Archive for category Small Mammals

Facts about Rabbits

Rabbits are small mammals that belong to their own family named as Leporidae of the order Lagomorphs. They are not rodents.  It is said that the evolutionary separation between rabbits and other living mammals possibly took place about thirty million years ago.

There are 13 species of rabbits with the eastern cottontail being the most popular one around the world. Cottontails found in different colors ranging from gray to brown. They have large ears and hind feet and fluffy tails. Its average length is about a foot and weighs 2 – 3 pounds.

In wild, cottontails are live in brushy hedgerows and the edges of forested areas with dense cover; however, they can also live in suburbs and urban areas. During the growth period, they feed on leafy plants, whereas they eat buds and bard of woody plants in the cold season.

Cottontails are quite popular because of their reproductive abilities as they can breed from February through September. Gestation is about 28 days. They can give birth to 3 or 4 litters of 4 or 5 young ones called kittens in a year. Kittens are born vulnerable in a shallow area lined with grass and mother’s fur, however they grow fast and are weaned when less than half the size of the adult.

Mother rabbits take care their young ones for almost 5 minutes day. Since their milk is very rich therefore the young ones fill up to capacity within minutes. Mothers do not sit on their babies to keep them warm. Often, abandoned baby rabbits are saved by humans, however fewer than 10% of these babies stay alive.

In wild, cottontails can live up to 2 years, however the areas where there are many predators, they rarely live more than a year. According to a study, approximately 85% of the rabbit population dies each year, which comprises at least one out of every three babies that are born in a year.

A number of mortality factors encroach on rabbit population. One of the major factors in nest mortality is weather because ground nests are vulnerable to flooding in heavy rains.

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How to Care for Chinchilla

Chinchillas make great pets and can live about 20 years if they are treated and taken care well. Here are some important ways of taking care of pet Chinchillas.

Housing:

Chinchillas require plenty of space to move around therefore, its cage should be large enough to accommodate a pair of chinchillas. Never keep these creatures in a glass cage or aquarium as there is less air circulation in these types of cages. The ideal cage size is 2 x 2 x 3 feet.

Since chinchillas have small feet that can easily be caught in big spacing screen of the cage, therefore choose the flooring that has almost 1.5 by 1.5 inch spacing. Also, provide them with solid surfaces on which they can sit comfortably. Wooden shelves, made of wood such as pine, poplar, apple, and aspen, are best for this purpose. Never leave any plastic or cloth item in the cage as chinchillas are in habit of chewing everything. Provide them plenty of toys for playing and chewing.

Temperature:

Chinchillas are very sensitive to temperature, and cannot be kept in temperatures above 75 F. Keeping them in temperatures over 75 F will overheat them, and if they are not cooled down immediately, they can die. It is advisable to keep terra cotta pots or marble tiles in the freezer for emergency situations so that you can treat your pet in time. For those who live where temperature gets over 75 F, it becomes compulsory to have air conditioning when owning a Chinchilla.

Diet:

Feed your Chinchilla a diet of Alfalfa and Timothy hay along with high quality Chinchilla pellets. Do not give them treats frequently. In wild, Chinchillas used to eat varied diet, and cannot properly digest too many treats. However, if you want to give your pet treats, then only give one treat twice or thrice a week. The treats should not be larger than the size of a raisin.

When it comes to water, do not give Chinchillas tap water. Instead, give them filtered or purified water. This is important because Chinchillas are prone to certain things, such as Giardia, in tap water. Giardia can cause severe diarrhea and it should be treated by a veterinarian. It is also important to change the water on daily basis to keep your pet healthy.

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Types of Cats

There are a large number of different types of cats, which makes it difficult to categorize them. However, we can categorize domesticated cats on the basis of their length and types of their coat. Other popular categories that are used include classification based on their physical features and size.

Here are some of the most popular cat types.

Long-haired Cats:

Long-haired cats usually belong to the areas with cold climates. Their long hair keeps them warm in extreme low temperatures of their surroundings. Popular examples include Persian cats, Birman cats, and Siberian cats.

Hairless Cats:

As the name shows, hairless cats do not have hair on their body. They look bald, which is thought to be caused by natural mutation of their species. Popular hairless cats include Sphynx, the Dwelf, Bambino, and the Minskin.

Rexed Cats:

Rexed cats have curly hair, and this feature can be passed on from one offspring to another. However, the visibility of this characteristic is held by either dominant or recessive genes. Popular examples of these cats include Devon rex cat, Cornish rex cat, and the Skookum cat.

Short-legged Cats:

Cats that are categorized according to their physical features include short-legged cats. The most popular short-legged cats include Munchkin cat, Bambino, Lambkin, and Genetta. Since the cats of this group have short legs, therefore they are often called “dwarf cats”.

Short-tailed Cats:

These cats extremely short tails, which look similar to lumps. The most popular cats that have short tail include the Cymric, the American Bobtail, and the Manx.

Atypical-eared Cats:

These types of cats have either curled or folded ears. Sometimes, their ears look asymmetrical. The most popular examples of such cats include American Curl and the Scottish Ford.

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Information about Sugar Glider

The sugar is one of the exotic small pets. A number of people like to adopt them as a pet because they are not only very cute but also very attractive. There is no doubt that they make great pets.

The sugar gliders that are available for sale in pet stores are basically native to the forested areas of northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea, and the contiguous islands. He was first brought to Tasmania in 1835, and since then, they have spread across the island. Although sugar gliders have been kept in zoos for centuries, however they have only been made available for sale as pets for more than a decade.

It is a fact that sugar glider is quite expensive to buy, and since they are extremely social and must be kept as a pair, it is important to consider this additional expense. In wild, they live in trees; therefore, they need plenty of space to move around comfortably. Keeping all these facts in view, if you cannot buy a pair or provide the essential space they need, the sugar glider may not be right pet for you.

