Tag: hamster

Pet Litter – The Best Types for Your Pet!

If you have a cat, rabbit, or other small critter like a hamster you purchase pet litter regularly. Maybe at the time you got your pet you didn’t look into it that much. Litter is litter, right? Well, sort of. Would you love to improve the process of cleaning up after your pet? Is your litter choice healthy? Read on while we break down the types and help you improve your pets bathroom experience!

Pet Litter – The Cat Edition

Did you know that before WWII people filled their cats litter boxes with sand, dirt, or ashes? Not the cleanest options to be honest. At the time, the military was using absorbent clay to clean up oil spills in factories and a former sailor had an idea – thus pet litter was born!

Clay litter was a big improvement over sand or dirt. It didn’t stick to the cats paws and get tracked around as much. It also helped with odor control. We’ve come a long way since the technology of WWII though! Clumping cat litter was later developed allowing pet owners to simply remove the soiled clay instead of replacing it all.

Now clay pet litters even come in scented varieties. While this may be nice for us, most pets don’t care for it. Be sure to gauge your pets reaction before you stock up on it.

Other natural pet litter options include litter made from recycled paper pellets, pine pulp, and even corn cobs! Many of these options don’t combat odor the way clay does, and will have to be changed more frequently too.

Small Animal Bedding and Litter

While clay based pet litter may be the best option for cats, it’s usually the worst choice for other critters. Many small animals like hamsters or gerbils live and sleep in the same material they use for litter. Wood chips like pine or aspen are most often used for these small creatures, though a paper option like the CareFresh bedding/litter is also a popular, though more expensive choice. These creatures will often have a designated area of their cage where they do most of their bathroom business. Regardless of litter choice, it’s important to regularly refresh this area.

Paper fiber litter is an ideal choice for a rabbits litter box, as it tracks very little and absorbs well. Aspen pellets are a great choice for absorption, though some pets enjoy fluffier material. Aspen chips or fiber over the pellets can be a great combination. Avoid pine chips for rabbit litter however. Pine, when soaked in rabbit urine can create unhealthy fumes for your pet.

Whatever litter choice works best for you and your pet, be sure that you keep their bathroom area clean. Many pets won’t use poorly kept litter boxes!

photo credit: Carly & Art Eco-Bun Henrietta knows a grand way to reuse packing material via photopin (license)

Classroom Pets – What You Need to Know!

The summer has blown by and back-to-school is just around the corner! Are you a teacher or a parent? Did you have a classroom pet when you went to school? Maybe you’re a student who’d like to have one?Classroom pets offer a variety of cool and interesting ways to learn and engage students. They are also an obligation though. Let us walk you through some of the ups and downs!

What sort of animal makes a good classroom pet?

Not a dog or a cat for sure! Low maintenance animals are best. Ideally, it’s not a critter that needs to be taken home every night, is small and doesn’t cause classroom disturbance.

  • Guinea Pigs – Small, relatively quiet. They require minimal care, are generally calm and easy to handle. You will need to have a pair though to prevent boredom and loneliness.
  • Hamsters – All the same features of a guinea pig, but smaller. They do tend to be nocturnal though, so students will see less of their prime activity hours.
  • Lizards – Iguanas, bearded dragons, and the like make super low maintenance classroom pets. Their needs will vary slightly depending on the type you get but they usually require less food, interaction, and are easy to handle.
  • Rats – Nice clean pet shop rats (not the ones from the alley!) are a super smart and active classroom pet. Students can spend time building mazes and test the rat’s brain power! They are also less likely to bite than hamsters or mice.
  • Fish – Probably the lowest maintenance pet, but also likely the one with the least amount of reward. They can add a nice, calming atmosphere to the classroom though and make good study subjects for aquatic science! Also, consider hermit crabs!

Classroom Pet Pro’s

Pets in the learning space can provide exciting new ways for students to engage with their curriculum. Animals can frequently be easily incorporated into math (animal weight, food measurements), science, and even history, social studies, and literature! They also instill a sense of responsibility and respect for life in children. They can also have a great calming effect on nervous or upset students. Plus, parents might appreciate seeing how their student interacts with a classroom pet before committing to one in the home!

Classroom Pet Con’s

Most of the cons have to do with the added responsibility on the teachers part. Teachers are, ultimately, responsible for the welfare of the pet. They need to ensure students are performing daily feedings and care properly and that the pet’s living space is kept clean. They are also responsible for vet visits (though some schools may foot the bill), shots, and spaying/neutering. It’s also important for the pet to have a place to go during vacations, or even the weekends depending on the animal.  It’s also suggested that parents give their expressed permission for their child to interact with the school pet, in the case of a rogue bite or scratch.

photo credit: Ukelens Guinea Pig Photoshooting Selection via photopin (license)

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