Small Mammals

several small mammals in a collage

Small Mammals and Rodents are the perfect pets for people who want to enjoy the company of a pet without all the extra work that larger pets require. Small Mammals like Guinea Pigs, hamsters, Gerbils, and Rats are easy to maintain, don’t need much financial or time investment, and are generally much easier to care for than dogs or cats.

Small mammals aren’t just great family pets; they’re also great for families who aren’t ready for the commitment of a cat or dog. They’re low-maintenance, cute, and there are a number of species to choose from. Plus, they’re great for kids of all ages. 

So, what’s in it for you? We’ll tell you about some well-known small mammals, like Hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, and Rabbits. Then, we’ll introduce you to some “smaller” species, like Hedgehogs, Rats, and Mice, which are great choices for kids too.

If you’re thinking of adding a small mammal to your family, there are some great choices out there. Pet-store salesmen may try to sell you one of their favorite puppies or kittens, but if you want a pet that’s inexpensive, easy to maintain, and doesn’t require extensive time, a small mammal may be the perfect choice for you. There are an endless number of small mammals to choose from, but small animals are especially helpful for people with allergies, asthma, or other health issues.

If you are planning to have pets, but aren’t sure which kind of pet would be best for you, you may want to consider adopting a Small Mammal. They are cuddly, cute and low maintenance.

The following guide will help you to choose from various types of Rodents and Small Mammals to find the best ones for your home:


a rat poking their head out of a piece of cheese

Rats are small, furry mammals that make great family pets. They are intelligent and social animals that can form strong bonds with their owners. Rats are easy to care for and require minimal space, making them a great pet for those who live in apartments or small homes.

Rats come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can find one to suit your individual tastes. They are also relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain.

Rats are one of the best pets you can have; they are smart, clean, and social animals that don’t need a huge cage or a lot of special care. When they are young they are easy to handle and are easy to train. They don’t bite and are easy to feed. 

Rats are very sociable and will become very attached to you and your family. They are great for kids because they are not very big or loud. Teaching kids to handle them and care for them is a good lesson in responsibility. Anyone can handle a pet rat and they are small enough to not be intimidating. They are very easy to train and love to be petted.

There are a few misconceptions about pet rats that you should be aware of. First, they don’t carry the plague. Rats are actually really clean animals, and will groom themselves much like cats. 

Rats are social, intelligent, playful, and affectionate animals, and make great pets for children. Because rats are so intelligent, they can learn tricks and solve puzzles and they can even be trained to use a litter box. They love to have fun and can really amuse themselves and their family. 

Rats are short-lived animals, living up to three years. They don’t like to live alone, and prefer to be in a group, it’s best if you have at least two.

Pet rats are not recommended for children under five years old, but they do make good pets for people with allergies. Because they’re small, and typically confined to their cage there is a lot less allergy causing materials throughout your house. Rats typically cost between $10 and $20 each.

Rats are very clean animals and can be litter trained. They will instinctively use a designated area for their bathroom needs, making it easy to keep their cage clean. Rats also have a natural curiosity and love to explore, so providing them with plenty of toys and chewable items is essential for keeping them entertained.

Overall, rats make great family pets that can bring joy and companionship for years to come. They are intelligent, social animals that require minimal space and care, making them a perfect choice for those looking for a new pet. With proper care and attention, Rats can be a great pet.


a mouse looking at what's going on around them

Mice are small, furry rodents that have been kept as pets for centuries. They are members of the Muridae family, which includes other popular pet rodents such as hamsters and gerbils. Mice make great family pets because they are relatively low maintenance and can provide hours of entertainment.

Mice are tiny rodents that are native to Europe, Africa and Asia, and are very small, with most only weighing about 1 ounce. They are usually kept as pets, but are not suitable for families with small children because of their small size.

If you’re considering getting a mouse as a pet, there are some things to consider. Mice are social animals and should not be kept alone, so you’ll need to get at least two of them. They also require a cage that is large enough for them to move around in and explore.

Mice are very curious creatures, and like to investigate everything in their environment. They are very fast learners, and will pick up many different behaviors in just a few days. Their ability to learn quickly makes them ideal pets for training and learning tricks.

