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Mice


Size: Very small

Cage Type: Plastic tank

Pros:  Won't take up much space, friendly when handled daily

Cons: Fast, and can be quite good escape artists!


Example of a plastic tank suitable for a mouse house. We don't suggest a glass dish of whiskey though.

Dwarf hamsters


Size: Very small

Cage type: Plastic tank, or plastic cage with wire lid

Pros: Won't take up much space, friendly

Cons: If they are not handled enough they can become nervous and won't mind nipping your fingers.


A typical cage for dwarf hamsters, the wire lid also doubles up as monkey bars- hamsters love to climb!

Gerbils


Size: Small

Cage type: Gerbilarium. It is important that gerbils are not put in the regular cages you find for hamsters or mice. They need to tunnel, so a separate layer for sand or sawdust is essential.

Pros: Friendly, something a bit different, if handled won't bite

Cons: Gerbils are best kept in groups, or at least a pair, not necessarily a con, but it means more work.  I have never kept gerbils, mainly because I heard that their tails fall off and they eat their babies. But other than that, I'm sure they're just fine.


Here you can see the separate section for the gerbils to tunnel and dig.

Syrian Hamster


Size: Small

Cage type: Wire cage.  Syrians must be housed alone, as they will fight any other hamster.

Pros: Once they have been handled and are tame, they will remain that way (unlike dwarf hamsters that need regular handling to remain tame)

Cons: If they do remain untamed, their bite is quite nasty


Perfect home for a hamster, with another level and wire for climbing.

Chipmunk


Size: Small

Cage type: Aviary with nest boxes

Pros: Something different, chipmunks have a cartoonish charm

Cons:  They need loads of space and they haven't been domesticated for that long, so instead of cuddly and obedient, they tend to be independent and cheeky. Although, this might not be a con for you.


Example of someone's chipmunk aviary. I don't think many are knocking around your local pet shop, so you might have to consider building your own.

Degu


Size: Small

Cage Type: Gerbilarium, or a cage with lots of levels

Pros: Friendly, active and lively, but might wriggle when being handled at first

Cons: Need a lot of space, and have to be kept in groups.


Degus are lively and active, so a lot of space and levels are needed.

Sugar Glider

Size: Small

Cage type: Aviary

Pros: Something different, look cute

Cons: Cost, diet, behaviour, noise and smell are all issues that come with sugar gliders. Their housing and food all add up, and the food itself can be a problem if you are squeamish about crickets, meal-worms etc. They have glands, much like ferrets or skunks, that emit a distinct scent. As a pet, I would personally avoid sugar gliders. If you are desperate for 'something different' than you should really consider your reasons for owning such a demanding animal.


Similar to a chipmunk's housing, sugar gliders require an aviary so they can glide.

Rat


Size: Small- Med

Cage type: Large, tall wire cage.

Pros: Rats are friendly, and a good size if you don't want a small, wriggly animal to handle. Bucks (males) are especially laid back and easy to handle compared to the more inquisitive and lively does.

Cons: I think rats still come with the stigma of being dirty, sewer creatures that everyone hates, so I guess a con would be people shuddering whenever you mention them. But let people hold them, get to know them and they will soon see that rats are clean, loving pets.


A rat cage is generally taller with many levels so they can run around. If you let your rat roam free, beware because they can and will chew everything.


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