Adopting small animals

Adopting small animals

Adopting a small animal

Buying a pet rabbit, guinea pig, ferret, bird, rat or mouse means that you are prepared to take on a serious daily commitment to care for the animal for a number of years.

Children can learn about caring for others, the responsibilities involved in having a pet in the household, and the unconditional love that a pet will give. Parents, however, must at all times guide children in their choice of a pet and the husbandry of the animal, and be prepared to supervise the day-to-day care so the animal’s needs are met. See the RSPCA Australia knowledgebase for general care and feeding information.

Most of our small pets also feature on our Adoptapet site.


Guinea PigsGuinea Pigs (Cavies)

Guinea Pigs are interesting and fun little characters. Given the right facilities, they are easy to care for and with good handling, they can become quite tame and will enjoy sitting with you for some companionship. Because they are social animals, it is necessary that more than one pet guinea pig be kept for companionship.



Domestic rabbits are inquisitive, fun-loving and make very appealing pets. They are social animals which, with a little time and patience, can be house and toilet-trained and make great companions. Rabbits need regular exercise outside their hutch in a safe area under supervision.



Ferrets make interesting and amusing pets. They are inquisitive, friendly and can be quite mischievous animals who love to investigate. Ferrets aren't cage animals; they need about the same living area as a small dog. Ferrets are sociable creatures and will enjoy spending time indoors with you.

Mice and ratsMice & Rats

Mice and rats can make excellent little pets and are very popular with children. They are inquisitive and generally gentle little pets provided they are handled gently and appropriately. They need a large house and opportunities to exercise. They are social creatures and should not be kept alone.

Rats are intelligent, affectionate creatures. They like to spend a lot of time resting and grooming themselves, and their personalities will thrive with lots of physical and mental stimulation. Rats love company, so keeping a same-sex pair is ideal. With regular handling, rats will happily curl up on your lap for a snooze and enjoy exploring the world perched upon your shoulder.


Domesticated birds are attractive and easy to care for. Birds are a great first pet, and they can help to teach children about the responsibilities of pet ownership. Birds are social and should be kept in at least a compatible pair. Birds should have access to a flight aviary or be given regular opportunities to fly in a safe environment (such as indoors).

Search the Adoptapet site to see what small animals are currently available for adoption.