8 Best Small Rodents To Keep As Pets


Small rodents make delightful and charming pets, bringing joy and companionship to households of all sizes. If you’re considering adding a furry friend to your family, here’s a guide to the eight best small rodents to keep as pets.

1. Hamsters

Hamsters as Pets

Hamsters are known for their adorable, round bodies and playful personalities. They are low-maintenance, making them ideal for first-time pet owners. Choose from various species, each with unique traits, such as the Syrian hamster or the dwarf hamster.

2. Guinea Pigs

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Guinea pigs are social creatures that thrive on companionship. These affectionate rodents enjoy interacting with their owners and make gentle and loving pets. Keep in mind that they prefer living in pairs to prevent loneliness.

3. Mice

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Mice are intelligent and curious creatures that form strong bonds with their human caregivers. Their small size makes them suitable for limited living spaces, and they are often kept in pairs or small groups for social stimulation.

4. Rats

Rat Personality, Intelligence, and Care

Rats are incredibly intelligent and can be trained to perform tricks. They form strong bonds with their owners and other rats, making them social pets. Rats are known for their playful nature and adapt well to various environments.

5. Gerbils

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Gerbils are energetic and curious rodents that enjoy digging and burrowing. They are social animals and thrive in pairs or small groups. With their friendly demeanor and low maintenance requirements, gerbils make excellent companions.

6. Degus

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Degus are unique rodents with long tails and a friendly disposition. They are social animals that thrive on interaction with their owners. Providing mental stimulation and a spacious environment is essential for keeping degus happy and healthy.

7. Chinchillas

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Chinchillas have soft, dense fur and are known for their playful antics. While they may be more challenging to care for due to specific environmental needs, their friendly nature and entertaining behavior make them a rewarding choice for experienced pet owners.

8. Dwarf Rabbits

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Dwarf rabbits, such as the Netherland Dwarf or Holland Lop, are compact in size and full of personality. They can be litter-trained and enjoy the company of their owners. Regular grooming and a well-balanced diet contribute to their overall well-being.


Selecting the right small rodent as a pet involves considering your lifestyle, available space, and the level of interaction you desire. Whether you opt for the classic hamster, the social guinea pig, or the playful rat, each of these small rodents can bring joy and companionship to your home.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: Are hamsters good pets for children?

A1: Yes, hamsters are generally good pets for children due to their small size and low maintenance requirements. However, adult supervision is crucial to ensure proper handling.

Q2: Can different species of small rodents be kept together?

A2: It’s generally not advisable to house different species of small rodents together, as they may have different social structures and communication styles. It’s best to keep them in compatible pairs or groups of their own kind.

Q3: Do chinchillas require special care?

A3: Yes, chinchillas have specific care requirements, including a dust bath for their fur and a cool environment. Researching and understanding their needs is essential before bringing a chinchilla into your home.

Q4: Are dwarf rabbits suitable for apartment living?

A4: Yes, dwarf rabbits can adapt well to apartment living, but they require a spacious and well-ventilated environment. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are crucial for their well-being.

Q5: What is the average lifespan of small rodents?

A5: The lifespan of small rodents varies by species. Hamsters typically live 2-3 years, while guinea pigs, rats, and mice can live 4-8 years or longer with proper care.

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