Gerbils, hamsters, mice, and guinea pigs are the usual rodent pets.

Golden Hamsters

Golden hamsters have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. When grown they are about 6-inches long. They are loners and need to be in their separate cage that is at least 12 x 18 inches and at least 12 inches in height. They are very active animals, so a larger cage is better for them. Most of the modular cages aren’t big enough for a hamster. When a Golden hamster is petted and held while young, it will have a good temperament. But if not, it won’t and may bite. They are night creatures and don’t like being awake during the day. They normally are good pets and they don’t need the company of another hamster. Feed your hamster pellets, mix diet that has seeds, dried vegetables, and grains in it. There are a number of dwarf hamsters now available.

Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs live about 5 to 7 years. Adults are around 10-inches long and thy weigh 2 or 3 pounds. This makes them the biggest rodent pets. They are gentle, usually don’t bite even under stressful conditions. Having them in pairs is the best idea, since they are social animals. Two males or two females, if babies aren’t wanted. The smallest cage for guinea pigs should be 4 square feet per pair. They are not escape artists. Their diet consist of fresh vegetables and hay. They require more attention than most rodent pets.


Gerbils normally live 2 to 3 years. They are about 4-inches long with 4-inch tails They are prolific breeders and sociable. It is best to keep them in pairs or groups, but the same sex. The better method is to get them from the same litter, as putting an adult from another litter in with the group or pair doesn’t work well. Gerbils are extremely active. Toys like boxes, toilet paper rolls, wood blocks, little branches, and rope parrot toys should be provided.

The cage should be 12 x 24 inches and 12-inches in height. An even larger cage would be better for them. If they are handled on a regular basis, they tend to be very sociable with people. They are amusing to watch, as they play with their mates. They require a nest box with nesting material like shredded tissue. They need a 2 to 3-inch deep bedding. Feed them pellets, seed mix, carrots, apples, berries, and broccoli.


Pet mice have a 2 to 3 year lifespan. Adults are about 3-inches in length and have a long tail. They are sociable and keeping females together works, well, but male pairs will fight. Their cage size is 12 x 18-inches and 12 inches high. They are easily tamed with human handling, thought they are swift and sometimes alarm-able, so that interacting with them isn’t recommended. But they are playful and astir, so they are enjoyable to watch. They need aspen shavings for bedding. A wheel with a solid surface is a good toy, as well as ladders, cotton ropes, boxes, and paper egg cartons. Pellets, grain and seed mix, apples, carrots, and greens are good foods for them.

Tristan Andrews is a freelance author who writes articles about pet supplies and the small animal supplies.