The size of an average sugar glider is about 30 cm (12 inches) from their nose to the tip of their tail, where about half that length is tail. Since they are marsupials, such as koalas and kangaroos, therefore they raise their young in an external pouch. In their natural environment, they glide from tree to tree. These small creatures are nocturnal, and their large eyes help them to see at night. In captivity, if proper care is provided to them, they can live about 14 years. Since they are exotic pets, therefore sugar gliders are illegal in some parts of the world. It is important to check with your local authorities to see if it is legal to keep them.

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How to Choose a Scottish Fold Cat

The Scottish Fold cat is a combination of other cat breeds, namely the British and American shorthairs. These two breeds are docile and calm, as well as agreeable to extended handling. Therefore, the Scottish Fold is a lovable, devoted and charming cat that displays a British sense of modesty along with an American sense of poise.

There are some standards that should be considered when buying a Scottish Fold cat so that you get the genuine and healthy Scottish Fold cat. Some of these standards are as follows:

  • The head of a Scottish Fold cat is well-rounded with a firm chin and jaw as well as prominent cheeks. It also has a muzzle to have well-rounded whisker pads, head combining into short neck. Its nose is comparatively short with a slight curve. Its overall look is quite moderate.
  • The cat has wide open eyes with a cute expression, which is separated by a broad nose. Its eye color complements with its coat color.
  • The ears of a Scottish Fold cat are folded forward and downward, giving them cap-like shapes. When buying, prefer the cat with smaller and tighter folded ears.
  • Its body is medium with legs in proportion to the body. Its toes are neat and well-rounded, which are five in front and four behind.
  • Its tail’s length can range from medium to long, which should be lithe, tapering, and proportionate to the body.
  • For shorthairs, the length of a coat should be short to medium-short as well as thick, lavish and vivacious. In case of longhairs, the coat should be medium-long to long as well as britches, tail plume, toe clumps, and ears should be plainly visible with a ruff being enviable.
  • Acceptable colors of Scottish Folds are black, blue or cameo smoke; white, black, blue, red, cream, shaded silver, shaded cameo, chinchilla, shell cameo; tortoiseshell, blue-cream; bi-colors of black, blue, red, cream, calico, dilute calico, tortoiseshell & white, blue-cream & white; tabby & white, silver and brown patched tabby & white; all four tabby patterns of classic, mackerel, spotted or ticked in silver, blue, brown, red or cream.

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Dog’s Fact File

Generally, it is believed that the wolf is the common ancestor of the domestic dog. Dogs’ domestication started almost 15,000 years ago, during which humans chose for particularly attractive traits, such as its coat, color, and height. This selection process has led to over 400 various breeds of a dog.

If you see the world from a dog’s viewpoint, it can greatly help you in understanding your pet better; therefore, here are a few dog facts you must know.

Dogs have extremely well developed senses. They have highly developed sense of smell, which is far better to humans. They can also perceive sounds up to 4 times quieter than humans can hear. They have the ability to hear in ultrasound (sound with a frequency more than the upper limit of human hearing). Moreover, they can see very well in dark and dim light.

Dogs are omnivores. Since dogs eat both meat and plant food, they are called omnivores. Their teeth are designed for tearing meat and are used for crushing and grinding plant food.

Dogs are naturally curious. They vigorously look for information about their environs and will spend much time probing and searching.

Dogs use different methods to communicate. They communicate each other in order to form and maintain social groups. They can produce various sounds, often in intricate combination, such as whimpers, whines, howls, barks, and growls. In order to convey scent information, they use urine, feces and secretions from special scent glands. A number of dogs can use their body, face, tail, limbs, and ears to communicate with other dogs.

Dogs are highly social, intelligent, and playful. They enjoy the company of other dogs however they can form strong social bonds to humans and become their best friend. They are also extremely intelligent and can even learn the names of their toys. Moreover, they use special signs to exhibit they want to play. For this, they show ‘play bow’ behavior, in which they crouch on their forelimbs, remain standing on their hind limbs and may wag their tail or bark.

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Hamster: General Information

At present, hamsters that are kept as pets were first discovered inSyriain 1830, when an Israeli Zoologist working in theSyrian Desertbrought them in his laboratory and successfully bred them. In 1839, a British zoologist, George Waterhouse, gave them their current name, which is the Golden Hamster. It is interesting to know that all pet hamsters are descendents of theSyrian Deserthamsters.

Hamsters were transported to all parts of the world, arriving in theUKin 1931 and in theUSin 1938 for use in lab research. Hamsters are usually healthy, disease free animals, and are enable to have a new litter of babies almost every month.

Scientific Information:

The scientific information about hamsters is briefly mentioned as under:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Suborder: Myomorpha

Super-family: Muroidea

Family: Cricetidae

Subfamily: Cricetinae

Temperament Information:

The Golden Hamster is a nocturnal animal, however, infrequently can be active during the day. Hamsters as pets can be very domesticated however must always be handled with care as they can become very hostile when terrified. They are prone to chew on and escape from their cages. Once they escape, it becomes very difficult to make them return to their home and needs to be trapped to be put back in their cage. Therefore, special care should be taken when handling them.

Hamsters love exercise, particularly wheel running. It is interesting to know that pregnant female hamsters have been known to run up to five miles per day.

Female hamsters are more hostile and aggressive than males and, depending on her sexual cycle, can attack new males that are introduced into her cage. Moreover, females may willingly look after her young ones. If the mother hamster feels intimidated, she can either attack the interloper or hide her babies in her mouth in her cheek pouches. Female hamsters with new litters must not be disturbed frequently.

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