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Wondering whether to upsize from mice Watch

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    Nothing lives forever mice especially, they haven't quite popped their clogs yet but one of them appears to be developing a tumour so I'm not quite sure how much longer they'll have (already 2 years old). I'm a believer in planning ahead (that's a lie but I thought I'd try it for once) and have decided to start preparing in advance and researching information before getting a new fluffy companion.

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    I've quite enjoyed having mice which came into my possession quite unexpectedly when we caught a wild grey mouse running about on the floor, and in my experience they have been very easy to tame with generally very good temperaments. However I'm wondering whether to stick with mice or try for something new?

    I've had syrian hamsters in the past but found them to be quite aggressive and territorial, indeed every hamster i've ever touched has bitten me (even roborovski's and siberian's). So I think I'll rule them out. And having had guinea pigs I think it'll be cruel to keep them indoors at my student house, so I was wondering about other critters. What are peoples experiences with Gerbils, Rats, and Chinchillas?

    What are they like temperament and handling wise, are they easy to tame and look after?

    Thanks for your advice and time :yes:
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    Thanks for making me lose mother-fudging game, OP
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    have you ever thought of rats? they're not dirty or anyother common misconceptions (in fact, they're very clean animals) They dont bite, unlike hamsters! i have had 3 rats, i think they're great pets and mine used to sit on my shoulder and i could walk round everywhere and they would just sit there (they also liked top pockets to sleep in) They last longer than hamsters and rats too. =]
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    (Original post by Mr Snips)
    Thanks for making me lose mother-fudging game, OP
    My sig has caught out 17 people in the past two weeks :P I should start listing everyone who admits to getting caught out
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    I've had a quite a few gerbils. They're pretty friendly and they've never bitten anyone. However, if/when you let them out of the cage, they are FAST and hard to catch. There have been times when we've spend hours trying to catch them and just ended up having to just leave the door to the room closed for the night and try again the next day.

    I've had a rat, too, and it was very friendly
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    (Original post by TheTard)
    have you ever thought of rats? they're not dirty or anyother common misconceptions (in fact, they're very clean animals) They dont bite, unlike hamsters! i have had 3 rats, i think they're great pets and mine used to sit on my shoulder and i could walk round everywhere and they would just sit there (they also liked top pockets to sleep in) They last longer than hamsters and rats too. =]
    I was looking at rats on several sites, I have a friend who keeps rats and I was quite surprised at how inquisitive and friendly they are. She'd taught them to play fetch and return to the cage when they heard a clicker noise. Plus you have the added comfort when they're running around that they're quite sizeable so easier to scoop up when they run off.

    I've heard they're quite fussy when it comes to the size of cages though and especially seeing as you're supposed to keep at least two together. I'd be worried about territory space and scrapping if it was too small for them. You had three rats, what sort of size cage did you have?

    Is this big enough for two? Although I'd change it slightly and add a wheel and rat hammock.

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    (Original post by pourquoi?)
    I've had a quite a few gerbils. They're pretty friendly and they've never bitten anyone. However, if/when you let them out of the cage, they are FAST and hard to catch. There have been times when we've spend hours trying to catch them and just ended up having to just leave the door to the room closed for the night and try again the next day.

    I've had a rat, too, and it was very friendly
    I've heard gerbils are skitty like mice, how good are they at squeezing through holes once on the rampage though? My mice used to squeeze through ridiculous gaps like under the door and stuff.
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    (Original post by pourquoi?)
    Nah, they're not quite as bad as that. I've not had any that have squeezed under the door, but they do go in spaces that are impossible for you to get to, so you just have to wait for them to emerge.
    Are they good climbers like chipmunks? My uncles used to climb up the curtains and hide at the top of the curtain rail.
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I was looking at rats on several sites...
    Well, i might go for something slightly larger than that, even though that would be big enough, its just i feel sorry for them and wat them to have a massive cage lol. oh and mine never got teratorial, they like company of other rats and they tend not to be aggressive. My rats had figured out how to open the latch on the cage and they would just walk out whenever they wanted which was a surprise when they just came ans sat next to us on the sofa =] but yeah, they are really friendly and easily trained.
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    (Original post by pourquoi?)
    Nah, they're not quite as bad as that. I've not had any that have squeezed under the door, but they do go in spaces that are impossible for you to get to, so you just have to wait for them to emerge.
    I have had this. one squeezed past my hand while feeding them, spend the night trying to catch him and in general gerbil watch mode until I fell asleep from boredom. Next morning I realised he'd gotten under my door, across my house and into my sister's room. Conveniently into somewhere it was easy to catch him from.

