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Apartment pets, anyone?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by MsP, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. MsP
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by MsP » Oct 1, 2008
    I live in an apartment and have been wanting to get a pet for a while now. I have been caring for a friends husky for the past couple months and he has finally returned home. Great dog, but it secured the fact that I do not want a dog at this point in my life. I loved taking him jogging, out to the dog parks, and to work but a dog just isn''t my lifestyle. I''m away too many nights and having to get someone to stop in and let him out late at night and early in the morning was just a hassle. I have had parrots in the past and that is top on my list right now but I''m willing to consider other animals. Anyone have experience with ferrets? I''m a bit OCD about cleaning and would be bothered by the smell that is associated with them but I suspect this is because most aren''t too terribly vigilant about cleaning up after them. I know they have a natural musky odor but can this be controlled? What about chinchillas? Are they really an interactive pet? I had a rabbit as a kid and while she was cute and cuddly, she wasn''t very interactive... she just sat there on the couch with us and like to get her ears rubbed. Cats are out.

    Any experiences? I know this board has lots of dog and cat lovers but I''m sure there are other pet lovers who are just hiding the the cracks. ;)
     
  2. oobiecoo
    Ideal_Rock

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    by oobiecoo » Oct 1, 2008
    I had a rabbit in my apartment and he kept me awake at night hopping around. I ended up having to get rid of him [​IMG]

    I know of a couple who own 2 ferrets and I''m pretty sure the musky smell isn''t controllable. Of course you can clean their cages and wash them or whatever to keep it to a minimum, but it is my understanding that they will still have that smell no matter what.

    Chinchillas are so cute... who cares if they''re interactive!? haha

    I had gerbils as well in a little cage and I really liked them. They don''t cost much and were easy to take care of. Just make sure you get healthy ones. I had 3 or 4 because they kept dying. I think the whole group at the store was just sickly.
     
  3. Circe
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Circe » Oct 1, 2008
    I''ve had ferrets in the past, and while they have the potential to be delightful and amusing, the smell is kind of a given, no matter how tidy you are (neutering them neutralizes some of it, though). My biggest problem with them was that they haaaaaaaaated being left in their cage, which I had to do whenever I left or whenever I needed to concentrate on something else because housebreaking them can be a challenge, and they''d rattle their cage bars, chitter excitedly, and basically do everything they could to get my attention. Of course, they may have been aberrations for their kind, for all I know - I have seen some people with *incredibly* tame ferrets who are happy to just curl up on their humans like little animate muffs. If cats are out, I''d say they might be your best bet for an apt. pet ....
     
  4. Ninama
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Ninama » Oct 1, 2008
    I''ve heard that chinchillas are not the cuddliest...

    I have two little Chihuahuas (5 lb range) and two kitties in a small-ish condo with no yard. I do have to keep up on doody duty, but other than that (and feeding) they''re not much work at all. I was very apprehensive about getting dogs, but I adore them. They''re my heart. We take them to the dog park about 3 times a week and they also get plenty of exercise at home from chasing each other from room to room. And doggy wrestling. And cat baiting.

    pets1234.jpg
     
  5. MsP
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by MsP » Oct 1, 2008
    Ninama, adorable chi''s!!

    As much as I''d like a dog, it''s just not a responsible decision for me.

    I think a ferret might be fun but I need to look into the smell more. A relative of mine has a ferret and I''ve never noticed a scent in her house. I''m going to have to investigate this more... the local shelter has lots of them right now. Perhaps I could ''foster'' one for a while...
     
  6. Ninama
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Ninama » Oct 1, 2008
    Ten Apartment Pets That Can Be Better Than Cats and Dogs

    1. Sugar Gliders

    The Sugar Glider is for those of you who think squirrels are adorable and would like to have one as a pet. The pet is actually not related to squirrel, however these small marsupials share many commonalities with flying squirrels. Sugar Gliders are also very social animals. Sugar gliders yearn for extensive attention from their human owners or need another sugar glider present as a companion. The Sugar Glider''s diet is composed of high amounts of fruits, vegetables and some insects. This pet is for those who want to interact with a pet that enjoys consistent human interaction.

    6279.preview.JPG
     
  7. Ninama
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Ninama » Oct 1, 2008
    2. Chinchillas

    Chinchillas resemble squirrel-mouse hybrids with enormous furry ears. As pets, Chinchillas are very docile and easy to keep and maintain. A drawback to the Chinchilla is that the pet can be hard at times to socialize and can be introverted. The animal prefers a quiet environment and strongly disfavors sudden movements, loud noises or extreme changes in its environment. A quirky aspect of the Chinchilla is that it prefers bathing with dust or sand as opposed to water. Chinchillas are also known to chew on a variety of objects, therefore many chewable items should be kept in the pets enclosure. The enclosure for the Chinchilla must be relatively large to provide this pet with the opportunity to roam. These animals are not noisy and almost odorless as a good alternative to gerbils or rats.

    6280.preview.jpg
     
  8. Ninama
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Ninama » Oct 1, 2008
    3. Ferrets

    Ferrets are known as clever, affectionate and personable animals despite being criticized for their weasel like appearance. Their proponents claim them to be exceptional pets because of their high energy and interactivity with toys, balls and their environment. Though the animals spend the majority of their time in an enclosure, ferrets need to be released frequently for exercise. As the popularity of ferrets increases, many accessories have hit the market including pouches, leashes and custom clothing. Additionally if the animal is spayed or neutered and decantered, the smell of the animal is nearly eradicated.

    1487.preview.jpg
     
  9. Ninama
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Ninama » Oct 1, 2008
    Then come snakes, pinny gigs, rats, birds, turtles, etc....

    Iguanas are a striking addition to any home. [​IMG]

    iguana.jpg
     
  10. Ninama
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Ninama » Oct 1, 2008
    Oh, MissPrudential... a sugar glider - how could you NOT?

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  11. MsP
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by MsP » Oct 1, 2008
    haha... those marsupials look interesting.
     
  12. Ninama
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Ninama » Oct 1, 2008
    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Bittah in Flight.jpg
     
  13. Miscka
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Miscka » Oct 1, 2008
    MissPrudential, good for you for recognizing what level of responsibility you can handle. Too many people take that lightly! I TOTALLY vote for either the chinchilla or the sugar glider!! Too cute.

    Ninama, you need to post in the chi thread, missy!
     
  14. LAJennifer
    Brilliant_Rock

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  15. MonkeyPie
    Ideal_Rock

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    by MonkeyPie » Oct 1, 2008
    Sugar gliders are SO FREAKING AWESOME! I would kill to have one, but my mom would also kill ME lol. They love to be held and played with (if they are hand raised, which is what you should look for anyway) and they are relatively easy to keep.
     
  16. lovegem
    Shiny_Rock

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    by lovegem » Oct 1, 2008
    I have parrots. Since you live in an apt, you may want to look around for a species that isn''t too loud and scream too much. Another issue you may want to consider (and we are currently experiencing) is that parrots are on the CITES list. They are protected endangering species. If you are moving to another country, there will be quite a bit of paper works you need to fill out. Plus, you need a record to proof that you purchase the bird legally and you also have to show the genealogy of the bird''s parents and grandparents. Make sure you keep all the paper works in case you have to relocate.
     
  17. somethingshiny
    Ideal_Rock

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    by somethingshiny » Oct 1, 2008
    Prairie dogs are really fun pets, too. They''ll climb up into your hand and snuggle with you, but they live in a "cage". They''re really ingenious and fun to watch. Around here they sell for around $200.
    Oh, and no smell.
     
  18. FrekeChild
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by FrekeChild » Oct 1, 2008
    I want a sugar glider! OMG! So cute! And I still want a chin too.

    I have a Campbell's Dwarf hamster and a Roborovski Dwarf hamster. I love them dearly, and when they're out they are fascinating to watch. They have to be kept alone unless they are housed with a sibling that they've grown up with. Mine like to try to climb up and hang from the ceiling, which is quite amusing to watch. But it took a while to tame them, and they don't live very long (1.5-3 or so years depending on the breed.)

    Good luck! I can't wait to see what you get!

    ETA: They don't stink at all if you clean the cages once a week, and they can be very personable. My Campbell's will stand on her hind legs and try to get our attention if we walk by. It looks like she's dancing when she does it.
     
