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Best (and interesting) Apartment Pets

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chickerdoodle13, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    This is mostly just a fun thread but I am also curious because I will be moving to an apartment this summer prior to beginning vet school. Most all of the apartment complexes available to vet students allow pets. I would love to eventually get a dog or a cat but I know I won't have time for one during my first year.

    I currently have a crested gecko and a betta fish. Both have been perfect pets throughout undergrad. Now I don't have to hide my pets for inspections though so I can go with something more conspicuous. I won't be jumping into anything anytime soon but I am having fun imagining and researching.

    I have a really nice ferret cage that I could use. I would also love to establish a fishtank.

    Some pets I have thought of are rats (I've heard they can be smelly though), hedgehogs, or a veiled chameleon (I have wanted one forever despite the fact I know they can be tricky to keep)

    What have you kept in an apartment? What other interesting pets have you kept?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Lauren, rats make great pets and are not particularly smelly. I made a living working with rats, and my daughter had several as pets. They are smart, inquisitive, interesting animals. The major drawback is that they have relatively short lifespans.
     
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Good to know! Did you prefer males or females? The ferret cage I have would be perfect for two or three of them. I feel like they would be much less time consuming than a dog but still just as social!
     
  4. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chinchillas are great pets, too!
     
  5. shadow rabbit10

    shadow rabbit10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rats are awesome. I used to have two, but they both died of cancer. They are so smart and friendly! Not too smelly either. I like males better because they are calmer and less nippy. They only live to about 2 years old though. And, they are prone to cancer and tumors.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Females are smaller and in my estimation more lively than the males. The drawback - they tend (depending upon strain) to develop mammary tumors; however, the males more frequently developed hydronephrosis. Give them a wheel or two for exercise, some habitrails and they have a blast. In our experience after two years of age their quality of life tended to go downhill.
     
  7. hollyclyff

    hollyclyff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with rats- love them. Bearded dragons also make good apartment pets. And they seem to enjoy just hanging out with you. Ours does anyway. He's quite sociable actually. Babies take a bit more of a time commitment than adults, but still not as much as a dog. Adults are easier and can even be left alone for a weekend if you have the lights on a timer.
     
  8. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    A really cool thing to help female rats with mammary tumors (either to prevent them in the first place or treat an existing one) is a Suprelorin (deslorelin) implant. It was only just approved in the U.S. for use in ferrets. But vets in the UK have been using them to treat mammary tumors in rats for years with great success. So if you know a veterinarian who is cool with using it off label, it can be a godsend for owners with female ratties!

    I have a friend who has three girl rats. One was spayed after her first mammary tumor was surgically removed. But then the other two developed tumors. I went with him to the vet so he could get them evaluated for surgery. But his vet had just been to a veterinary conference and learned about the implant use in rats. Since she can now get it, she offered to implant his rats for a third of the cost of surgery, with no risk from anesthesia, incision complications, etc. All it took was a bit of numbing gel and a quick needle poke, and they were set. The tumors have disappeared (it has been about about two months since they were implanted)! The vet had him bring the girls in every two weeks (for free) so she could evaluate the tumor progress. It was a great success!!

    The implant works by blocking the GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) receptors in the pituitary gland. That means their bodies will stop providing FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinising hormone). The mammary tumors are caused by an out of control release of FSH, I believe. So the implant stops that cycle.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great to know about that implant! I love rats. My males tend to live 3 plus years (just feeder rats), my females live from 1 to 3, but all have developed tumors. I haven't ever been able to find a reliable breeder in my area, but I hear that lines exist that are not so prone to tumors. I've had rats who could be left outside of their cage, and who came when called. Very smart and sweet animals.

    Prarie dogs are certainly high on my wishlist, but they require tons of attention, so not a good option when pressed for time. Also, state laws apply.

    English lops are the cuddliest breed if rabbit I've ever found, and can be litterbox trained. Neutered males can be especially cuddly and laid back. Some breeds of rabbit are said to lose their tameness if not handled fairly constantly, but that does not seem to be an issue with this breed. Chronic ear infections can be. Caging must be large and care taken so their feet, ears, and extra long tails stay in good shape. Good quality Oxbow timothy hay can be purchased as a fifty pound box for $50 that is delivered to your door (city hay options are limited). I do not recommend feeding rabbits a poor quality hay...GI stasis and other digestive issues are big killers in rabbits. They often do not receive proper diets. Hay bags or racks, or compressed hay is a must if you want to keep a tidy house!! I highly recommend buying from a reputable breeder for rabbits for many reasons.

    Guinea pigs can also be great. I loved my tri-roan teddy. He lived for ten years, and was very personable. He pretty much lived under my chin though. X) I tend to meet more skittery guinea pigs than not, and I am unsure how much of that is breed vs. handling.

    Lineolated parakeets are a beginner parrot I'm interested in that you might be too.

    I tend to like animals with sweet personalities that are open with their affection. Some that appeal to me more for being interesting include tegus, blue-tongued skinks, bearded dragons (though they seem quite endearing too), praying mantises, and various fish.
     
  10. shadow rabbit10

    shadow rabbit10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My rats only made it to 2 1/2 and 2. [​IMG] One had a facial tumor, and the other had an internal tumor we couldn't see. I had a black satin and an albino hairless. Both males, their names were Noah and Ricco. I loved them...

    Rabbits are a good choice. Have you ever thought of a box turtle? I know they aren't cuddly, but they can be interesting and can be handled.
     

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