Monday, December 19, 2011

Quiz Answers!

I am finally putting up the quiz answers!!!


The answer is: false. The longest rabbit ears recorded are about three feet long, not four.


The answer is: polar bear hamster.


The name "Teddy bear hamster" refers to any syrian hamster.

The name "Black bear hamster" refers to black syrian hamsters.

The name "Panda bear hamster" refers to black and white syrian hamsters.

New quizzes and posts will be up after the holidays!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tips and Tricks: Fish Medications

If you read my other blog, Critter Corner, you will probably have heard that Squirt has a fungal infection. Basically he got a little hole in his tail fin, probably from flaring too much, causing it to split, and a fluffy white fungus started growing in it. 

So I have now with all of Squirt's fin rot issues, and his new fungus issues, had a lot of experience in giving fish medications. 

So I have some tips, tricks, and recommended brands for you:

Tip #1: 

ALWAYS carefully read the instructions that come with the medication! You don't want to overdose or under-dose.

Which brings up Tip #2:

NEVER overdose! It can kill your fish! And avoid giving less than the dosage, because that could actually result in the bacteria/fungus becoming immune to the medications. 

Tip #3:

Don't skip doses, this can also result in the bacteria/fungus becoming immune to the meds. 

Tip #4:

Most of the time instructions will tell you either to remove activated carbon from your filter, or not put in fresh activated carbon while using the medication. The reason is that the fresh activated carbon will remove the medication from the water, which would defeat the purpose of the medication being there in the first place. So if the carbon already in your filter is really old, you probably don't have anything to worry about. However if it is newer, you will want to remove it while medicating your fish. 

Sometimes, like with my filter, the carbon is inside the filter cartridge, so you have to take out the whole filter cartridge, but then there is nothing to filter the water. So here is my tip: 

Replace the filter cartridge containing carbon with either a filter sponge or an algae scrubbing pad. Most fish-keepers have an algae scrubbing pad to clean the tank, so this is an easy fix. It works the same as the filter without the carbon removing the medications.

Tip #5:

Most medications make the water cloudy or discolored. Once you are no longer medicating the fish do a 25% water change and put fresh activated carbon into the filter, this should clear the water up fairly quickly.

Tip #6:

Unless the directions specifically say not too I usually mix the medications with some water before adding to the tank, that way there aren't spots of highly concentrated meds in the water that could harm the fish.

Now I have some recommended brands:

The BEST brand of any fish medications in my opinion is Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. They have great reviews, there products are really good quality but not expensive, and they do there job really well.

The other brand of medications I sometimes use is Mardel. They have a wide range of medications. They literally have a medication for everything. What I like about Mardel brand is that their products are easy to use and found pretty much everywhere. I find that their Maracyn 2 medication works really well getting rid of fin rot. However when it comes to anit-fungal medications I would recommend going with Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Anti-Fungal Medications instead of Mardel's Maroxy Anti-Fungal. 

The Maroxy uses chlorine to kill the fungus, which I think is odd for two reasons. Chlorine is very toxic to fish, and unless you have no chlorine in your water, you are probably putting dechlorinator into your fish tank, so the medication would be useless. 

Oh I also have a tip about a medication called Bettafix. It is a natural remedy for fin rot and it is meant specifically for bettas. It is great, except really meant for small bowls, if you have a tank larger than one gallon you will go through one bottle really fast.

And this is important to know if you have a betta fish. There is a medication for fin rot called Melafix. NEVER use this with a betta fish, it is actually quite toxic for them, which is why the  company also makes Bettafix as an alternative. If your betta has fin rot I would recommend using Maracyn.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Responding to comments

What is the life expectancy of the hamsters? And what is their natural habitat? Have some of them developed as a result of humans breeding them for certain characteristics or are these 'natural' types?
-Animal Gram

For Syrian hamsters, the life expectancy is 2-3 years. For dwarf hamsters the life expectancy is 1-2 years.

