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IluvePiggies
12-04-09, 05:01 pm
Well, I've heard Rats are highly intelligent and although my parents hate Rats, I'm thinking about owning maybe 1 or two(Depending on if they need to live in pairs). But I had a few questions:

1: Can Rats live in C&C cages, like comfortably?
2: Are they expensive like Chinchillas(Require daily baths, etc?)
3: What is the best brand of food to get them?(Like Oxbow or etc)
4: Do they make good pets?

Also, can you make Cuddly cups, hammocks, etc for Rats?

Heady
12-04-09, 05:20 pm
OHHH!! I miss my rats!

I think they make excellent pets. Yes, they are very intelligent, also social so more than one is recommended. They are actually very clean animals, so rarely need bathing, but they do like to play in water (especially "bobbing for peas").

I always bought Harlan Teklad lab blocks for mine and they loved it. I also gave them daily veggies and pastas. There is Suebee's rat diet that you can make yourself out of different cereals, pastas, oats, etc... Just google Suebee's rat diet and it will give you all the specifics.

I had 3 males and I kept them in a 5 foot bird cage. All the cages available at the time had too far apart wire spacing, and the cages that didn't were too small, in my opinion. I suppose it depends on the size of the rats, though. We had one runt out of the 3, but if we didn't have him, we probably could have gotten away with using a Ferret Nation cage or something like that once the rats reached maturity.

Males are bigger than females and tend to be more cuddly, although, again, it goes back to the individual personality of the animal. Males also have more of a musky smell to them than females. So, they can be stinky, depending on your version of stinky lol.

Rats LOVE cuddle cups, hammocks, tunnels, etc...

I think between the chinchillas and rats, my rats were more expensive than my chin in the long run.

IluvePiggies
12-04-09, 05:29 pm
OHHH!! I miss my rats!

I think they make excellent pets. Yes, they are very intelligent, also social so more than one is recommended. They are actually very clean animals, so rarely need bathing, but they do like to play in water (especially "bobbing for peas").

I always bought Harlan Teklad lab blocks for mine and they loved it. I also gave them daily veggies and pastas. There is Suebee's rat diet that you can make yourself out of different cereals, pastas, oats, etc... Just google Suebee's rat diet and it will give you all the specifics.

I had 3 males and I kept them in a 5 foot bird cage. All the cages available at the time had too far apart wire spacing, and the cages that didn't were too small, in my opinion. I suppose it depends on the size of the rats, though. We had one runt out of the 3, but if we didn't have him, we probably could have gotten away with using a Ferret Nation cage or something like that once the rats reached maturity.

Males are bigger than females and tend to be more cuddly, although, again, it goes back to the individual personality of the animal. Males also have more of a musky smell to them than females. So, they can be stinky, depending on your version of stinky lol.

Rats LOVE cuddle cups, hammocks, tunnels, etc...

I think between the chinchillas and rats, my rats were more expensive than my chin in the long run. If you lost your rats, I am very sorry. I can understand that except it was with a dog that had no back right leg. His name was Simba and because we gave him back the owners, they put him to sleep. Simba was so sweet too.

OK, got a little off topic. So Rats can eat just human food like cereal? WOW! Well, there's something I didn't know!

I was planning on getting a Ferret Nation cage for my two Chinchillas(Replace the plastic with wood). Get another Ferret nation cage and whala!
I would kind of rather have females but males would be perfectly fine too. Stink to me is probably 3-4 days after the Guinea Pig cage is due for cleaning. :important

But did you spoil your Rats? LOL! I like to spoil pets!

But anyway, Rats like the water? Usually animals don't like water(Rodents at least) but that's pretty cool. Is the concept for "Bobbing for Peas" just to plop some peas into water and let the rats go for the peas?

JD In Van
12-04-09, 05:47 pm
I loved my rat too.

But honestly until you're living on your own you should probably be content with the pets you have.

Ly&Pigs
12-04-09, 05:47 pm
I used to have several rats but most have passed away now. I still have my old man Sam and trying to find some more boys to adopt. I love my rattie babies!

C&C's really don't make good rat cages as you'd have to either use mesh grids or wrap regular grids in fine hardware cloth. The spacing in regular grids is too large even for most adult males.

Rats, like any other pet, need high quality foods. I use both lab blocks (Harlan Teklad) and high quality dog food (on a rotating basis) and also use my own variation of Suebee's mix. I supplement with fresh and frozen veggies, occasional fruit and other foods like tuna, chicken, turkey, boiled egg, whole grain pastas and rice, and other stuff.

They often have health issues and that's the biggest expense. I recently spent over $250 for one of my guys who had an abscess or tumor and he ended up passing away during treatment after taking a sudden turn for the worse.

As far as bedding, you can do fleece and towels. My guys love hammocks, hanging tunnels, ground tunnels (pvc pipes make great tunnels), hanging tents, cuddle sacks, just about anything. I've taken old legs that were cut off of jeans and made them into sack type sleeping areas. Oatmeal containers, pringles cans, baskets and many other things can be turned into fun things for rats.

Ferret Nations make great rat cages. I have one. I can easily fit 4 adult males in one section. For young rats, you need to modify it with hardware cloth as they can escape.

Rats are best kept in pairs, trios or colonies. I'd have lots of rats if I could find more to adopt. I think they are more social than guinea pigs. Sam rides around on my shoulder through the house and he's very affectionate. I've found in my personal experiences that males are more outgoing and affectionate than females. I've had both and my girls were always a bit more skittish.

IluvePiggies
12-04-09, 05:54 pm
I used to have several rats but most have passed away now. I still have my old man Sam and trying to find some more boys to adopt. I love my rattie babies!

C&C's really don't make good rat cages as you'd have to either use mesh grids or wrap regular grids in find hardware cloth. The spacing in regular grids is too large even for most adult males.

Rats, like any other pet, need high quality foods. I use both lab blocks (Harlan Teklad) and high quality dog food (on a rotating basis) and also use my own variation of Suebee's mix. I supplement with fresh and frozen veggies, occasional fruit and other foods like tuna, chicken, turkey, boiled egg, whole grain pastas and rice, and other stuff.

They often have health issues and that's the biggest expense. I recently spent over $250 for one of my guys who had an abscess or tumor and he ended up passing away during treatment after taking a sudden turn for the worse.

As far as bedding, you can do fleece and towels. My guys love hammocks, hanging tunnels, ground tunnels (pvc pipes make great tunnels), hanging tents, cuddle sacks, just about anything. I've taken old legs that were cut off of jeans and made them into sack type sleeping areas. Oatmeal containers, pringles cans, baskets and many other things can be turned into fun things for rats.

