I have no idea how I missed this post.
Anyways, whether or not they make good pets depends on the person. I found them to be great animals and would keep them again if I had the chance
. Spinies aren't as easy to tame as a domestic mouse or a hamster. Part of it depends on where you get them...pet store spinies are notorious for being extremely difficult to handle. If you have the time and patience, though, you will be rewarded. A tame spiny mouse is nothing like a tame hamster...I've found that they bond much closer to you. They don't just learn to tolerate handling, they seem to genuinely enjoy being petted. Whenever I opened the top of my spiny mouse tank, they would jump out and onto me. They loved to play and run around but rarely tried to escape once they were adults (If your spiny mouse DOES escape though, and isn't tame you're in for quite a challenge. They're too smart for most humane traps and are really hard to catch.).
One thing you should be aware of is that you WILL be bitten eventually if you keep multiple spiny mice (unless maybe you get ones that are already tame and used to handling). The bite of a spiny mouse is pretty painful (and they have sharp little claws too). I'm just warning you because a lot of people get bitten once and then are too afraid to handle the mouse again.
Spiny mice should be fed a variety of different foods. I gave mine lab blocks, a small amount of seed mix (no corn or sunflower seeds, though), and small amounts of fresh vegetables/herbs every day plus a high-protein food (a couple pieces of high-quality dog food, scrambled eggs, or a few live crickets). Low-sugar/sugarless cereals are good for using as treats. They eat insects in the wild (and love to hunt, by the way) which is why I chose to feed live insects. They can survive without them but it's great stimulation and exercise. Just make sure to gut-load the crickets first (by feeding them a variety of healthy foods the day before offering them). It's important that you keep the diet low in fat and sugar, they're prone to diabetes and obesity.
Since spiny mice are so active, you need a large enclosure (don't get one with a plastic bottom because they'll chew out of it) with plenty of toys to climb on and chew. I had a bunch of tunnels, wooden houses, branches, chew toys, and a wheel. They can run around in an exercise ball but they prefer to explore in a pen or small room. Some will escape from the balls or chew out.
They usually live 3-4 years but can live longer. Once again, it depends on where you get them. Spiny mice from a breeder will be healthier than ones from a pet store in most cases.
Oh, and they need to be kept in pairs or groups. A single spiny mouse is often a very lonely spiny mouse. Keeping one alone can cause all sorts of behavioral problems (besides, watching a group of spiny mice interact and play is very entertaining). They're a social species, just like domestic mice (and with spinies, you can even keep males together with careful introduction).
I hope this helps
. They're a bit more difficult to keep and handle than most common rodents but I personally feel it's totally worth it.