What kind of habitats small exotic mammal need to stay healthy and happy?

What kind of habitat does my small exotic mammal need to stay healthy and happy?


Congratulations on adding a new small exotic mammal to your household! Whether it’s a hedgehog, an opossum, or another small species, you will now have the opportunity to observe your pet up close and bond with it. That being said, you’ll want to make sure your pet has the environment it needs to stay healthy and happy.

Small mammals are creatures of habit and need specific care requirements to thrive in captivity. From temperature to humidity levels to the size of their habitat, these factors play an important role in the longevity and welfare of your pet. In this article, we’ll discuss the habitat needs of small exotic mammals so that you can provide them with a comfortable living space.

Creating the Perfect Habitat for a Small Exotic Mammal

When it comes to keeping a small exotic mammal healthy and happy, having an appropriate habitat is essential. To make sure you provide your little friend with the best possible home, there are a few things you should consider.

First, the enclosure should be spacious enough for your small exotic mammal to move around and exercise—this will not only help them to stay active and healthy but also prevent boredom. The enclosure’s size should be a minimum of 3 times the length and width of your mammal’s body, and it should allow for vertical space and horizontal space so they have plenty of room to move around.

Second, make sure there are enough hiding places for your small exotic mammal to feel secure. Having plenty of options for them to hide in will give them their own private corner away from disturbance or other animals that might be inside their enclosure. It also provides an opportunity for them to sleep or rest, which is essential for their good health.

Finally, check the temperature in the enclosure: all animals need access to both warm and cool areas in order to regulate their body temperature properly. A temperature between 22-28°C is recommended; too hot or too cold could be damaging to your pet’s health. Moreover, regular cleaning of the enclosure is important in order to maintain a healthy environment for your pet.

Temperature, Lighting, and Humidity Requirements

The habitat of your small exotic mammal is just as important as the nutrition it receives and the interactions it has with you. Below are some of the key parameters you should look out for to create a healthy environment for your furry friend.


The ideal temperature range for most small exotic mammals is between 65-85°F, with some species needing slightly cooler or warmer temperatures depending on their natural environment. It’s important to ensure that there is adequate ventilation in your pet’s habitat and that you monitor their body temperature if exposed to excessively hot or cold temperatures, which can cause adverse health effects.


The habitat should be designed so that it mimics the day-night cycle to help reduce stress on your pet. Provide a light source during the day, either natural light or artificial/LED bulbs, and ensure there are no bright or harsh lights in the night area.


Depending on the species, humidity levels can range from 40-60%. It is best to keep within this range as excessive humidity could lead to moisture-related diseases while low humidity can dry out the skin of your pet, leading to more serious health issues. Ensure that there is a humidity monitor in place and regularly clean out any debris or dirt in order to maintain an optimal level of hygiene in the habitat.

Sleeping Environments and Bedding Materials

When it comes to the materials you’ll need for your small exotic mammal’s sleeping environment, there are a few essential items to have on hand. Like any other living creature, your small exotic mammal needs comfortable and safe bedding material in order to rest and relax.

For most small mammals, like sugar gliders, hamsters, and gerbils, you’ll want to make sure that you provide them with soft nesting material for their sleeping space, such as shredded fabric or soft paper-based material like toilet paper. Make sure that the bedding is clean and changed regularly—it’s important to keep your small mammal’s sleeping area sanitized.

You can also provide additional toys and materials for your small mammal’s sleeping space for them to play with or hide within during the day—think of things like bark chips, carpeted platforms, tubes, or even just fabric cubes. The more comfortable your pet is in its sleeping area, the better!

Recommended Diets for Small Exotic Mammals

Now that you know what type of habitat your small exotic mammal needs, you should also be aware of their dietary requirements. You should consult a veterinarian or an expert to understand the specific food requirements, but here are some general recommendations.

Fruits and Vegetables

It’s important to provide your small exotic mammal with a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. These should make up a large portion of their daily intake, as they are full of essential vitamins and minerals. Try to offer a variety of different fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, bell peppers, and apples.

Protein Sources

Small exotic mammals require some protein in their diets. This can come from animal sources such as eggs, cooked poultry, or fish, or from plant sources like tofu, nuts, and seeds. Feeding your small exotic mammal high-quality proteins will help them stay healthy and strong.

Other Foods

In addition to fruits, vegetables, and protein sources, there are other foods that can add variety and nutrition to your pet’s diet. These can include cooked grains like brown rice or quinoa as well as insects such as mealworms or waxworms. Talk to a veterinarian about how much of each type of food your small exotic mammal needs for optimal health.

By providing the right combination of habitat conditions and dietary necessities for your small exotic mammal, you will ensure that they stay healthy and live a long life with you!

Exercise, Enrichment, and Interactions

It’s important to make sure your small exotic mammal has plenty of exercise, enrichment, and interaction with their environment. This will help keep them healthy and happy.

Exercise is essential for your pet’s health and mental well-being. Providing plenty of space for them to move in their cage or tank is a must – a minimum of 6-10 square feet for each small mammal is recommended. Additionally, provide lots of opportunities for playtime outside the cage by taking your pet out for supervised walks in a safe, fenced-in area.


Providing enrichment activities like hiding treats around the cage or providing tunnels and playgrounds encourages positive behavior and curiosity, helping your pet stay mentally stimulated. You can also offer to chew toys that are safe to chew on so they don’t get bored with their current environment – this will also help protect them from developing bad habits like chewing on furniture or other home accessories.


Interacting with your pet is essential to its health and happiness as well. Spend a few minutes each day talking or playing with your pet – this will help build a bond between you two and help reduce stress levels, leading to better behavior overall.

Ways to Keep Your Small Exotic Mammal Safe

You want to make sure your small exotic mammal is safe in its habitat. Here are some tips on keeping your pet safe from harm:

Secure Enclosure

A secure enclosure made of durable materials like wood or metal is necessary to keep your pet safe and stop it from escaping. Make sure the enclosure has a lockable door, as well as ventilation holes to prevent it from overheating. You should also make sure there are no gaps or holes that could be used as an escape route.

Ample Space

Your pet needs room to move and explore, so make sure the enclosure is large enough for it to do so. Your pet’s enclosure should also provide plenty of hideaways and places to rest, chew and explore different textures such as fabrics, wood pieces, and branches.


The environment within the enclosure must be kept clean, including replacing food and water dishes regularly and removing waste products at least once a day. Also, make sure your pet has access to fresh drinking water all the time.

By taking these simple steps to ensure your small exotic mammal’s safety, you can ensure that your furry friend lives a happy, healthy life in their new home!


Taking into consideration the specific needs of your small exotic mammal is essential for keeping them healthy and happy. Having the right kind of habitat, with elements like temperature, light, exercise, and nutrition, is critical for providing the best possible environment for your pet.

From setting up the space to choosing the right toys and decor, it’s important to make sure your small exotic mammal has all the elements needed for them to thrive. With the right habitat and care, you can provide the ideal home for your pet, giving them an enriching and safe place to live.

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