Ferret Nations make great rat cages. I have one. I can easily fit 4 adult males in one section. For young rats, you need to modify it with hardware cloth as they can escape.

Rats are best kept in pairs, trios or colonies. I'd have lots of rats if I could find more to adopt. I think they are more social than guinea pigs. Sam rides around on my shoulder through the house and he's very affectionate. I've found in my personal experiences that males are more outgoing and affectionate than females. I've had both and my girls were always a bit more skittish. I do agree on living on my own with JD, I will have Rats when I am on my own because personally, my mom hates Rats(She doesn't like their tails, personally, I don't really get that) but I think they are intelligent and very kind. Would it be easier to get a neutered male and female instead? Or just two males? What are your best recommendations for a first time rat owner?

Heady
12-04-09, 05:58 pm
Well, I actually had to rehome my rats. But they went to a terrific family, and my boys were added to their already existing family of 7. The husband has awful allergies so it's always touch and go with him and pets. Thankfully we seem to now have a combination that doesn't require nebulizer treatments every day!

That is SO sad about Simba :( My in-laws had a dog named Simba that I don't even want to get into. It was bad, and quite similar.

Well, they can eat human food, but you want to make sure you cover all the percentages of nutrients and proteins that are listed in the Suebee diet. I found it easier to use the lab blocks I mentioned, in addition to a variety of things listed in the SB diet.

I think a Ferret Nation would be great for both! If you adopt young rats, you may want to start with a cage that has smaller bar spacing, and eventually move up to the Ferret Nation. Recently I found a terrific exotic pet cage that was rather large and had perfect bar spacing for rats, but I'm not sure how many can be housed in it. It's on the large size for that sort of cage...around $100 I think.

Since I only had boys, I can't tell you from experience, but I've read that females have a much softer and smoother coat than males. I'm trying to remember what I was told their smell was like...I keep thinking sweet, but I might be wrong... The husband thought the boys stunk immediately after I cleaned their cage, but I thought it started to stink after a few days!

Oh, yes! They were spoiled. And they knew it! Just like the piggies and the cats!! :melodrama I have them for the sole purpose of spoiling them lol!

Yeah, my boys liked to play in water. I took a glass pyrex cake pan, filled it halfway with water, put some river rocks in it, as well as peas...stuck it in the bathtub and they liked to run from one end of the tub to the other, making sure to splash through the water. They liked to move the rocks around to get the peas and my fattest boy, Man Ray, would eventually just lay down in the water and chill.

They also LOVED climbing ropes! I put a variety of bird toys in their cage, and that was one of their favorites. Ropes, ladders, bells, etc...

Heady
12-04-09, 06:02 pm
What are your best recommendations for a first time rat owner?

When I had mine, I got all 3 males at once. Same ages, so they grew together.

Still wish I could have them back!!!!

IluvePiggies
12-04-09, 06:05 pm
Well, they can eat human food, but you want to make sure you cover all the percentages of nutrients and proteins that are listed in the Suebee diet. I found it easier to use the lab blocks I mentioned, in addition to a variety of things listed in the SB diet. So like Walmart brand of Cherrios? LOL. My best friend's parents only buy like save-a-lot brands of cereal with NO SUGAR! It was nuts, I tell you.



I think a Ferret Nation would be great for both! If you adopt young rats, you may want to start with a cage that has smaller bar spacing, and eventually move up to the Ferret Nation. Recently I found a terrific exotic pet cage that was rather large and had perfect bar spacing for rats, but I'm not sure how many can be housed in it. It's on the large size for that sort of cage...around $100 I think. OK. Thanks for the info!

Heady
12-04-09, 06:12 pm
Oh yeah, I think Walmart brand of cheerios is fine (I am positively mad for Walmart's brand of Raisin Bran...I LOVE IT!)! Also, you can use puffed rice and flakes, like Total. LOTS of things you can use :) Dog food, like Ly mentioned is another one---great source of protein. Plus, Harlan Teklad lab blocks aren't all that expensive. I ordered mine from The Rat Shop. Good prices and speedy shipping.

Mine LOVED getting hard boiled eggs, as well. They would eat a straight hole right into the egg so deep that their head would disappear into the egg and reappear covered in pieces. It was TOO cute!

IluvePiggies
12-04-09, 06:17 pm
Oh yeah, I think Walmart brand of cheerios is fine (I am positively mad for Walmart's brand of Raisin Bran...I LOVE IT!)! Also, you can use puffed rice and flakes, like Total. LOTS of things you can use :) Dog food, like Ly mentioned is another one---great source of protein. Plus, Harlan Teklad lab blocks aren't all that expensive. I ordered mine from The Rat Shop. Good prices and speedy shipping.

Mine LOVED getting hard boiled eggs, as well. They would eat a straight hole right into the egg so deep that their head would disappear into the egg and reappear covered in pieces. It was TOO cute! Sounds adorable! Sheesh, people are going to see me buying Cherrios and Total and all that type of stuff at Walmart and ask "You eat all this?" and then I'll reply "Nope. My Ratties do.":crazy:

IluvePiggies
12-04-09, 08:21 pm
So what kind of toys would you recommend for a rat? On Petsmart.com(Yes I looked on there), they had wheels and round-about-balls. Are they safe for Rats?

Heady
12-04-09, 08:48 pm
Sounds adorable! Sheesh, people are going to see me buying Cherrios and Total and all that type of stuff at Walmart and ask "You eat all this?" and then I'll reply "Nope. My Ratties do.":crazy:

Hahaha! Just tell them you're being healthy :)


So what kind of toys would you recommend for a rat? On Petsmart.com(Yes I looked on there), they had wheels and round-about-balls. Are they safe for Rats?

Well...I think boxes, bird toys, balls, chewing sticks, tunnels, etc... made good toys. I never used run around balls...I don't like them even for hamsters. As far as wheels, I think a wodent wheel would be okay since it's solid. Just make sure you get the largest one. My concern with any wheel, though, would be their tails. Since I never used those for my rats, someone else may be able to help you out with that one.

You know, there was a toy octopus I got my boys and they LOVED it. It was red and had four "arms" that were actually tunnels and the inside was like a giant cozie...plush and everything. You might be able to find it in ferret toys because that's what it was for. So much fun!!!

IluvePiggies
12-04-09, 09:25 pm
Hahaha! Just tell them you're being healthy :)



Well...I think boxes, bird toys, balls, chewing sticks, tunnels, etc... made good toys. I never used run around balls...I don't like them even for hamsters. As far as wheels, I think a wodent wheel would be okay since it's solid. Just make sure you get the largest one. My concern with any wheel, though, would be their tails. Since I never used those for my rats, someone else may be able to help you out with that one.

