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 Mini Pets

Chinchillas, Rats, & Hamsters

Small pets are easy to keep, and don't cost as much to keep as bigger pets. They can eat food supplied by pet shops. The cage must be cleaned regularly, and the water & feeding dishes washed.

Chinchillas

Chinchillas are small animals - like a cross between a rabbit & a mouse! They have short rounded ears & long fluffy tails. There are a variety of chinchilla colours available. Chinchillas are not aggressive towards humans. They will rather shy away than attack. They will bite if grabbed unexpectedly or frightened. They were first bred for their fur coats but that practice is banned in most countries in the world, however it does continue in some countries. They originated in South America.

They are very sweet pets and get very tame with handling and attention. They will take treats from your hand and sit on your shoulder or lap. They are very easy animals to keep and they only eat chinchilla pellets and special treats for chinchillas. They eat about a tablespoon of food a day making them quite economical to own. They are nocturnal and make good pets for people who work as they only require attention in the evenings. They do not require grooming, but do like to have a sand bath every day. Children's play pen sand can be used for them to bath in. They have a very long life span and can live to be 20 years and older. So anyone purchasing one must realise it is a long term commitment.

A black chinchilla with bluish tinges in coat Black & white pic of chinchillas fluffy tail White mosaic chinchilla pic in fancy frame
Midnight Puff, a white chinchilla, is a rare Royal Persian Angora. Silver, a white mosaic chinchilla

Hamsters

Care of hamsters

Hamsters make clean, easy to keep pets. They will live happily in a cage or chew-proof box as long as they have an exercise wheel. Hamsters like to creep out at night when the house is quiet. They like to have a place to hide during the day and will make a nest with wood shavings or shredded paper. The bedding should be removed periodically and the cage washed. Take the hamsters out first and put them in an escape-proof container! Put a little of the old bedding back along with the new bedding, so they have a familiar smell. They may be shy & hide when strangers are in the house, but they become very tame if the owner handles them.

Hamster food

Hamsters like to eat seeds, for example, canary or budgie seed. They will eat sunflower seeds, but don't give them too many. They also like a bit of greenery, for example, grass, chickweed or a tiny bit of cabbage. Too much can cause diarrhoea. Avoid iceberg lettuce. They will eat most vegetables and fruit (not citrus). Remove uneaten fresh food daily, or it will go foul. Remember that a hamster's tummy is tiny! A tiny dog or cat biscuit will give them something to gnaw.

A tiny hamster

Russian dwarf hamster sitting on the roof of his house - a marg tub

Russian dwarf hamster

 

Rats

Rats make entertaining pets. They can be kept in a large bird cage, or two cages connected with a tunnel. They will eat almost anything but rat food can be got from a pet shop. They like deep litter to hide in, eg shredded paper. The cage and feeding dishes should be cleaned regularly. Drinking water can be provided by an inverted test-tube with a dropper. This ensures that no dirt gets in the water. Rat breeders often provide a pedigree to prove which breed of rat it is.

Rats eager to eat a treat
Mice, rats, and most little creatures have been domesticated by man and are now kept as pets. When God created these animals, He warned man not to eat them. In the Bible there is a whole list of animals, birds, and reptiles that are "unclean" and that we are not to eat, including four footed animals that walk on paws (cats & dogs presumably are included) see Leviticus chapter 1. Wild rats and other rodents can carry parasites that can be deadly to man. God warns us not to touch the carcass of dead wild rodents. God gave us these laws for our health and for the preservation of the animal kingdom.

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