  19. oceanlove
    Rough_Rock

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    by oceanlove » Oct 1, 2008
    I have a ferret! I love him so much...he just cracks me up. Basically, yes, they have a natural musky odor but you can''t really smell it unless they are right under your nose. Mine was already neutered and de-scented when I got him, if you get one from a pet store they come that way but I think if you get one from a breeder you have to take care of this yourself-- the neutering really cuts down on the scent I guess. I think it really comes down to how clean you keep the cage, and how many you have. I never notice an odor coming from the cage except *maybe* a little if I stand right next to it when it is about time to clean it. I scoop it everyday and do a full-out clean every week or so. The smell might be harder to manage though if you have more than one ferret (and if you''re not home a lot it might be better for him/her to have a buddy). Oh and

    The great thing about ferrets is they are very interactive (much more so than guinea pigs, rabbits, etc. in my experience). Mine is very friendly, and lets me cuddle him much more than my kitties do. They are very curious and will get into just about anything. You have to ferret-proof all areas they will be allowed in so they do not hurt themselves or eat something they shouldn''t. Oh, and they love to steal things and hide them LOL so be careful what you leave lying around. Also, they do require a lot of attention. If left alone in their cage they''ll become very bored and depressed. They sleep most of the day, but need to be let out to run around and play for at least a few hours a day.

    I think they make great pets, they have such personality, but they definitely aren''t for everyone. Just make sure you do your research first if you decide to get one. [​IMG] Let me know if you have any other questions about ferrets, I''m always happy to share what I know!
     
  20. elrohwen
    Ideal_Rock

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    by elrohwen » Oct 2, 2008
    I have some experience with small pets, so hopefully this is useful info.

    A friend of mine has a chinchilla and she''s sweet. They do take a bit of patience and training before they''re comfortable coming out of their cage with you, but they can be great pets. They definitely won''t just hang on the couch, they''re more likely to run around exploring everything.

    Another friend has two ferrets and they definitely smell. I''ve always thought they were cute, but I couldn''t take the smell. She keeps their cage very clean too, so I don''t think there''s anyway to really get rid of it. I also shared an apartment with a girl in college who bought two ferrets and they made our entire (large) apartment reek. I don''t think she was too good at keeping their cage clean, but it''s something to think about.

    My favorite small pet has been gerbils, though I''ll admit they aren''t as interactive as something like a parrot. But they''re very cute and friendly and easy to take care of. They live best in pairs or small groups and are super entertaining to watch. I''ve had some off and on since I was a little kid and they make great apartment pets. They don''t realy smell at all unless their cage is dirty. They''re not totally nocturnal like some rodents and they tend to be awake when their people are around; in the morning and the evening.

    For any small pet, I would recommend getting them from a breeder. It''s a little more work to track someone down than just pop into a pet store, but I''ve had so much more luck with gerbils from breeders than from stores. They''re always healthier and much friendlier because they get attention from an early age. I don''t know about other pets, but gerbils are $5 from a pet store or $5 from a breeder, so it''s a no-brainer. Especially for something like a chinchilla, which can be timid, buying from a breeder would put you on the right track to having a friendly pet.

    I should also mention that I''ve always wanted a parrot, but I''m a little afraid of not knowing how to handle them. But I think the bigger, more intelligent ones are very interactive and need lots of attention and playtime, so that might be a good choice for you too.
     
  21. Irishgrrrl
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Irishgrrrl » Oct 2, 2008
    Ditto!!! Now that is just TOOOOOOO CUTE!!! [​IMG]
     
  22. geckodani
    Ideal_Rock

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    by geckodani » Oct 2, 2008
    The only problem with the sugar glider''s is that they really need a large/tall cage to be happy and healthy, which can take up a lot of room in a limited space.
     
  23. dragonfly411
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dragonfly411 » Oct 2, 2008
    Maybe you could try a hamster? Or a bird even? They are interactive, have personalities and don''t have nearly the smell that ferrets do. Maybe a cat? You''d just have to keep up with the litter box. OR A gecko??
     
  24. geckodani
    Ideal_Rock

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    by geckodani » Oct 2, 2008
    Hee hee. Yay for Geckos. [​IMG]
     
  25. MsP
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by MsP » Oct 2, 2008
    Thank you, thank you everyone!

    I am curious about ferrets but being the clean freak I am, I''m just not sure I could deal with the smell. I have had parrots in the past and have loved my parrots... I have been in contact with a few rescues that have applications on file for me and I''ve been contacted with a possible match. I wanted a bird that has a ''quiet''(relative term with birds, haha) track record rather than an unknown from a breeder. This particular bird has been said to be fairly calm and only squawky a few times a day. I''m going to visit tomorrow so we''ll see how that goes...