You know, there was a toy octopus I got my boys and they LOVED it. It was red and had four "arms" that were actually tunnels and the inside was like a giant cozie...plush and everything. You might be able to find it in ferret toys because that's what it was for. So much fun!!!
I will ask Ly.
Boxes as in just Cardboard?
So just making a quick list of toys:


Boxes
Bird toys
Tunnels
Chewing Sticks
Balls
Toy octopus.


Yes I have actually seen that octopus and wanted to get it for Guinea pigs but too expensive for just one(its when I just had Sandy).
I was just thinking wheels that were larger(I might get Dumbo Rats. I know they have smaller rats too). But still not for sure. If I do get a male and female I will probably neuter the male for the best of them so I can have one of each. Do you think that's a good idea?

Heady
12-04-09, 09:55 pm
Yep, boxes as in cardboard. Just keep it safe, as you would with piggies...just plain brown, no ink, etc.. Remember that rats are excellent shredders, so even regular paper, paper towels, paper towel rolls, tp rolls, etc... would be fun for them! Also, hard shelled nuts are fun for them too (like the kind you find on bird toys). Chew sticks---make sure they're safe woods, like apple and such.

Yeah, the octopus was nearly $30, but it was worth it in the end :) It brought so much joy to them!

I don't think Dumbos are too, too much bigger than the average fancy rat. There is a size difference (and ears, of course), but I don't think it's extreme. I'm still not sure about the wheel though.

Personally, dumbos are my favorite!!!!

I think that shelters automatically neuter males, but I could be assuming too much. It's possible to keep a neutered male with intact female...neutering the male should also lessen aggressive behaviors.

You could always go to the shelter and adopt a same sex pair, and after a while, if you find yourself in love, you can adopt another same sex pair...just a different sex than your current and house them in different cages. That way you can have both without having to worry about babies.

As with other animals, I believe neutering a male rat is relatively simple compared to spaying a female.

I would really call around to your local shelters and rescues and see if they have a "fixed" male/female pair for adoption.


***EDIT*** This was my Rattie Bible. Very informative site and they have excellent ideas for toys, health, etc... Plus, adorable pictures! The Dapper Rat (http://www.dapper.com.au/)

rdoyle
12-04-09, 11:19 pm
1: Can Rats live in C&C cages, like comfortably? There are C&C Cages out there for rats the like moutily layers homes
2: Are they expensive like Chinchillas(Require daily baths, etc?)Dont need baths
3: What is the best brand of food to get them?(Like Oxbow or etc)Yes that is good
4: Do they make good pets?GReat They need toys you can have piggys toys, Fearet toys rabbit toys ect. They are smart very smart. I like the nakies ones. I know ppl who have trained to do tricks like a dog. They are alsome pets i was going to get one but hubby said NO RATS OR SNAKES. poop on him LOL I love all animals

suzilovespiggie
12-04-09, 11:29 pm
Rats are great pets. Just to add Martin Cages make great rat cages. Also www.ratsrule.com (http://www.ratsrule.com) is a great site for info on rat care.

IluvePiggies
12-05-09, 08:58 am
Yep, boxes as in cardboard. Just keep it safe, as you would with piggies...just plain brown, no ink, etc.. Remember that rats are excellent shredders, so even regular paper, paper towels, paper towel rolls, tp rolls, etc... would be fun for them! Also, hard shelled nuts are fun for them too (like the kind you find on bird toys). Chew sticks---make sure they're safe woods, like apple and such.

Yeah, the octopus was nearly $30, but it was worth it in the end :) It brought so much joy to them!

I don't think Dumbos are too, too much bigger than the average fancy rat. There is a size difference (and ears, of course), but I don't think it's extreme. I'm still not sure about the wheel though.

Personally, dumbos are my favorite!!!!

I think that shelters automatically neuter males, but I could be assuming too much. It's possible to keep a neutered male with intact female...neutering the male should also lessen aggressive behaviors.

You could always go to the shelter and adopt a same sex pair, and after a while, if you find yourself in love, you can adopt another same sex pair...just a different sex than your current and house them in different cages. That way you can have both without having to worry about babies.

As with other animals, I believe neutering a male rat is relatively simple compared to spaying a female.

I would really call around to your local shelters and rescues and see if they have a "fixed" male/female pair for adoption.


***EDIT*** This was my Rattie Bible. Very informative site and they have excellent ideas for toys, health, etc... Plus, adorable pictures! The Dapper Rat (http://www.dapper.com.au/) I know other rats are smaller but which would you recommend for a first time rat owner? I mean, I really like Dumbo rats better. I think they are cuter.

Well, I'll have to wait for the male/female pair. After college(Not there yet but soon), I'll be moving to Colorado(Where the college is). They have a piggie rescue there. Haven't checked for Ferret/Rat/Hedgie/Chinchilla/Rabbit/bird rescue(Not all of them in one but you get what I mean) in Colorado. Better research that.


*****Edit****I found rescues for ALL of them! There's a rescue that has Hedgehogs and Chinchillas and Ferrets. There's a Ferret Rescue. A Bird Rescue. A Rabbit Rescue and a Rat Rescue. And rescue for dogs and cats. All in the comfort of Colorado.

Heady
12-05-09, 02:43 pm
Rats are great pets. Just to add Martin Cages make great rat cages. Also www.ratsrule.com (http://www.ratsrule.com) is a great site for info on rat care.

I COMPLETELY forgot about Martin's Cages!!! Yes, they make terrific cages for rats that are already built. When I had my boys and I was looking at Martin's Cages, the plus side is that they don't have wire flooring, but the only thing I didn't like is the bedding pan wasn't very deep. May be different now, though. Definitely look into them!


I know other rats are smaller but which would you recommend for a first time rat owner? I mean, I really like Dumbo rats better. I think they are cuter.

Well, I'll have to wait for the male/female pair. After college(Not there yet but soon), I'll be moving to Colorado(Where the college is). They have a piggie rescue there. Haven't checked for Ferret/Rat/Hedgie/Chinchilla/Rabbit/bird rescue(Not all of them in one but you get what I mean) in Colorado. Better research that.


*****Edit****I found rescues for ALL of them! There's a rescue that has Hedgehogs and Chinchillas and Ferrets. There's a Ferret Rescue. A Bird Rescue. A Rabbit Rescue and a Rat Rescue. And rescue for dogs and cats. All in the comfort of Colorado.

Personally, I think either would be fine for first time. If you prefer the Dumbo ones, then get those! :)

That is awesome that you were able to find rescues for all of them!!! Terrific!

