Buying a small furry pet

Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and mice: these small furries can be the perfect choice for children and fun-loving adults. But it takes more to keep them happy than perhaps you realise.

Read our tips below...

The lowdown

Although all species of small furry animals are different, most like the company of their own species. Especially rabbits, who are very social. All small furries need a hutch or cage to sleep in, and a good amount of space to exercise. Plus, they'll need a suitable diet, usually of hay and grass dependant on the species.

As well as space to exercise, small furry animals, such as rabbits in particular, should have items and objects they can explore and interact with.

Look around online for advice or ask your local vet some questions to find the right dog for you.

Do the maths

Did you know the lifetime cost of owning a rabbit can be as much as £9,000? That excludes veterinary costs so if your pet becomes sick or injured this average cost could be even higher. Can you afford this lifetime costs of owning a small furry animal?

Go and say hello

When arranging to view a potential pet, you should always see it where it lives and never accept an offer to have the animal bought to you. You should always trust your instincts, and if it feels wrong, it probably is. Make sure you see the animal in its own environment, ask loads of questions and check the animal’s history

Check they're healthy

When you go to visit the little furry you're buying, check they're lively and alert. Look out for signs of illness or injury, and ask about the animal's health and medical history.

Get ready to give them companionship, space and exercise to keep them happy.

Quick delivery

Never let a seller send you an animal in the post. It might sound ridiculous, but it does occasionally happen and it is very harmful to the animal's welfare. Plus, you should always see the small furry that you are buying in person to ensure it is healthy and well cared for.

Think about neutering and vaccinations

Neutering your new friend will stop your home being overrun by babies. Like cats and dogs, rabbits should be vaccinated, so make sure you check the owner's paperwork if you are looking to buy one.

They're a family pet

Small furries can be the perfect pet for the whole family. Just remember, as the adult it's up to you to keep the animal healthy and happy.

To the rescue

Before you buy an animal on Gumtree, consider contacting your local animal rescue centre. There are thousands of healthy, loving small furries all over the UK who need a new home.

Our Partners

At Gumtree we take animal welfare very seriously.

We work with a number of animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, and we are an active member of the Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). PAAG is made up of animal welfare groups, vets and online classified sites, all working together to promote responsible pet advertising. Our shared goal is that all animals advertised for sale online are advertised legally and ethically.

For more information on PAAG or advice on buying a pet online, you can visit their site:

A fresh start in life

There are thousands of wonderful animals in the UK looking for a new start. A number of charities advertise these pets on Gumtree, but you can also visit PAAG member sites directly.