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Table of Contents

Why chinchillas are the best rodent pets.

Bunnies

I have heard of people who have really close bonds with their bunnies and the bunnies are litter box trained and have the run of the house like a cat. That was not my situation. Maybe I just had too many pets to be able to spend the time with a bunny to turn it into a cat. My experience was difference. I had two amazingly cute holland lop-lionhead mixes. They didnt even look like bunnies. They looked like… well there was this episode of old school Star Trek…. Anyway, they were really exotic for bunnies and they were super cute. Here is why I don't have them anymore: They would pee in their substrate and then they would run around in circles like the Tazmanian Devil on bath salts and the pee would splatter all over the walls!!! OK, they were gone as soon as I could find someone to take them. The person that took them has more bunnies than I care to know about and she breeds fancy mice. Note: bunnies are not actually rodents but it is a common misconception.

Guinea Pigs

The “tribbles” from the famous old school Star Trek episode (yes I am aware that is the second reference to old school Star Trek in the first few paragraphs of an article about rodent pets) were based on guinea pigs. The “wee weep weep wee weep” sound of excited guinea pigs is one of the cutest things in the pet world. Two problems with guinea pigs. They are very hard to tame if you don't have a lot of time for them. As a prey animal it always considers that it is in mortal danger from you. And the other problem is that they are nasty. In my experience, there is no getting around it…their pee smells awful and they pee a lot. Doesn't matter what litter I tried or how often I changed it, the pee smell was always there. And you can't have just one guinea pig because they are highly social animals.

Rats

If you don't have an issue with their tails then that is one major hurdle overcome. They are smelly animals too but not as bad as the last ones mentioned. Their smell is more poopy and can also be very pervasive but at least if you stay on top of changing the litter you have a chance to not have the odor as a problem. My biggest problem with ratties is that if they decide to run from you they can be very fast and if they end up behind furniture and such they can choose wires. OK, rats overall are not bad pets and if you spend time with them they can be very intelligent and even loving. Some people make great bonds with pet rats. One more thing to consider… they die in 2-5 years. So maybe best to not get too close to them.

Chinchillas

They emit a sound which is like a chimpanzee. That is super cute. They have huge heads for their body size which is very cute. The males don't smell at all. The females smell but not as bad as the other pets mentioned. They are known to have attitudes but they can be made more social. I have large cages for mine so I feel justified in not letting them out. If you do let them out be aware they can jump 5' from a standing position and they also love to chew wires. Feed them Oxbow brand chinchilla feed as a staple. The other brands are like fast food for them and are actually harmful. They need lots of hay. Not as much as bunnies though. They have very delicate digestive systems. The only snacks I have found that they can stomach are rose hips, apple or willow branches for chewing and different kinds of hay based snacks that don't have ingredients they can't digest. You can definitely bond and they will sit at the edge of the cage and stare at you until you give them snacks. My male is fine with being petted. It is also cute to give them their dust baths. Chinchillas are the best of the rodent type pets. Oh, I did have a fancy long fur hamster once and it had a great personality. I had two gerbils and I named them Biter and Pisser for obvious reasons lol But they can be made social and tame if you get them at an early enough age and give them a lot of handling. One more thing about Chinchillas, they like it on the cool side of room temperature. 60-70 degrees is the range. If the room is above 75 they can have a stroke. If the combined heat and temperature add up to above 150 they will definitely be in danger of a stroke. For instance, if the temperature in the room is 75 and the humidity is 75 you need to make the room cooler and/or dryer or else you are endangering them. I have two females and one male chinchillas. The male is in a different cage from the females but i am looking at the possibility of breeding them at some point in the near future, maybe this Summer. The world needs more chinchillas.


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