Re: Needs Advice

POSTED: Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:33 pm

Hi! I have actually owned two ferrets, and they are indeed on about the same level as having a cat or even dog care wise. They need a litter box, which they may or may not use (mine never did and always dumped the litter everywhere in the cage-which has to be HUGE btw-and surrounding floor). If you let them out to run more freely, they may steal shiny stuff-mine stole my socks and liked burrowing under my laundry lol-you have around, or poop/pee in a secluded corner (no you can't litter train them past making sure they have it in their cage-also mine would find my cats litter and roll around/play in it, making a huge mess I would have to clean up).

Also like mentioned above they are smelly. Both mine had the glands out and they still had a constant order, and you can't wash them very often, or their skin dries out.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my ferrets and miss them sometimes, but they are a lot of work (way more than a guinea pig, which I have also owned in the past.)

I would suggest a Chinchilla, they can live up to 20 years with the proper care and are pretty active, though they can also be pretty vocal, so if you don't want a noisy pet then get a rat or hamster perhaps? (Also they are attention hogs, so if you don't have a lot of time, don't get a Chinchilla lol)

If you want to go non rodent, I suggest a snake or other lizard/reptile. They can live a long time, and can mostly stay to themselves depending on what you get. (I have had two snakes and loved them to bits. They loved laying around my neck or even on my hat if I were wearing one, and they never bit me nor threatened to do so)

-Also I have a Dwarf Hamster and it is NOT docile lol. You can barely catch it, and it does NOT like being held. It is always running around its cage if not asleep lol

In the long run its up to you! Go with what you feel fits you right :D
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Bring the Rum!

POSTED: Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:17 am

Righto, im a little late here, but you are reading the words of one who has owned more pets than most people dream about.

Now, you have stated you are looking for an animal that can be caged when you are not home, is small, and lives longer than 3 yrs.

As others have stated, Ferrets do fit this description, and can be wonderful pets. With proper care a ferret could live to be 10 yrs old! i've owned one that lived to be 12! (average lifespan 8 years)

Now as for rats, the AVERAGE life span of the Large Domestic Rat is about 3-4 years, but with proper care, and if from a Rattery which breeds for longevity, you can see a fine five or even six years out of them. Rats can be trained in much the same was a dog, and being Biurnal (awake both day and night) they can adjust their sleep schedule to match yours!

Another pet that fits what you are looking for is the much loved squirrel. Although this may not be legal where you live, the common Grey Squirrel (North American) has been known to live ten years in captivity with proper care.

The thing to keep in mind with any pet that is a small animal, is that they tend to be very social animals, often require daily interaction, and are typically best if kept in pairs (same gender of course)

Should you decide upon a ferret, keep in mind they require a special diet, and cat food is not a good substitute, however in a tight spot (run out of food 2 days before payday) kitten chow can be used. Ferrets also require regular bathes to cut down on smell, even if deglanded, and are prone to eating things that block them up. If allowed to roam free, you must keep a close eye on them, as they will chew their way through almost anything, even solid wooden doors if given time. Like rats their rib cages will fold to allow them to fit their body through any gap which fits their skull.

EDIT: For the regular baths on ferrets, you should not wash them more than once a month, for, as stated above (and i feel bad i forgot this important detail) their skin gets dried out.

Should you go for a rat, these little guys get bored, very bored, and they are rather like small children when this happens, they either get sulky and laze about, or get agitated. Keep your Rattos entertained! Rats are prone to various cancers, particularly albino 'feeder' rats and the rather popular hairless varieties, of which there are three. Sphinx, 'velveteen', and 'True Hairless'. Each has a different level of hairlessness, and its own inherent health issues. If you want more info, please feel free to PM me!

As a note, Rats and Ferrets alike should not be housed in cedar or pine shavings. Rats absorb the toxins from these shavings through their feet and tails, and get very sick. Ferrets tend to eat them.

If squirrels are legal as pets, and you decide to try and find one, you should try to find a breeder who hand raises. Squirrels also only bond to a single person, so if there is someone else in the house they should not handle the animal for the first several months, to ensure it bonds with you. Squirrels are best housed in very large cages, and do not make for a good apartment pet because they need room to run and jump. They also cannot be vaccinated for rabies, so outside is a big NO. The best set up for a squirrel that is a 'space saver' would be a parrot cage. Being designed for a large bird, you may need to add some 'chicken wire' or 'rabbit wire' to the outside to prevent escape, but line the inside with branches, shiny flashy toys and treats, maybe a bird house for their nest.

Now, this pet that follows is for those who have the time, money, and suitable housing.

Sugar Gliders. A very time consuming pet, but very soft, very cuddly, and ive heard of them living up to 12 years. They are very cold sensitive, so any drafts should be corrected before bringing one home, and they are also prone to upper respiratory infections, like Rats, Ferrets and Squirrels.

Being strictly nocturnal, these little guys rarely come out during the day, and if they do it means they are either very hungry, or something may be wrong.

If you dont mind going for a slightly larger creature (6-10 pound range) the California Rex rabbit, a 'meat' breed, has an average lifespan of 6 years, and is generally resistant to the diseases that claim the lives of many smaller 'pet' breeds of rabbit. They can be litter box trained (must be spayed or neutered for this to work), and can even be trained to do simple tricks.

You can walk them on a leash with a special harness, and other than the litter-box and cage being cleaned, are relatively low maintenance.

The one major health problem you can see in meat breeds is bone cancer, but this tends to fairly rare, and in the 27 yrs i have owned rabbits (since i was a wee babe) i have seen only 10 cases.

The key with any companion animal purchase is to do research on the breed, or species, and find the animal that fits YOU. This doesnt just mean choose what TYPE, but to actually go and see the animal, to be sure you can get along well.

And Remember, shelters have more than just dogs and cats, and this time of year you see a lot of little bunnies and ferrets in need of a good home. You should definitely check out your local shelter before you head to a pet store, its not just old, sick, or 'dangerous' animals there. Just ask my baby girl Hope, Rescued 4 years ago this fall, shes my little foot warmer (little is subjective, since she weighs 94 pounds).

I know this is a lot to read, and im sorry, but im a huge advocate for educated pet ownership. Any further questions feel free to pm me!

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