Small Mammal Normal Values: Temperature, Heart Rate, Life Span, and Pregnancy
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

The following table provides information on the life span, weight, reproduction, and normal physiologic values of various small mammals often kept as pets. Most of the values are given in ranges, and depending upon the source, you may find somewhat different ranges provided elsewhere. Numbers may differ since information gathered from various breeds, species, and husbandry practices can affect the values.

  Life Expectancy Average Weight (grams*)
 F=female  
M=male
Length of Pregnancy (days) Litter Size Weaning Age Recommended Environmental Temperature (ºF) Heart Rate
(beats per minute)
Respiratory Rate
(breaths per minute)
Chinchillas 8-10 years F 400-600;
M 400-500
105-118,
average 111
1-6,
usual 2-3
6-8 weeks 50-68 100-150 40-80
Gerbils 2-3 years F 50-55,
M 50-120
23-26 3-7 21-30 days 65-75 260-600 85-140
Guinea Pigs 5-6 years F 700-900,
M 900-1200
59-72, average 68 1-10,
usual 2-4
21 days 65-79 240-310 50-130
Hamsters 18-36 mos F 95-125,
M 85-120
15-17 5-10 19-21 days 70-75 310-480 40-110
African Hedgehogs 5-7 years 300-600 34-38 1-7,
usual 3-4
4-6 weeks 75-85 180-280 25-50
Mice 12-36 mos F 30-60,
M 20-40
19-21 7-11 18-21 days 70-77 400-700 80-220
Rabbits 6-11 years, depends on breed 2-8 kg 30-33 4-10 5-8 weeks 40-80; never over 85 150-300 30-60
Rats 26-40 mos F 225-325,
M 275-500
21-23 6-13 21 days 70-75 300-500 70-140
Sugar Gliders 8-10 years F 80-135,
M 100-160
16 days, then move into pouch; emerge from pouch after 70 days 1-2 120-130 days 70-80 200-300 16-40
* There are 453 gms (grams) in a pound. A kilogram (kg) is 1000 gms.

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