These animals are very inquisitive, and are happy to interact with their caregivers, and will become attached to their family very quickly. They are very clean animals, and will groom themselves. Their habitat is another story and should be cleaned regularly.

Mice make great family pets for first-time pet owners. They are relatively low maintenance and can provide hours of entertainment. With the right care and attention, mice can be a wonderful addition to any family.

When it comes to health, mice are generally very hardy animals. However, they can be prone to certain health problems, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and take them to the vet if you notice any signs of illness.

Mice are very easy to care for and maintain, and need little maintenance. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and will usually cost between $5 and $10 per mouse. You can find mice in pet stores, online retailers, and through breeders. Unless you plan to breed them we recommend making sure all the mice you bring home are the same sex. They are known for their prolific breeding rates.

Overall, mice make great pets for first-time pet owners. They are relatively low maintenance and can provide hours of entertainment. With the right care and attention, mice can be a wonderful addition to any family. From providing them with a stimulating environment to giving them plenty of love and affection, mice can be a great companion for years to come.


a hamster resting

Hamsters are small, furry rodents that have become popular family pets in recent years. They are members of the rodent family and can be found in many pet stores around the world. Hamsters come in a variety of colors and sizes, making them an attractive choice for potential pet owners.

Hamsters make great pets for those who want a low-maintenance animal that is easy to care for. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and require minimal space, making them an ideal pet for those living in apartments or other small spaces.

Are you looking for a new pet to add to your family? Hamsters are one of the most popular small pets, and they make great additions to any home. They’re easy to care for, relatively low-maintenance, and can provide hours of entertainment.

Hamsters are part of the rodent family and come in several different breeds. These little critters are usually between 2 and 4 inches long, with a short tail and small ears. They come in a variety of colors, including brown, black, white, and even red.

Hamsters make great family pets because they’re relatively low-maintenance. They don’t require much space or special equipment, and they’re easy to care for. All you need is a cage, food, bedding, and some toys. Hamsters are also quite active and love to explore their environment. They’ll often build tunnels and burrows in their cages, which can provide hours of entertainment.

Hamsters are very popular pets, and they have typically been seen in family homes and schools for decades, having been first domesticated in the 1930’s. Many varieties are available, but the most common ones are the Long Haired Hamster and the Dwarf Hamster. They have low maintenance needs and are quite docile. Keep in mind that they have a short life span compared to other pets.

When it comes to diet, hamsters are omnivores and need a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and grains. They also need plenty of fresh water every day. It’s important to make sure that their food is fresh.

They are receptive to touch and tend to be friendly towards adults and children. They prefer to live alone in their cages and will sleep during the day. They are most active during the nighttime.

Hamsters are also very social animals and enjoy interacting with other Hamsters. If you’re looking to get more than one, it’s important to make sure that they’re the same breed and gender. Hamsters can be territorial and may fight if they’re not compatible. It’s also important to give them plenty of space in their cage so that they can have their own areas to explore.

If you’re a first-time pet owner, hamsters are a great choice. They’re relatively low-maintenance and easy to care for, and they can provide hours of entertainment. 

Hamsters are very easy to care for, needing little maintenance. They are relatively inexpensive, costing $10 to $20 per hamster.

Overall, hamsters make great family pets for those who are looking for an easy-to-care-for animal that is both entertaining and low maintenance. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and require minimal space, making them an ideal pet for those living in apartments or other small spaces. With proper care and attention, hamsters can make a wonderful addition to any family.


a gerbil next to a lot of balls to play with

Gerbils are a popular choice for family pets, and it’s easy to see why. These small, furry creatures are incredibly cute and full of personality. They’re also relatively low maintenance, making them an ideal pet for first time owners.

If you’re considering getting a Gerbil as a pet, there are a few things you should know. First off, Gerbils are social animals, so it’s best to get two or more. They’re also quite active, so they need plenty of space to explore and play.

Gerbils originally come from eastern Mongolia and northern China. The Mongolian Gerbil (one of many species of Gerbil) is the most common domesticated variety. Gerbils first became popular as pets after 1954, when a small number of them were brought to the United States for scientific testing.

Considered to be a small-sized rodent, Gerbils tend to be very active and social animals. They are small animals that usually weigh less than 3 ounces. They have high energy requirements, but low care needs. 

When it comes to housing, Gerbils need a large cage with plenty of space for them to explore. The cage should also have plenty of hiding places and toys for them to play with. It’s also important to make sure that their cage is kept clean, because Gerbils are prone to respiratory infections if their environment isn’t properly maintained. Gerbils are very curious creatures, so it’s important to make sure they have plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained.

Gerbils are very calm and gentle, and will make great pets for children. They are also very friendly, and will enjoy playing with their family. They’re very quiet, and will rarely make noise unless they feel threatened.

Gerbils are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat. A good diet for them consists of a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and insects. It’s important to make sure that their food is fresh and of good quality.

Gerbils are a great choice for first time pet owners. They’re low maintenance, intelligent, and full of personality. With proper care and attention, gerbils can make wonderful family pets. Plus, they’re just so darn cute!

Baby gerbils are available through breeders, and will cost between $10 and $20.

Overall, gerbils make great family pets that require minimal care and attention. They are small, friendly rodents that can provide hours of entertainment for their owners.

Guinea Pigs

2 guinea pigs just being cute next to each other

Guinea Pigs are one of the most popular family pets around the world. They are small, cuddly, and full of personality, making them a great choice for those looking for an adorable companion.

Guinea Pigs are one of the smallest mammals, weighing between 2 and 2.5 pounds. They are native to South America, and are very popular as pets. First bred 3,000 years ago by the Incas, Guinea Pigs were brought by the Spanish from South America to Europe in the 16th century. Modern day Guinea Pigs are popular pets, loved by both adults and children. They rank high among the social animals and prefer to live in groups, yet also appreciate human affection.

If you’re considering getting a guinea pig as a pet, there are some important things to know before you make your decision. First, Guinea Pigs require daily care and attention. They need to be fed a healthy diet, given plenty of exercise, and groomed regularly. They need to be handled gently and with patience, because they can become stressed out.

Guinea Pigs are very curious creatures, and will enjoy trying out different things. They are also very intelligent, and will enjoy playing games with their family. They are very sensitive to noise, and will become stressed if they hear loud noises. They are very docile and gentle animals, and are very easy to care for and handle.

Guinea Pigs are very easy to care for, and will take care of themselves without needing much supervision. They are also very quiet, and very clean, and enjoy regular baths. They are very friendly, and enjoy interacting with other people.

Guinea Pigs make great companions for children, and enjoy having someone to play with. They are also very smart, and enjoy learning new skills.

Guinea pigs can be purchased from breeders, and will cost anywhere between $25-$40. Buying them from a pet store you can expect to pay between $50 and $75 per Guinea Pig.

When it comes to diet, Guinea Pigs need a balanced diet of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets. You should make sure that they have access to vitamin C supplements. Guinea Pigs can’t produce their own vitamin C and need it to keep from getting scurvy.

Overall, Guinea Pigs make great family pets. They are friendly, social animals that require daily care and attention. If you’re looking for a pet that will bring joy and companionship into your home, a guinea pig may be the perfect choice for you.


a chinchilla playing at the bottom of their cage

Chinchillas are small, furry rodents that have become increasingly popular as family pets. They are native to the Andes Mountains in South America and can live up to 15 years with proper care. Chinchillas are rodents native to the western part of South America. They are typically found high in the Andes Mountains between 9 and 15 thousand feet, living on the rocky slopes.

Chinchillas make great pets for those looking for a less common pet that is relatively low maintenance. They are active and playful, but also enjoy snuggling up with their owners. Chinchillas need a large cage that is at least two feet wide and three feet long, as well as plenty of toys and hiding places to keep them happy.

Many people will agree that Chinchillas are cute and cuddly, with fur that practically invites touching. What is not commonly known is that these animals are naturally skittish and don’t like to be handled at all. 

Chinchillas have a unique appearance, with their large ears, big eyes, and soft fur. They are one of the smallest mammals in the world, weighing around half a pound. They’re not as common as Guinea Pigs, but are still available at most major pet stores.

Chinchillas are very social creatures, and will enjoy having friends around. They are also very clean, and enjoy bathing themselves. They are also very vocal, and will bark and squeak when they feel threatened or unhappy.

Chinchillas are very easy to care for, and will require little maintenance. They are also relatively inexpensive, making them a great choice for first-time pet owners.

Chinchillas are social animals and do best when kept in pairs or groups. They can be quite vocal, so it’s important to provide them with a quiet place to sleep away from any loud noises. Chinchillas also need regular exercise, so providing them with a wheel or other toys is essential.

Chinchillas are also relatively easy to care for, and they don’t need much grooming. They should be brushed once a week with a soft brush to remove any loose fur and prevent matting. It’s also important to trim their nails regularly to keep them from becoming overgrown.

Chinchillas make great pets for anyone looking for a low-maintenance pet. They’re a bit pricey for their size, costing around $80 to 150 per Chinchilla from a breeder, or more at a pet store.

Chinchillas are relatively easy to handle because they don’t bite or scratch. They can be held and cuddled, but it’s important to do it gently and carefully. Chinchillas are very sensitive to temperature changes, and it’s important to keep them away from drafts and direct sunlight.

Overall, Chinchillas make great family pets for those looking for an unusual pet that is relatively low maintenance. With proper care and attention, your chinchilla can live a long and happy life as part of your family.


a ferret busy shredding a blanket

Ferrets are small, furry mammals that have become increasingly popular as family pets. They are members of the Mustelidae family, which also includes weasels, otters and badgers. Ferrets are small mammals that originated in Europe and have been domesticated for thousands of years. They’re known for their playful personalities and mischievous behavior.

Ferrets make great pets for those looking for an active companion. They are very social animals and love to interact with their owners. They are also very intelligent and can be trained to do tricks, such as fetching objects or playing hide-and-seek. Ferrets are active during the day, so they require plenty of playtime and interaction with their owners.

They are very curious animals, and will investigate anything new. They are very agile, and can climb through tight spaces. Ferrets are playful, energetic and curious pets that can make excellent companions for children. 

When considering a ferret as a pet, it is important to understand that they require a lot of care and attention. They need to be fed a high-quality diet, given regular exercise, and kept in a clean environment.

Ferrets are not the best choice for first-time pet owners because they require a lot of time and patience to properly care for them. However, if you are willing to commit to providing your ferret with the love and attention they need, they can make wonderful family pets. They are very loyal and affectionate animals that will bring a lot of joy to your home.

Because they’re active and attracted to interesting objects, Ferrets are ideal pets for children with mild to moderate attention-deficit disorders. Ferrets can make good pets for people who live in apartments or smaller houses. They don’t need a lot of space, so they are a good choice for city dwellers who don’t have a yard.

Ferrets are great pets for the whole family. They are playful, intelligent, and friendly, which makes them a great alternative for kids who can’t have a dog or cat. Ferrets are also very easy to take care of. From a health perspective, ferrets have to be the most well-bred animals on the planet. This makes them much healthier than other pets, such as dogs or cats.

Ferrets are the long furry pets that love to play, run and hide for hours at a time. They make excellent family pets because they are so playful and curious. They are great for children over 6 years of age because they will keep them busy running around and playing games with them.

Ferrets are social animals and they’re usually happiest if you have 2 or more of them. Having more than one will keep them from feeling lonely while the family is out for the day, or if there isn’t time to let them out and run around for long.

Ferrets require a lot of space to roam and play, so they should be kept in a large cage or enclosure. The cage should be equipped with plenty of toys, tunnels and hiding spots for them to explore. Ferrets also need access to fresh water and food at all times.

Overall, Ferrets make great family pets if you are willing to commit to providing them with the love and attention they need. They are very social animals that will bring a lot of joy to your home. With proper care and attention, ferrets can live up to 12 years.


a hedgehog enjoying the natural plants within their enclosure

Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals that have become increasingly popular as family pets in recent years. They are native to Europe, Africa and Asia, but can now be found all over the world. Hedgehogs make wonderful pets for those looking for a unique and low-maintenance companion.

Hedgehogs come in a variety of colors and sizes, ranging from white to brown to black. They have a lifespan of up to six years, and can grow up to 9 inches in length. Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active at night.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals that are native to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. They are not venomous, but they can bite if hurt or threatened. They are solitary creatures, preferring to live alone, and are not particularly fond of human interaction. They are very territorial, and will defend themselves against intruders.

