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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help! College with Rat!

When I go to college, I am bringing my rat, Lily, and hope to FINALLY get her a friend! My parents wouldn't let me before. The trouble is that they only allow 10 gallon aquariums. I want her to be comfortable, but I do not really have any other options. I was thinking about putting an aquarium topper on top of it, would that work? I want what is best for Lily.

My two options are my parents keep her or I bring her with me.

My parents would not be able to care for her as well as I can, and they would never play with her. Also, she would remain a solo rat, which would keep her bored and depressed. This is especially problematic, what with the lack of attention she will receive from them.

I would give her the attention she needs and a ratty friend to play with. The problem with bringing her is the lack of cage space. I would try to find some loopholes in the 10 gal tank rule so that I could give her as much room as possible, but it would be cramped.

What do you guys think?
Also, what ideas do you have to make the 10 gal work?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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would I be even ALLOWED (or capable with getting away with) something like this?

www .ebay. com/itm/10-Gallon-2-Story-Aquarium-Cage-Topper-hamster-gerbil-degu-rat-BEST-CAGES-EVER-/121072457388?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c307b 16ac

without spaces. i cant post links yet.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 07:56 PM
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Is there a moderator who can kick this Cildcheld spammer off the forum?

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 01:09 PM
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Do you know your college dorm's rules regarding dorm pets? Every college I've ever been to and heard of only allows fish, and only in a 10-gallon tank or smaller. Small animals are generally not allowed. I'd hate for you to take her and then have to get rid of her because the university won't allow you to keep her there...


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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The college says that I can bring a small animal like a rat if I keep it in a 10 gal tank. Idk if I can use a cage topper.

I was wondering if she would be okay in that.

How am I a spammer? I merely posted a link to an example...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 03:26 PM
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(Vladina didn't mean you were a spammer, she was commenting about another user who filled this thread with spam posts, all of which have been deleted now by the moderators.)

I wouldn't keep a rat in a 10-gallon tank. It is going to be barely big enough, first of all, and rats need much better air circulation than what can be provided in a glass tank. (And I'm assuming that since the university said a 10-gallon tank, they mean only that, with no other additions to the cage.)


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 05:32 PM
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Hi Hopelesslavende,


Yes, Breyer is right on both counts. I was not calling you a spammer, promise! There was some dork on here posting long spam junk that he/she added to your thread. It was not you!


And yes, a 10 gallon tank is absolutely waaaay too small for a rat (and actually rats really must be kept in pairs, not alone...they very much need the company of another rat or they will become very depressed and lethargic. A sad situation all around that you would not want to put a single ratty through.)


To give you an idea of how small a 10 gallon tank is, that is what most gerbil/hamster guides will give you as a MINIMUM for a pair of gerbils, who are much smaller than a rat. When my husband and I had our two gerbil boys, we only used a 10 gallon tank because we also doubled that space with a tank topper so they had two floors of space to run around on. We could not have kept them in just a single 10 gallon with no other space as it was really too small even for the gerbils.


And tank toppers would be built for small critters like hamsters and gerbils and the ramps going up and down from that tank topper would not be wide enough for the girth of a full grown rat anyway.



In addition, rats really need to have more ventilation and open air through a wire type enclosure, as they have very sensitive respiratory systems. Glass tanks are NOT recommended for rats.



If you are in a college situation with restrictions on pets and how big an enclosure/cage you can have, I would just hold on for a bit and wait if you really want rats. So many things can happen with dorm and apartment rules/roomates, and so many changes, that a small animal can end up getting the short end of the stick in situations like that.


You would not want to get a new critter that you love, then have to give it away, or give it to a shelter, etc due to something unforseen that can come up with college living and not having your own rules that you can enforce. It is heartbreaking both for the person and the critter that gets attached to you.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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The trouble is, I've had her for almost 2 years now. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but I want her to be happy. I think I may try to rehome her.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 12:11 AM
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Well, if I understand correctly, your college living rules state you cannot have anything larger than a 10 gallon enclosure for small pets, yes? What kind of housing has she been in up until now? Sorry, I can't remember all the details of what her housing has been like. Is this new rule something that just came up and you have had her in a bigger housing enclosure but now you can't use that anymore, or do I have it all mixed up?

