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Chaotic Vegetarian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey.

When I was 9 I adopted two guinea pigs, they lived 9 and 10 years. They came from a breeder (Ariane was an albino supposed to go to reptiles, brrr). Then I got a syrian hamster, and then a roborowski, both adopted from neighbours. I miss little rodents, but I know it's not nice to keep them in a cage, plus my current 1 room flat is too small to keep guinea pigs in it, and sleeping in the same room as a NON SLEEPING hamster is not a good idea.

Do some of you live with rodents ? I read here about cats, dogs, birds and newts but nobody seems to be talking rodents. Should I start again with those companions when I move to a bigger place ? Should I really not ?
 

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No flesh since 99'
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My grandma once ended up with a pet rat a cousin lost interest in. She really liked her rat, it was friendly too and would ride around on her shoulder all the time. She would bathe it and it groomed a lot, so it was actually a very nice, clean companion animal. I think rodents, especially hamsters and guinea pigs, are fairly popular pets. Though as they are not a dog or cat, many people don't look at them as "real pets" and they don't get much "attention" when people talk pets. A lot consider them "starter pets" to give to little kids to neglect and abuse before they are mature enough to have a "real" pet (a dog or cat). Sadly, lots of small animals face this mindset and it drives me nuts!:(

I think once you are able to provide a suitable habitat, why not see if you can't find some hamsters or guinea pigs being given up who need a good home? I'm not sure about where you are, but here in the US they always show up on craigslist (and similar sites) being given up because the kid they were bought for lost interest. No need to support the pet trade or breeder if you are uncomfortable doing so, but seeing as domestic animals can't be released to the wild, theres also no reason not to give a domestic animal (or animals) in need a loving, clean, caring home:)
 

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adapt. evolve. become
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I have been living with rats for almost 10 years. Love those little guys :D
They really do need to be in pairs at least, they are social animals.
 

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It's a sort of quandary for me too, though for me it is birds. I had decided when I went vegan that I would phase out having caged birds and would/will no longer support breeding of animals for pets and that means not buying them from pet shops either. I have one little finch left. I love that bird. I bring his cage around the house to spend time with him while I do whatever I am doing when I am home from work. If I go on vacation he goes to a friend's house to be cared for. I bring him outside when it is warm and give him fresh veggies/greens each day. I feel sad for him because he is alone now, his mate having died a few years ago.

He is seven years old now, and most of my previous birds have lived no longer than that (all small birds). I know that he will not be around much longer, and life will feel empty without his cheerful chirps and how he ***** his head and listens when I share my day with him. I have always lived with some kind of companion animal my entire life. Could I live without one? It is hard to even think about.

I am considering a rescued type of companion rodent or bird in the future, but since I work full time and do a lot of outdoor activities, I don't know how much time I could give to him/her. I think a rodent might be more equipped to live in a cage/confined environment than a bird but they still need a lot of attention and love. I know there are organizations that help place birds in good homes, but I have not checked into this for rodents. Maybe scouring the newspaper or local online community pages for companion animals people need to give up and find homes for for whatever reason might work. Always make sure if you rent your living space that these kinds of animals are allowed there too, which I am sure you probably have done already.
 

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No flesh since 99'
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959 Posts
I am considering a rescued type of companion rodent or bird in the future, but since I work full time and do a lot of outdoor activities, I don't know how much time I could give to him/her. I think a rodent might be more equipped to live in a cage/confined environment than a bird but they still need a lot of attention and love. I know there are organizations that help place birds in good homes, but I have not checked into this for rodents. Maybe scouring the newspaper or local online community pages for companion animals people need to give up and find homes for for whatever reason might work. Always make sure if you rent your living space that these kinds of animals are allowed there too, which I am sure you probably have done already.
Just an FYI, if/when the time comes you consider adopting another feathered companion, there are now plenty of *easy and safe* options to bring birds with you during outdoor activities:) Not only is it good mental stimulation, most thoroughly enjoy being out and about:)

http://www.celltei.com/paolxs.html (I have a bigger version for my guy so he can come on longer hikes, day trips, run errands with me ect...)
https://theparrotuniversity.com/content/aviator-bird-harness (I also know some companies make similar harnesses for aviary birds, rodents and reptiles, just don't know the brand names).

And just a suggestion for those worried about adopting a pet and keeping it confined in a cage, there are MANY options now for all kinds of animals to safely come out and explore the wider world. It's not as if an animal born in captivity can ever be released to the wild, and the ones already in existence needing to be adopted/rescued still need human carers. No longer do they have to be confined to a cage or enclosure all the time though:) Many companies manufacture harnesses, backpacks, bags ext... that allow pets to come outdoors, run errands with you, go camping or whatever else you's like to do. Small animal cages, enclosures and habitats have also come a long way in recent years with roomier options, better layouts and expanded toys/activity choices. It makes life for those creatures lucky enough to have a loving family much better than it would have ever been in the past when options for small animals/exotics were so small, inefficient and limited.
 

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I agree 100% with Kiwibird's post.

There are so very many birds of all types in need of good homes. All the avian rescues I know are at capacity, not to mention the many birds being advertised for sale on CL and elsewhere because their current humans have grown tired/incapable of caring for them.

Rabbit rescues are also at capacity and beyond.

Unfortunately, there seem to be fewer rescue organizations for the smaller rodents, probably because so many people view them as disposable that they don't even go to the effort of taking them to a shelter. However, many cat and dog shelters will have smaller animals available. Often they don't advertise them on Petfinder, because their efforts are more geared to the larger animals, but if you call, you may find that they have rats/mice/etc., or get some surrendered from time to time.

BTW, Kiwibird, I really like your signature, including the photo.
 

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Chaotic Vegetarian
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My grandma once ended up with a pet rat a cousin lost interest in. She really liked her rat, it was friendly too and would ride around on her shoulder all the time. She would bathe it and it groomed a lot, so it was actually a very nice, clean companion animal. I think rodents, especially hamsters and guinea pigs, are fairly popular pets. Though as they are not a dog or cat, many people don't look at them as "real pets" and they don't get much "attention" when people talk pets. A lot consider them "starter pets" to give to little kids to neglect and abuse before they are mature enough to have a "real" pet (a dog or cat). Sadly, lots of small animals face this mindset and it drives me nuts!:(

I think once you are able to provide a suitable habitat, why not see if you can't find some hamsters or guinea pigs being given up who need a good home? I'm not sure about where you are, but here in the US they always show up on craigslist (and similar sites) being given up because the kid they were bought for lost interest. No need to support the pet trade or breeder if you are uncomfortable doing so, but seeing as domestic animals can't be released to the wild, theres also no reason not to give a domestic animal (or animals) in need a loving, clean, caring home:)
Yep, guinea pigs are looking for families on websites in my region. No hamsters though. I think it's much harder to build a relationship with an old hamster than with an old guinea pig, so if I go for a mature rescued animal, it would be a guinea pig. Well, two of them.
 

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I have no rodent companions at the moment, but between late 1996 and 2001 I adopted a total of 1 Syrian hamster, 3 rabbits, and 5 gerbils (but not all at the same time!!!) If you want to adopt, shelters which aren't devoted to one particular species (like dedicated dog or cat rescue outfits) often have animals like these for adoption. You might have to wait if you have your heart set on a particular species, but sooner or later someone will show up. I don't know if it's different in France.

I found that it's harder to find veterinarians who can treat them. And even if you find such a veterinarian, many of these animals don't live that long (except maybe for rabbits an guinea pigs, sometimes). That's a main reason I haven't adopted any more since 2011, when my last rabbit passed away.
 
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