Animal Stories - People Talking About Small Animal Pets

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Krissy - 2013-08-04
I have owned rats for several years now. Plenty of then have had litters. The rats I have now, are two females and one male. One of the females had a litter of around 9 kittens, they are about a week old. She is taking very well care of them and I am treating to her as she isn't in the cage with the others. But I have a very concerning question, one of the 9 kittens is very tiny, I have seen plenty of baby rats, but never one that small, and considering it's still the same size as it was the day it was born, is very nerve raking, only thing is, is it seems to be very healthy, she's a trooper! Burries right in with all the other bigger rats, she moves a lot. I have been keeping a close eye on her. But I'd like to know if this is normal? And what are the chances of her being okay and a healthy rat ?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-08-22
    It sounds like she is doing well so far for being the runt! If she makes it to weaning, and seems healthy, she should have no problems living a healthy and happy adult life. There is nothing wrong with a small rat, I have had plenty of them!
  • Diane Dennie - 2013-10-01
    I think just like any other species of animal, often there is a runt.  Until the runt gets older it is hard to tell if there is a birth defect that will shorten its life.  All you can do is hope and pray for the best but be prepared for the worst. If she lives to be 2 or three months she will probably do fine.  Remember a rats average life span is only 3 years old due to being predisposed for cancer. I have had one live close to 6 years but I was lucky.  I had a 1 year old begin to get tumors. I had them removed.  Right when she healed she began to grow more rumors.  I couldn't stand to see her suffer so I had her put to sleep.  I agree rats are the smartest of all rodents.  I currently have a male that is almost a year old who is part hooded and part Rex. He is a very nervous little guy there I am having a hard time teaching him tricks but we still love him.  I also have cats. Years ago I taught a girl that if she was on my lap and saw a cat, she would run down my shirt for protection.  If I saw the cat first I made a curtain noise and again she would run for cover.  How many other rodents would be that smart.

    Good luck to you and your little rat family.  Diane
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Jan Engman - 2008-08-28
I found a baby squirrel this last summer. I believe that she had fallen out of her nest. To the person that said that one of the squirrels had sezuires, that is due to not giving it the correct diet. If that happens again, give the baby some sugar water to stop the seizures but that is just a quick fix. Their diet has to be bland, no salt what so ever, should actually go back to hand feeding with puppy milk that you can get at a pet store. I gave "Grace" pecans, almonds, dried fruit, cantalope and sunflower seed, acorns if available are good. I had no intentions of keeping her as a pet, I truly think that they belong in the wild. After a month or so I would put her kennel outside by a tree and let her venture on her own. One day she made a nest out of an abandoned bird's nest. She will still come by to see me from time to time. I think mainly to see what goodies I may have for her. I truly enjoyed raising her and learned a good deal from the experience. I would do it again in a heart beat, even though it's illegal to do so in the state of IL... but phooey on that!

Aurora, IL

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  • Cheryl Haag Brown - 2013-09-25
    Right on, Girl. Saved a seagull, finches, rabbits, red & grey squirrels also by ignoring that stupid law.
ashley - 2009-01-21
Last August (about 5 months ago) I found a baby red squirrel on the ground in the grass next to it's (sadly) smushed sibling. They were so tiny, at first I thought there was a frog or toad on the ground and when I looked closer I saw what I thought was a baby chipmunk because it was slightly brownish with two black stripes. At this time, the baby was about 1 week old with closed eyes and ears. Later when he started to get a fuzzy tail, we realized he was a squirrel. In the meantime, we kept him warm at first by cutting the toe off of a "fuzzy sock" like slipper-socks and put it around a small tupperware bowl. He stayed curled up inside of it all day long. Before long, we got a small heating pad to keep him warm as well. We bought puppy milk and fed him with an eye dropper every 3 hours, yes that means waking up in the middle of the night. At first he only ate about 2 ML, but that increased quickly and sometimes he would even eat 3-4 eye droppers. We always fed him until he wouldn't accept any more. By the 4th week his eyes opened and shortly thereafter his ears opened. At this time we started to leave sunflower seeds in his cage just in case he got curious. He began to teeter on his back legs, trying to stand up and eat. This was probably the cutest part of all, when they are learning to stand up. We still continued milk feedings, and as he started to eat more solid foods we spaced the milk feedings out more and more until at about 12 weeks he was completely off the milk. He now eats a variety of nuts including walnuts and shaved almonds (his favorites), pine seeds, sunflower seeds, in-the-shell-unsalted-peanuts, outdoor squirrel feed (which has the likes of dried corn, in-shell-sunflower seeds, etc). He loves banana chips, apple, peapods, cherries (real, not maraschino), dried fruits, and pretty much any fruits. He will not eat mushrooms or celery, though.
He lives in a big bird cage which we regularly fill with branches from pine trees (and in the summer he gets leafy-trees too). He makes a mess throwing pine needles out of his cage, but he loves it, it makes it more wilderness-y or him. We keep him in an un-carpeted area so we can sweep up his messes :) He also gets to run free in the house for a while every day. He is very nice, will jump right on you while you are walking by. However, his nails are sharp so it is probably not a good idea to let kids play with them. They also try to eat your drywall and can tear up your curtains, so you have to keep a constant eye on them while they are loose. We bought a bunch of edible wooden logs/tikihouses/etc the pet stores sell for rabbits and hamsters or other small animals. He chews on those, which is very important to keep his teeth trimmed. A red squirrel is a lot of work from babyhood to adulthood, but also such a joy. We will not be "acclimating him to the wild" He is our pet, he loves people and we feel it would be cruel to take him from his home and shove him out into a cold, harsh world. After all, they live only an average of 3 years in the wild due to all the dangers of other animals and cars, and can live up to 10 yrs in captivity. If anyone ever needs any tips on how to care for a baby squirrel, feel free to email me at