Just a word of advice, and I'm not saying it based on anything you've said...just more of a thought that anything. Remember not to get in over your head with animals. I don't think that's your plan and I'm assuming you're asking about all these different ones to figure out which ones you want to get, not all of them. But, I figured I'd mention it anyway! I did that once, and didn't realize what I was doing. Thankfully it didn't turn out to be a horror story in the end, but I did feel pretty bad about it.

IluvePiggies
12-05-09, 03:47 pm
I COMPLETELY forgot about Martin's Cages!!! Yes, they make terrific cages for rats that are already built. When I had my boys and I was looking at Martin's Cages, the plus side is that they don't have wire flooring, but the only thing I didn't like is the bedding pan wasn't very deep. May be different now, though. Definitely look into them!



Personally, I think either would be fine for first time. If you prefer the Dumbo ones, then get those! :)

That is awesome that you were able to find rescues for all of them!!! Terrific!

Just a word of advice, and I'm not saying it based on anything you've said...just more of a thought that anything. Remember not to get in over your head with animals. I don't think that's your plan and I'm assuming you're asking about all these different ones to figure out which ones you want to get, not all of them. But, I figured I'd mention it anyway! I did that once, and didn't realize what I was doing. Thankfully it didn't turn out to be a horror story in the end, but I did feel pretty bad about it. I wouldn't get all the animals at once.

Heady
12-05-09, 04:02 pm
Oh goodie! I didn't think you would, but I know some people have before (not on here, just in life), so I wanted to make sure-sure. :)

IluvePiggies
12-05-09, 04:12 pm
Oh goodie! I didn't think you would, but I know some people have before (not on here, just in life), so I wanted to make sure-sure. :)
I will probably get the piggies first(Hehe! I have an addiction) and maybe get the mice or rats. Then maybe a couple months later or so, get the mice or Chinchillas. And so on...Just gradually build up. And if I feel like I'm taking too much and I have all the animals, I will probably re-home the mice or something. But I HAVE to keep the Piggies, Rats and Chinchillas!

Heady
12-05-09, 04:46 pm
It's so hard NOT to get addicted to piggies!! I want to get another boy, but I'm not going to because I don't want to, potentially, ruin the relationship my two current boys have and also I have to remember to keep vet, food and toy costs in mind and I just don't have enough money to bring in more pets. I think 3 cats, a fish, and 2 piggies is enough for me! :) I like it better that way...allows for more spoiling!! :p

There is a thing called GMR-Get More Rats that a lot of rat parents get. They keep getting more and more! I stuck with my 3, but the friend I gave those boys to had a case of GMR and was very happy when I offered my boys to her.

Remember to keep in mind the life span of the chinchillas, too! I know you are and have done your research (which, to me, is beyond awesome!), so I know I don't need to tell you that, but figured I would anyway!

I don't know your financial or living situation, nor do I need to, but I want you to keep yourself in check about it! I think it's wise to start with one set and see how that pans out before you take on more, which is what you're doing. I think that's very smart of you! I would like to say one thing that stuck out to me though...about rehoming the mice if it gets to be too much for you. I think doing it the way you are is wise, and will help you to keep from getting to the point of having to rehome any of them. It's hard on us and the animals to rehome, so as long as you don't get yourself in a situation where you have to do that, it's good!

All of these animals are a joy to have and I know there are a lot of us that would LOVE to have them if we could :) I don't really see any harm in it--if people have the money, space and time, that's good. I suppose my husband is glad we live in an apartment for that reason alone haha! I did warn him, though, that once we get a house, fostering is in our future. But he's good with that, so that pleases me!

JD In Van
12-05-09, 05:15 pm
I will probably get the piggies first(Hehe! I have an addiction) and maybe get the mice or rats. Then maybe a couple months later or so, get the mice or Chinchillas. And so on...Just gradually build up. And if I feel like I'm taking too much and I have all the animals, I will probably re-home the mice or something. But I HAVE to keep the Piggies, Rats and Chinchillas!


It's important to keep in mind that animals aren't collectables but living things. You don't 'build up' like you're building a card deck or taking a drug. You don't HAVE to have any and it's very easy to take on too much, get over welmed and all your animals suffer for it.

Realism is an important and responsible part of pet ownership.

IluvePiggies
12-05-09, 05:27 pm
It's important to keep in mind that animals aren't collectables but living things. You don't 'build up' like you're building a card deck or taking a drug. You don't HAVE to have any and it's very easy to take on too much, get over welmed and all your animals suffer for it.

Realism is an important and responsible part of pet ownership. Yes JD-In-Van. I have been told this times before. :) And I know that animals aren't collectibles. I'm saying building up as in start off small and I might only get Rats, Piggies and Chinchillas but I still haven't made the COMPLETE decision. But I will probably only keep those 3 unless I find house that has a 2-3 bathrooms and make one bathroom bunny safe.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/data/531/thumbs/bunroom13.jpg (http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/5676)
If I were to have a bathroom for the Rabbit(s), I would make it sorta like this. With the door like that. The things that wouldn't be in there would be in there are: The bottom cabinet w/ sink and the toilet. The bathtub would may/may not stay.
But that's another story IF I have another bathroom.

IluvePiggies
12-05-09, 05:37 pm
It's so hard NOT to get addicted to piggies!! I want to get another boy, but I'm not going to because I don't want to, potentially, ruin the relationship my two current boys have and also I have to remember to keep vet, food and toy costs in mind and I just don't have enough money to bring in more pets. I think 3 cats, a fish, and 2 piggies is enough for me! I like it better that way...allows for more spoiling!!

There is a thing called GMR-Get More Rats that a lot of rat parents get. They keep getting more and more! I stuck with my 3, but the friend I gave those boys to had a case of GMR and was very happy when I offered my boys to her.

Remember to keep in mind the life span of the chinchillas, too! I know you are and have done your research (which, to me, is beyond awesome!), so I know I don't need to tell you that, but figured I would anyway!

I don't know your financial or living situation, nor do I need to, but I want you to keep yourself in check about it! I think it's wise to start with one set and see how that pans out before you take on more, which is what you're doing. I think that's very smart of you! I would like to say one thing that stuck out to me though...about rehoming the mice if it gets to be too much for you. I think doing it the way you are is wise, and will help you to keep from getting to the point of having to rehome any of them. It's hard on us and the animals to rehome, so as long as you don't get yourself in a situation where you have to do that, it's good!

