Rats/Guinea Pigs/Ferrets/etc...tell me about them.

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by PWCorgi, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    So, if my mom and sister ever move out (*crossingfingers*) they will be taking Balou the chinchilla with them as my little sister has pretty much claimed him as hers and taken over his care.

    If that happens, I *may* get another smallish/caged animal, I haven't decided yet whether I really want to or not, but I'd like to research possibilities now.

    The animals I am looking at now are mainly rats, cavys, and ferrets. From what I have been reading, it seems like cavys are way less demanding of human attention than the rats and ferrets, which could be a good thing if my schedule is more on the busy side, but at the same time I am also looking for a social animal that likes to interact with me. This is one reason why I am not really looking into getting another chin, because although he is a cool animal Balou isn't very interested in me or what I am doing.

    Anyway, if anyone would like to share their experiences with any of these animals, or has websites/forums to recommend, they would be much appreciated. :)
     
  2. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca feel the magic

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    I had guinea pigs as a child.
    Mine were always moving EVERYWHERE. And while they tolerated being held (I was never rough with them), they didn't crave attention from me. And they didn't care what I did.

    I just got my new rats last night, and already they are wanting to climb out of their cage to get to me, and they take food from my hands, and they follow me around when I'm in the room.
    They are big squishes. And I cannot wait to get them out of their cage this afternoon to play with them!

    Goosemoose Pet Portal - Home
     
  3. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I'm not gonna lie, seeing your little ratties in your thread was the final straw in me posting this thread, lol. They are *so* cute!
     
  4. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    Ratties!

    From my experience, ferrets are like eternal kittens, and rats are like dogs.

    Seriously, out of all the pets I've ever had (cats, dogs, gerbils, frogs, parakeets, and horses) rats have been the absolute BEST. I bonded with them in a way I've never bonded with a pet before, and they were just sooo interactive and fun and freakishly intelligent and every other positive thing you can think of :D
     
  5. Baxter'smybaby

    Baxter'smybaby swimming upstream

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    I had numerous guinea pigs all through my childhood, into college, and then my kids had them when they were young. Like any animal, how they are raised can make a big difference--they need to be socialized and handled, or they can be skittish and not fun to have. Our piggies were great--we'd take them out, let them run around in a defined area, which was really fun to watch. They'd squeal when we came home--loved to have treats,etc.
    Now, they are not the brightest of the small animals--but ours did learn to beg on their hind legs, and "talk" for their treats.
    I'd have them again--probably will someday.
     
  6. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    I haven't owned Rats or Ferrets, but my sister has a pair of guinea pigs, and I must say, they are enjoyable, but a pain in the a** to take care of.

    They need to be cleaned out every couple of days, and since they need so much space, it's really a pain to have to have to take the cage apart, get out all the dirty bedding, put clean bedding in, etc. And since my sister is an idiot, I'm the one who has to clean them out.

    They also eat hay like none other, and you have to give them hay and food every day, and veggies, and refill their water a lot more often than say a hamster or something, because they drink quite a bit of water.

    They also take a lot of time and effort to get tame. Both of mine nip, even though we've gently handled them EVERY day since we got them. I don't really know what to do to stop this, but it makes it a lot less appealing to hold them when you know they're just going to bite you.

    And even though they don't mind being handled nearly as much as when we first got them, they still run around the cage at high speed trying to get away from you every time you try to hold them. They don't really like to be taken out, and one of them will actually run and jump back into the cage the first chance she gets.

    I'm not trying to discourage you from getting one, because I have seen some reaaaally sweet guinea pigs, and I do enjoy mine, apart from everything I said, they are SUPER cute, and they get sooo excited and happy, and start squealing with joy whenever we bring veggies or hay into the room. It's really fun to hold them in your lap, and feed them lettuce or carrots from your hand. And nothing's sweeter than hearing their little happy squeaks when you're petting them under their chin, or behind their ears.

    But if I were going to get a pet, and my choices were between a ferret, rat, or guinea pig, I'd probably pick a ferret. Just because I like a more interactive pet. I love rats, but I'm pretty much done with caged pets after these guinea pigs. If I got a ferret it would be primarily free range, and only caged it when I wasn't home, and at night.

    But honestly, depending on what you want, all three are great pets! I've spent time with all three, and they're very charming in their own ways!!! Good luck!!! It's always exciting getting a new pet. :)
     
  7. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Want a pet that is like a chinchilla, that does not care what your day is like? Get either a cavy or a rat. Want an animal that will play with you, want to be with you, get a ferret.