In the wild hamsters live in central europe and northern asia. Most commonly in Russia, Siberia, Syria, China, and Mongolia. 

In that range they inhabit pretty much anywhere including, deserts, mountains, and forests.

The only really big difference between pet and wild hamsters is that pet hamsters have more coat colors, patterns, and types other than the natural coat type and color. 

New quizzes!

New quizzes are up!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How to tame/handle a hamster.

When you get a hamster, odds are they haven't been handled much, so you basically need to tame them. Here's how:

1. Let them get used to your scent.

A good way to do this is to:

let them sniff you
handle their toys a lot before putting them in the hamsters cage

2. Let them get used to your voice.

To do this just spend some time talking to them, though try to do it quietly; not loudly!

3. Feed them treats!

The way to most animals hearts is through their stomach. Give your new hamster some treats. A good treat to try is sunflower seeds, hamsters love them! 

tip! You may not want to feed them the treats through cage bars, this can teach them the habit of biting anything that comes through the bars, which could be your finger one day! So just open the door of the cage to give them their treat.

4. Pet them!

Now you can gently stroke them. Most hamsters seem to like being stroked down their back. My hamster, Pipsqueak, likes being pet behind her ears. 

5. Time to hold them!

When your hamsters is comfortable with you petting them, you can try holding them. There are a few different ways you can do this. If your hamster is like mine and doesn't particularly like being picked up you can:

see if they will crawl into your hand

coax them into your hand with a treat

let them crawl into something like a toilet paper tube to be transported to your hand (this is Pipsqueaks favorite way!)

If your hamster is okay with being picked up then the best way to do this is to cup your hands around your hamster and lift them up gently. 

Once they are in your hand you can let them crawl on you and you can pet them and give them treats to keep them happy. 

caution! Make sure to be careful not to let your hamster escape. If you have a roborovski hamster (the really tiny ones!) you may want to just skip holding them or only do it somewhere where there is no chance of them escaping. They are fast!

Once holding them is successful your hamster is tamed! 

REMEMBER! Hamsters are nocturnal and many are grumpy about being woken up. When you are taming them it is best to not wake them up and wait till they are awake. Syrian hamsters especially can be very grumpy about being woken up. 

Quiz Answers!


The answer is: dawn and dusk.


The answer is: crepuscular.

FUN FACT! Guinea pigs are diurnal, meaning that they are active during the day and sleep at night just like humans.

FUN FACT #2! Because rabbits are crepuscular, they prefer to eat at dawn and dusk so in the morning and evening is a good time to five them their food.

New quizzes will be up soon after I think of some good questions!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Five Most Common Hamster Breeds

The Syrian Hamster:

The Syrian hamster (also known as the golden hamster) is the most popular hamster to keep as a pet. They are also the biggest hamster growing up to seven inches long. 

Syrian hamster are fiercely territorial with other hamsters so they need to be kept by themselves. However, these hamsters are generally fairly friendly and easy to handle with humans. They generally have a lower energy level than dwarf hamsters.

Syrian hamsters come in a variety of coat types, patterns, and colors. They can have short fur, long fur, rex fur (curly), and satin fur (shiny). Their are too many colors to even name, the most popular being golden, and some other common colors being cream, cinnamon, black, white, and grey. There are many patterns of colors including banded, spotted, calico, roan, and more.

The Campbell's or Russian Dwarf Hamster

The Campbell's or Russian hamster is also called the Djungarian hamster. However since that is not the easiest to pronounce it is usually just called the Campbell hamster or the russian hamster. 

The russian hamster is the most popular dwarf hamster, if handled frequently they can be very friendly and outgoing. 

The russian hamster comes in many different colors. The above coloring and pattern is the natural or "wild" coloring with a dark brownish grey strip on its back, grey-brown fur, and white to cream undersides. Other colors are mostly just variations of this with the fur being lighter or darker grey. They also come in cream, black, and white. The coat pattern usually remains pretty much the same, although the coat type can be regular short hair or satin. 

