Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Westminster, MD
I'm new to the rat world, have a few basic Qs
I've recently been looking to get a new pet, and my love of ferrets has evolved into a newfound interest in pet rats. I have not bought any yet, but are hoping to do so soon. In the meantime, I was hoping some of you veteran rat owners could answer a few questions for me. Please bear with me if they seem silly or overly basic, but like I said, this is a brand new subject for me...
1)I would like to have strictly females...is there an ideal number of females to have in one home? I was thinking 2-3, but wasn't sure if there were any advantages to any particular number in a group.
2)Is there a variety of rat that makes a better pet? I'm not much for looks, I just want rats that are friendly and sociable by nature.
3)What makes a better home, a wire cage or a glass/acrylic tank? Can you use one of those multi-level ferret type of cages? I want them to have the best home my budget can afford---somewhere in the 40-70 dollar range, if possible.
4)I don't want my rats to have the run of the house when they are out for exercise; so, what is the best way to create a safe space that is large enough for them to exercise? Do the ferret fences (the little strips of fencing that make an enclosed play area) make an appropriately sized play area for rats?
5)I'm scared of buying rats from a pet store---is this a valid fear, or are all of the pet store horror stories true? I've started to contact breeders in my area because I think I'd find better quality rats from them, but haven't gotten any responses yet. Generally speaking, how much does a rat cost from a breeder? I know it depends on breed/area/reputation, but I was just wondering on average how much they run.
Thanks so much for any help you can offer. I am really excited about becoming a rat owner, as well as getting to know you all better!