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gerbils v hamsters

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lilachardy, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Some piggies are fine on their own... some are very shy.
    Like with anything, it varies a lot. I have a lady now who is fine on her own - but will not allow me to cuddle her. She was left on my doorstep though, and I don't know what kind of early life she had.

    I do think you should have two though. You don't need twice the space that one needs...
     
  2. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Then I read that they're so nervous, they should be kept in a quiet place ... with another site saying that they should be within the hub of family life.
    Think I'll stick with a book from the library rather than internet research!
    Not sure if an overly sensitive pet is for us, tbh. M. would ADORE it but we also have a 5 and 2 year old. We're not a noisy household however, and our 3 girls are kind and pretty calm.
    At least a gerbil or hamster could be safely ensconced in M's bedroom, but I'm guessing that a piggie would need to be kept in the kitchen due to the larger cage and extra mess.
     
  3. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    They are shy when young, but if they are in the hub of family life, they soon get used to things. Part of the joy of a pet is the work you put into getting them to be happy and relaxed.
    I've never met a pinny who didn't like the TV.
    I wouldn't call them overly sensitive! Quite the opposite. They shout when you don't feed them immediately in the morning, they shout when they hear the fridge open, they shout when they hear the hay bag... not in a bad way! The noises they make are gorgeous, and would help a child remember to care for their pet too.

    If you're buying a book, go for one by Peter Gurney.
     
  4. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Thank you very much for all your help and advice, lila.
    She really would love one as a pet and it sounds like the closest thing to a dog we could get!
    I'll let you know what happens, but it is looking likely [​IMG]
     
  5. I'll put in another vote for mice - but you need 2-3, they are sociable aimals.
     
  6. As a long time rat owner (30 years and counting) I am biased but they do make better pets than mice or gerbils.
    They are more sedate, loving and intelligent - and they are clean, honest!
    Boys are lazier, slower and bigger. Girls are more quick moving, smaller and more fun when you get used to them.
    They are more active when you get home from school and can be let out to wander round a room, if you keep an eye on them. They can easily be trained to come back - especially if you save treats for when they og back in the cage, a quick rustle and they come running.
    As I said, I am biased, but rats are great pets if you can get past the tails!
     
  7. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    I just couldn't, pobble!
    You're certainly not alone though. Plenty people say they make fab pets.
     
  8. They are a marmite pet, tartetatin. I was just lucky that Climber was open minded enough to buy me one for Christmas many years ago.
    I had mentioned in passing that I had kept them a few years before I met him and he tracked down a breeder and bought one.
    We have had 2 - 4 in the house ever since. I even took one to Uni with me for company! The landlord's agent thought she was great and even babysat her when we went on holiday!
    I would only have a singleton if I was going to be in its company most of the day, hence the 2 - 4 now we are both working.
    Excuse any typos, I have two on the couch with me as I type and I don't always get to correct ratty typing!
     
  9. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    Another vote for guinea pigs here. They we the backdrop to my girls' childhoods. They lived in a hutch in our back room (not smelly do long as cleaned out regularly), they often came out and tootled about the back room and even came on holiday with us in the camper causing fun on campsites for the other kids. We bred them once which was lovely and had a little family group of a large male his wife and one daughter. Wilbur pig actually had a little operation so that he didnt make more babies as homing one set was easy but wasn't something i wanted to go into full time. Anyway , piggies are the best small furry pet in my opinion,. We tried hamsters once and one bit the others head off which was traumatising for the chikldren (and the hamster!).
     
  10. I'll second that one. It's a very good book and is used a lot by the Animal Studies students in the college that I work at.

    I'll also add another vote for guinea pigs.

    I've had four pairs over the years, as well as keeping rabbits, hamsters (and chickens - but we won't count them in with the small furries) when I was younger.

    Pigs are the most rewarding pets I've ever owned. They all have their own unique personalities, and as has already been mentioned they're happy to interact with you and make their feelings known.

    I've had males and females, and kept them both indoors and out.

    I'll admit that apart from one exception the males have had the biggest personalities. I had one girl who was an adorable nut case, who would come when she was called and was a mad little character - but by enlarge the boys have been 'cheekier' and more personable.

    I loved having my last set of boys in the house. They quickly adapted to living in the house, and got used to the noises associated with being indoors. One would regularly sing along with my husband when he played certain tunes on the piano....... will stop now, as there are too many memories to record.

    My current pair started off living indoors, but we soon found that as one of them has a fuzzy 'rex' coat my hubby is extremely allergic to him (asthma) and so I had to move them outdoors. It's a shame, as it does mean I see less of them over the worst of the winter months - but I couldn't give them up, as I know I spoil them rotten. I could be something to bare in mind if you do have anyone in the family with allergies.

    As for male pairings, I've had the lot. The first two weren't related - but both arrived home with me at the same time so arrived on 'neutral' territory and got along ok.

    My second male pair were brothers - no problems there , apart from one night when they decided to finally establish who was the dominant male.

    My current male pair are part brothers, part cousins and part allsorts in relation to each other. They share the same Dad, came from different mums - but the mothers are related. Anyway, again, there's been no trouble between them.

    I think it's more important to make sure that both males arrive at the same time in their new home than their previous relationship to each other. But perhaps I've just been lucky.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.
     
  11. Rats are by far the best pets a child could have. Not as smelly as most and don't bite (well mine didn't). Hamsters and gerbils are far more agressive, rats can be trained to come when they are called and so intelligent. If you really can face them them guinea pigs are fab also.
     
  12. Have you considered a kitten? I know you said about foxes, but this must be the case for all city cats? Cats look after themselves more, live longer and, depending on the cat, are very affectionate. They can be played with in a way that rodents can't so much I think and can be cuddled more. This would be the first step towards a dog for me.
    If you dont like cats then I second the votes for rats and mice.
     
  13. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    definitely guinea pigs - at least two. Most reputable places wont sell you a single guinny. they are jsust adorable. We have two, they live indoors, they dont smell and are definitely part of the family.
     

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