My hamster, Pipsqueak, is a russian dwarf. Her coat coloring is one of my favorites. Her coloration is called "black silver". 

The Chinese Dwarf Hamster

The Chinese Dwarf Hamsters is, in my opinion, the most unique out of the dwarf hamsters, as it doesn't really look like most dwarf hamsters. The chinese dwarf has a long thin body with a pink tail that is longer than most hamsters, making it look like a mouse.

Like Syrians, chinese dwarfs are generally very territorial and should not be housed with other hamsters. Females are generally more aggressive than males.

The coloring of chinese dwarfs doesn't vary too much. They have a brownish-grey stripe down their back and the rest of their fur is usually a grey-beige color.

The Winter White Dwarf Hamster

You might be thinking right now that the above picture looks an awfully lot like the russian hamster. That is because the Winter White hamster's coloring is basically exactly the same as the natural, or wild coloring of the russian hamster. At one time these two hamsters were thought to be the same breed.

However there is one big difference. As its name suggests, the winter white turns white in the winter! 

They are much like the russian hamster in other respects such as temperament and size.

The winter white does not have many different coat colors. They are usually all the same, however you can find a few dark grey or black ones. And in the winter you can find white ones.

The Roborovski Dwarf Hamster

Roborovskis or robos for short, are the smallest of all hamsters. They are generally just under two inches long, and may even be smaller!

Robos are the newest pet hamster out there. They are very gentle and docile however it is best not to handle them because they are FAST! Think of them as little blurs. They never stop moving so they are hard to pick up and catch.  They are more of pet that you just watch, and they are very entertaining to watch since when they are awake they are constantly moving and doing crazy things!

Robos have only one coat type, one patter, and one coloring that I know of which is: short hair, with fur that is a cream color with white undersides and feet. Robos also have unique white "eyebrows", which are super cute!

Quiz Answers!

Quiz answers are here!


The answer to this question is: omnivores. 

FUN FACT! Hamsters mostly eat grains, which leads to the incorrect belief that they are herbivores, but they are really omnivores, they like to include some protein in their diet in the form of insects such as mealworms. 

FUN FACT! A fun treat for hamsters is a little piece of dog biscuit occasionally. Hamsters like dog biscuits a bit and it gives them that little bit of protein from meat without you having to deal with icky insects. 

FUN FACT! My hamster, Pipsqueak, LOVES dried mealworms!!!! It is her favorite treat! (I think they are pretty gross though!)


The answer is: false. 

New quizzes will be up soon!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quiz Answers

I am once again late with my quizzes. Which was partly because I am having trouble thinking of good quizzes!!!! Anyway here are the latest quiz answers, sorry for being so late:


This was a tricky one. The answer is the U.S. The breed was developed in the west United States, as a herding dog. But yes, for some reason it is called the Australian Shepherd. 

FUN FACT! The Australian Shepherd is often called an "aussie" for short.

FUN FACT! #2  Many aussies are born with a naturally stubbed tail.

FUN FACT! #3  The Australian Shepherd's ancestors were dogs that originated in the Pyrenees Mountains.


Most of you voted for clownfish, but the answer is: corydora catfish. 

Here's why:

Corydora catfish are small catfish (about 1-2 inches). They make great tank mates for betta's because corys are generally very peaceful fish, and bettas and corydora catfish generally swim at different levels of the tank, the corys staying at the bottom most of the time. Corys are also not brightly colored, which is good because bettas often attack colorful fish mistaking them for another betta. 

A clownfish would not be an appropriate tank mate for bettas mainly because clownfish are saltwater fish, and bettas are freshwater fish. They could not survive in each other's habitats. 

Another betta fish is not an appropriate tank mate for a male betta, because male bettas fight to the death. (Which is why they are often called "fighting fish")

And tiger barbs are not good tank mates for bettas because.... no one seems to know why. They just don't get along well. Tiger barbs tend to be nippy and unfriendly with bettas.