All of these animals are a joy to have and I know there are a lot of us that would LOVE to have them if we could :) I don't really see any harm in it--if people have the money, space and time, that's good. I suppose my husband is glad we live in an apartment for that reason alone haha! I did warn him, though, that once we get a house, fostering is in our future. But he's good with that, so that pleases me! I looked up Chinchilla care earlier but it didn't list the life-span so I had no clue the lifespan but Oh my gosh! They live for a very long time. Which is good. I'd like to have a pet that's good with me and doesn't die within 2 years(Luckily my piggie Sandy is still living to this day since I had reckless care in the past).
But anyway, thank you for telling me I'm smart. I haven't checked for all Oxbow food for all the pets. But if they have it for all the pets, I think I will order everything online. I would probably go to a pet store to get the dust bath stuff unless I can order a bunch online.

As financial wise, during college, I will be working part-time as a receptionist or something at a vet hospital and then during my internship as a vet tech, I'll be working at a vet hospital as a Vet tech. Then after that, I MIGHT run my own Guinea Pig rescue or work at home selling something like Avon(Something women can sell over the internet at home but just an example). But something I do want to work towards is adopting a girl. Probably not from China but just a girl who needs a new home. :o

My first set, Piggies...2 months later(Example), Chinchillas.....5 months later(example), Rats.....And so on.

Ly&Pigs
12-05-09, 07:23 pm
As far as cereals and rats go, you need to keep them low to no sugar. If you were going to do a Suebee's type mix, a multi-grain cheerio would be better. I do a lot of puffed type cereals that contain 0 sugars and are low in fat and protein. Arrowhead Mills and Nature's Path are two good brands.

Snacks that are great for rats are those Gerber baby puffs (generic also available). A can is fairly cheap and lasts a long time.

IluvePiggies
12-05-09, 07:27 pm
As far as cereals and rats go, you need to keep them low to no sugar. If you were going to do a Suebee's type mix, a multi-grain cheerio would be better. I do a lot of puffed type cereals that contain 0 sugars and are low in fat and protein. Arrowhead Mills and Nature's Path are two good brands.

Snacks that are great for rats are those Gerber baby puffs (generic also available). A can is fairly cheap and lasts a long time.
I haven't heard of those brands before. Of course, I don't pay attention to brands since I normally don't eat cereal(Pop-tarts for me)

First you learn that Rats can eat cereal, next thing you know, your learning that Rats can eat baby puffs! That's a good thing to know though!

ilovehim586
12-05-09, 07:34 pm
i think rats are great pets they need a close lid tank because they will pull in any thing they can into there cage and eat and pee all over it. i feel that they are cheaper then my guineapigs there cage needs to be changed less offten and they love to be held. i perfer females because they are alot smaller.

KingBoris
12-05-09, 08:29 pm
Hi,
Rats are wonderful pets I have two myself,and have had 31 over my life, I have always found the girls to be more active and slightly slimmer for that reason,
My Current two are much harder than piggies and get bored all the time so they do take alot of time to occupy them,
My Chocolate hooded girl Cindy who is 9 months old developed URI and pnuemonia(sp?) which has been re occuring and now for the rest of her life she has to have Baytil and Doxycyclene morning and night for one week out of every month until she passes away.
She also has to have twice monthly appointments for checkups so just for medicine and checkups alone she costs $65 aud a month.
I have also had a few with this same issue and some very healthy rats but the point is when they get sick it can be very financially and emotionally draining,
Cindy could pass away at anytime as her lungs are very weak so this is a constant worry for us.
On the other hand there curiosity and playful nature is a highlight and makes them a wonderful companion.
Just research them very well before you do get into them as they can be very hard work as is any animal.
my favourite site is the Dapper rat and they have alot of great information there,
Goodluck

Ly&Pigs
12-05-09, 09:27 pm
i think rats are great pets they need a close lid tank because they will pull in any thing they can into there cage and eat and pee all over it.
If you are meaning tanks as in fish tanks/aquariums then no they are no suitable cages for rats. They are not large enough and they do not provide enough ventilation. If you have a regular cage with bars, if you keep things they can pull into it away from the cage, then there will be no problems.

IluvePiggies
12-05-09, 09:39 pm
Hi,
Rats are wonderful pets I have two myself,and have had 31 over my life, I have always found the girls to be more active and slightly slimmer for that reason,
My Current two are much harder than piggies and get bored all the time so they do take alot of time to occupy them,
My Chocolate hooded girl Cindy who is 9 months old developed URI and pnuemonia(sp?) which has been re occuring and now for the rest of her life she has to have Baytil and Doxycyclene morning and night for one week out of every month until she passes away.
She also has to have twice monthly appointments for checkups so just for medicine and checkups alone she costs $65 aud a month.
I have also had a few with this same issue and some very healthy rats but the point is when they get sick it can be very financially and emotionally draining,
Cindy could pass away at anytime as her lungs are very weak so this is a constant worry for us.
On the other hand there curiosity and playful nature is a highlight and makes them a wonderful companion.
Just research them very well before you do get into them as they can be very hard work as is any animal.
my favourite site is the Dapper rat and they have alot of great information there,
Goodluck
Well, I won't be moving into a house big enough for Rats, Dogs, Cats, Chinchillas, Rabbits and Guinea Pigs for a while. First I have to complete college so I'll be studying hard on Rat care. When I get into College, I'll probably join a Rat forum and ask questiosn around there.
If its 65Aud for you then it would be $___ for the USA. Man I need to learn my money math better!(Did I mention I am terribly at math?)


If you are meaning tanks as in fish tanks/aquariums then no they are no suitable cages for rats. They are not large enough and they do not provide enough ventilation. If you have a regular cage with bars, if you keep things they can pull into it away from the cage, then there will be no problems. Ly is right. Tanks only work for Gerbils and maybe Hamsters(Haven't looked into that). A ferret Nation cage is better for two regular rats then a tank. :melodrama

Heady
12-07-09, 04:16 am
But anyway, thank you for telling me I'm smart. I haven't checked for all Oxbow food for all the pets. But if they have it for all the pets, I think I will order everything online.

As financial wise, during college, I will be working part-time as a receptionist or something at a vet hospital and then during my internship as a vet tech, I'll be working at a vet hospital as a Vet tech. Then after that, I MIGHT run my own Guinea Pig rescue or work at home selling something like Avon(Something women can sell over the internet at home but just an example). But something I do want to work towards is adopting a girl. Probably not from China but just a girl who needs a new home. :o

My first set, Piggies...2 months later(Example), Chinchillas.....5 months later(example), Rats.....And so on.

You're welcome! I think you doing all of this research before you dive in is a good idea. I'm not sure how many varieties Oxbow carries, but definitely something to look into.

I've been thinking about this for a few days and I have to say that I do support you in your ideas and plans, but I just want to make sure you're fully aware of everything that is involved. Cost, to me, is the most important factor here. And I think JD made an excellent point that allowed me to stop and rethink the advice I was giving you.

