what is a good cage pet for a young toddler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-18-2011, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my daughter is 1.5 years old and LOVES animals. we used to have a roommate that had two kitties, and Olive was very gentle and loved to play with them, so i trust her to be gentle with whatever we choose to get. I want a pet that isn't too timid or delicate though, because she has a tendency to get reeeeally excited to play, and she loooved giving Dude the kitty some hugs. I also can't have dogs or cats, because my sis is allergic, so I've mainly been thinking about rats or bunnies. what do you guys think on specific breeds? or is there any other suggestions? I'm thinking it'll wait until her second birthday at least, but I want to start collecting stuff for it soon so we're prepared! i really like the idea of a couple of rats, because they can't be too hard to take care of after my sugar gliders... plus i read that they become attached to their family and can even do tricks.... hmmmm. well, let me know what you guys think! thanks!

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#2 of 11 Old 05-18-2011, 10:04 PM
 
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How about a ginny pig?  They are pretty low key.  


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#3 of 11 Old 05-18-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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Whatever you do- no hamsters. They are nocturnal, and make horrible pets for kids with early bedtimes.

 

Guinea pigs are low key. Most people that allergic to cats are also allergic to bunnies.


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#4 of 11 Old 05-18-2011, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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woah! thanks for the tip on bunnies! it would have been awful to get a rabbit and then have to get rid of it immediately!

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#5 of 11 Old 05-18-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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Smaller rodents (e.g., hamsters, gerbils, mice) are not good choices for little kids -- they tend to be more nervous because of their small size and therefore tend to bite more... rats are pretty good, they're bigger, smarter, bite less, and are very social.

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#6 of 11 Old 05-18-2011, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i've thought about guinea pigs.. i had one when i was a kid, and i looooved him to death, but i feel like he was usually pretty active at night and lazy during the day. and i mean really active at night. he'd whistle all night long hoping for someone to get up and play with him!

 

i think i might be in love with rats about now. I've been looking online on how to make rat cages diy style, and i'm pretty sure I've already got one planned out. now i just have to be patient enough to wait for 6 months. i think these rats are more for me! haha i know olive will love them though. Ticho, have you had rats before? how do you think their patience is? I know all about introducing pets slowly to Olive and letting them have their space if she's overwhelming, but do you think that once they established a relationship, that rats would be comfortable with crawling on her lap for a few minutes? and mind you, she really gets excited sometimes. she's very good at being gentle and loving, but she loves to squeal! it might be startling for a little rattie! i know that Dude was one crazy cat for letting Olive hug her for extended periods of time.

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#7 of 11 Old 05-19-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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Rats are awesome! They are wonderful with children and so smart.

 

I have had rats for many years We have a dog who is not animal friendly so we can not have any other animals (aside from a fish) :( I really want rats for DS. I always found my male rats to be more friendly they do however have large testicles blush.gif When I was in high school I had a wonderful rat who I would bring to school with me daily for mons and he would hang out on my shoulder most of the day (Till a teacher, not mine,  got all freak out and "almost had a heart attack" and I was asked to stop bringing him greensad.gif Anyway I would leave his cage open and he would climb in and out and when I would get home from school (I lived on my own) I would call him and he would come running and sit up in front of me so I could pick him up. He would give me kisses , he never ever bite me and was just lovely. He was a black and white hooded rat and I got him when he was about 7 weeks old (they are very delicate as babies so I would handle him a lot but be cautious with your DD till he gets bigger. Oh and they are up at night wrestling as well :) They love to wrestle and they also love to be with other rats so 2 is good. I have had many other types of rodents and rats are my favourite. Enjoy!  

 

 


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#8 of 11 Old 05-19-2011, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah the ONLY downside to rats for me is their little boy bits, and the fact that apparently they dribble pee all over. my sugar gliders did that too... but i loved them so much that i didn't care. maybe i'll feel the same about rats. but. balls? i heard the guys are more friendly and playful though, and i can get them neutered. i read that that can help prevent cancer too. hmm.

 

i love you story about taking the rat to school! i used to work at this upscale clothing store where like SUUUPER rich people shopped, and i laughed because i'd be waiting on these rich ladies and they never knew i had my sugar gliders in a pouch around my neck. i bet at least half would have screeeamed if they knew. the other half would have thought they were adorable.

 

i reeeeally want to get some rat babies now, but the only impulse rat buying i can find is petsmart. not a fan of huge chain stores, especially when animals are involved. boo.

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#9 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 02:13 AM
 
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yeah, I had two rats (at different times) when I was in my 20s. They were very social. The first one I used to let run in the living room (after blocking vents, etc.) while I was studying. He would inevitably climb up my pant leg, onto my lap, and then, just like a cat, would get right on top of whatever I was reading. They also like being petted. All in all, I'd say they'd be a good choice for little kids -- not too skittish, very social, and smart!

 

I adopted my first rat from the humane society and the second one from the university (she was a rat used by a student in a behavioural psych class... the rats that weren't adopted were shipped off to the birds of prey sanctuary for a not-so-relaxing retirement).

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#10 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"not so relaxing retirement"... i'll say!!

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#11 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 11:36 PM
 
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Another rat owner (don't have any currently but will get them again when DS is older) here and I second how wonderful they are. I used to get my rats from a local breeder (you can actually ask for recommendations on rat message boards).
The only big downside to having rats as pets - they do have a short life span. A rat older than 2 years is considered really old, so you get attached to them and then they get old and pass on. greensad.gif

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