So I saw a set-up at the mall with these people showing off and selling sugar gliders. I was kind of awestruck, for lack of a better term, that I had never heard of these cute little creatures being domesticated. I figured it was something new and maybe the idea of them as house pets had yet to be proven legitimate.
Anyone know anything or have experience with them? My 5 year old wants a hamster. I had hamsters and did not have much luck with them and do not find them especially cute. My wife is not fond of having anything else in the house as she just sees it as more mess and a chore to take care of.
We have a cat who, by necessity is now resides outside (that’s a story for another time). They want a dog, but we have no room in the house and no gate in the backyard. Additionally, the expense of a dog is out of my budget (as are a lot of things…new clothes, repair work on the house, insulated windows…).
Just looking at the little bastards, they look pretty cute and self contained, like a hamster, gerbil, etc.
EDIT: So I searched for “Pocket Pets”" found nothing at Qt3 and then realized after starting this thread that it is probably under “sugar gliders”. The threads are from 2005 and 2007. I will read those, but any recent experience would also be appreciated.
You might consider a hedgehog or a rat. Rats get an especially bad rap, but they’re very intelligent, trainable, playful, quiet and generally affectionate animals. Their short, 2-3 year lifespan could be a plus for you since the time investment is relatively short. The two big things someone should know about keeping rats is that they are very social and require you to spend some time with them every day, and their cages can start to smell bad very quickly if you aren’t diligent about cleaning them. I only mention the bit about playing with them every day because a lot of people tend to think of pets in cages as something you can just lock in and feed every once in a while.
I’ve heard that male rats can occasionally be very territorial, but the males I’ve owned have all been very docile and sweet. Then again, they’re also supposed to love swimming, but every single one of mine have always hated water.
Oh, and males have disproportionately large balls.
Totally agree about the locking them away. And it will eventually fall on me, I am guessing. The wife will not be too keen on messing with it, the kids will forget and my limited time will be spent doing maintenance. Don’t think the wife will go for a rat. Hedgehog has never been considered, though.
I feel bad that they are not growing up with some sort of pet. I am a little scarred because my Mom was divorced and got us puppies as a bit of companionship. Twice, when we moved, they were given away. We lived in a apartments most of my childhood and 3 or 4 different dogs got out and were hit by cars. One hamster somehow got himself hung inside the eye of a stove. Not fried, just hung under there somehow. I have a 10 year old and 5 year old girl. Not an urgent need, but something I would like them to have.
I would prefer to have the resources for a dog…in a perfect world.
They aren’t housebroken. They will piss and poop everywhere. They are super duper needy and very hard to care for.
Dwarf Hamsters. I had these when I was a kid. They are adorable, and pretty easy to take care of. They also happen to be very un-stinky. (They don’t pee, and their poops are very solid) (I could go into a long discussion about their metabolism, but I will spare you that, suffice to say, they are desert creatures, who conserve water) They are very territorial though, and will bite if you stick your hand in their cage, you have to learn the correct way to hold them. Once out of the cage, in the 5 years we had hamsters, I was never bitten by the 3 we owned in that time period, (except for the one time I tried to free-hand the little bugger out of his cage, bad idea)
I hear rats are good, I have always wanted a pair Degus, but those can be hard to find. another good suggesting is Rabbits, they are super friendly, decently long lived, they get along with cats, and can be house broken.
Also, can you think of something more adorable than a 5 year old holding a bunny rabbit?
Another vote for rats. They really do make awesome pets; I grew up with a pair of 'em, and they were awesome. Intelligent, loving, loveable… the biggest problem is to stop thinking of them as “vermin”. I’ve heard that it’s important to not feed them meat, as that can trigger some of their nastier behaviours, but I don’t know if that piece of information is actually true.
A friend of mine had hedgehogs, and although I love the wee critters, they have their problems. They’re nocturnal, so they tend to be kinda cranky during the day. (which is when you’d probably want to play with them.) Actually, they tend to be cranky at any time, but it’s worse during the day.
Also their quills have a substance on them that causes irritation to many people’s skin. My friend could handle his hedgehogs just fine, but when anybody else handled them without gloves, we had irritated hands after awhile.
That is probably the sticking point. Once they get in your house, rifle your food and you have to catch approximately ten with traps before you find where they are getting in, you kinda of get a knee-jerk reaction to their mention.
It is the tails. They are so distinctive as being specific to rats. Maybe if they had some fur on them.
Yeah, that is a problem for a lot of people. Mice have nice hairy tails, but they’re horrible little creatures. Rats are the way to go… if you can change how you think about them.
Another possibility is ferrets. I had a friend who had a couple of these, and they were cute as a button & really sweet. Apparently they’re fairly easy to take care of. Ferrets have 2 major downsides: first, they kinda smell, although bathing them frequently can reduce the smell. Second, they’re really, really dumb. Actually, that might be a selling point. It was kinda funny when one’s butt slid off the table, thus dragging the head of the ferret off the table… and the ferret had no idea what was going on. “Why am I falling???”