NOTE: Corydora catfish are great tank mates for bettas, but you shouldn't put any other kind of catfish with a betta. Corydora catfish are small being the size of a betta, but most other catfish will grow large and may eventually eat the betta.

New quizzes will be up as soon as I think of some good ones. I've got quiz writer's block.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A warning about buying live plants for fish tanks

I was compelled to do this post because I have been shopping for live plants for Squirt's tank. So far he has one live plant in there. It is a "marimo moss ball" He LOVES it. It is like the easiest aquarium plant to care for. It is literally a ball of moss and all you really have to do is put it in the tank and enjoy it. It just looks like a fuzzy green ball. I'll have to put a picture up of it later. 

Anyway, Squirt loves his moss ball. He likes how soft it is, and he likes to take naps up against it. It is so cute!

Live plants are great for aquariums because the fish love them, they are softer than plastic plants, more real looking, and they help keep the water clean. Plants use the ammonia and nitrites which are toxic to the fish and turn them into nitrates. 

So yes, I do have a warning about buying live plants. I learned this the hard way. You have to check to make sure that the plant really is AQUATIC. For some bizarre reason, pet stores like Petsmart and Petco apparently sell plants that are not aquatic and label them for use in fish tanks. However they will die quickly because they aren't meant to be submerged in water. 

I bought a cool plant called a "white ribbon plant". It didn't have any instructions with it, so I looked up on the internet about how to care for it and found out that it is not aquatic! So fortunately I hadn't put it in the tank yet, so I will be returning it tomorrow and getting a plant that really is aquatic. 

So the moral of this is, it pays to do your research first, make sure the plant is aquatic, and (this may become my new motto!): not everything a Pet store sells is safe pets, or in this case not all plants that they sell are meant for fish tanks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gerbil Care: Housing your gerbils.

In my experience the best way to house gerbils is in a tank.

Generally for most small pets I recommend against a tank. I would only house gerbils, hamsters, or mice in a tank, and generally I prefer a wire/ plastic cage as it gives better ventilation.

However, gerbils are:

Escape artists and...

It does not take a gerbil long to chew through plastic. The are record fast chewers! 

So it is best to have a chew-proof cage to house gerbils. Which would be either an all metal cage with no plastic (and I just don't like all metal cages very much, they stain easily and the base is never deep enough), or a glass tank/ aquarium. 

Tanks are adequate for gerbils because: 

bedding won't get everywhere (did I mention that gerbils are bedding flingers? They get bedding everywhere when housed in a wire cage)

escape proof (as long as you have a locking lid on top)

chew proof (gerbils can chew through plastic, but they can't chew through glass)

Gerbils seem to be quite happy in a nice large tank, and you will be happy knowing that your gerbils won't end up running free around the house, or ingesting plastic.

Now for size:

A ten gallon tank is fine for one or maybe two gerbils. A twenty gallon tank is good for two or three gerbils, you could possibly fit four though. Just make sure that they have plenty of space and don't look overcrowded.

tips and reminders:

When using a tank to house any animal make sure the lid is wire mesh so that the tank is well ventilated, never use a solid lid!

Quiz Answers!

Here are this week's quiz answers:


Half of you got this one right. The answer is: desert. 

FUN FACT! Because Gerbils natural habitat is a desert, they don't eat or drink very much, so they produce less waste than most small pets, which makes cleaning up after gerbils easier than most small pets.


I finally did a tricky one! The answer is: Chinese Dwarf 

FUN FACT! Because their tails are longer than most hamsters, Chinese Dwarf hamsters are often mistaken as mice.

Don't forget to check out the new quizzes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quiz Answers

Here are the quiz answers:


Most of you got this one right, the answer is: about the size of its eye.


This one was a tricky one! The answer is: dooking.

FUN FACT: Sometimes it is called chirping or squawking (incorrectly, "dooking" is the correct term.)