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  • Cheryl Haag Brown - 2013-09-25
    Cool.......We found our little one yesterday when it staggered out of the bushes. Loved the peanuts right off. Fell asleep in our little fleece baby animal rescue bed. Thanks for all the info. I've raised/rehabbed a grey squirrel, seagull, 3 finches, a rabbit, a robin, and now God sent me this cute little blessing. Thank you God.
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Marie - 2012-07-22
Hi Charlie sorry to bother youu again. I have the beautiful Holland Lop Bunny she is about 5 to 7 mos old. We went on vacation for a week and left her with family friends who raised bunnies she was well taken care of and I wrote down her whole schedule. We picked her up yesterday and she won't let us hold her and If we do she's biting like crazy and peeing and pooping like crazy on us. This is not normally what she does to us peeing yes. Does she just have to get use to these surrounding again and us or could there be something wrong? We did bring back a lot of gifts for her. Also I have bought her many rope chew toys and she ends up eating them. We tried the Apple wood sticks and other bunny wood toys she won't bite them. Please help Thank You Charlie Have a Great DAY Marie

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-07-22
    Hi  how's it going.  Sounds like your little one has come into puberty - a teenager with hormonal problems.  She would have achieved puberty around this age regardless of where she was but the scent of other bunnies/babies and boys is a definite signal.  One teen is fine but a bunch together gets interesting.  I would suggest that you have your bunny spayed for best pet results.  Hormonal problems just no fun.  Probably nothing wrong but is it possible that she could be pregnant?  Stuff happens but otherwise just puberty.  Enjoy - fun isn't it.  Daughter came to my house with her favorite bunny and so did my grandson.  Two different breeds and they had fun and they had babies.  I got blamed for this and I didn't do it.
  • Marie - 2012-07-23
    Thank You so much Charlie. I am having trouble finding and exotic pet vet. The one she goes to can care for her but he is not a exotic vet. I live in NY so I am still looking for referrals I dont want to take her just to anyone. Charlie I was told that is shortens her life if we have her spayed is that true because she is our baby and part of our family. It scares me at the thought of having her put under I have fears something bad will happen and me and my daughter cannot handle this. You r all so funny about your daughters bunnies I would say that got along great LOL!!!!!!!:)))) Thank YOU Marie
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-07-23
    Hi again.  To the best of my knowledge and have been told that spaying lengthens the life of a bunny.  Now whether getting pregnant shortens the life so spaying lenghthens it, I am not sure.  Yes, it is hard to find a vet that does exotics and actually one that does it and just didn't take a course for the weekend.  You might try contacting Fish and Game or Animal Control as they might know (usually do) a good vet.  Good luck -  and enjoy.
  • Marie - 2012-07-24
    Thank You Charlie one more question does Bunnies see and what do they see outline, black and white etc.. Snow loves watching the Yankee game she will sit and watch the whole thing on my husband lap or mine or my daughter. She also likes watching certain shows I dont know weather its the colors or movement but we are curiuos??? Thanks Again Charlie
  • Rebecca Bartels - 2013-09-24
    When I go on vacation, I leave my Holland lop at my house, but have someone come over twice a day to bunny sit (make sure he has food, water, hay, clean litter box, and his daily greens). since he is house trained (no cage or hut, just roams around the house freely).  Every time I come home, he is extremely mad at me.  He will hop around thumping and growling, dumping his food and hay all over the place.  After a few days of being back, he is back to his normal self.
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Kristin Peterson - 2012-04-27
I just have to comment! That bunny that is in the picture is a Himi Netherland Dwarf not a Himalayan rabbit!

