Top 10 Small Pets That Could Be Right for Kids


10 Hedgehogs

A hedgehog is one of the Erinaceinae subfamily’s spiny mammals in the Erinaceidae eulipotyphlan family. There are 17 species of hedgehog found in five genera through parts of Europe , Asia, and Africa, and by introduction in New Zealand. There are no Australian-born hedgehogs and no American-born living animals.

Hedgehogs share a distant lineage with shrews probably being the intermediate connection with gymnastics, and they have changed little in the last 15 million years. They have adapted to a nocturnal way of life like many of the first mammals. Their spiny defense resembles that of the unrelated porcupines, which are rodents, and echidnas, a form of monotreme.

Guinea pigs

The guinea pig or domestic guinea pig, also known as cavy or domestic cavy, is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Given their common name, the guinea pigs are not native to Guinea, nor are they closely related to pigs biologically, and the name ‘s meaning is still uncertain.

A guinea pig, when fully grown, can measure between 8 and 12 inches from nose to tip of the tail. They are incredibly sweet, cuddly and enjoy socializing with their owners and other pigs of guinea. They have a 5-10 year life cycle and are perfect as “starter pet,” ideal for children of any age group. Guinea pigs are more light-tempered than hamsters and are less likely to bite, but need more care because they need daily exercise, their diet consists of commercially available pellets as well as hay and occasional fruits and vegetables.


Because of its cute looks, fuzzy coat and fairly inexpensive care requirements, hamsters are extremely common. They ‘re generally fine with being treated, but smaller breeds, particularly females, can get nippy and temperamental. The larger breeds, such as the Syrian hamster, are much safer if you want your kids to play with them, since the larger breeds are not as delicate and are very docile and well handled. The hamster is a very solitary and self-entertaining animal and your children don’t have to exercise it as long as there are holes, boxes or wheels in their cage.


Rats are large long-tailed rodents of medium scale. Rat species are present in the Rodentia order but there are common rats in the Rattus genus. Certain rat genera include Neotoma, Dipodomys, and Bandicota. Typically, Rats differentiate themselves from mice by their size.

They are also really playful creatures, and like to interact with toys, or things like rolls and ropes on paper towels. They can be treated quite a lot, they are also very relaxed and sweet. Rats are the perfect little pets if you want to build a close bond with your first pet, since rats are highly sociable and intelligent. For a being that is so tiny they have a strong memory, and they can live on food pellets that you will buy at the pet store.


A gerbil is a small mammal of the subfamily Gerbillinae in the order Rodentia. Once known as desert rats, the gerbil subfamily includes about 110 species of African, Indian, and Asian rodents, including sand rats and jirds, all of which are adapted to arid habitats. Most are mainly active during the day, making them diurnal  and almost all are omnivorous. Gerbils are related to mice and rats; they both belong to the family Muridae.

They ‘re pretty inexpensive and a ten gallon tank should be enough for a couple of these cute little rodents. They can be carried and cuddled with but be careful not to hurt the little creatures because they are very responsive. Gerbils come in a lot of colors and the best thing about them is they’re odorless and remain very clean. Gerbils, unlike hamsters, are not nocturnal, either. They are also very confident, and can stay amused for long periods of time.

 5 Ferrets

The ferret is the domesticated version of the European polecat, a rodent belonging to the same genus as the weasel, Mustela, in the family Mustelidae. Their fur is usually brown, black, white, or mixed. Ferrets are very healthy, highly inquisitive and very agile animals. Not to mention that they are both super adorable and fuzzy. These also have longer lifespan, at about 8-10 years, than other other pets. The ferret is an animal that can race around the house if let out of its cage to explore every nook and cranny, and you need to make sure that someone responsible is present when the ferret gets out of his cage.


Chinchillas are either of two species of crepuscular rodents of the parvorder Caviomorpha. They are slightly larger and more robust than ground squirrels, and are native to the Andes mountains in South America. They live in colonies called “herds” at high elevations of up to 4,270 m.

We have a dark, velvety haircoat. Even their fur coat is so velvety that it would be the perfect thing to keep your new pet. Chinchillas aren’t very relaxed cuddling, so let them run up to you inside. The chinchilla is very large for an adult at around 12 inches in length, the females are bigger than the males. We also have zero body odor and before days, even their droppings do not emit an odour.

Hermit Crab

Most species have long, spirally curved abdomen that are smooth, unlike the stiff, calcified abdomen seen in crustaceans related to it. The fragile abdomen is protected from predators by the hermit crab carrying a salvaged, empty seashell into which its entire body can retract. Hermit crabs most frequently use the shells of sea snails. The tip of the abdomen of the hermit crab is modified to tightly grip onto the snail shell columella.

They need an aquarium with a half-foot thick layer of sand and some stones to climb and play with on top. Older kids can handle the hermit crab but it’s best to let the crab do their own thing. It is more of a calm, friendly animal and isn’t really the type of creature you should cuddle with or play with. You’ll look at it from a distance as it travels slowly around the pit, burrowing into the sand to cover its tiny nose.


Parrots, also known as psittacines, are birds of around 393 species in 92 genera, consisting of the order Psittaciformes, mainly found in tropical and subtropical areas. The order is broken down into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea, the Cacatuoidea, and the Strigopoidea.

By nature they are playful and engaging, not to mention the very beautiful reality to look at. Including simple green to animals that look like a modern art painting, they come in a variety of sizes and colours. The parrot lives for very long periods, and some species may live for up to 80 years or longer.


Rabbits are small mammals of the order Lagomorpha in the family Leporidae. Oryctolagus cuniculus comprises the genus of European rabbits and their descendants, the 305 breeds of domestic rabbits worldwide. Sylvilagus contains 13 species of wild rabbits including the seven cottontail forms.

Rabbits are incredibly sweet, intelligent and cuddly pets with a playful disposition. They are however not recommended for small children as the rabbit does not like to be handled roughly and is easily surprised by a little kid’s rapid movements. They are great but small pets for older children though as the rabbit is a rather calm and peaceful animal with a very soft fur coat.