    Gerbils are insanely quick, if you want handling-friendly pets they're not the best bet. It's also difficult to get petshop bought ones to become tame and friendly to you. They're slightly contemptuous, like cats, only like you cus you feed them They do have brilliant personalities and are fun to watch, though.
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    Nothing lives forever mice especially, they haven't quite popped their clogs yet but one of them appears to be developing a tumour so I'm not quite sure how much longer they'll have (already 2 years old). I'm a believer in planning ahead (that's a lie but I thought I'd try it for once) and have decided to start preparing in advance and researching information before getting a new fluffy companion.

    Spoiler:
    Show


    I've quite enjoyed having mice which came into my possession quite unexpectedly when we caught a wild grey mouse running about on the floor, and in my experience they have been very easy to tame with generally very good temperaments. However I'm wondering whether to stick with mice or try for something new?

    I've had syrian hamsters in the past but found them to be quite aggressive and territorial, indeed every hamster i've ever touched has bitten me (even roborovski's and siberian's). So I think I'll rule them out. And having had guinea pigs I think it'll be cruel to keep them indoors at my student house, so I was wondering about other critters. What are peoples experiences with Gerbils, Rats, and Chinchillas?

    What are they like temperament and handling wise, are they easy to tame and look after?

    Thanks for your advice and time :yes:
    ]



    Hey, I think rats would be best for you as they are very clean, affectionate and i've never been bitten by any which I can't say for hamsters or gerbils!

    I actually find them quite cute aswell! have a look at this website http://www.quite.co.uk/rats/

    Chinchillahs on other hand generally need more looking after such as needing sand baths, need larger cages and molt very fine hair everywhere which hurts like hell if you get it in your eyes! http://www.churchfieldvets.co.uk/Chu...la%20Care.html

    Hope this helps
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    That cage is not big enough for 2 rats- pet store cages aren't in general. The best thing would be more like a chinchilla cage (have you seen the really tall ones?).

    That sort of size, but make sure it is secure if you use ramps as they can break limbs easily

    However you said about guinea pigs not being indoor, it is preferable for them to be indoor with you as it's more likely you'll spend more time with them then. During the winter especially, outdoor guinea pigs can be abandoned pretty much as owners get back and don't have the time to dedicate to them as it's getting dark.
    I encourage indoor rodents, definitely.

    The problem you may find with pigs is that they can be very timid (all the ones I've had are) so if you want more of an animal which wants to be handled then maybe they aren't right for you.
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    (Original post by TheTard)
    Well, i might go for something slightly larger than that, even though that would be big enough, its just i feel sorry for them and wat them to have a massive cage lol. oh and mine never got teratorial, they like company of other rats and they tend not to be aggressive. My rats had figured out how to open the latch on the cage and they would just walk out whenever they wanted which was a surprise when they just came ans sat next to us on the sofa =] but yeah, they are really friendly and easily trained.
    I saw a video on youtube where a rat has learned to let itself out to play. I imagine a small padlock though would be sufficient to keep the door secured though? I wouldn't really want it running about my room eating my crisps and chocolate if I was out :p:

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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    That cage is not big enough for 2 rats- pet store cages aren't in general. The best thing would be more like a chinchilla cage (have you seen the really tall ones?).

    That sort of size, but make sure it is secure if you use ramps as they can break limbs easily

    However you said about guinea pigs not being indoor, it is preferable for them to be indoor with you as it's more likely you'll spend more time with them then. During the winter especially, outdoor guinea pigs can be abandoned pretty much as owners get back and don't have the time to dedicate to them as it's getting dark.
    I encourage indoor rodents, definitely.

    The problem you may find with pigs is that they can be very timid (all the ones I've had are) so if you want more of an animal which wants to be handled then maybe they aren't right for you.
    Do you mean something more along this size? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/3-tier-ferret-...d=p3286.c0.m14

    I've had guinea pigs before and thing they liked best was lazing outside in the sun munching grass, unfortunately my student houses garden is concreted over so there's not really anything exciting for them out there. I think it'd be cruel if I couldn't provide them with a nice grassy patch with dandelions to run around in. When I have my own house with a garden i'll probably get them again as I found them really easy to tame, my dalmatian one used to follow me where ever I went round the garden like a dog.
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    (Original post by Sovay)
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    Hey, I think rats would be best for you as they are very clean, affectionate and i've never been bitten by any which I can't say for hamsters or gerbils!

