Small animals as pets extend beyond cats, dogs, fish and birds. Rodents or other small mammals such as ferrets, mice, rats, chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters, or rabbits commonly make excellent pets. Other unusual small animals such as potbelly pigs, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, skunks, sugar gliders, raccoons, monkeys, and even tarantulas can be considered small pets. Their size and ease of management make them desirable, but health considerations, as well as legal concerns need exploration before purchase.
Pocket pet is a term commonly used to refer to any small mammal kept as a pet. This includes mostly rodents such as hamsters, gerbils, fancy mice, fancy rats, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. However, non-rodent pets such as ferrets, sugar gliders, and rabbits are sometimes categorized as pocket pets. The group is slowly expanding in scope as well, with the recent surge in popularity of the Degu. The physical ability to fit an animal into one's pocket is not necessarily a requirement to call it a pocket pet.