... a ferret
Ferrets are carnivorous and need a high amount of protein in their diet, mostly from poultry. Ferret mixes are available, which contain a balance of their requirements. Never feed them chocolate, it is TOXIC.
Male ferrets are larger than females, weighing up to 5 pounds. Females tend to be more active, while males enjoy being cuddled. There are many colours, such as sable, albino white, cinnamon, silvermit and black. As well as these there are features such as white paws, bibs around the neck, stripes on the head or back and colored tips of the tail.
Adult ferrets sleep around 15 hours a day. They are not nocturnal, and will sleep when you do, or when you are out, and wake up when you return, ready to play. Some people might find the ferrets' natural "musk" a bit stinky...It is probably best to keep ferrets in pairs, so that they have someone to play with.
Visit Ferret Central for all the information you will need. Click here.
Chinchillas are nocturnal herbivores and can live for up to 20 years (this is the same as a dog!). They are quite large rodents, so need a large cage. They are best kept in same-sex pairs. They need attention just like any pet and will need to be tamed at a young age so that they get used to you and don't bite. Adults can weigh from 18 to 30 oz. They vary in colour from the common grey to Ebony, Silver, Black Velvet, Sapphire, Beige, White and Afro-Violet.
Chinchillas should be fed a ready-mixed chinchilla food. Greens should be fed in moderation, around 2-3 times a week - not too much in case of tummy upsets. They should also be fed hay or alfalfa.
It is very important not to overheat your chinchilla - with all that thick fur, they will be a lot hotter than you. Click here for a list of FAQ's.
Visit Chin Net - click here.
Please read the Chinchilla FAQ - it has everything you will ever need to know!
Visit Chinchilla World - click here.
There are some bad points...as rodents, rats love to chew. Also, they tend to urine mark - this is more prominent in males than females and can be stopped by neutering. Rats live around 2-3 years, although the oldest rat in the Guinnes Book Of Records was 7 years and 4 months!
They require the same basic care as hamsters or gerbils but will need a lot more stimulation - ropes, hammocks, plenty of toys and a large cage are essential.
*Do not use pine or cedar shavings as these are TOXIC and cause respiratory difficulty, as well as liver and kidney damage*
Read the pet rat information sheet. Click here.
For a comprehensive list of information, visit the Rat Fan Club (USA)
Mice should be fed a ready-mixed dry food, available from pet shops. Greens can be fed in moderation.
Visit the Pet Mouse Faq to learn more.
Here's another mouse FAQ.
They are very clean animals, require little grooming (unless they are long-haired) and can be kept inside or out. If you keep them outside, they will need a large run. Be careful if you let them run free that the fencing is secure, there are no poisonous plants and other animals can't get to them. Their care is very similar to that of guinea pigs - see the guinea pig section.
Rabbits' front teeth are constantly growing, so it is important to give them plenty to chew on - crunchy vegetables like carrots are very good, as well as store-bought chews and toys. They are herbivores and should be fed a ready-mixed rabbit food at all times. Greens are very important and should be fed every day.
Most rabbits enjoy being stroked and cuddled. Never lift a rabbit by its ears, it hurts! They make quite good pets for young children, since they are less easily crushed than mice or rats etc. Be careful though as they can kick and bite if provoked.
For information on house rabbits, visit The House Rabbit Society.
Want to see any other animals featured here? Know of any good pet sites? Leave a message or contact me.
Rats make great pets. They are clean, playful and very intelligent. Being sociable, they crave attention and will bond to their owners very quickly. It is best to keep rats in same-sex pairs or more. They can be trained to perform tricks and can even learn basic commands (with a lot of perseverence!)
Rats are naturally nocturnal, but are most active in the mornings and evenings, so are ideal for people at school, college or work. (Be careful with small children as rats can easily be crushed. Always supervise children when they are playing with rats.)
Mice reach a length of 9-10cm and live for around 2 years. They are highly sociable so should be kept in same sex pairs or more (two males will fight...best to stick to females)
They are mainly nocturnal but are active in the mornings and evenings. They don't require much space, live inside and are very affectionate. As with all rodents, they love to chew, so provide plenty of cardboard rolls, boxes, wooden chews etc. Handle them from a young age to tame them, and continue the handling throughout their lives to keep them tame.