    I actually find them quite cute aswell! have a look at this website http://www.quite.co.uk/rats/

    Chinchillahs on other hand generally need more looking after such as needing sand baths, need larger cages and molt very fine hair everywhere which hurts like hell if you get it in your eyes! http://www.churchfieldvets.co.uk/Chu...la%20Care.html

    Hope this helps

    I'll give the rats website a look over, thanks for the link :yes:
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    Do you mean something more along this size? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/3-tier-ferret-...d=p3286.c0.m14

    I've had guinea pigs before and thing they liked best was lazing outside in the sun munching grass, unfortunately my student houses garden is concreted over so there's not really anything exciting for them out there. I think it'd be cruel if I couldn't provide them with a nice grassy patch with dandelions to run around in. When I have my own house with a garden i'll probably get them again as I found them really easy to tame, my dalmatian one used to follow me where ever I went round the garden like a dog.
    That cage isn't suitable because of the wire flooring- they'll get bumblefoot if you aren't careful.

    http://www.petcentreonline.co.uk/eco...oduct~1053.htm

    Something like that is more suitable but obviously try to find something cheaper!
    Also try to get plastic ramps as opposed to the wire ramps just to avoid bumblefoot again. It's better to be on the safe side
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    That cage isn't suitable because of the wire flooring- they'll get bumblefoot if you aren't careful.

    http://www.petcentreonline.co.uk/eco...oduct~1053.htm

    Something like that is more suitable but obviously try to find something cheaper!
    Also try to get plastic ramps as opposed to the wire ramps just to avoid bumblefoot again. It's better to be on the safe side
    I was intending to replace any exposed wire with plastic platforms and tubes when I got one like I did for my mice, and those metal wheels look like death traps if they ever misplaced a foot :/

    What are rats like with chewing, would I probably have to replace platforms frequently due to chewing? Or would wooden toys and rat ropes maybe take the urge away.
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    If you don't fancy changing animal, we have plenty of mice in our flat that you can take and train..that is if you can catch them first, speedy little feckers.
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    What are peoples experiences with Gerbils, Rats, and Chinchillas?

    What are they like temperament and handling wise, are they easy to tame and look after?
    I'd defo recommend rats. I have six at the moment, and they're wonderful. More intelligent than dogs apparently, and very amusing and affectionate.

    here's the best ratty website around http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/home/ - the forum is priceless when you have rats, as any health/behaviour/habitat problems you have you can go straight on there and loads of experienced people will help you, and there is a really friendly community on there too. Here are some links:

    Why rats need to be kept in pairs or more = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...ubject=company

    How to feed them for optimum health and happiness for your ratties = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...ject=shunamite

    Why NEVER to buy from a pet shop = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...ngfrompetshops

    How to work out what size cage to get = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...agecalculator/

    More about housing them = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...omeforyourrats
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    (Original post by Little Weed)

    Why NEVER to buy from a pet shop = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...ngfrompetshops

    How to work out what size cage to get = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...agecalculator/

    More about housing them = http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/informat...omeforyourrats
    I'm not sure whether to trust the cage size calculator, I posted on page one the Ferplast Jenny cage (80x50x79.5cm) which according to the calculator is supposed to hold 5 rats. Yet users said it's probably a little small for two rats. So I'm a little puzzled there, obviously bigger is better when it comes to homes. And I guess it's common sense with furnishing the cage use shatter resistant plastics and no paints that might be toxic.

    I'm not a fan of pet shops anyway, you always see the animals in them no doubt bred under factory conditions. There's a good pet shop round the corner from where I live that doesn't sell the animals themselves but always has a good stock of food, cages, and toys. I'd like to find a responsible breeder or adopt some rescue ratties ideally, although I haven't had much luck finding a breeder in the areas where I live and the rescue shelter says they're usually snapped up pretty quickly because they tame them before re-homing.

    I think I'll join the forums and bash away with a few queries
 
 
 
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