Don't forget to check out the new quizzes!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What to do when a pet goes missing

What to do when a pet goes missing:

1. Start calling any shelters and vet's offices in your area.

Don't wait! Definitely call shelters and vet's offices right away. Many people don't think to contact an animal shelter when their pet is missing, or they wait too long. A lot of stray animals end up at a shelter. Shelters are generally required by law to hold an animal for a certain period of time before adopting it out or the sad option of euthanizing the animal. Usually that time is about 5 days to a week, but it can be as short as two days or 24 hours depending the local law. So don't wait! If you wait too long, your pet may be adopted or euthanized, and there will be nothing you can do about it.

You can also call animal control and/or local police offices. (Yes police officers often come across stray animals, and some police offices will temporarily hold the animal, so you will want to call them too).

You may want to have a picture or description of your pet and contact info to give to shelters and vets, so that if they do find your pet they can contact you.

If your pet does end up at a shelter, be prepared to show proof of ownership, proof that your pet has had any necessary shots, proof that the animal has been registered, and with most shelters you may need to pay a small fee. Many people get angry about that, but the shelter has been paying for and caring for the animal, and should get payed for that. And it is a very small fee considering the shelter has been feeding and providing necessary medical care.

2. Ask around your neighborhood, street, or town.

They may have found or seen your pet.

3. Put up posters. 

Shelters, rescues, and vets often put up any posters of missing pets if you give them some.

4. If you have facebook or something like that, post about your missing pet, and provide a picture or description of your pet.

It really does work. People post about their missing pets on the shelter's facebook page a lot.

5. Ask around at stores, restaurants, and businesses near you.

Stray pets often head for where there are people and food. Animals are often found in parking lots, and I even know of some dogs that were found in a Home Depot.

6. Make sure you have searched your house/yard, your pet may just be hiding.

Tip: If you are traveling, or your pet tends to wander off, make sure he/she has tags or is microchipped. Microchips are very handy, as shelters and vets check any stray animals for microchips, and if the pet has one they are able to trace the owners.

For small animals:

If you lose a small animal such as a guinea pig, rabbit, bird, hamster, mouse, ferret, etc. here are some helpful tips:

If any of these pets were lost outdoors, contact local shelters and vets in your area, or animal control. Many people don't bother, thinking that no one would find or be able to catch a small pet. That is not the case. I have seen quite a few stray rabbits, and a few months ago the shelter had a stray cockatiel.

If you lost your pet indoors here is what to do:

If it is a rabbit, ferret, guinea pig, or chinchilla, they are large enough that you will probably find them pretty quickly.

Hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats can be trickier to find. Search the house thoroughly.

However if you still can't find them here are some helpful tips:

put out some food and treats (peanut butter is a good one to use for hamsters I have heard)

leave their cage door open

make sure they can get to the cage (if it is up high, put it on the ground)

in the meantime be careful that your small pet isn't caught by any dogs, or cats or other predatory pets

make sure that everyone in the house is careful where they step!

if it is a lost rabbit or rat call their name (rats and rabbits do learn to recognize their name)

Here is a special hamster catching trick (hamsters are escape artists and hard to find!)

Put a bucket or a plastic bin out on the floor in the room or area that your hamster became lost in. 

Provide a ramp or stairs of some sort (you can use stacked books or something) to the top of the bin

Cover the ramp in treats and peanut butter so that the hamster will climb all the way up.

Put blankets or something soft in the bottom of the bin (for the hamster to land on) and a treat inside.

Here's what you want to happen:

The hamster will see the food, climb up the ramp, and because of their poor depth perception will probably fall into the bin (hence the soft blankets). Then you will have caught your missing hamster. 

Make sure their aren't any predatory animals like cats or dogs in the room with the bin, as the hamster won't be able to escape the bin, and therefore won't be able to escape the predator.

