Best Small Pets for Cuddling

In a report by the American Pet Products Association, 67% of American families own a pet. While the dogs and their feline counterparts...

Best Small Pets for Cuddling

In a report by the American Pet Products Association, 67% of American families own a pet. While the dogs and their feline counterparts are the most common pets for most families, small animals can also make great pets for both adults and children. No matter what age you are, it is difficult to resist the charm and beauty of furry small animals like hamsters, mice, Gibers, small birds, chinchillas, and rabbits. They provide their owners with some cheap entertainment and great companionship.Besides learning how to be responsible, owning a pet can provide you several significant physical and mental benefits as well. Cuddling a pet has mental health advantages such as relieving high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. It also has proven physical advantages such as helping people reduce their risk of a heart attack and lowering their blood pressure. Small pets generally help bring joy and cheer into a home. Consider the pets below.

RabbitsRabbits are fluffy and cuddly creatures that make great pets for cuddling. They are entertaining, affectionate, and interesting animals that everyone in the family would love. These fluffy mammals have a variety of personalities, which range from shy and quiet to playful and fun, to suit their owners.If you are a loving, caring, and responsible owner, you can easily create a bond with the rabbits. Their common ways of showing affection include squealing, licking, following you around, jumping in the air snuggling, and running around your feet.Despite being affectionate, these animals can specifically respond well when handled correctly. Every owner needs to learn and understand the various ways that you should handle a rabbit. For instance, rabbits hate when their owners pick them up by their ears but would rather prefer some cuddling while being held or while on the ground. Failure to stick to the recommended handling tactics, the rabbit could end up scratching or nipping you. Hence, you should always be extra vigilant if you let younger kids cuddle or pet them.

RatsMany people would cringe at the idea of nestling a rat on their lap and cuddling it. However, Rats can also make great pets for kids especially for cuddling. These rodents, unfortunately, have a negative reputation, and are considered vicious and creepy, are disease carriers and live in deplorable conditions under the sewers. Luckily, for you, sewer rats are not the species we suggest you try to cuddle.There are fancier rat species that are way cleaner and better looking than sewer rats. These particular species of rats display a higher level of affection, loyalty, and intelligence to their owners. The rats are very sociable and show high empathy and playfulness. They mainly show their affection by playing games, sitting on your shoulder, snuggling, and licking. With proper training, some of these fancy rats can even learn how to solve puzzles.

CockatoosMany people would not consider birds as affectionate creatures capable of providing their human owners with any level of comfort or loyalty. They tend to be skittish and unintelligent. However, the Cockatoo bird species make the avian community proud by being one of the most affectionate and loyal bird pets. This exotic bird thrives on love, close physical contact, and affection from their human owner.These birds are known to be extra playful, affectionate, and cuddly especially when they develop a tight bond with their owners at a very young age. They rely on the attention and affection of their owners so much that if withheld for a while, they tend to adopt some anti-social behavior. Cockatoos are ideal pets for people who need constant company from their pets. If you cannot keep them company, you can alternatively get them a companion from the same avian species.These birds can live between 40-80 years, so you had better be ready to commit to having a lifelong friend. When treated affectionately, Cockatoos show compassion by kissing, snuggling, letting you handle them, demanding attention, and following your movements.

Guinea PigsGuinea Pigs are the smallest pet animals that people love to cuddle and for a good reason. These furry little animals are as cute as a button, easy to take care of and have the potential to be very affectionate. The degree of loyalty and affection you can get from guinea pigs depends a lot, on how you handle your pet.Once you get one of these pets, you should be patient and gentle enough to give them time to acclimate to their new surroundings. Since larger animals usually prey on them, they tend to live in a constant state of fear. Hence, you should be gentle with them during the first few weeks, doing all you can to avoid scaring them. If you are not patient enough, you can scare the Guinea pig into adopting a shy and fearful personality.These animals are generally affectionate because they thrive in tightly bonded groups. If isolated from their group, they tend to get gloomy and lose their affection because they miss the interaction from other guinea pigs. Experts state that the more guinea pigs you keep, the happier each of them gets.

FerretsFerrets are undeniably playful pets that tend to be mischievous and playful. They make great pets especially for kids who enjoy cuddling small animals. It is very entertaining to watch these little animals play. If you are in good terms with ferrets, they can even let you join in and it can lift even the dampest of moods.Due to their high energy levels and playfulness, if you adopt a ferret, you should also consider getting plenty of toys for it to play with. They are also very social animals and crave for companionship from other Ferrets. Hence, you must keep more than one ferret at home. They not only provide companionship for the other pet but also increase the amount of fun and affection the owner can get.Many ferret owners describe them as affectionate and great for cuddling. They are also very smart and are good at adapting to new habitats and great problem solvers with surprising persistence. You can bond with your ferret over some challenging puzzles, toys, and games.

 HamstersBecause hamsters are nocturnal animals, they are usually the first pet of choice for parents looking for a starter pet for their young child. These furry little creatures are very affectionate and crave human interaction. The only downside to owning a hamster is that they not easily trusting animals. You have to give them time to feel comfortable enough to show their affection.Due to their non-trusting nature, these animals are shy when handled by a large group of people. They are happier and more comfortable when handled by just one person and sometimes two owners. They tend to recognize their owners through their keen sense of smell and mostly recoil when approached by an unfamiliar person.Their small size can inhibit the owner a chance to show their affection or even notice when they reciprocate. However, when you gently stroke the hamster's fur in one direction, feed it some vegetables or morsels of non-sugary cereals, the hamster can learn to trust you. It will, in turn, reciprocate by perching on your shoulder or get into your shirt pocket to be closer to you.Hamsters also tend to stand on their hind legs when they recognize your voice or smell and want to interact with you.[caption id="attachment_808" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]

Chinchillas Willow and Gizmo at East Road Pets in Invercargill yesterday. PHOTO: SHARON REECE[/caption]ChinchillasMany people may not consider a chinchilla an appropriate animal to offer affection through cuddling. They, however, can be very loving to their owners even if they do not explicitly show it. These animals are naturally curious and enjoy exploring their environment, so if you want to gain the trust of a chinchilla as a pet, you should let them out of their cages occasionally.These pets are ideal for the busy kind of pet owners who may not be able to dedicate a lot of their daytime caring for their pets. Chinchillas are nocturnal creatures and typically spend their day sleeping. Therefore, you can go about your daily schedules without worrying if your pet is lonesome and craves for attention.These furry animals require a high level of commitment from their owners. Unlike other rodents whose lifespan spreads to a few years, chinchillas tend to live up to 15 years. Some are even known to have a lifespan of 20 years. This means that by adopting one, you have an opportunity to nurture a deep, meaningful, and long relationship with your pet.However, not all pets are great at providing comfort to their overwhelmed or stressed up owners, some tend to be more affectionate than others are. Small pets are especially popular for both adults and children because they offer more cuddling opportunities. You can snuggle them on your lap, perch them on your shoulder or simply cuddle them on the palm of your hands. Not all small animals are cute, cuddly, and ready to offer you unlimited affection. You have to ensure that you look for an appropriate breed and animal species that can comfortably fit in your family.