Hello, fellow rat lover!
I can recommend a few websites that are better than most books and are VERY helpful:
The first one, the website I love the most is RATFANCLUB.ORG
It has tons of useful information and the forum is a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, as of 3-27-03 (time right now 12:10 p.m. central), the forum site is down
. They do expect it to come back up soon, though. Keep trying to see if the forum is working; once you get in the forum, you won't be disappointed!
Another one is RATPALACE.COM It's funny, but the Rat Fan Club forum members are on here while the Rat Fan Club forum is down! It is another place where everyone is friendly and informative.
Another place is RMCA.ORG which stands for Rat and Mouse Club of America. It is fun to check out once in a while, but their posts are not very frequent.
Definitely get two rats of the same sex, siblings can be good. Rats are very social and need the companionship of other rats.
Martinscages.com is a website with cages for rats. They are definitely better than aquariums! :cool: I have a R-690 and a custom F-435 cage for my babies.
Food can be found on the Ratpalace. Just ask Suebee (via PM) and she can give you her homemade recipe. It is very low cost (you can get the ingredients at the grocery store) and easy to make -- healthy too!
I use aspen bedding for my rats, but there are varying opinions as to what bedding is the best -- definitely NO Cedar or Pine. Rats can get respiratory infections very easy on Cedar and Pine. If you or your rat are allergic to it aspen, there are other alternatives! Check the sites!
Playtime can be at least 1/2 hour to an hour (more even better if you can do it!) Some rats I have can be free range but make sure you rat proof the room they are in, or if you aren't sure you can trust them, you can let them run around the bathroom with you. I have a few I am afraid will get "lost" and I won't be able to find them again!
Whew! hope this helps you and good luck in your ratty endeavors!