Apex Animal Hospital

Pocket Pets

The term pocket pet generally refers to a variety of small mammals kept in captivity including mice, rats, hamsters, and gerbils.  The smaller species such as mice do great in glass aquariums with screen tops while the large species like rats do best in large open wire cages with solid bottoms.  Most can be housed in groups but hamsters prefer to be solitary. Be sure to quaranteen new additions for an extended period before adding them to your existing pets.  Respiratory infections can be quite common especially in rats and the infection can be hard to eradicate once present.  I prefer paper based bedding as substrates.  Be sure to avoid wood based substrates that contain volatile oils (such as pine and cedar) in all these species.  All of these critters can be kept are room temperature.  These species can eat a diet including fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains.  I recommend using a commercial “rodent” block diet such as that made by Mazuri as 85% of the diet.  Hamsters can be supplemented with small amounts of boiled egg and even meats.

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