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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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girl ratties questions

My son's rats died recently- and it was pretty hard on him. And his dad didn't make it much better by taking him to petsmart the same day that Harley died and trying to get him to pick out new ones. Upset him even more. It was kindly meant, but very bad timing.

BUT this week, Isaac decides he will get more rats. And he says he wants girls. I have never had girls, and other than them supposedly being more hyper and generally smaller, I really know little about them.

I have met one pair of girls before- and they were pretty young- and yes, they were hyper, but not more so than say my rat Ditto- who at 20months is still an absolute spaz (though sweet). In general, those who have had both males and females, are the females going to be too much for an almost 12yo with rat and hamster and gerbils experience to handle?

Are they more mischievious about trying to escape and go walkabout?

Will having females in the house (total other end of the house, but still the same house) have any ill-effects on the comfort or behavior of my boys (aged 20 and 26 months)?

Anything that girls would like to play with that you have witnessed more than boys? We have wheels, even though they were basically used to sit in to eat things. Do they like hammocks as much as boys? or prefer igloos or wooden houses? In your experience?

Last question- who has rats from PetSmart? I have never bought from PetSmart, but generally have a good opinon of what I have seen on their animals. The lady that we always got rats through before has moved, haven't checked petfinder yet but will, though they have never seen rats on there before in our area- so may have to go to PetSmart. How has the long-term health of PetSmart rats impressed you?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 01:10 AM
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I have a rat from petsmart and he's a sweetie I've also had a rat from petsmart that got so nasty but I think he was going through his hormonal phase. I can't say much on owning females because I never have. I know they are more active and I have heard that they prefer wheels to males.
I have female and male mice and I know with them, the male kinda gets spazzy when I guess the females go into heat and vise versa, but they're cages are very close. I'm not sure about rats though.

*Missy*
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, pinkie- that's pretty much what I have heard, too. I've had nine boys over the past few years, but never a girl. Almost took in a preggie girl once- found her in a feeder bin- but ended up talking someone else into taking her as I had hamster babies at the time and knew I was not going to have proper time for her and the babies- and she was so young and small and I had no experience with rats giving birth- had disaster written all over it, even though I still think about her and how pretty and sweet she was. Kind of wish I could come across another preggy one now- I have so many empty cages- but trying to resist taking on too much at once. And really don't want to go through the thing again with so many the same age and them all getting old and dying in a few months of each other. That gets depressing fast.

No rats in Alabama on Petfinder. Closest are in TN- roughly 3 hours away- and think they were all males. Thinking this morning I should check on those again and see if they would be willing to meet me part way. I would really like him to have young rats, though, as the time with them is so short already. And not to be snobby, but most rescue are from generations of inbreeding due to families kept in the same cages and my three previous experiences with rescueing were 4 sick, unfriendly, expensive rats that died too young. I would take in any rescue, mind you, but a boy whose heart has already been broken doesn't need to be getting a rat with strikes against it in the health department already.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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hi ive foundout with my sons rats that you cant tame girls as much as boys i had male rats as a young girl and they were fantastic compared to the girls who were unresponsive my hooded rat whent everywhere with me girls can bite as we found out
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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I did contact the tennessee rescue- and the four girls are still available BUT they are are in foster care in Kentucky AND they are not old enough to go yet.

I am really wanting him to get boys- boys I know- but he is very stubborn and I want him to be happy with his choice- so a delicate opereation is in order.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennawing
Last question- who has rats from PetSmart? I have never bought from PetSmart, but generally have a good opinon of what I have seen on their animals. The lady that we always got rats through before has moved, haven't checked petfinder yet but will, though they have never seen rats on there before in our area- so may have to go to PetSmart. How has the long-term health of PetSmart rats impressed you?
I don't know much about rats but had to answer this...

Someone I know bought two rats there and were told they were males. Both of them ended up being pregnant females. Soon they had a ton of babies but most of them ended up dying and the ones who lived only lived a month or two....they were inbred with genetic problems. They still have the two original rats but they have alot of problems and are completely insane (probably a result of being inbred)...aparrently they lunge when you walk by the cage and can't really be handled.

Maybe your PetsMart is better, though.




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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 08:10 PM
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Like I said, I've gotten 2 rats from the same petsmart and one is perfect and the other was crazy. If I were you, I would go into the petsmart and handle the rat while you're in the store, and maybe go back the next day and handle her again. Maybe if you get in good with the manager you can talk her into holding the rat away from the ones on display and just say you are interested in adopting, but want to learn the rats personality first.

I found these breeders in Alabama http://www.ratster.com/breederlinkscontent.html#AL

You can probably also contact www.kimsarkrescue.org and ask them if they know of any available rats that are in your area.

*Missy*
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for those links. Nothing available, though.

It's out of the question to make two trips to Birmingham to Petsmart, however. We will figure something out. I really needed to know more about the girls themselves. The other part I can figure out.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 12:27 AM
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I would say look for a good breeder as most animals from pet stores have bad genes and helth problems as they are just breed for profit, not on health aspects!! They will have a less chance of being born with a illness and live longer!!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyrosie
hi ive foundout with my sons rats that you cant tame girls as much as boys i had male rats as a young girl and they were fantastic compared to the girls who were unresponsive my hooded rat whent everywhere with me girls can bite as we found out
I have actually started off getting females.I never had a problem with biting rats.Maybe your girls just didnt get enough handling and attention.

Males CAN produce too much testostarone and become aggressive and the only way to fix this is have them neutered.However I have 14 boys right now and have had boys before these guys and NEVER had a mean male.I even have the boys and girls in the same room and have no probs.

Females are more active and playful and are easier to train,as they love stimulation.Males can be trained too,but where they are lazy...they are abit harder.Females make just as good pets as the males (altho I prefer boys!They are more cuddly) and in MOST cases they don't scent mark,like the boys do.However females are prone to cancerous tumors,especially mammory ones.

I say go for either rescue or a good breeder.Good luck!





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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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THank you, vanilla rat. That is just the info I was looking for. Of course, you could guess, I would not be getting old rats neutered- do you think they would even know girls are here in the house? Of course, the girls will be kept in the very back bathroom for a couple weeks, but then moved into my son's room- one and two rooms away from the other two boys. Chester doesn't come out of his cage anymore- you have to pry him out to clean it. Ditto does still parade through the house on my husband's shoulder on weekends- any ideas or tips on how to shield them from realizing the females are here? Chester I don't worry about as much as Ditto. Is this just something that I would have to wait and see their reaction to, or is it not really going to matter since the boys are both single so no risk of killing each other over a whiff of a girl? I don't want Ditto to be difficult for my husband to handle- he was the little rat that made hubby stop going ew over rats, after all, and they have a special bond.

I ahve been in contact with another breeder- but she does not have any ratties now and won't until December. I have emailed another, but have not heard back yet. I would have looked for a breeder earlier, but three years or so ago when we decided on rats, there were no breeders to be found- one retired breeder who was able to get my first two pairs for me from a breeder friend in Florida. Very surprising to see rats become more popular around here.

Last edited by jennawing; 09-28-2006 at 12:44 PM.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Have just heard from the rescue I mentioned earlier- she may be able to get the rats to me this weekend, after all. That would be nice- now of to try to find out what they will be! I think it was a black hooded and three pews! Do I want to take on 4 girls? I hate to tell her I just will take 2 when the other 2 need homes, too.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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OK- not too comfortable with this. They are only 5 weeks old, and coming from Kentucky to here- that's 5-6 hours travel for them. Trying to think how to tell her no nicely.

ok, I just told her simply not to stress them for my schedule and left it up to her and the fostering mom's judgement whether they should be moved at this age. I jsut know travel is stressful, and even more so when they are so little.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 02:20 PM
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i have two female rats and they are not a prob at all...hyper but nothing crazy..they wont be a handful...


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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OOOH- this rescue is being really insistent about me taking these rats. Am I wrong to not want to end up with 5weeks old rats that are stressed out from travelling across 3 states and sick? She also told me that dumbos are aggressive. I don't think they know what they are doing or talking about. Yes- I would love to give these girls a home- but at the expense of sick rats and heartbreak? I cannot be that selfless, sorry. I told her to hold them another month and I will take them and Isaac can get rats elsewhere. And I told her I would make the donation now if theat helped. I jsut think they are too small to be travelling.
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