10 Best Small Rodents to Keep as Pets

Syrian Hamster Syrian hamsters are also known as teddy bear or golden hamsters. They live for around two to three decades. They live alone and require their own housing. Hamsters that are raised from a young age have a pleasant temperament. They are also nocturnal, and can become grumpy if they are awakened during the day.

Dwarf Hamster Dwarf hamsters can socialize with other dwarf hamsters and can be kept in the same-sex pair or small groups. They can live for up to three years. Dwarf hamsters are known for being small and nippy but most can be handled with gentle care. 

Chinese Hamster Even though they're not true dwarf hamsters Chinese hamsters are still quite small. They are less popular than other varieties of hamsters. They are small and agile, so they can be difficult to handle. They need a cage with bars that they can squeeze through or a glass aquarium. 

Mongolian Gerbil Gerbils are social and active animals. They are happy living in small groups or as a couple. For easier bonding, it is best to get them young. Gerbils can be tamed with regular care. However, gerbils can be difficult to handle due to their high energy levels. 

Fancy Mouse Even though they are quick and agile, mice can be tamed if cared for. Many learn to eat from the hands of their caregivers. They can live for one to three years. Females are social animals and often have a good relationship with other females. However, males can be aggressive towards females. 

Common Rat Rats can live for up to two years on average. Rats are social animals, so it is best to keep them in the same sex relationship. They can be tamed with regular care and will enjoy companionship. They require out-of-cage social interaction and exercise. 

Guinea Pig Guinea pigs live an average of five to seven year. They are easy to handle, and they don't bite even when stressed. They are social animals and do well in pairs. They require a varied diet. This includes fresh hay, vegetables, and adequate vitamin C. 

Chinchilla Chinchillas look a lot like rabbits, but they are playful and active animals. They prefer quiet spots during the day and are mostly nocturnal. They are not fond of being held and prefer to be active. Many can still learn to appreciate the company of their caregivers. 

African Dormouse The African dormouse, a small squirrel-like rodent, is very entertaining to observe. Because they are agile and quick, they require a secure environment to keep them from running away. A 20-gallon tank with ropes and other climbing equipment is sufficient. 

Common Degu Degus, a Chilean native, are social animals that can live in groups of up to 100 wild. They are comfortable being kept in small groups or in pairs with their partners in the wild. They are easy to handle and can be cuddled with their caregivers from a young age.