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Thread: rats!!

  1. #1
    Frybird = Flybird Teenager jokulhlaup's Avatar
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    rats!!

    hey all...i have been considering getting a rat for a while now. but i have no experience with rodents at all, so i'm looking for some basic advice. i know they are really smart animals and make good pets. but can i get only one or are they more comfortable with a pair or more. what kind of cage is best (i'm thinking a small rat, but i don't really know how big they get).

    i know they are really smart, and so darn cute! i would love to add one to my menagerie. so if anyone has any helpful hints, i would greatly appreciate it!
    rip percy, isabella, and little oliver. i will never forget you...


  2. #2
    Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    I have two male rats, Oliver and Finley.

    If you want a "small" rat, you'll want to go with females, who are generally smaller and more active then males, although this is just a generalization.

    Rats MUST be kept in pairs, but trios or more are better. Each rat should have two cubic feet of space I think, but more is always better. My rat cage is the 695 (30" x 18" x 36") from Martin's cages: http://martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/ It may seem like overkill for two, but I would feel horrible having them in anything smaller, they use all the space! Make sure you get a powder coated cage, galvanized wire will soak up the pee smell and stink really fast!

    I would suggest doing some research online first, then heading over to a rat forum such as goosemoose.com to ask any other questions you have, as to explain every aspect of rat care would take up a lot of space!

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    Frybird = Flybird Teenager jokulhlaup's Avatar
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    Re: rats!!

    thanks LC! i definitely plan on doing a bunch more research before i make any decisions.
    rip percy, isabella, and little oliver. i will never forget you...


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    Cream of Cockatiel Tailfeather sammit's Avatar
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    Re: rats!!

    ive had 6 rats over the years all of them male. they are a little less active but they are huge and loveable. i did however babysit a female rat and boy did she stink! i had to change her cage twice a day because the smell was terrible! and at that time i had 4 males and they never stunk at all. im biast towards males though, theyre just so much more squishable!


    "im now under the impression that sarcasm is the body's natural defence against stupid" - sam

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    Brand New Egg
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    Re: rats!!

    i would definately agree with Rachel at the idea of getting them spayed. I recently lost one of mine to a pituitary tumor which in 99% of times does not occur in spayed rats. It is an awful disease that you really don't want to see happen to your rats so i strongly recomend it.

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    AKA 'Follyfoot Farm' Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    been covered a bit HERE aswell

    i know rats are amazing pets, but i learnt something while reading the thread i linked you to... its worth a read.

    Before you ask, yes I am a b!tch...
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    Egg's Cracking... Shellybird's Avatar
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    Re: rats!!

    I have a rat named Trix. They really are adorable pets and make great companions. I know that you should have two and that I should think about getting another one, but I don't know how to introduce them. I guess I should do some research then. :]

    What I sometimes really can't believe is how people don't separate sewer rats from domestic rats. There is a VAST difference. Their hate or dislike for rats is only based on ignorance. :[ It gets me really angry, but I guess there is nothing I can do about it.

    Sorry! Moving on, I got off topic. Hehe.

    They should have a lot of space (personally that is what I think) and definitely a good amount of toys! They love hammocks too. Also, even bird toys are great for rats if you have a wire cage! Giving them out of cage time is essential as well. They are really playful.

    If you do get a wire cage, though, you need to make sure at least some of that wiring is covered because it can hurt the rat's feet. Martin'scages has a selection for foot coverings and such. That is where I got everything for my ratty.

    I, personally, love female rats better. I've had four rats in the past and not one female has every stunk as bad as my male rats. They are also more energetic too. The one thing I absolutely love about rats is the kisses they give! :]

    So yes, just my experience with rodents.

    Also- if you get bedding, don't get pine shavings. If you have ever heard of CareFresh, get that. Pine shavings can cause respiratory problems and shortens your rat's life.

    If you have any questions about what I have said, ask away! XD
    Last edited by Shellybird; 11-11-2008 at 08:30 AM.



    Also owned by: a rabbit (R.I.P) and a rat.
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    Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    If you do get a wire cage, though, you need to make sure at least some of that wiring is covered because it can hurt the rat's feet.
    That's actually just a myth (that wire floors causes bumblefoot). As long as the spacing is correct (1/2" max), wire floors are fine. It's -dirty- conditions that cause bumblefoot.

  9. #9
    Amorous Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    Yeah but I can't imagine wire is very comfortable for them to run around on and sleep on.


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    Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    Well, I usually cover the two small shelves in my cage with towels to make cleaning easier and have some tiles in the middle shelf, but they don't sleep on either of those surfaces, they prefer their hammocks (which is a MUST with rats) or their litter box.

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    Tailfeather WyleeWhippets's Avatar
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    Re: rats!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Cricket View Post
    Rats MUST be kept in pairs
    Not necessarily true. I had one male that refused to be with other rats. HATED them. He just preferred to be with me.

  12. #12
    Amorous Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    Rats should definitely be kept in pairs. Man, I wish they weren't illegal here.


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    AKA 'Follyfoot Farm' Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    rats like other rodents need the company of other, ofcourse there are excpetions, but if you get a pair of young ones, those chances are reduced.

    kiln dried pine shavings are OK, but any dusty bedding is not, it can cause URIS.

    i cant see the wire grating being too much of a problem as long as they have somewhere to go to get off of it when they want to.

    Before you ask, yes I am a b!tch...
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  14. #14
    Tailfeather
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    Re: rats!!

    Quote Originally Posted by RoughCollies View Post
    Not necessarily true. I had one male that refused to be with other rats. HATED them. He just preferred to be with me.
    Male rats can get a little too hormonal, in which case they should be neutered, and either then will get along with boys or can live with girls who they get along with.

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    Egg's Cracking... Shellybird's Avatar
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    Re: rats!!

    Ah, I think I worded what I said wrong.

    I meant to say something like wire can make their feet start to hurt if they are always on it. I wouldn't want to be standing or sleeping on wire all of my life. =/ Sorry if there was a misunderstanding, heh.



    Also owned by: a rabbit (R.I.P) and a rat.
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