Flag

Q: What's best:cat, rat, gerbil or hamster

March 3, 2010 | By amanda s. | 9 answers | Expired: 1588 days ago

amanda s.

I really would like to adopt one of these pets, but I really don't know which one is best. I have a dog that attacked a rabbit like dog (her breed has been used for hunting small animals), so I am sort of uneasy in putting a rat, gerbil or hamster in that postion, I believe that a cat would put my dog in her place. But cats are solitary animals and I would like to have an animal that depends on me. During the day when I am at school I would be able to put the rodent in my bedroom. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Readers' Answers (9)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
Denise L.
Flag

Mar 08, 2010

I have to say that rats make excellent pets. I had an albino one (best to get a male so you don't have unexpected babies) while I had a fox terrier. All it took was basic vigilance & we were fine. He had one of those hamster balls, but he didn't quite care for it (he was kinda lazy lol). We just made sure the cage (which was glass) was higher than the dog could jump & if we took Binky (the rat) out, Badger (the dog) was either entertained in another room, taken for a walk, or we just made sure he didn't jump on us to get Binky.

It really depends on your own surroundings & situation.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Nancy C.
Flag

Mar 04, 2010

A small "caged" animal like a hamster may seem like a safe bet. Yes you can keep the cage out of the dogs reach...but is that really fair to the hamster? He / she would be pretty much confined for life and your dog may stress out just at the sight of the animal in the cage. A cat sounds like a good choice but you need to watch out because if your dog is "prey driven" they may still go after the cat. Most cats can co-exsist with a dog just fine. Not all cats are aloof....some are really "mushy" and love snuggling with you. You just need to find the right match and socialize the cat early on. Good luck!!

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Lisa B.
Flag

Mar 04, 2010

If you keep the cage out of the dogs reach, perhaps you could do it. I have seen dogs at the vet accidently get out and attack a cage that a cat was in. It was very scary.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Anonymous
Flag
Anonymous

Mar 04, 2010

Lots of good advice here. I've had gerbils and hamsters, but only babysat the school class rat for a bit one year, so I don't know much about them. The gerbils and hamsters seemed prertty much the same as far as care and behavior, although my gerbils were a bit more aggressive biting than the hamsters if I remember correctly. I had a gerbil pair that my manchester/fox terrier mix loved to herd in the grass in the yard. Not the best way to go unless you have a large area free from dangers and a dog who won't hurt the animals. We found the terrier would herd the gerbils as our "property" and not as prey. This will not always be the case of course. We had the dog for years and knew her ways. She got worried if they strayed too far and nudged them back towards us. I took them out when the grass was high enough for them to be slowed a bit, but not high enough to lose them. The rodents and dog seemed to enjoy it and the rodents did not seem stressed, but again, I had them for a while before I tried that and knew their ways. It's good you are thinking this through first. That shows you will be a good caretaker of whatever you choose.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Tommy m.
Flag

Mar 03, 2010

cat are good, but if you get one of the smaller animals you can keep them away from the dog entirely and keeping them away is alot easer than keeping a cat away if the dog is going to try and hurt the cat.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Jillian
Flag

Mar 03, 2010

dogs who haven't been socialized to small animals, or those trained to hunt, are likely to see a cat as they would a rabbit. the exception would be a dog who was also taught to love cats. dogs bred to hunt need early socialization to small animals, which includes cats. her attacking a dog means she is dog aggressive though, despite the size or look of the rabbit-dog she attacked. dogs have a heightened sense of smell and will know the difference.
personally, i would go w/a hamster - but get a good, solid cage they can't escape from. my reasoning for a hamster is that while out of their cage, they must be closely supervised anyway. you should never let a hamster run in an open area b/c it's too easy for them to hide and disappear. my only reasoning against a gerbil is that in my experience, my gerbils were always more independent. this made the chance of them getting away was much greater.
the only reason i can't agree w/daryl about getting a rat is they need more freedom than a hamster and i would be nervous about that giving your dog more opportunity to do what comes naturally to her.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

daryl b.
Flag

Mar 03, 2010

myself i would get a ratsince they are so smart. but knowing your situation. maybe i would not get any rather then take a chance the dog might hurt it or kill it. but good luck with whatever you deside

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Tricia L.
Flag

Mar 03, 2010

Hi!
My dog doesnt like hampsters and small animals =( Well either she likes them too much or not enough lol.
I Want to get a hampster for my lil girl but Im afraid she might get it and kill it=(
Im thinking of trying to get her used to one some how. My sister has a ferret and he is the cutest thing ever!

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Kris
Flag

Mar 03, 2010

You really need to look at your individual situation and do research to determine what would be best for you. You need to know how much time and care each one requires and how much you can expect it to cost. Based on the limited information I have, I would say a hamster might be fun for you, but you really need to look at your situation and determine what is right; and also get the opinion of people close to you (family and friends) and, of course, anyone else living in the house should have some say.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement