What is the cleanest rodent pet?

What is the Cleanest Rodent Pet? A Guide to Low-Maintenance Options

If you’re considering getting a pet rodent, you might be wondering which one is the cleanest. After all, cleanliness is an important factor to consider when choosing a pet, especially if you or someone in your household has allergies or respiratory issues. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that determine the cleanliness of a pet rodent and provide you with some top options for clean rodent pets.

A white hamster sits in a spotless, spacious cage with fresh bedding and a shiny exercise wheel

Factors Determining Cleanliness When it comes to cleanliness, there are several factors to consider when choosing a pet rodent. One of the most important factors is the animal’s natural habits and behaviors. Some rodents, such as hamsters and gerbils, are known for being relatively clean animals that groom themselves regularly. Others, like rats, can be messier and require more frequent cage cleaning. The type of bedding and cage setup you choose can also impact the cleanliness of your pet rodent.

Top Clean Rodent Pets So, which rodents make the best pets if you’re looking for a clean option? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, some of the top options include chinchillas, gerbils, and mice. These animals are known for being relatively clean, low-maintenance pets that are easy to care for. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every animal is different, and individual pets may have their own unique personalities and habits that impact their cleanliness.

Factors Determining Cleanliness

A hamster sits in a spotless cage, surrounded by fresh bedding and a clean water bottle. The food dish is free of debris, and the hamster's fur is groomed and shiny

When choosing a rodent pet, it’s important to consider their cleanliness. Factors that determine the overall cleanliness of a rodent pet include grooming habits, cage maintenance, and odor control.

Grooming Habits

Some rodents are more fastidious in their grooming habits than others. For example, rats are known for being fastidious groomers and spend a significant amount of time keeping themselves clean. On the other hand, hamsters and mice are not as diligent in their grooming habits and may require more frequent cleaning to keep them clean and odor-free.

Cage Maintenance

The cleanliness of a rodent’s cage is directly related to their overall cleanliness. Regular cage cleaning is essential to prevent the buildup of waste and bacteria that can cause odors and health problems. The frequency of cage cleaning depends on the type of rodent and the size of the cage. For example, hamsters and mice require more frequent cage cleaning than rats and guinea pigs.

Odor Control

Rodents can produce strong odors, especially if their cages are not cleaned regularly. However, some rodents are naturally less smelly than others. Gerbils and chinchillas are known for being the least smelly rodents to keep as pets, while mice and hamsters are the smelliest. Proper cage maintenance and regular grooming can also help control odors.

In summary, when choosing a rodent pet, consider their grooming habits, cage maintenance needs, and odor control. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that you choose a clean and hygienic pet that will be a joy to care for.

Top Clean Rodent Pets

A white hamster in a spotless, spacious cage with fresh bedding and a clean exercise wheel

If you’re looking for a clean and low-maintenance pet, rodents can be a great option. Here are some of the cleanest rodents you can consider as pets:


Gerbils are known for being clean animals. They spend a lot of time grooming themselves and their companions, which helps to keep their fur clean and free of odors. In addition, gerbils produce very little waste, which means you won’t have to clean their cages as often as you would with other rodents. They are also social animals and enjoy living in pairs or groups, which can be a fun and interactive experience for you and your family.


Hamsters are another popular choice for people looking for a clean and low-maintenance pet. They are known for being relatively odor-free and produce very little waste. However, it’s important to note that some species of hamsters are more social than others, so you’ll want to do your research before choosing a hamster as a pet. Syrian hamsters, for example, are solitary animals and prefer to live alone, while dwarf hamsters can be kept in pairs or groups.

Fancy Rats

Fancy rats are intelligent and social animals that are known for being easy to train and keep clean. They groom themselves regularly and are relatively odor-free, making them a good choice for people who are sensitive to smells. In addition, fancy rats are very social animals and enjoy interacting with their owners. They are also active and playful, which can be entertaining to watch.

When it comes to choosing a clean rodent pet, there are many factors to consider. However, gerbils, hamsters, and fancy rats are all great options if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet that is easy to keep clean and odor-free.


A white mouse stands on a spotless, shiny surface, surrounded by fresh bedding and clean water bottle

When it comes to selecting a clean rodent pet, there are several resources available that can provide you with useful information. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends housing as a critical component of owning a healthy and safe pet rodent. Many of the cages sold in pet stores are too small for your rodent to experience a good quality of life and perform its natural behaviors. Therefore, it is important to choose a cage that is spacious and easy to clean. You can find a wide range of rodent cages on Amazon or at your local pet store.

Another resource you can use is the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical & Biomedical Sciences department. They provide a list of the average lifespan of different rodents, which can help you choose a pet that suits your lifestyle. For example, mice and hamsters live one to two years, rats two to three years, gerbils three to five years, guinea pigs five to seven years, and chinchillas live eight to 12 years or longer. It is important to keep in mind that the lifespan of a rodent can vary depending on its genetics, diet, and environment.

If you are concerned about the smell of your rodent pet, Gerbil Welfare provides a complete guide on the least smelly rodent pets. According to their research, gerbils and chinchillas are the most hygienic rodents to keep as pets. They produce little waste, and their cages require minimal cleaning. Mice and hamsters, on the other hand, are the smelliest. They pee often, and their urine has a strong, unpleasant odor.

Overall, these resources can help you make an informed decision when selecting a clean rodent pet. By providing you with information on housing, lifespan, and smell, you can choose a pet that suits your lifestyle and preferences.


A white mouse sits in a spotless cage, surrounded by fresh bedding and clean water. The rodent nibbles on a carrot, its fur gleaming in the soft light

In conclusion, when it comes to the cleanest rodent pets, there are a few options to consider. Rats are often considered one of the cleanest rodents, as they have grooming behaviors similar to cats and are instinctively inclined to maintain a clean living area. They also have the ability to wash their food before eating it, reducing the risk of illness.

Another option to consider is degus. These unique and intelligent rodents are gaining popularity as pets. They are social animals and thrive when kept in same-sex pairs or small groups. They also have a natural inclination towards cleanliness and can be litter trained.

Gerbils are also a good option when it comes to clean rodent pets. They are fastidious groomers and will often clean themselves throughout the day. They also have a natural instinct to keep their living area clean and will often bury their waste.

Overall, when considering a clean rodent pet, it is important to keep their living area clean and maintain good hygiene practices. Regularly cleaning their cage, providing fresh water and food, and providing them with plenty of opportunities to exercise and play will help keep them healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions

A hamster stands in a spotless, spacious cage with fresh bedding and a clean wheel. Its fur is sleek and shiny, and it looks content

Which rodent is the best pet for a beginner?

If you are new to pet ownership, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and mice are the easiest rodents to keep as pets. These small animals make great pets for first-time owners and require minimal care. Hamsters are a popular choice for beginners as they are easy to handle and care for. Gerbils are also a great option as they are social animals and can be kept in pairs.

What are some large rodent pets that can be kept domestically?

If you are looking for a larger rodent pet, capybaras, the world’s largest rodent, can be kept as pets domestically. However, they require a lot of space and care, so they are not recommended for beginners. Another large rodent pet that can be kept domestically is the Patagonian mara, which is similar in size to a small dog.

Can you provide a list of rodent pets suitable for home living?

Sure, here is a list of rodent pets that are suitable for home living:

  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Guinea pigs
  • Chinchillas
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Degus

Which rodent pet is most appropriate for children?

Rats are a great option for children as they are social animals and enjoy being handled. They are also intelligent and can be trained to do tricks. Guinea pigs are another good option for children as they are gentle and easy to handle.

What are some exotic rodent pets that can be kept as companions?

Some exotic rodent pets that can be kept as companions include sugar gliders, hedgehogs, and flying squirrels. However, it’s important to note that these animals require specialized care and are not recommended for beginners.

Which rodent pet is known for being the most friendly?

Guinea pigs are known for being the most friendly rodent pets. They are gentle, social animals that enjoy being handled and spending time with their owners. Rats are also known for being friendly and enjoy interacting with their owners.

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