Oh! I also remembered that I wanted to add this:

If you check on shelter websites they may have pictures up of stray animals that they have. But don't assume that because you don't see your pet that the shelter doesn't have it! The shelter probably doesn't have time to get around putting up pictures of all their stray animals.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Video!

I know I usually post videos on my other blog,  but this video was a "how-to" video for cleaning a hamster cage so I thought it would be better on my Critter Care blog. 


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quiz Answers are Finally Here!

Here are the quiz answers:


Most of you guessed this one right. The answer is true. Rats can eat chocolate. Rats can eat many of the foods that we humans can. It is just important to remember that just because they can eat it doesn't mean that it is good for them. Rats enjoy sweets quite a bit, but keep them as occasional treats. A healthier sweet treat that rats love are yogurt drops. You can buy them at the pet store, a good brand is called "Yogies".

FUN FACT! : The reason rats can eat most of the foods that we do is that rats are actually very similar to human beings. Which is also why lab rats are used. 

FUN FACT #2: Most animals cannot eat chocolate because of an ingredient found in it called "Theobromine". Theobromine can even be fatal to animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and many other pets and wild animals. However it does not affect humans, and it does not affect rats.


This one was a tricky one. The answer is 270 degrees. This way rabbits can easily hear predators coming.

Don't forget to check out the new quizzes!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quiz update

Sorry for missing this weeks quizzes. I have got two really tricky ones for this week though! Quiz answers and the new quizzes will be up this weekend!

Good and bad signs during bunny bonding

Here is a list of good and bad signs to look for during bunny bonding sessions:

Good signs:

Ignoring each other (this is good because they are choosing not to squabble or fight)

Lying next to each other

Mounting (they are establishing who is top bunny and this is important)*

Grooming (this is great!)

Bunny flop (this is AWESOME!)

Eating together

Sharing the litter box 

* Note: if the rabbit is mounting the other bunny's head, break it up, or the mounting bunny may end up with serious injuries if biting occurs.

Bad signs: (if you see some bad signs, don't worry, nearly all bonding rabbits have a few rough starts, just be patient, and make sure all the rabbits involved are spayed/neutered)







All these things are normal, it will just take some more time for them to get used to each other. The main thing is that you want to try to discourage these behaviors, break up any fights, and try to end the sessions on a good note.

Bunny Bonding supplies list

This is a list of all the things needed for bunny bonding:

A separate cage for the new bunny (they can't live together right away)

A separate litter pan, food dish, water bottle/dish, and toys for the new bunnies cage.

A neutral territory that neither rabbit has ever been in (a bathtub works great) (with no water obviously)

Pet safe deodorizer or vinegar (for cleaning the cage that they move into so that it is neutral and doesn't smell like one of the bunnies)

Gloves (to keep you safe when breaking up any fights that occur)

Spray bottle with water (optional. This can be used for deterring the rabbits from fighting and marking)

Treats or food (this is optional, it can be helpful)

Two towels, blankets, or stuffed animals (optional, these are given to the rabbits and then switched so that they get used to the smell of each other)

And this isn't really a supply, but you should always have the number of a vet you can call incase of injuries or questions.

Oh, and I forgot to mention two very important bonding tips in my last post:

ALWAYS supervise bonding sessions!

You will most likely notice mounting during bonding sessions. Let the rabbits do this, they are establishing who is the dominant one, and it is important if they are going to live together. The only exception is when they are mounting the head of another rabbit, then you MUST separate them because if the bunny being mounted bites, that will be some serious nasty injuries! And if they start fighting, boxing, or biting always break it up!

Bunny Bonding

So if you follow both of my blogs, you will probably have seen that I am planning on getting my rabbit, Munchkin a friend! 

Since I am going to be doing some bunny bonding, I though I would do some informative posts on bunny bonding on this blog. 

Once I get the second rabbit I will keep track of their progress on my other blog "Critter Corner" (link is on the sidebar).