    [​IMG]
     
  26. vetrik
    Rough_Rock

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    by vetrik » Oct 3, 2008
    I just wanted to recommend a guinea pig. I owned one for 7 years, and he was great.

    They are very interactive, like to be held, make lots of cute noises, and don''t smell as long as the cage is kept clean. I have always loved ferrets, but I was very concerned about the smell also. I have a rabbit now, and I would not recommend that - she''s quite destructive, needs a very large cage, and isn''t very friendly. I would have another guinea pig now, but I don''t want to get another small pet while we have the rabbit. I know I will have another one someday!

    earl.jpg
     
  27. Pandora II
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Pandora II » Oct 3, 2008
    I have two pythons and two African Pygmy Hedgehogs.

    The pythons are truly wonderful - silent, smell free, happy to be left alone all day and you can go away for up to 3 weeks as long as they have heat and water. Mine are Royals which are small sized and very nice natured. They will happily curl up on your knee in the evenings for a cuddle.

    They eat about once a fortnight as babies and now at 7 and 6 years respectively they eat about every 8 weeks. Frozen rats can be mail-ordered and you just put them in a plastic jiffy bag in a sink of hot water to defrost. They poop about every 8 weeks as well.

    They''re happy in quite small sized vivariums - too big and they start to stress and stop eating. 36" x 24" x 18" is as big as I would go for a pair.

    The hedgehogs are the cutest thing ever, but a total nightmare. They sleep all day so I don''t feel guilty working, but then run all night so you need a wheel for each and a fairly sound-proof room.

    My female is litter trained and so not a problem. The male one is anything but - and hedgehog poop smells in a big way. He will also poop while he''s running on his wheel and then keep running.... nice....

    They also need HUGE amounts of space for their size - mine have a 3 storey ferret cage that is about 5ft 5". They have to be kept separately as they will fight - to the death if necessary - and the males won''t leave the females alone.

    They''re also not particularly cuddly or keen on people - they''re very sweet to look at though!

    Here''s my male one - Mr Sticklebrick - when he was a baby:

    panMr Sticklebrick201007.jpg
     
  28. kcoursolle
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by kcoursolle » Oct 3, 2008
    Although not very creative I think cats make the perfect apartment pet. They don''t need a ton of space, they don''t need to be taken out, and if you are pretty good about cleaning their box they don''t stink. They also give you more of that "cuddly" factor compared to other pets. We have an apartment cat and she is wonderful to have around!
     
  29. glitterata
    Ideal_Rock

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    by glitterata » Oct 3, 2008
    I highly recommend a budgie (parakeet). They're at least as smart as cats and very affectionate and cuddly if you take the time to interact with them. They have definite personalities. I had one who would sit on my eyeglasses and groom my eyebrows or sit on my fingers and chirp to me while I was typing. He loved to have me pet his head and scratch him behind the neck.They have a cheerful chirping, but they're not loud and bossy the way bigger parrots can be. Some people can teach them to talk and do tricks. They're very clean. They don't smell. They're easy to take care of and can be left alone for two or three days if you go away for the weekend. They're very inexpensive to feed--just seed or pellets, plus whatever veggies you're eating yourself (but no avocados!). They're gentle and don't bite.

    Parrotlets are another good choice for an apartment. They're about the same size as parakeets and a little quieter, but also a little bossier, more stubborn, and can be nippy.

    Edited to add: Oh, I missed the fact that you've had already parrots! So you know all about what fun they can be. Budgies and parrotlets are small species of parrots and have a lot in common with their bigger cousins. That's especially true of parrotlets, which are a lot like tiny Amazons in personality. But both budgies and parrotlets are TONS quieter than most bigger parrots, so they might be better for apartments.
     
  30. oobiecoo
    Ideal_Rock

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    by oobiecoo » Oct 3, 2008
    Ohhh I had a guinea pig! He was SO cute, didn''t bite, and did make adorable noises. I second your suggestion!
     
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