    Ferrets are amazing pets, I will never be without a ferret again. Their care is more so of a dog than a chin, rat, or cavy, so you have to keep that in mind. They should have atleast 2 hours of out of cage time a day, however, if my day is super busy, mine are fine being in the cage all day, since they have each other to play with. They are fun, entertaining little creatures who are very misunderstood, but are always giving me a laugh.
     
  8. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I had guinea pigs. After about a year I decided they were too much work for too little enjoyment and I rehomed them. But I was 13, so that may have been a factor. ;) But they do need a lot of cage cleaning and they really weren't all that social. They were willing to be handled, but they preferred to wander around the room without me interfering.

    Now hamsters, OTOH...:D
     
  9. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Thanks guys! From what you are all saying (and what I kinda expected) is that guinea pigs don't sound so much like what I am looking for.

    So that narrows it more to ferrets and rats. I am going to start a little research, but I doubt I will be getting anything until next summer at the earliest.

    Hamsters are the devil, lol. I have never met one that wasn't evil and that could keep their teeth to themselves!
     
  10. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    If you have specific questions, feel free to ask them. I was not too sure about what to say really without knowing what you wanted to know.
     
  11. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    That's been my experience with gerbils.

    All of my hamsters were seriously cool and friendly.
     
  12. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I know, I do the same thing with dog breeds, I just want to know everything without having to think up the questions, lol!

    Mmkay, thinking cap on...
    (also, if it alters the response to any of these, I am planning on getting from a shelter/rescue/CL post/etc. rather than a breeder if I can)

    Do you have to clip their nails (and are they usually as bad as most dogs about having nails clipped if not introd early)?

    Are they generally people/stranger friendly, or just like being with their people?

    Is introducing them to new cage mates generally easy or difficult (I know this depends on the ferret, but I know with chins it can be a HUGE process and PITA to intro and let chins play without fighting)?

    What is their hygiene management/grooming requirements like?

    Erm...that's all I can think of right at this moment.
    (If anyone wants to answer this in regards to rats too, that would be cool!)
     
  13. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Well maybe all the ones I have met have been defective, but they had serious temperament flaws, lol. I LOOOOVE russian dwarf hamsters though, OMG they are so cute!
     
  14. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    My answers are in red!
     
  15. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    You *really* don't need to tell me that, lol. I wouldn't buy any animal from a pet store (except mice, but they were lunch for Marx).

    Thanks for the info!
     
  16. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    LOL yah I figured, but some people figure that small animals like hamsters, mice and ferrets are all alright from petstores
     
  17. Amber

    Amber New Member

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    Guinea pigs. They need a lot of space (like ALOT), they smell, they're loud, they can be expensive-ish (not SUPER pricey, but vetting, food, hay, bedding, cage..) ...I don't think I'll be getting any more in the future. (I currently have 2 from the shelter)
    Oh, they tolerate interaction but it's definately not on their "favorite things" list.
     
  18. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    Oh, and I've got to say, rats are NOT a "sit in the cage and enjoy being left alone" type creature. They are absolutely NOTHING like other rodents. If you get a rat thinking it will be like a hamster or a mouse, then you've got another thing coming ;) They want to be with you 24/7, especially the males.

    Mine, especially my Brutus, were absolutely DEVOTED to me. My mom told me when I was away, especially at nights when he was wide away, my Brutus would stand at the cage door, waiting on me. As soon as I got home, he would go CRAZY. That rat loved me far more than any dog has, which a lot of people refuse to believe :p

    To give you an example of that devotion, when I came back from vacation, I found him in a pitiful state: he was old and was dying. As soon as he saw me come in, he FELL out of his hammock and dragged himself to the cage door (his back end was paralyzed.) When I opened the cage door and held my hands out, he tried to climb into them, but couldn't, so I picked him up. He died less than five minutes after that :(

    So, yeah, these are special creatures. I've had multiple pets and experienced multiple heart-breaking deaths, but nothing shook me up worse than the loss of that little rat. There's just *something* about them.

    They steal your heart fast, I guess is what I'm trying to say :)
     
  19. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    PicklePaige, how are they with introducing to new rats?
     
  20. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    Okay, that made me cry. What a sweet boy.

    (And that's a lot for me as I am afraid of "wild" rats.)
     

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