To start out I am going to do a little bunny bonding introduction:

Since rabbits in the wild almost always live with other rabbits, they are very social. Pet rabbits benefit from having a bunny friend. Humans can give them lots of attention, but we can't replace another rabbit, as we can't communicate and understand them perfectly. There isn't anything wrong with having a single rabbit, but it is great for them to have a friend, especially when there aren't any humans around for company.

That said, rabbits do not get along with just any rabbit! Just like people. Most people want to be around other people, but we don't always get along with just anyone! It is best to do some searching and find a rabbit that is compatible with the rabbit you already have. (Unless you are staring out getting two, in which case you can adopt two already bonded rabbits and skip this whole process).

But if you are like me and have a single rabbit and are looking into getting him/her a friend, you might find this post helpful.

The best thing to do is go to a shelter or rescue with your bunny and let him/her pick out the new bunny. 

A few things to remember when bonding:

Take it slowly, don't immediately put the together and let them live together.
Do short daily bonding sessions on neutral territory to minimize disputes
Get the bunnies spayed/ or neutered first
Try to always end on a positive note

I really do emphasize spaying and neutering the bunnies. The best pairs are male and female, so they obviously need to be altered unless  you want them to breed. It is best alter them both. 

Why? Females are much healthier and friendlier after spaying, and intact males will pester even spayed females, so the bonding might not go well.

If you pair up rabbits of the same gender, they should also be spayed/neutered. Trying to bond two intact males will be messy and will involve lots of fights, and urine marking, and they may never get along while still intact. The same goes for females. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Responding to comments

I have a bunch of comments to respond to, so here goes:

 This comment was posted on "Bathing small pets":

Sounds like smaller animals are easiest if you don't want to bathe a pet very often. Dogs, however, are a different story. (Unless you have one of the little guys.) What about cats? I know some people do give them baths. What is your opinion?
-Animal Gram

Generally, when a cat needs a little extra grooming, I would use a dry or foam shampoo meant for cats. That way no water is involved. If it is ABSOLUTELY necessary I will give them a bath with regular cat shampoo and water. But I try not to for my own sake. Although in my shelter experience, I have met a few cats that actually enjoyed baths. But the majority of the cats HATE the water. 

 This comment was posted on"Quiz Answers!!!!":

Aren't beavers' teeth orange, too? I wonder if there are any other orange-toothed critters?

Yes, beavers teeth are orange. Besides beavers and degus here are the other creatures that I know have orange teeth:

Coypu (also known as the river rat or nutria)
A few types of wild rats have yellow to orange teeth, and domestic rats often have brownish-yellow teeth.

Generally only rodents have orange teeth. (yes a porcupine is a rodent)

This comment was posted on "Quiz Answers!!!!":

Interesting! I always like your Fun Facts, too. One question, though - why do rats grind their teeth?
Love and hugs,

Nobody is 100 percent sure why rats grind their teeth. Generally it is thought that they grind their teeth when they are content, and sometimes just grind their teeth to wear them down.

Here is a special FUN FACT!: When rats are bruxing you may notice a phenomenon called "eye boggling". Eye boggling is when the rats eyes are sort of "bulging" in and out. Basically it looks like the eye goes kind of bug-eyed and then back to normal. This phenomenon is created because the muscled that control the jaw movement also affect the eyes.

This comment was posted on "Quiz Answers!!!!":

I'm actually kind of surprised I got the second quiz right last week! I totally just made a guess! Do the other things they do have certain names too?
Great new quizzes! When I went to read over the new quizzes, I didn't expect to see something about chocolate! I always took it for granted that pretty much all animals can't eat chocolate, or just don't! I think this week you may trick some of us!
Sarah :)

There aren't any names that I know of for the other rat behaviors (wagging their tails, bobbing their heads, and wiggling their ears).

I will be answering comments on my other blog: Critter Corner soon too!

I also have videos coming soon on my Critter Corner blog, and I am working on the critter crafts video!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quiz Answers!!!!

