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Small Pet Questions

Animal expert Marc Morrone answers your questions about rabbits, hamsters, and other small pets.
Martha Stewart Living Television

My teddy bear hamster keeps gnawing at the cage door even though I bought her a chew log. What can I do to stop the gnawing? Will it hurt her teeth?
There's little you can do to stop her from gnawing since it's an ingrained behavior for all rodents. It won't hurt her teeth, but if you'd prefer she gnaw on something else, try putting small bits of wood in the cage. Tiny branches that contain sap, such as maple, cherry, or birch, will be the most appealing to your pet.

I have a rabbit that won't eat any kind of rabbit food that I give him. What should I feed him?
Grass hay, such as Timothy hay, is the best foundation of a rabbit's diet, and it can be supplemented with assorted vegetables -- especially greens -- and a plain pellet food. Many commercial brands of rabbit food have treats in them that appeal to a rabbit's sweet tooth. Typically, a rabbit will pick out the sweets and leave the rest, so a uniform pellet brand is the best bet.

I am getting a ferret soon and need to know how to take care of it.
Ferrets require a significant amount of care. More, in fact, than many people expect -- there is a lot of information you'll need to know. Fortunately, there's no shortage of information about ferrets, whether it be in the numerous books available in bookstores or websites such as ferretuniverse.com.

What is the best thing to line a rabbit's cage with? Would a soft blanket be okay?
A soft blanket isn't the best idea as it will most likely bunch up in a corner and become somewhat messy. Try a clean bedding such as Carefresh or even a straw doormat.

Comments (4)

  • MSLO_Melissa 26 Apr, 2011

    Hi Kaylg. Your daughters would probably enjoy our "Pets for Small Spaces" episode. Rats play a prominent role. Clips from that show are here: http://www.marthastewart.com/show/petkeeping/pets-for-small-spaces

  • evaphink 15 Mar, 2011

    hi marc i have a dwarf hamster and she has oil from her neck to almost her butt i have given her baby wipe baths and that doesnt seem to work i have even given her baths with soap and water but i wanted to know if i could use the dust bath that chins use thanks marc

  • Kaylg 13 Jan, 2011

    My twin teenage daughters were watching your show one day and noticed that you had several breeds of pocket pets, but you omitted the one they have and adore. The following are their comments and questions:

    Where are the rats?
    I noticed you have a topic on pocket pets, but you don't mention rats. Rats are wonderful pets, and have many positive qualities.My sister and I have three each, all of different breeds! we would love to see some on your show!
    signed,
    Katy and Geni

  • suicidaldream 2 Apr, 2009

    marc why would u say that hamsters can be kept in pairs? syrians are solitary and no matter the relation can NOT be housed togther once adults. only dwarf can. please edit the website.