Which rodent suits me? And my lifestyle?

Rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, chinchilla, degu, or even a fancy rat? Prefer a single animal or a whole group? Rodents are as different as their appearance – and everyone has different requirements. Find out which animal is the right companion for you – with our brief profiles.

Eine dunkelhaarige Frau im grünen Shirt hält ein braunes Kaninchen auf dem Arm.

Dwarf rabbits: Real outdoor fans

While not strictly speaking a classic rodent, rabbits are probably one of the cutest pets you can get. They simply look cute – with their long ears and wiggly nose. If rabbits become hand-tame, you also have a high fluff factor. However, you cannot rely on this. Whether they actually become trusting depends on many factors – such as the individual character of the animal. It’s best to keep them at least in pairs if possible. You can then observe their loving interaction. The ideal place for rabbits is the garden. Here they can live out their urge to move in an outdoor enclosure and sniff and nibble at will. It is always important to secure the enclosure well; otherwise, the active animals can quickly escape. An added bonus for those with an outdoor enclosure: your home stays clean and your furniture is safe from curious rabbit teeth. Alternatively, you can keep your rabbits indoors. In this case, you should always offer them enough variety and exercise.

Guinea pigs: a great atmosphere

Guinea pigs are true vocal artists. They are the only rodents that like to “talk” extensively. For example, if you like to be entertained, guinea pigs are the right choice for you. With their various squeaking and cooing sounds, they let you know what they want. For example, when they run out of food. Guinea pigs should be kept at least in pairs. Whether in the garden or in your home – both are possible. With patience and dedication, guinea pigs will develop trust and allow you to pet them. However, they do not like to be picked up and cuddled all the time. They can then fall into a kind of “rigor mortis”. They are therefore not particularly suitable for children who like to cuddle with their pet for hours on end. So it’s best to enjoy what they freely offer you: their keen conversational skills.

Hamster: loner for workaholics

Hamsters have a reputation as being the ideal pet for working people. And rightly so! Because hamsters like to sleep through the day and only come out of their burrow at dusk. That is, when you return from your workday. They are also quite independent animals. Not only do they get along fine without other hamsters – they don’t want anyone else in their hamster cage. That’s why you should ideally keep them individually. Of course, hamsters still appreciate variety. Ideally, you’ll give them the opportunity to dig extensively in a deep cage litter or build them an interesting obstacle course using natural materials such as natural branches, paper rolls, or cardboard boxes. Many hamsters will also let you touch them or hold them in your hand. However, whether you invest time in taming your hamster is up to you. In its 1–3 years of life, it radiates its unbridled zest for life of life (depending on the type of hamster) – both with and without your extra attention.

Chinchillas: The long-lived companions

Whilst hamsters or mice have a rather short life, chinchillas can live for up to 20 years. Provided you give them the right care, attention, and above all at least a second chinchilla. Especially when it comes to food, chinchillas can be quite demanding. No problem for you – because with our main feed mixture Emotion BEAUTY All Ages, you cover all the needs of your chinchillas. They are true movement artists and make full use of the three-dimensional space. There is always something to see! With patient and loving care they become quite trusting but generally don’t like to be held. No problem for you. As a patient observer, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with their wide repertoire of behaviour.

Fancy rats: For real cuddly types

Rats are famous for their intelligence. They can quickly become trusting and recognise “their” humans. Cuddling – also with you – is just their thing! Nevertheless, you should keep them at least in pairs and ideally in a group. And, of course, in an appropriately spacious enclosure. In addition, you respect their natural rhythm of life: Rats are always active around the clock and explore their territory. This followed by extensive sleep phases, which take place mainly during the day. However, this does not prevent the affectionate animals from curiously coming out when they hear you. As long as they do this voluntarily, nothing should stand in the way of an extensive cuddle session.

Degus: In the middle of it instead of just being there

Unlike most small rodents, degus are diurnal and love to be in the middle of the action. This means you don’t have to consider their sleeping habits and can place the cage in an exposed location (e.g. in your living room). Of course, you should always make sure to provide plenty of places for them to retreat. You should keep them at least in pairs and ideally in a group. If you are attentive with your animals, they become really trusting. However, they usually do not appreciate being touched. But they will delight you with their bathing habits. They love a daily sand bath, which you should always offer fresh.

Chipmunks: The little goblins

Your own versions of Chip ’n’ Dale: real life chipmunks are much like cartoon characters. And often always up to mischief. However, it’s important to note that chipmunks are loners. Nevertheless, life with a chipmunk never gets boring. Like their cartoon counterparts, chipmunks are busy all day long. They need a lot of space because they love to jump and climb. A spacious aviary with enough climbing possibilities like ramps and ropes on several levels should be provided. From time to time, they are also welcome to romp around as free runners in secured rooms. In these cases, you can look forward to an energetic house-mate. With some patience, the little rodents will become quite trusting and will also enjoy jumping on you. However, cuddling is not their thing – they are much too active for that.

Fancy mice: Sociable house mates

Many mice make few demands if their basic needs are met. These are: a sufficiently large habitat and enough conspecifics. You should ideally keep a group of females and neutered bucks. What you should bring along: a certain tolerance for smells. Because mice like to mark their territory. If you don’t mind the aroma of the animals (and especially their enclosure), you have uncomplicated house mates with whom there is always something going on. Similar to fancy rats, fancy mice also spread their waking and sleeping phases around the clock. Watching them sniff, dig, and gnaw is almost better than watching TV. With proper attention, your mice will become very trusting. You then become their slightly overgrown conspecific, and they like to snuggle up in your sweater sleeves or hoods.

Which rodent is best for families with children?

As you probably already know by now, most rodents aren’t exactly designed for cuddling. Your children need to be aware of that. Nevertheless, they are sure to have fun with these little critters. Cuddles are certainly appropriate with rabbits or even fancy rats. Lots of good humour is to be expected with guinea pigs, chipmunks, and chinchillas. If your child likes to watch, all rodents are suitable in principle. But especially degus, fancy rats, chinchillas, and rabbits. However, one thing is certain with all small rodents: it is never boring. It never gets boring with them.