Interesting Facts about Pocket Pets
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Some interesting facts about small mammals:

  • Gerbil"Thumping" is an interesting gerbil behavior. The gerbil will pound both hind legs on the ground when he is excited, stressed, or to attract a mate.

  • When a gerbil rubs his abdomen on cage accessories, he is marking his territory.

  • The common pet gerbil originated in Mongolia.

  • Golden hamsters are also called "Syrian" hamsters, since they originated in Syria.

  • Fancy mice and rats have been exhibited for over 100 years. The National Mouse Club of Britain was formed in 1895.

  • Mice are nocturnal animals and are more active at night than during the day.

  • Rats are extremely clean pets and are among the most intelligent.

  • Rabbits are not rodents. They belong to a family called "lagomorphs."

  • Many rabbits learn litter box habits easily.

  • Rabbits require daily exercise outside of their cage.

  • GerbilAnother name for a guinea pig is a "cavy." Wild cavies live in social groups called "herds."

  • A male guinea pig is a boar and a female is a sow. Baby guinea pigs are pups.

  • Guinea pigs are unable to manufacture Vitamin C within their bodies therefore this vitamin must be supplemented.

  • Chinchillas need a dry habitat and need dust baths several times weekly; in fact, a dust bath is necessary to keep a chinchilla's fur soft.

  • The African Hedgehog, in its natural environment, will eat a variety of insects, worms, and fruit.

  • The sugar glider is a marsupial, like a kangaroo or wombat.

  • Sugar gliders are able to glide over 150 feet.

   Click here for the web viewable version of this article.

Click here to email this article to a friend.

Copyright © 1997-2017, Foster & Smith, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted from