Longish Lived Small Mammal Pets


Joshaeus

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Hi everyone...today has been a rough day. I brought my rabbit, Vulcan, to be neutered this morning, but there were complications and - in spite of the surgeon's best efforts (including CPR) - he died at a mere 1.5 years old. I am quite distraught and don't know whether I will get another furry animal anytime soon; however, if I do, do you have any good suggestions for longer lived small mammal pets (doesn't have to be an actual rodent)? My mom has requested I avoid birds (not furry obviously, but close enough), dogs, cats, and ferrets...that's a lot of 'no nos', but I'm sure there is something for me. Thanks
 

Feohw

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Chinchillas can live for 10 years. 15 to 20 if looked after well apparently. They are absolutely adorable! I very nearly got one last month but decided against it last minute. Is that long enough?
 

MrBryan723

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Sorry to hear. I know chinchillas live closer to 10 years and hedgehogs can live almost as long. But unfortunately most small mammals tend to live less than 5 years.
 

Joshaeus

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Yep...I am considering chinchillas. They do have two issues I am concerned about...one, they are very heat sensitive and would need an air conditioner from at least May to September; second, they need 1-2 hours out of their cage each day to exercise and it could be difficult to keep them away from the fish tank wires.
 

MrBryan723

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Well other more exotic animals would be like skunks or even raccoons which can live up to 20 years, but their care is much more dynamic and involved.
 

Salem

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I'm so sorry to hear about your rabbit its always hard to lose a pet but its just awful when its so sudden.

Unfortunately my understanding is that most smaller mammals tend to have a smaller lifespan. That being said I do know that guinea pigs if taken care of properly and bought from a reputable source can live up to 10 years.

Are you open to things that aren't mammals?
 

Joshaeus

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I'm so sorry to hear about your rabbit its always hard to lose a pet but its just awful when its so sudden.

Unfortunately my understanding is that most smaller mammals tend to have a smaller lifespan. That being said I do know that guinea pigs if taken care of properly and bought from a reputable source can live up to 10 years.

Are you open to things that aren't mammals?
Thanks for your condolences Guinea pigs are also under consideration. My mother is not comfortable with birds, reptiles, or terrestrial amphibians, so those are out alas

Well other more exotic animals would be like skunks or even raccoons which can live up to 20 years, but their care is much more dynamic and involved.
Not so sure I could handle either of those...plus, neither are legal in Maine, and I am not sure what would be required to get a permit.
 

scarface

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I have looked at those before...don't they have odd dietary needs? And don't they have a pronounced odor?
I never personally kept one (girl I dated almost considered one), but I think you could say that about any small mammal. The only thing I recall is that they live quite a long time for their size, especially compared to other small mammals.
 

Salem

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Sugar gliders in my understanding do not make very good pets. They are almost always taken from the wild and do not live happy lives as pets (please no one argue with me on this, your individual pet may seem happy or come from a breeder but that is rare). Same with a lot of other exotic mammals (fennec foxes, skunks, chinchillas, etc).

I'm not sure if you or your mother would be up for it but snails make good pets and are very low maintenance. In some places you can have african land snails- theyre very large and very cute imo. I personally keep grove snails (brown-lipped garden snails)- they're surprisingly affectionate and smart.

Hermit crabs also can live for quite a while and can make great pets.

After some searching- apparently gerbils can live up to 7 years but average at about 3-5.
 

AJ34

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How about a reptile? A smaller turtle? Turtles live long but they do require a longer commitment of time and money. I never had luck with small mammals as a kid they seemed to live longer but as I got older in the 90s 2000s I had several small mammals that died suddenly: rabbit, guinea pig, degu....I think weak genetics . It was very frustrating. So I have up on that.
 

AJ34

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Also I’m sorry for your loss hope you find the right fit for you!
 

Princethepurplebetta

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Maybe get a pair of guinea pigs? I had a trio and they lived for about 8 years
You could also do a chinchilla (or a pair of chinchillas) or hedgehog. I have a hedgehog and she HATES being handled, and shes only up between 7pm and 4am.
 

Basil

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Aww, I’m so sorry I never neutered any of my rabbits as the only males I kept were for breeding. So I don’t know anything about the process or risks.
But what about another rabbit?
 

MissNoodle

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Im so sorry for your unexpected loss thats terrible.

Chinchillas are great, most come from breeders nowadays, not the wild. They dont smell as bad as some rodents, easily litter trained. But theyre pretty messy with their hay and droppings (dry and not smelly but cant be trained to poop in the litter). They love vertical cages should you get one. Saucer, not a wheel to run on. They chew everything like a bunny would. Theyre gentle pets and usually docile too. They need regular dust baths or their fur gets in bad shape and affects how well they insulate themselves, they cannot get wet!

If you are willing to work on keeping them cooler, i have nothing bad to say about them as pets. Easily one of the best small mammals to have as a companion.

I do not recommend hedgehogs if you cant handle smell. Their poop reeks something awful and many have a bad habit of pooping on their running wheels lol and many do not make it to 10 years, most end up with tumors by the age of 6, so its not exactly the best long lived small pet. Theyre cute and can male loveable companions though with good care. We loved our old girl, she was an ornery little thing, but man, they come with some hefty downsides.

I also own birds... i love them dearly, they make great pets too. Even a budgie with good care can live over 10 years easy. But theyre noisy, many are allergic to birds (myself included, its rough), and destructive. But entertaining, they dont have a bad smell, theyre pretty social and if you get a hand raised one theyre more likely to be readily social. Untame can take a lot of work. But theyre not a pet for everyone. I have cockatiels and ive had two lovebirds who passed away last year. A cockatiel is great, theyre pretty good birds. But hands down i would suggest a green cheek conure for the best of all species i think. Theyre a well rounded parrot
Or a dove...

But others have to agree on a bird too, so it's not a good idea if parents dont want one. But i wanted to throw some input up there.

All around of all your suggestions i definitely think a chinchilla is probably your best option.
 




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