Hedgehogs are a very interesting and fun pet to have, but their needs are different from cats, dogs, and other animals most people are used to. Hedgehogs are wild animals that are not domesticated like dogs and cats, and they should always be considered wild, even when they are young.

They might look like a walking cactus, but that little thing is a Hedgehog. Hedgehogs are great for families with older children and either don’t have the space for a larger pet, or who don’t have the time that a larger pet can take.

Hedgehogs don’t need much of your time at all compared to other pets. Because they are solitary most Hedgehogs are happy to spend their day exploring their cage undisturbed.  If you do have some extra time then you have a number of different ways you can play with them if you are up late.

If you’ve ever wanted to stand out as someone with a unique pet then this one will do in most cases. Hedgehogs are not terribly popular within the US because they are not as sociable as other pets. Many families love having a low maintenance pet around to play with.  

If your family is too busy for other pets, and you have time in the evenings or weekends and want a pet, this one might be right for your family.

It’s important to provide your hedgehog with plenty of space to explore and play, as well as a variety of toys and hiding spots. Finally, Hedgehogs should never be handled roughly or picked up by their spines, as this can cause them serious injury.

Overall, Hedgehogs make great family pets for those looking for a low-maintenance companion. If you’re looking for a unique pet that doesn’t take up a lot of your time, a Hedgehog may be the perfect choice.


2 cute baby rabbits that look like they're kissing

Rabbits are one of the most popular family pets in the world. They have been domesticated for centuries, and their popularity continues to grow today. They also make wonderful companions, as they are very social creatures that enjoy interacting with humans. They are fairly easy to care for, and with the right set up for them they can live indoor or outdoors anywhere in the country.

If you’re considering getting a Rabbit as a pet, there are a few things you should know. Rabbits come in many different breeds and sizes, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision. Some breeds are better suited for indoor living, while others may be better suited for outdoor living. Additionally, some Rabbits require more care than others, so it’s important to consider the amount of time and energy you’re willing to commit to your new pet.

Rabbits are one of the most common household pets, and are usually raised as companion animals. They are very gentle and docile, and make great pets for children. While Rabbits are super soft and cuddly, they don’t make great pets for small children. They have a fragile spine that can break if dropped or held incorrectly. They do make great pets for older children, or younger ones that know not to pick them up.

Rabbits take a little warming up to enjoy human attention. After they get to know you and build trust they are more open to sitting on someone’s lap, or cuddling with them. Rabbits are very affectionate and loving, and will form strong bonds with their family.

Rabbits are also very active animals, so they need plenty of space to run and play. If you’re considering getting a Rabbit as a pet, it’s important to make sure that you have enough room in your home for them to move around.

Rabbits are smart animals and can be taught to use the litter box if they are kept indoors. They clean themselves so they don’t need baths unless they become dirty or start to smell.  As long as you give them enough food and water, they will generally take care of themselves. 

If your family has limited time they can be a good pet because they don’t take up much time if you don’t have any. If you do expect to be away for most of the day regularly, it’s a good idea to have at least two Rabbits so they can socialize.

Rabbits are also very social animals, and they thrive when they have companionship. If you’re considering getting a Rabbit as a pet, it’s important to consider getting two Rabbits instead of just one. This will ensure that your Rabbit has someone to cuddle and play with, which will help keep them happy and healthy.

Overall, Rabbits make wonderful family pets. They are intelligent, social creatures that can be trained to do a variety of tricks and behaviors. Additionally, they require plenty of space to run and play, as well as access to fresh hay and vegetables every day. With the right amount of love and care, Rabbits can be a wonderful addition to any family.

