Author Topic: What do I need to know about owning rats?  (Read 1525 times)

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Dazi

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2013, 07:05:16 PM »
An aquarium is going to stick up FAST. A friend of mine kept hers in a cage. Something like this one http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752728&f=PAD%2FpsNotAvailInUS%2FNo
I also found this in my searching  http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4470997&f=PAD%2FpsNotAvailInUS%2FNo


Hers rats really, really liked it a lot.  It was also very easy to clean since the bottom just unhooked. Word of warning, if you do get a bird/wire cage make sure you take the wire mesh out of the bottom.  It can really damage their cute little feet.  Also, they are escape artist.  When I was younger and stayed the night, I woke many times to a rat sitting on me.  They are also very social and active and need at least an hour to play outside their cage a day.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





jaxsue

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2013, 07:54:55 PM »
I would consider the cage you bought to be a temporary one -- for them to be healthy and happy, they're really going to need more space than that. At the very least you'll have to clean it twice a week, because the ammonia from their urine will build up quickly in a glass cage and it will make them sick if you don't keep on top of it.

This is a good site -- http://www.quite.co.uk/rats/ -- it's British so some of the terminology might be a little quirky, but a Harry Potter fan shouldn't mind.  :P

This.

OP, I used to raise fancy hooded rats. They are intelligent, friendly pets. I second the idea that you choose another option for their permanent home. They become quite large and need lots of spade. We made our own cage. It consisted of a plastic kiddie pool, with chicken wire set inside it, about 4 feet high. The beauty was that they could climb it, and the fumes could "escape." At the top I put a hammock that they loved to sleep in. Toys/things made for ferrets are perfect for rats.

I didn't have cats when I had the rats (Franklin and his son, Peyton). I had a dog. They were in no danger from her; more than once when they escaped (be warned: they are escape artists!) she'd pick them up gently in her mouth, intending no harm. Cats, I'm not so sure. I wouldn't mix rats with the cats I have now.

Rats are social and intelligent and need lots of attention. They also have respiratory issues. The biggest reason I got out of raising them was due to the fact that I got tired of losing them.  :-[

And, IMO, the male rats were much nicer than the female rats. The male rats will "mark" you with a bit of urine at first. I know that sounds gross but if you're an animal lover like I am it's a small price to pay.

And another warning: never leave Halloween or Easter candy around unattended. Ask me how I know.  :)

MorgnsGrl

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2013, 07:58:21 PM »
And, IMO, the male rats were much nicer than the female rats. The male rats will "mark" you with a bit of urine at first. I know that sounds gross but if you're an animal lover like I am it's a small price to pay.

I've had several girl rats and they were super friendly and darling. But they did "mark" us, too.

jaxsue

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2013, 08:35:11 PM »
And, IMO, the male rats were much nicer than the female rats. The male rats will "mark" you with a bit of urine at first. I know that sounds gross but if you're an animal lover like I am it's a small price to pay.

I've had several girl rats and they were super friendly and darling. But they did "mark" us, too.

Maybe I got the "moody" one.  :)

ica171

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2013, 09:22:17 PM »
So they can have plastic and cloth? Will they eat either of those? My son is already wanting to feed them people food, he asked me to make a list. I told him tomorrow we'd give them some broccoli and turkey.

exitzero

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2013, 09:28:10 PM »
So they can have plastic and cloth? Will they eat either of those? My son is already wanting to feed them people food, he asked me to make a list. I told him tomorrow we'd give them some broccoli and turkey.

They will chew up plastic, but they won't eat it. They are pretty smart. (With some notable exceptions. I've had some rats that make you wonder how the species thrives.)

They will chew holes in cloth, some rats more than others, but unlike hamsters they won't stuff it in their mouths or try to eat it.

If you feed them too many vegetables, their poops might get runny. If that happens, cut back. They shouldn't have too much protein...meat once in awhile is fine. You can even give them bones and they will have a blast chewing on them.

Every rat that I have ever had, or ever heard about LOVES peas. You can give them frozen, you don't even have to bother to thaw them. In the summer you can take a shallow pan and fill it with water, throw some peas in and watch them fish for peas!


ica171

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2013, 09:37:00 PM »
Ooh, that sounds fun. I'm pretty sure I have some frozen peas.

One other thing I thought of, I read that gerbils liked to take sand baths. Is it the same for rats? I haven't seen any mention of it in my reading so far.


exitzero

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2013, 09:44:19 PM »
Ooh, that sounds fun. I'm pretty sure I have some frozen peas.

One other thing I thought of, I read that gerbils liked to take sand baths. Is it the same for rats? I haven't seen any mention of it in my reading so far.

No, no sand baths. They groom themselves just like cats. Some people give their rats baths. I never saw the need unless they get into something. Like cats, most rats don't like baths.

Some rats can be taught tricks. You can look on Youtube to learn how. I've had mixed success. Some rats get the idea right away, some never seem to pick it up or they forget in five minutes. I had one, Darwin, who would forget half way through the trick. He was very sweet, but dumb as mud.

ica171

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2013, 10:06:38 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with tank toppers? I assume they must lock on somehow, but I worry about it falling over. Or is it better to just go with a full-on wire cage and cover up the floors?

Dazi

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2013, 10:13:56 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with tank toppers? I assume they must lock on somehow, but I worry about it falling over. Or is it better to just go with a full-on wire cage and cover up the floors?

I just about 100% guarantee they will escape nightly with a cage topper.  Rats and hamsters are notoriously good at popping those things off.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





ica171

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2013, 11:52:03 PM »
Do you mean a wire mesh lid like this:



Or a tank topper like this:



We have the wire mesh lid right now because I knew they needed circulation, but it's weighed down with two books. I had a tank with one before and it actually locked on, but this one doesn't.

ica171

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2013, 08:55:32 AM »
We gave the boys each a little broccoli floret before school. One gobbled his right up, one just laid there and looked like he wished we'd all leave so he could go back to sleep. He must not be a morning rat.

Dazi

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2013, 09:40:17 AM »
ica171, I was actually referring to the bottom habitat attachment, but they are really good at getting those mesh things off as well.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





exitzero

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2013, 09:43:10 AM »
We gave the boys each a little broccoli floret before school. One gobbled his right up, one just laid there and looked like he wished we'd all leave so he could go back to sleep. He must not be a morning rat.

Yup, each rat has its own personality. It's fun figuring out what they are like.

I forgot to mention bananas before. I've never met a rat who wasn't crazy about bananas.

exitzero

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Re: What do I need to know about owning rats?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2013, 09:46:19 AM »
Does anyone have any experience with tank toppers? I assume they must lock on somehow, but I worry about it falling over. Or is it better to just go with a full-on wire cage and cover up the floors?

I think that even with a topper, aquariums just don't have the ventalation they need.
If you are feeling flush and have the room, I recommend Critter Nations or Double Critter Nations. They are the MOST awesome cage. Plenty of room, lots of shelf space, super easy to clean.