Here are this week's quiz answers:


It's funny, I though this question was going to be the easy one and the rat question was going to be tricky, but it turned out vice versa! 

So the answer is: carnivores

Ferrets eat mainly meat. They can eat some grains, but it is best for them to have a diet that is mostly meat. And it is best not to feed vegetables or much fruit to your ferret because they can't digest them well.

FUN FACT: Ferrets love the flavor of raisins! However it is best to only feed them raisin flavored treats and not the actual raisins, because they can't digest them well. And limit the raisin flavored treats.


I was very disappointed. I though this one was going to be really hard! But almost all of you answered it correctly!

The answer is: grinding its teeth

FUN FACT: Rats do all the other choices too! (wag their tails, wiggling their ears, bobbing and swaying their heads). 

Rats wag their tails when they are excited or distressed

Only female rats wiggle their ears, and only when they are in heat. They don't do it often.

Rats bob up and down and sway their heads a lot and the reason is that they have poor eyesight. So they bob and sway to detect motion when they can't see very well.

New quizzes will be up soon!

Small pets and Wheels

Here is a list of small pets and whether wheels are safe for them or not:

First! Always remember any wheel used should be solid, not made of wire mesh or rungs. Why? Little critter tails and feet can easily get caught in the mesh or rungs. The pet could end up injured, and could even lose a tail or limb!

Here is the list:

Hamsters (and mice):

Hamsters should always have a wheel. In the wild they travel miles in search of food, so they get a lot of exercise. A cage doesn't provide the same opportunity for exercise, so they need a wheel. Especially dwarf hamsters! Most dwarf hamsters have ENERGY!


Do gerbils need wheels or not? Some people say yes, some say no. I say it depends on the gerbil, because I have met some that completely ignore it or just pack it full of bedding. But most gerbils seem to love them and gerbils are quite hyperactive in my opinion so if they like the wheel definitely give them one. If your gerbil doesn't use the wheel you can take it out of the cage.


I have talked about wheels with rats before, but I will again. Whether a rat needs a wheel or not depends on the rat. Some rats completely ignore them, some hate them. Provide a wheel and if they like it then keep it in the cage. If they ignore it take it out. If you adopt you can also ask the rescue or shelter if the rats like their wheel. Make sure the wheel is large enough (at least 11 inches)

Note: If you have multiple rats and some like the wheel, while others do not, keep the wheel in the cage so that the rats that do want to use it can. If they all don't like it then you can take it out.

Guinea Pigs: 

Giving guinea pigs wheels is an absolute NO-NO. Here's why: Guinea pigs backs aren't meant to bend and curve, so when they are in the round wheel, it causes spinal damage, and can result in injuries and even paralysis of the back legs. I have seen this before. Guinea pigs spines are very sensitive and easily injured. For exercise give them floor-time in a pet proof room or pen.


Don't use wheels with rabbits. First of all, rabbits hop, they do not "run" in the way that other animals do, so they can't use a wheel properly. And anyway, you won't find a wheel big enough for most rabbits, and most likely the rabbit would not use it as a wheel. They would probably just throw it around and play with it. So no wheels for rabbits. Instead let them have free-range floor time in a rabbit proofed area for a couple hours each day for exercise.


Ferrets are very long, so I have never ever seen a wheel big enough for one. And like rabbits, ferrets do not really run they way animals that use the wheels do. They kind of "bounce". Instead of wheels give ferrets floor time in a ferret-proofed area. You can also provide tunnels which ferrets love to play in.


Chinchillas should have a wheel but make sure it is the BIGGEST wheel you can find and that it is solid not mesh.


Wheels are great for degus, and in my degu experience, they LOVE them! But it is EXTRA important that with degus you do not use wheels with wire mesh or rungs. Degus tails are extremely sensitive and can easily break off. (or the skin of the tail may come off leaving the rest behind). So definitely use a SOLID wheel with degus.