What’s soft, cute as a button, and fits in your shirt pocket? Pocket pets! Usually used to describe small animals such as hamsters, mice, and guinea pigs, the term has acquired new members over the last few years. Before adopting a new pet, you should make sure that they are legal in your area and that you can meet all of their care requirements. Without further ado, meet our favorite pocket pets!
Sometimes known as sugar bears, sugar gliders are marsupials native to places like Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Ranging from six to eight inches in length, these pocket-perfect possums use flaps of skin between their front and back ankles to glide over fifty meters.
Sugar gliders can make great pets, keeping themselves perfectly clean with very little odor. They create close bonds with their humans, learn their own names and tricks, and eat almost any fruit or veggie. They’re very social animals that love to spend time with their human family members. Despite this, they usually have one favorite person that they tend to gravitate towards. It’s best to house sugar gliders with others, as they’re colony animals that enjoy the company of others.
With fur thicker and softer than most, chinchillas are rodents native to north Chile. Often kept as pets nowadays, chinchillas have been hunted to near extinction in the wild, namely for their luxurious coats. Their round bodies resemble a rabbit’s, but their longer tail and rounder ears set them apart from their hoppy look-a-likes.
Chinchillas are often timid and less sociable with their humans, and they require more specific care than most small pets. They don’t enjoy cuddling as a cat or dog would, but can make very rewarding pets if cared for properly. Their life-span ranges from 10-22 years in good conditions.
Full of personality and pizzazz, these lovable, spiky creatures can make great pets if cared for well. Bonding with your new hedgie may be a tad more painful that your average pet, as they may poke you now and then if they feel threatened or scared.
Hedgehogs have many entertaining traits and funny behaviors. These little creatures make a wide array of noises from squeaks and clicks to purring, whistling or snorting. When encountering new objects or scents, they lick or bite the object, create a frothy glob of spit, and rub it on their backs to learn the scent. Feeding these ‘hogs’ is an easy task as they will eat just about everything offered to them, often overeating. Be sure to feed you spiny pocket pets the correct portions of a vet approved diet!
Although well known, rats are underrated pocket pets with a bad rapport in the mainstream media. When taken care of they’re intelligent, cuddly, social, little creatures with a sense of humor. A rat well-bonded with it’s person often happily rides around on a shoulder or in a pocket. Rats are clean and easy to feed with pellets from the pet store and a few household scraps for treats. If properly socialized from a young age, your new friend will be very affectionate and love being around you, whether it be cuddling or play time!
No matter what type of animal you choose to care for, always be sure that you can meet their needs. Remember, a lot of these animals can live for ten years or longer. Only take on a new pet if you’re sure that you can commit to your new friend for years to come!