I think it's great that you're going to be a vet tech and I'm sure that you will be successful at it. I believe vet techs make between $30K-$50K a year. It may have changed since last I checked (I had planned on doing that at some point in my life), but something to consider. Since it's going to be a full-time job (I assume), perhaps you would consider fostering over running a rescue? Just a thought. You'll still be helping homeless animals and it will be on your terms. I know that there was a VERY bold MIGHT about the rescue, but I just wanted to mention it anyway.

The thing that really concerns me is the combination of having a full time job as a vet tech, and also, potentially, selling Avon (which I think is a terrific way to make money..a lot of people in my family do it), I have to wonder how much time you'll have to devote to your pets. I really don't see you as being an irresponsible person (again, going back to how much you're learning), so I don't want to put that in your head, but with the variety of animals you hope to have someday, there are a lot of precautions that will need to be taken as well as a lot of hours spending time with each species.

I worry about you getting burn-out. And, not that your plan isn't well thought out or a good idea, still it's very likely that that might happen (telling you from experience).

I know that before any of this starts to happen, you want to have a large house (multiple bedrooms and such) so each group gets their own room. I think that's wise. But, I want to remind you of the costs of owning a house. When you rent (like I always have) there aren't as many expenses as there would be with a house. You will have mortgage payments (unless you are able to buy outright), plus you'll have to pay for all utilities, there are property taxes (some higher or lower, depending on where you live in relation to the town), repair costs for anything that goes wrong (and something will always go wrong), insurance, etc... With having a large amount of animals, some of these bills will be higher than average, such as electricity, water, gas, etc...

I really am not trying to burst your bubble...I just thought I should mention some things that a lot of people overlook when it comes to the reality of owning a large amount of animals.

And really...maybe instead of having all of these animals as permanent pets, perhaps you could foster the ones that you want...that way you will still get to spend time with them, but it won't be as costly to you. Of course, finding them homes may be difficult for you (I mean...about getting attached), but at least you'll know that you're not getting in over your head and you're still getting to experience and take care of them.

Again, I just want you to keep yourself in check and don't take on more than you can handle.

I think adopting a child is wonderful. I was adopted. My dad and his brother were adopted. There are a lot of children out there, just like animals, that are looking for someone to love them and someone they can love. It's a very special thing when a child is adopted. To me, it said that my dad chose me...he could have had any child in the world, but he chose me. And that says a lot. :tearsofjo

IluvePiggies
12-07-09, 01:42 pm
I think it's great that you're going to be a vet tech and I'm sure that you will be successful at it. I believe vet techs make between $30K-$50K a year. It may have changed since last I checked (I had planned on doing that at some point in my life), but something to consider. Since it's going to be a full-time job (I assume), perhaps you would consider fostering over running a rescue? Just a thought. You'll still be helping homeless animals and it will be on your terms. I know that there was a VERY bold MIGHT about the rescue, but I just wanted to mention it anyway. I looked up how much a vet tech makes in a year with many replies but got most of them to be 27,000 or 30,000. Which isn't too bad. But people also replied saying that the salary depends on the area. Colorado is a pretty high pay making place. Alameda East(Where I'll be working my internship) is defiantly a big place to work. Its home to the show "Emergency Vets" and the main vet there(He doesn't work there anymore) was AMAZING! He could handle any animal.
But anyway, Avon was an option if I wasn't going to be a full-time Vet Tech. I will probably work a vet tech for a few years to earn enough money to buy a house with as many rooms as I need(I already explained this). And after I earn enough money, I MIGHT drop down to a part-time Vet tech or open a small and exotics(Take in Rabbits, Chinchillas, Guinea Pigs and Rats) along with working part-time at a Doggie daycare or something like that. Jobs really cannot be planned right now.




I think adopting a child is wonderful. I was adopted. My dad and his brother were adopted. There are a lot of children out there, just like animals, that are looking for someone to love them and someone they can love. It's a very special thing when a child is adopted. To me, it said that my dad chose me...he could have had any child in the world, but he chose me. And that says a lot. You were adopted? That's awesome!
I want to adopt a child because my Mom's friend works as a Social Services worker and she works 5-6 days a week rescuing child from babies to teenagers(As old as like 16!). And she just works so hard and then I really wanted to adopt a china girl but that would cost a lot.


***EDIT***I just remembered, my husband will also be working too so we would probably have enough money too.

lizzybones
12-07-09, 09:35 pm
I realize that this comment may be getting extremely off-topic, but I felt the necessity to say something. In regards to buying a large house: I am in my late twenties and am at the age where my friends and I are still renting and potentially thinking about buying a house in the future. It takes so much more money to buy a house than you imagine. My friends and I live in a pretty expensive city and as a result, we make an okay amount of money. Even with that it is the most difficult thing to save up money for a house, whether you are single or married. A yearly salary can disappear quite quickly.
Also, in regards to the whole "I am planning on adopting ___ many animals once i move out of the parent's house and get a job and finish college" perhaps you should try to live more in the moment and focus on the animals you have at hand. It would be tragic for you to spend their entire lives thinking of the future and miss the animals right in front of you.
One last thing: I do believe "china girls" are in fact called chinese girls.

IluvePiggies
12-08-09, 04:30 pm
I realize that this comment may be getting extremely off-topic, but I felt the necessity to say something. In regards to buying a large house: I am in my late twenties and am at the age where my friends and I are still renting and potentially thinking about buying a house in the future. It takes so much more money to buy a house than you imagine. My friends and I live in a pretty expensive city and as a result, we make an okay amount of money. Even with that it is the most difficult thing to save up money for a house, whether you are single or married. A yearly salary can disappear quite quickly.
Also, in regards to the whole "I am planning on adopting ___ many animals once i move out of the parent's house and get a job and finish college" perhaps you should try to live more in the moment and focus on the animals you have at hand. It would be tragic for you to spend their entire lives thinking of the future and miss the animals right in front of you.
One last thing: I do believe "china girls" are in fact called chinese girls. I am going to living in that apartment until I get a good paying job and marry my husband. I may be renting a house too. I don't know yet.
I looked up houses on Realtor.com with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths(At least) with a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $200,000 and found at least 6 homes for $200,000 that had 3 bedrooms or more. And some even had 3 bathrooms.
And I'm probably not going to get the Birds and the Turtle.
I will probably only have Piggies, Rabbit, Chinchillas and Rats. And Dogs and Cats.
And I'm not not going to "Miss the animals that are right in front of me". Why does everyone think that about me? Everybody thinks I'm gonna miss the animals right in front of me...I'm not even going to start!

