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Small animals make super pets because they are so much fun, generally very playful and can be so loveable! All small animals are not the same, however. Some are calmer and easier for a small child to hold, while others are frisky and take more attention. The housing and feeding requirements are unique to each animal, just as each animal is unique.

Housing Requirements
Cage, Hutch or Habitat
A cage, hutch or habitat needs to suit the pet your putting in it. That means the right size and the right accessories. A wire cage needs to have small spacing so that your pet animal cannot get its head through it. If the cage has a wire bottom, the spacing needs to be small enough so that the animals feet cannot slip through it, too. The cage needs to have a spot for your pet to sleep, a place for his food, water and treat dishes, and some space to play and run around. Make sure your cage is escape proof.

Litter or bedding
Litter or bedding is needed for most cages. It absorbs waste and can help eliminate odours. Some small animals like to burrow into their bedding and make a nest to sleep in.

Nest box or sleeping hut
A nest box or sleeping hut is often appreciated although not always absolutely necessary. Many small animals are nocturnal. That means they like to sleep during the day and run around at night. A hut can help your pet feel more comfortable during the sunlight hours while it is sleeping.

Dishes for food and treats
Dishes for food and treats should be solid crocks with straight sides. Water should be put into a water bottle that is mounted on the side of the cage, either inside or outside.

Foods and Feeding
Feed and water daily
Small animals should be fed and watered everyday.

Treats are a great and fun way to interact with your pet. There are all sorts of bars, wafers, chews, drops and mixes available as treats.

Exercise and Activities
Gnawing is a favourite activity for lots of small animals. There are vegetable flavoured or plain wood chew toys in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes available, as well as hard alfalfa cubes. Some pets like bunnies, guinea pigs and chinchillas, must chew. Their teeth keep growing just like your hair and fingernails do. Gnawing is how they keep their teeth trimmed. With trim teeth they can keep chewing their food. If they don’t have chew toys they will chew on their food bowls and even on their cages.

Scampering Around
Scampering around is another favourite activity for most small animals, especially hamsters and mice. No matter when they like to run around, an exercise wheel or a variation of the wheel, a spinning disc, is a great choice for smaller pets.

Burrowing and Tunnelling
Burrowing and tunnelling are natural activities for many small animals and some, such as the ferret, are very curious. Great toys for these activities are funnels and hiding places. Generally you can find them made of plastic, wood, hemp or rope. They come in many colours, shapes and sizes.