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladina View Post
What kind of housing has she been in up until now? Sorry, I can't remember all the details of what her housing has been like. Is this new rule something that just came up and you have had her in a bigger housing enclosure but now you can't use that anymore, or do I have it all mixed up?
I am in high school now. I leave for college next year. I'm sorry if that was unclear! My bad.

Also, I'm sorry I got upset at you for the spammer comment. I was in a testy mood

Yeah. I was saying I didn't want to leave her home with my parents because she wouldn't get any attention. I tried to get her a cagemate once but she got kinda violent despite me doing everything I could to introduce them in a neutral place, and so now my parents won't let me try again.

If I took her to college, I would be able to try again, but I wouldn't be able to keep two rats in a ten gal tank. Not even one. So I was asking if I could sneak a cage topper onto my ten gal that i have lying around.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 11:13 PM
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Yeah, even with a tank topper on top of a 10 gallon tank, I just would not recommend that for a rat. In addition to the fact that she would spend half her life in the bottom portion with inadequate ventiliation, those tank topper ramps are just not built big or wide enough to accomodate a full size rat, and the tank toppers are also wire mesh that would not be good for a rat to be walking on all day, as it could cause bumblefoot. A ten gallon tank with a tank topper is something that works fine for say, hamsters and gerbils, due to their small size, but not a good home for a ratty.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 09:00 AM
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I would agree with Vlad. It's far from ideal. However, let's walk through all the options to cover all bases. Others feel free to disagree with me:

The pros and cons as I see them:

1) She would be very lonely but safe if left behind with the parents.
2) A new home with someone to love her and spend time with her is the ideal solution so I agree. A concentrated effort should be made to do this for her sake.
3) There is no guarantee she will find a new home...though the effort should not be stopped, even after going away to college because...
4)...if you brought her with you, nothing promises that you won't be busted for keeping a rat and told to 'get rid of it immediately' or be kicked out yourself. (We tried to help a young woman in the same situation who got busted and was pushed to keep her rat in sub freezing temperatures in the car overnight).
5) I can tell you that a cage topper plus 10 gallon tank won't be allowed. The whole reason they force you to use 10 gallons, is to discourage you from keeping larger pets like rats. So don't bother asking for special permission.
6) A rat can tolerate a smaller cage (10 gallon PLUS a cage topper being considered smaller) if you are dedicated to spending a LOT of time with her and letting her run loose. Several hours worth of time daily if possible. In other words, she will be a bigger time responsibility if she goes with you than she is now.
5) Most rats from my rat expert friend's experience won't even use the 10 gallon section if they have access to a cage topper.

Illicit option: The beds in our dorm were bunk style adaptable and very sturdy. We found if you wanted to, you could turn the frame upside down and create a study nook underneath the extra tall bedframe while you slept on top. My husband (boyfriend then) filled the open space with milk crates crammed with his books and clothes. It created a large secret cubby space behind/under the bed. In my less than respectable days, when hanging out illicitly after visiting hours, it was a handy hidey hole when the RA's popped in unexpectedly. I'm not saying this is a good idea. After all, rats don't know how to be quiet just because you need them to do so, so chances are you'll be busted pretty quickly. Though you could constantly play music or something to drown out the scratching and chewing. Someone's going to...uh...rat you out before too long. Especially in a girls dorm with a guaranteed selection of catty gossipy immature rat-phobics living with the more laid back girls.

If you're good socially, you could always make good friends with the RA's on the first day and see if they would be willing to look the other way for the next six months to a year that would be the remainder of her lifespan as long as you do your best to remain circumspect and careful on your part about her existence so the RA's don't get put on the spot by their superiors.

6) While you might be tempted to get a second rat to keep her company, now you have twice the responsibility with 1/4 of the space needed instead of just half the space needed. Plus the companion is going to be younger and therefore with you much longer.

So yes, you can try keeping her, but it would be a temporary set up at best with the constant risk of exposure and abrupt eviction.

Did I miss any angle?


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Great news! I called the college and they said if my floor votes unanimously that I can have her, she can have a cage that is up to ten cubic feet large!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 11:40 PM
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Wow you have a really nice school. I was an RA and we almost had to make a guy get rid of this crabs in his tank because those were considered to be inappropriate. Small animals were definitely not allowed. We did this year how ever get a student who claimed their dog was a stress reducer for them and was allowed to have it in the residence hall. I hope all works out with your floor!
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