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Kailey - 2013-09-08
I wish I had a hedgehog, but I can't find anyone in Indiana that has a hedgehog with a complete cage setup for between 0 and 100 dollars!

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jennifer anne johansen - 2013-09-06
I just recently took in two very beautiful, stunning, well behaved rescue rabbits. They are both black, not very big in size. When google searching what breed they might be the closest picturre I could find that looks like them is a black havana. Looks the same and weighs the same. Really wish I could get a second opinion.

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Roxana - 2013-09-03
I just lost my dear Zumba, a beautiful holland lop bunny... I put her outside for 1 hour, it wasn't too hot and it was kind of breezy, so when I came back she was gone... I'm so sad but I'm thinking to get another bunny. I'm just wondering why she died?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-09-03
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Its so sad to loose a good friend that holds your heart. We wish you all the best and another bunny is definitely an option.
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norma mance - 2012-12-08
Can you put two together? I have a male and want to get a female will it be safe? Mine has never been with another once since I've had him for at least 9 years.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-12-08
    It should be OK as long as you get a female but you will have to be a little careful.  Life expectancy for a chinchilla is about 8 - 10 years in the wild but substantially longer in captivity - some living to 20 years old.  So you have an older male and you wouldn't want to put an older male together with another male as possible agression.  A female should be fine but i would introduce them on neutal territory - small bathroom or even the bathtub and watch and make sure they get along.  Do this a few times (not just once) to make sure they get along and then put them in the same cage.
  • Anonymous - 2013-08-29
    Of course.
Animal-World info on Eastern Gray Squirrel
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Becky - 2013-04-02
About a month ago my husband comes with a shoebox this little 'thing' in the corner; I thought he was pulling a prank & had a mouse, but he said he found a baby squirrel in his mom's yard across the street. He said look on the internet & find out what to do with it. So I did & found out she was approximately 4-5 weeks old, eyes still closed. I started feeding her puppy milk from a can with a plastic syringe, & she has been doing great. Now she's probably 8 weeks old & I've just fallen in love with her. You bond when you're feeding them like a baby & know that they depend on you so much. She is sweet & has a great appetite! I still feed her some formula, sometimes with whipping cream, apple sauce, or mashed banana. She also eats on her own avocado, strawberry, banana, mango, carrot, & she'll nibble on pecans & cheerios. She doesn't really care much for the rodent block, but nibbles on it a little, but the same piece has been in there for days (I clean her dish everyday, & it doesn't look touched so I put it back in there.) She loves chewing on the sticks in her pen & I saw her nibbling on her calcium stone so was happy about that. She'll try nibbling on ME & I try to discourage her by given her a special stick I bought for them to chew on. She loves to go to sleep in my pocket of my hoodie, so now that's our thing; after I feed her I put a hoodie on with pockets & walk around the house & do stuff for HOURS and she's snoozing away! I love it! We have 2 small dogs & 2 cats inside & I've tried to introduce her to them & the one dog acts like she wants to eat her, & she other is very protective (she would stare when I'd feed her as a baby & sometimes lick the squirrel.) She other dog did more than 'try to lick', she snapped at her! & I said no way, you're staying away from her!! The one cat doesn't really pay attention to her & the other one watches with interest (not sure what's she thinking though!)Rocky (the squirrel) is running around a lot more & will scamper around on the couch & I have to watch her closely so the other animals don't get any ideas. Tillie, the one cat who shows interest, swatted toward her a couple times, I think playing, but still being careful. And the protective dog, Precious, doesn't know what to think with her bouncing around; it startles her & I have to watch to make sure she doesn't step on Rocky trying to get away from her. I love Rocky & so glad she's part of our lives! She's soft, fuzzy, and just a blessing to me, because I've never raised a small animal like that so it feels good that I've done well so far and she's alive & healthy. I like finding out about other people who raise squirrels & learning more about what to do to keep her happy! Sorry so long, just had a lot to say about my girl! :)

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  • Anonymous - 2013-04-18
    I have 2... brother and sister. They are about 2-3 months old and very friendly! They have free run of a bedroom with a HUGE cage that has a nesting box in it, I just keep the cage door open and they come in and out as they want. My question is this... what are you doing about 'potty arraingments'?
  • Ami E. Bowen - 2013-08-29
    Don't you just feel like you were chosen special for this wonderful, challenging, beautiful task? I know that I certainly do! :)

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