Rodent typeSizeCharacter traitCostLifespan
Rat9 – 11 inchesSocial pets that enjoy living in groups. Rats are mainly active at night but can remain active during the day if kept as a pet.$10 – $202 – 4 years
Mice3 – 4 inchesMice are shy and don’t like handling. These pets are best living in same-sex pairs or groups.$5 – $151 – 3 years
Hamsters2 – 4 inchesHamsters are aggressive and could bite if you try handling them. Hamsters also prefer living alone; otherwise, they could fight.$5 – $152 – 3 years
Gerbils6 – 12 inchesGentle pets that are best living with same-sex pairs. Tame Gerbils enjoy handling.$5 – $102 – 3 years
Guinea Pigs8 – 11 inchesCalm rodents that don’t mind handling by owners.$10 – $405 – 7 years
Chinchillas9 – 15 inchesActive and playful pets that make great companions.$150 – $35015 – 20 years

Cost of Owning a Small Mammal

Rodent$5 – $20
Cage$30 – $200 depending on size
Toys$2 – $10 monthly
Water bottles$5 – $10
Feeding bowls$5 – $20
Plastic huts$45 – $200
Beddings$7 – $30 monthly
Litter box$7 – $9
Wheel /hammock$15 – $20
Food$9 – $16 monthly
Veterinary charges$150 yearly

General Information

a Guinea pig wearing purple glasses with a book open

Different rodents and small mammals have different needs for feeding, sleeping, and habitat. For example, chinchillas need a much larger cage because of their size compared to mice.

The cost of buying a small mammal can be anything from free to twenty dollars depending on where you get them. If you look at the classifieds it is easy to find people giving them away after making the mistake of putting males and females together accidentally. This is one of the least expensive pets you will find at a pet store if you want to get an inexpensive pet.

Rodents require large cages, relative to their size, so that they can exercise and move around. Their cage should also have a large amount of floor space to give them enough room to run around and play with toys and other accessories.  The bigger their cage is, the better the environment for your pet.

Bedding for small mammals are an important aspect of their health and important for the comfort of your pet. Their beddings price depends on the materials you choose. Some people will use old fabrics to line their cage, or toilet paper. For some mammals this won’t work and they’ll need wood chips or other materials.

Rodents love chewing on anything, if you use fabric or toilet paper, you’ll likely need to replace the substrate more often. Fabric may also make the cage smelly because it absorbs urine easier than other materials do.

Some small mammals love hiding. They love to hide in huts or crawl through plastic tubes. When you buy things for them, you should know that if they can chew it, they will.  You could end up replacing them sooner than you expect because everything to them is a chew toy.

Because your rodents rarely become sick you will spend almost nothing on vet visits. The most common illness among rodents is salmonella, but it is also rare.

Wheels or hammocks are essential accessories in your pet’s cage because all small mammals need some exercise time each day. The good news is that with as little as $15, you can buy your pet an exercise wheel.

What is the Ideal Habitat for Small Mammals?

a hamster running on their wheel

Some small mammals can live in a glass aquarium as long as it has good ventilation and a way to lock it to prevent escape attempts. You can also keep your little furballs in cages made of plastic bottoms with wired sides. It’s never a good idea to give your pet a cage made of wood because they’ll most likely chew through the wood and escape. It’s also worth noting that it’s impossible to disinfect a wooden cage making it the perfect breeding ground for germs.

As a pet owner, you should avoid placing pets of the opposite sex together to avoid mating unless they are neutered. Some pets such as rats prefer living in groups and rarely fight each other while pets like Hamsters prefer living individually.

Male mice are aggressive and should be placed alone in a cage while female mice are gentle and can live in groups.

Guinea pigs can live together peacefully as long as they are neutered to avoid mating. Gerbils can only live together if they are introduced to each other before puberty.

Bedding / Habitat Requirements for Small Mammals

Many small mammals have a natural instinct to burrow. The more bedding materials you can give them, the happier they will be. Some of the best materials to use for bedding are shredded papers. 

Avoid using wood shavings and corn cobs as bedding. Your pets can chew on the wood shavings which are indigestible and they can cause abdominal obstructions. Corncobs on the other hand are dusty and when wet they can become moldy and can lead to respiratory complications for your pet.

Rodents love hiding and should have hollow huts made of plastic in their cages. 

Some pet owners use rolled toilet paper as hiding materials. If you choose toilet paper, you should add new ones often because your rodents will chew them to pieces quickly.

a ferret climbing out from under a blanket


Small mammals may suffer from heatstroke if exposed to temperatures beyond 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimal temperature for rodents is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You will see them much more active at these temperature ranges than if they are kept too cold or too warm.


Toys are a great mental stimulant for your pets. They need chew toys to help sharpen their teeth and keep their incisors from growing too long. Giant wheels, and hollow tubes are a favorite for most rodents to play with.

We don’t recommend buying squeaky wheels or toys because they may interrupt your sleep. Most small mammals are active at night, a time when most people don’t want to hear lots of squeaking. Check to make sure the wheels are safe for your pets to avoid foot injuries.

It’s also worth noting that Guinea pigs should not have a wheel because their backs are fragile and could get injured if they use a wheel.

Food Preference for Small Mammals

Small Mammals are inexpensive to feed and maintain. Some can even eat people food.  It is recommended that you feed your Small Mammals a high quality commercial pellet diet. 

seeds that a lot of small mammals enjoy

Their diet can be supplemented with about 5 to 10 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some Small Mammals enjoy small portions of seeds, nuts, pasta, and unsalted popcorn as part of their daily diet. Treats should make up less than 10 percent of their diet to keep them from gaining weight.

According to expert veterinarians, Small Mammals should eat twice a day. Once in the morning and again in the evening. Water should also be given to them either from a chew proof bottle or water bowls.

Any uneaten food should always be removed from their cages to prevent your pets from overeating. Avoid feeding pets onions, citrus fruits, and chocolate because they are toxic to most Small Mammals and could kill them.

Rodents and some other Small Mammals enjoy eating hay, and chewing it does a lot to prevent their front teeth from overgrowing.

Most Small Mammals don’t need vitamin supplements because commercial foods have the required vitamins they need. Guinea Pigs are an exception because they don’t produce their Vitamin C and require supplements. If they don’t get enough vitamin C, they will get sick just like humans that catch scurvy.

General Small Mammal Care

A litter box is something else that’s needed and isn’t expensive. Most Small Mammals are intelligent and with proper training, can use a litter box as a toilet.  

a baby ferret sleeping in a small hammock

While it is possible that they can be taught to use the litter box, many owners either don’t know how, or just don’t bother.  In this case we recommend that you spot clean their cage once a day to keep waste buildup in the cage to a minimum and to keep their bedding fresh.

The Small Mammals cage should be spot cleaned every day and the bedding changed twice a week. The habitat should be kept well ventilated to prevent respiratory infections. The food bowls should be cleaned before every feeding and placed at an elevated level to prevent food contamination with pet waste.

Pets such as chinchillas love having sand baths in their cage for bathing. The sand should be made of fine particles to help maintain their healthy silky fur.

Aggressiveness in Small Mammals

Most Small Mammals are gentle and make great pets but in some cases they can become aggressive. It is important to understand which pets can coexist peacefully and those that may fight to the death if kept together.

Some rodents like female Hamsters fight when they have young pups. Other rodents fight for territory.  This is usually in the case of more than one male being kept together with other females. In other cases, some rodents will fight a new member introduced into the cage.

With a proper understanding of the behavior of each pet, it’s possible to minimize aggressive behavior.

Most rodents love human contact especially after they get used to handling. Some Small Mammals can even learn a few tricks with training. Rarely do they attack their caregivers.

In summary, Rodents and Small Mammals are generally low maintenance pets that are suitable for beginners and expert pet owners alike. Small Mammals are great pets that love chewing on stuff. After you figure out the best one for your family, you can have fun taking care of a new little pet. 

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Basic Facts about Small Mammals

According to statistics, about 40 percent of all mammals that are kept as pets are rodents. Rodents also have a pair of lower and upper incisors that grow continuously throughout their lives. Some pets aren’t able to trim their teeth naturally. 

If they were left to grow without being worn down, the teeth would eventually grow so big that they could not use their mouth. If you notice that your pet isn’t able to trim their teeth through chewing on things, then you should take your pet to the vet for regular teeth trimming. In some cases, your vet may even recommend that their teeth be removed or suggest a change of diet.

Rodent owners should also give their pets chew toys to help them trim the teeth. Not just toys can do this, some types of hay also encourage chewing and trimming their incisors.

Rodents are social animals that often prefer to live in groups or pairs to meet their social needs. Since rodents breed very fast, avoid placing opposite sexes in one cage. Otherwise, you risk having more pets than you could hope to care for.

Some rodents such as mice are born blind and hairless, while some like guinea pigs are born with fur and well-functioning eyes. Naturally, when a rodent is pregnant, it prepares a nest for the young ones.

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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.