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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2004, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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? about rats

Hi, I just have a few questions about rats. I use to have 5 rats several years ago they were all male. Seems when they reached maturity they started dribbling urine on me so i wasn't interested in holding them too much any more. I want to get a rat again and I asked this lady who was suppose to be well knowledged on rats what she thought of that. She siad my rats were not handeled enough that's why they were peeing , and she never heard of male rats doing that. My rats were handled so this can't be correct, can it? Also I would really prefer just 1 rat, so I thought I'd get 1 that's not friendly with other rats and has to kept alone. This breeder (someone else) told me that a rat that has to be kept totally alone is usually nasty with people too. Is that true? Cause that is sure not true with guinea pigs. I want to get a real fancy rat with nice fur, not sure what kind yet but is anyone near me that has rats up for adoption or sale? I live in Northeastern PA near Allentown. I am open for a pair also but prefer 1 friendly one.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-14-2004, 04:44 PM
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Hi Linda Lee!

In my experiance with rats, the males just tend to do that as they get older. I've heard people say that giving them cranberry juice helps but I haven't had rats since I heard that either. You're right though, it's NOT from not being handled enough, it's just something that happens with age.
As for just getting one, I personally tell everyone to get a pair because they seem to really bond with each other and keep each other company. If you spent a ton of time with the single rat all the time, it would probably be ok but if at all possible, I would reccomend a pair. I've never really thought about it before, but looking back on our past ratties, the ones that had to be kept seperate from the others were always nasty to people too! I'm not saying that's the rule or anything but that seems to be how it goes.
Good luck on finding the perfect rat/s for you!


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2004, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Becki! How are you doing?
Thanks for the fast reply. I have asked that piddle question before and another answer I got was marking behavior. What ever the reason they do it is I think I'm planning on female rats this time. Is there a difference, females friendleir than males or vice versa? Every one probably has a different answer for that one.
I will get a pair for sure, I don't want to feel guilty when I'm away.
Thanks!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2004, 08:18 AM
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Definitely get a pair if you can. Ratties are much healthier and happier in groups.

Your males were most likely just marking you as their own. Female rats do the same so you really probably won't get away from that. Neutered males mark a little less in my experience, but they do still mark, it's just what they do! You get used to it after a while though.

The main personality difference in males and females is activity. Females tend to be more "on the go" where as males will usually be more lazy when they are older. My females are nuts and are into everything and constantly making me laugh whereas my males will todder about during playtime and then go find a nice corner to nap in.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2004, 01:52 PM
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Hello Linda Lee!

I agree with those who have posted and said that the 'marking' is normal. However, I do have two baby female ratties who have not yet marked on me one time. I have had them out of their cage everyday.

I also agree that female rats are a little crazier, but definately funny to watch. They keep me constantly entertained. They even have a little bit of a rat attitude. (Especially when it's medicine time, as they have been somewhat sneezy)

I once had a rat who marked a lot, and she was female. I think the marking thing depends on the individual rat, to a certain degree.

Good luck on your search! And let me know if you have any questions, as I would be glad to help.

Hoodie and Honey are Hiding!


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-15-2004, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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yes, I do have more questions and hopefully you'll be back soon.
What kind of cage do you recommend(2 rats) and what type of bedding do you think is OK to use? I don't want a huge cage so something that is big enough to make them happy, I may even try and make one. I hear they like multi levels which mine didn't have years ago.
Also, do you think buying from a show breeder you would have less chance of health problems? My rats had lots of health problems and I hear it's from poor breeding, or inbreeding. There is a show breeder only 15 or 20 min. from me, I'm waiting for an appointment to visit her rattery because I want to see all the different kinds. I know she's starting the Harley breed which I might like to own but I would have a long wait for them.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2004, 09:15 AM
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Linda Lee-
If you are getting two baby ratties, (1-3 months old), then I would recommend that you start with a 10 gallon aquarium. This is because most cages large enough for adult rats are not equipt to handle small ratties, and they could escape! If you want to get an open-air cage with bars instead, look into cages meant for hamsters - but don't get the kind with the plastic tubes for them to run through! Ratties get too big and can get stuck in these 'toys.' I currently have two rats in a 10 gallon aquarium, as they are too small for my other cage. For now, it is suitable for them as long as I clean it 1 to 2 times per week. I keep a 'mesh' aquarium-topper on top of the aquarium to be sure they won't escape. You can find this at any good pet store.

As for bedding, I use carefresh, or carefresh ultra. It's the only bedding that I trust as many beddings have addatives or chemicals or ink that is no good for a rat's health. It's soft enough and smells decent, even when soiled. It is kind of expensive though -- compared to the dangerous other bedding. It runs about 6 dollars for a small bag, and 20 dollars for a lage economy bag. The 20 dollar bag is, of course, a better deal.

Buying from a breeder is a smart idea, they seem to care more about the rats than a regular pet store. However, I believe that health problems really depend greatly on the rat. There is no doubt that you have a better chance for a healthy rat with a breeder, but some rats are just sickly with lowered immune systems for whatever reason. All rats are succeptible (sp?) to upper respiratory infections, it just depends if their immune system can fight it off in time. For example, I have one rattie who had an infected finger due to injury which I believe lowered her immune system and caused her to be succeptible to the respiratory infection. We have her on antibiotics now and it seems to be helping (fingers crossed).

I have never heard of the Harley breed, but would be interested to see one. I have two dumbo ratties that are just the cutest. Good luck! And again, don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions. I love to talk ratties!

Hoodie and Honey are Hiding!


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2004, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your great info! I have a big Zoo Zone cage that's like an aquarium but plastic. I plan to use that if I get 2 babies. I might take 2 adults she has, but I want to see them before I decide. I guess I'll try and make something nice if I have to wait awhile for them. If I do want Harleys(new breed) I would have a very long wait , possibly end off 2005- I don't know why so long.
Here is her web site http://littlenoserattery.everypocket.com/boys.html on that page there are a couple Harleys. They have long fur, sort of like an angora rabbit. She also has several other kinds I want to see in person. I'm very anxous because I don't think I've seen all these different breeds before. I think she's a very caring and good breeder, it's so obvious when you read through her web site.
Thanks again for info.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2004, 11:22 PM
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You're welcome! Hope the info helps.

Hoodie and Honey are Hiding!


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2004, 06:17 PM
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Martins Cages (www.martinscages.com) make wonderful cages specifically for rats. They aren't too expensive and hold up very well.

Christy
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I think I'm going to try and make one out of Coroplast and cube grids that have smaller size holes. I found some on Linen and things web site( Mesh Cubes, Silver Mesh,). I should be getting all the supplies early next week. I hope it works out , if it does I'll post a picture and how you make it. I didn't think I could use coroplast for rats , but on this rat cage making site they used coroplast, so I'll give it a try.
Also tommorow I'm visiting the breeders Rattery mentioned above, I may come home with 2 6 month old females- 1 satin, and 1 dumbo double rex blue colored. She said they are show quality, can't wait to see them.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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I bought the rats today! New thread posted with their pictures. Also I decided against making the cage , just didn't like the grids I was planning on using so I purchased a super Pet rat cage with a couple levels.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 09:49 PM
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congrats on your rats
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female rat, female rats, guinea pig, male rat, male rats, neutered male, pet store, rat cage, respiratory infection, respiratory infections, upper respiratory infection, upper respiratory infections


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