And yes, I do know they are Chinese girls but I call them China girls for short.

Well, I've decided I'm gonna get a neutered male and non-spayed female Rat and foster a couple at a time for the rescue.
Plus run a small Guinea Pig rescue in my home. Nothing major. Maybe even foster neutered males and females from the Piggies rescue too. That's my decision.

lizzybones
12-08-09, 05:31 pm
I am going to living in that apartment until I get a good paying job and marry my husband. I may be renting a house too. I don't know yet.
I looked up houses on Realtor.com with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths(At least) with a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $200,000 and found at least 6 homes for $200,000 that had 3 bedrooms or more. And some even had 3 bathrooms.
And I'm probably not going to get the Birds and the Turtle.
I will probably only have Piggies, Rabbit, Chinchillas and Rats. And Dogs and Cats.
And I'm not not going to "Miss the animals that are right in front of me". Why does everyone think that about me? Everybody thinks I'm gonna miss the animals right in front of me...I'm not even going to start!

And yes, I do know they are Chinese girls but I call them China girls for short.


I think the reason that people keep suggesting to you to focus on the animals you currently are caring for is because most of the posts you make on this forum consist of two general ideas. One is that you are constantly planning for your future (which is a good idea) and that future involves marrying someone, buying a house, and owning lots of pets; and the second is that you are asking help on how to better care for you guinea pigs, because for some reason or another, no matter how much people on here give you good advice, they still fail to get veggies every day (though that has probably changed), get their nails cut, and have lived way too long in a cage that was way too small. This tends to worry people here, since the whole purpose of the forum is to educate people on how to take better care of their pets and give them the best life they can, instead of count how many different kinds they can collect.

I don't really want to go into finances on this forum, not only because it is increidbly off-topic, but mostly because i am terrible at it. The general idea i was trying to convey is that life happens and sometimes when you plan for the perfect life as you have done, it blows up in your face and you have to improvise. And that buying a house is incredibly hard to do, especially if you are running on a low salary.

I have no idea where you are currently living and perhaps this is what happens when someone (me) has grown up in the san francisco area, but please in the future, try to not refer to chinese woman, chinese girls, as "china girls". It is far more disrespectful and offensive that I believe you understand.

KingBoris
12-08-09, 06:23 pm
After reading your other threads and the lack of care you take with animals, in particular your pigs nails I have come to the conclusion that you are/will be a collector that doesnt truly care for them and I pity any animal that you subject to that life.
Also money does not grow on tree's and all these things you want are very unrealistic goals,you need to focus on the uncared for pets that you have.

IluvePiggies
12-08-09, 06:35 pm
After reading your other threads and the lack of care you take with animals, in particular your pigs nails I have come to the conclusion that you are/will be a collector that doesnt truly care for them and I pity any animal that you subject to that life.
Also money does not grow on tree's and all these things you want are very unrealistic goals,you need to focus on the uncared for pets that you have.
I'm not even going to respond.....I know. I cut BOTH of their nails. I'm cutting them regularly now. And I DO CARE for my pets.

Anaira
12-08-09, 08:51 pm
Well, I've decided I'm gonna get a neutered male and non-spayed female Rat and foster a couple at a time for the rescue.

I'm not gonna comment on anything else because I think its been covered.:)
But just one thing, if your going to get different sexes, spay the girl. Spaying reduces the risk of tumors by at least 80%, whereas neutering has no health benefits for boys, (although it does help if they have hormonal issues). Rats are prone to tumors, girls more so than boys, and they usually come up in later life, when surgery is more risky. It also removes the chance of a pyrometra, an uterine infection that can be fatal. :)

rabbitsncavyluv
12-09-09, 12:48 am
Rats should not be kept in tanks. Poor ventilation and too small. They seem to smell more than guinea pigs to me so they would need their cage changed more.

Since they are prone to tumors and such, they are not really that much cheaper than guinea pigs.


i think rats are great pets they need a close lid tank because they will pull in any thing they can into there cage and eat and pee all over it. i feel that they are cheaper then my guineapigs there cage needs to be changed less offten and they love to be held. i perfer females because they are alot smaller.

Paula
12-09-09, 05:50 pm
Iluvepiggies, based on this thread it's become clear to me (and probably many others) that you haven't a clue about the real world and the way it operates, nor the way money works or the fact that you actually have to compete for jobs and work for the privilege of going to college, buying a home, etc. That's fine, you have some time to figure those things out before you need to, but in the mean time I think it would be in your best interests and the best interest of the animals currently in your care that you expend your energy researching (and actually doing) what's best for them. It seems to me that you're looking forward to an idealistic future that you have no real means of achieving and in the meantime the two guinea pig girls you have are receiving - at best - mediocre care that has many aspects which really need improvement.

I find it appalling that rather than deciding not to "get in over your head" when it comes to animals, you'd simply opt to rehome the group which has the least meaning to you - that's hoarding/collecting behavior that is not healthy - for you or for the animals you opt to start taking in. It's fine to set yourself up an imaginary future with imaginary pets and an imaginary house and an imaginary job and an imaginary husband. We've all done this at one point or another in our lives, but I strongly suggest you re-evaluate your views on animal care and the commitment that they truly require.

Yes, it's fun to daydream about what you might one day be able to have, but not while the animals you currently have suffer because you won't or can't care for them properly. Let's be fair - it took you over a year to get your pigs into a 2x3ish C&C cage and as far as I know you still aren't feeding them quality foods. You started a thread to say your pigs might get fresh veggies once a month if you remember and I remember something along the lines of them only getting fresh water when their bottles were empty. All this, while you are actively entertaining the notion of getting a third. That is not responsible pet ownership and not an attitude you should carry into your future - the real one.

ilovehim586
12-09-09, 06:08 pm
They are fine in tanks as long as you change there canges every day like you are suppost to any way. I have had them in wired cages and they got sick in them because they could not keep warm ( Note I live in michigan and we lose power some times and you have to cover and try anything to keep them warm.). My rats like there tank and put up a fit when putting them into a wire cage. they do like sitting on top of the wire cage.

Peggysu
12-09-09, 06:11 pm
I understand that having dreams isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there is a point in which one needs to see reality.

IluvePiggies, I'm sorry to burst your bubble but wake up and smell the coffee, you're living in a fantasy land.

