 PM
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@ flickering hope= thank god someone else in the world has done that.. i'm guilty

as for the original post, I would love to say try a dwarf hamster, which *can* be really super sweet if they are socialized right, but honestly they can be quite nasty. You never know what you get at a petstore until a week or so after he's been home. I have very social and human friendly dwarf hamsters but not everyone is so lucky.

If you were considering them, they do not need a lot of space, and if your girlfriend comes home in the evenings, they will be up and waiting for her.

But again, probably take the advice of others

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 10:00 PM
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oh and i meant to add that if you get babies from the same litter, they can stay together provided they are the same sex.

but yea

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 09:28 AM
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Hmmm,I would suggest mice or maybe a gerbil if you are looking to go the "smaller" route.Normally I suggest rats,because they make some of the best pets when it comes to rodents.

A pair of female mice are easy to care for,active & entertaining,not expensive and with handling/taming can be quite friendly. Female mice need to be in pairs/groups. But if you get a male,they need to be kept separate. However males stink really bad.

Gerbils can be high strung,but I hear they make great little pets. I only ever had ONE gerbil several years ago and I couldn't pick her up. Gerbils should be kept in same sex pairs though.

I have a Syrian hamster now,but I cannot handle him. He is friendly and will sit in my hand if I keep it in his cage,but the moment I try and pick him up,he jumps out of my hand. I find most hamsters don't bond with their owners very well either and seem to only want food and they do their own thing or they are super grumpy and bite. It can go either way I suppose. And then I hear about hamsters who do seem to bond with their owners (I never had a hamster that bonded) and are very sweet.

It comes down to the animal's individual personality I believe. Whatever route you choose,make sure you research to make sure the animal is right for you (or your girlfriend). Good luck!




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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much, guys!

Is there anything I can check while buying them to increase my odds that it'll be "human-friendly" and not aggressive or timid? Any signs of behaviors, or is it always too early to tell?
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetrooth View Post
Thanks so much, guys!

Is there anything I can check while buying them to increase my odds that it'll be "human-friendly" and not aggressive or timid? Any signs of behaviors, or is it always too early to tell?
If you get babies or young animals,it is much easier to bond with and tame them. But even with some older animals,with work you can get them tamed.

Maybe check out a breeder or rescue for whatever animal you choose and go spend some time with the animals and get a "feel" for their personality. Good breeders and rescues will allow you to go meet the animals.

As for pet stores,I find that animals do not always behave normally there. Also usually more prone to getting sick. So a good breeder or rescue is your best bet in my opinion.




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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 11:43 AM
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If the animal tries very hard to run away from you, don't pick them. When I went to find another hamster after my Ru had died, I had my eyes on this tiny, all-white one. The employee let me reach in myself because she was too nervous around hamsters, but everytime I got near the little white one, it moved further and further and eventually jumped and burrowed into the stock-pile of sleeping cagemates to get away from me. But then there was this other one who came right up to me, and I could pick her up no problem. Not saying that happens all the time... because I still think she had the soul of my previous hamster inside her, but choose the most tamest one.
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