Tessa Bea
12-09-09, 06:14 pm
They are fine in tanks as long as you change there canges every day like you are suppost to any way. I have had them in wired cages and they got sick in them because they could not keep warm ( Note I live in michigan and we lose power some times and you have to cover and try anything to keep them warm.). My rats like there tank and put up a fit when putting them into a wire cage. they do like sitting on top of the wire cage.
...sent you a note about Michigan's power loss. :expressio

Anyhow, the point of the cage issue is not how often or not you change it, it's how good of ventilation the air breathing animal within gets. If you live in a cold climate (like Michigan) then yes, you will need to take more drastic steps to keep your pets warm- but it shouldn't come at the cost of their quality of air. Aquarium tanks are meant for fish.

Off topic -I'm not sure if tanks are good for reptiles, but I've never seen them kept in anything else- I've never been into reptiles myself. Someone enlighten me?

Paula
12-09-09, 06:22 pm
They are fine in tanks as long as you change there canges every day like you are suppost to any way. I have had them in wired cages and they got sick in them because they could not keep warm ( Note I live in michigan and we lose power some times and you have to cover and try anything to keep them warm.). My rats like there tank and put up a fit when putting them into a wire cage. they do like sitting on top of the wire cage.I'm sure you got this advice from your employer, but rats are not fish, and shouldn't live in a tank. Most residents in most states experience power failures at some point, especially during the winters, that doesn't mean that non-fish pets should be relegated to tank life. Sorry. If your wire cages are inside, it shouldn't be too much drama to keep your animals warm during a power failure, whether with extra blankets in the cage or blankets to cover it, or simply moving them to a room that holds heat better during the power outage.

Anaira
12-09-09, 09:01 pm
One useful tip for keeping rats warm; if you have a cage with a pull-out tray underneath a grid, putting a hot water bottle wrapped in an old towel or something helps keep them warm too.:)

Perhaps putting lots of hidey places like hammocks, and igloos, etc will help them adjust to a cage better. Just on a side note, how big is your tank?

rabbitsncavyluv
12-10-09, 01:10 am
FYI wire uncoated cages are bad for rats too. They need something covering the wire or else their feet will develop bumblefoot. That is probably why your rats did not like your wire cages.

If you go to guinealynx, there is a rat thread under general with cool pics of some people's cages. They use fleece items to make it more comfy and warm.

Aquariums should never be used.

KingBoris
12-10-09, 02:03 am
Rats can never go in fish tanks,like others have said fish tanks are meant for fish, the dampness in fish tanks is very bad and commonly causes URI's in rats.
Most know the bars can cause bumblefoot which is why they need to be covered,
Keeping rats warm is simple,in winter my ratties have extra fleece hideys and tunnels which are very warm and I also line all the flooring and levels in fleece too, it does mean I have to change it more reguarly but there little feet stay warm and thats what matters, with a friend or two they hold the heat much better anyway.
Also keeping there cage off the floor or raised helps with warmth too.

ILP I hope that you take something from all of this as there are so many people who are telling you the truth, we are all adults and that is why we are saying these things to you, as i'm guessing most of us have already been through a dreamy stage,when you are a little older I think reality will hit you hard.
If you can do the right thing by your pigs and prove to them that you will love them and care for them correctly then maybe look into another in the future but until then I think you have alot to learn.

You also need to consider about what the next few years has instore for you, whether it be university or anything else you will most probably be rather busy and may not even be able to accomodate your current pets let alone more.

MomTo4Boys
12-17-09, 10:28 pm
I know this thread is a bit old, but I wanted to comment on the rats. I've had three pet rats in the past, and I'd have to say that they make wonderful pets. I had 2 females and 1 male, not all together of course. I was a teen in senior high, so my mom would only let me have one. My girls lived for 3 and 4 years, and my boy for 5 years. Each of them were very intelligent and loved sitting on my shoulder to walk through the house. I still to this day miss them, but my husband won't let me have any pet rats. He thinks that they attract wild rodents to the house.

We have the guinea pigs now anyway and no room for 2 seperate cages.

Rnd210
12-17-09, 10:56 pm
i think rats are great pets they need a close lid tank because they will pull in any thing they can into there cage and eat and pee all over it. i feel that they are cheaper then my guineapigs there cage needs to be changed less offten and they love to be held. i perfer females because they are alot smaller.


I had rats (4 females) and I honestly had to clean their cage atleast 2-3 times a week it stunk worse then the guinea pigs.

I will never get rats again.

JinnyPig
12-17-09, 11:37 pm
Rats make GREAT pets!!
1. Don't build a cage unless you are very good at rat-proofing, the smallest weakness/hole/gap and the rat will be out.( I have seen some cubes that have really small squares but the space between the pieces is too big)

2. They also require a different type of space than a g.pig. Rats LOVE to climb and jump, so a tall cage is preferred. You don't even need ramps, really, as long as the levels are not too far apart the rat will normally just jump from level to level.

3. Rats love cheap crap. The most prized possession of my sister's rat is a cardboard box. We made a cube out of an old pizza box, secured it with pipe cleaners, and filled it with stuff from around the house (all safe of course). Tissues, cotton balls, q-tips, cereal, cracker or two, mardi gras beads, happy meal toys, popscicle sticks, etc. The rat will chew a hole in the box in a week or so and make the box it's new home. Ours doesn't ever go potty in her box and it keeps her warm and safe on cold nights.

4. Rats are hardy animals. Think sewers, they are very resourceful and won't eat anything that will harm them (at least we have never had a problem).

5. They have very complex personalities, they are used in research as a substitute for humans because they have similar reactions to psychological tests.

You really have to keep their brains working. Keep interesting toys in their cage, a cat bell ball filled with pasta that they have to get out to eat, or the box, or anything. They really love to make nests, so cotton balls/newspaper/tissues are a must!

They are very very smart, and will get close to an owner. I've actually been considering using rats as therapy animals for children with autism. They are very affordable in terms of upkeep, and have a lower commitment level than a cat/dog (or guinea pig, love them but they are some work). They clean themselves and can be litter trained.

If you are thinking about a rat, DO IT :) I recommend a female, males tend to have a rougher look to them, they get bigger, and have unsightly parts around the tail if you catch my drift.

racmhk
12-24-09, 08:59 pm
OMG yes!!! rats make awesome pets! my mother didn't like rat tail's either, but I went out and got rats anyway (NOT condoning that, I just knew my mom is a sucker for babies) I now have 5. They are the most sociable caged pet I have had, they are even more sociable than my cat and some of the dogs! I have had pigs, snakes, toads, hamsters, gerbils, and mice in my time, so I know lol.

two things about oxbow food though: its not sutible for rats under four months of age and many rats don't like the taste so won't eat it. There are some other excellent choices though.

Ferret nation cages are great, but they make the critter nation specifically for smaller pets in case you rescue babies or small females.

check out goosemoose pet portal for lots and lots of rattie info!

*sorry in advance for any spelling mistakes*