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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question New Rat Problem

About two months ago I bought a rat (Spes). She's great, a little skittish still, but that's probably from the move she just went through. I knew at the time that rats, especially female, thrive on companionship.. I just was not in a place to get two at the same time. Recently I decided that I was ready to welcome a new girl in to the family. And what luck, a friend of mine had an 'oops' litter from a petstore purchase. She only had one girl left (Fizziks), an adorable little thing (I'm guessing she's a Himalayan? She has red eyes and a light beige coat, with the brown on her nose and base of tail), so I snatched her up.

The point is, I think she is blind. I know rats with red eyes have worse eyesight but she does not even flinch at sudden movement and does the whole tentative nibble to explore what is around her. I also used the flash on my camera in dim lighting, she did not blink. I am prepared to deal with this and won't get rid of her, she's a doll. I really just need help on trying to figure out ways to "rat proof" her future cage so she doesn't fall or anything. Would multiple hammocks be my best bet?

I also am in the process of making a rat play area for my girls.. It won't be tall like the cage is, but my whole idea for it was to be able to change things around every time they go out to play. I suppose that would be out of the question for Fizziks, huh?

Too new to post pics.

Edit: Oh, also, I was wondering if I should introduce them any differently? I was originally planning to just have them meet up on the bathroom floor but that might be way too much area for Fizziks to try to navigate. Spes can easily jump out of the bathtub if so inclined though. :/ And should I use vanilla to change their scent or would that be somehow bad for Fizz?

Last edited by Fizzspestiks; 08-23-2009 at 02:34 AM. Reason: forgot something!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:38 AM
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rats see next to nothing anyway she should be fine.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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Well, first, welcome to PT!

Second, she should be fine. Those whiskers are her "eyes" also; they can sense even the texture of an item, and can tell when it's a drop-off. But the multiple hammocks is a good idea for rats even if they CAN see ('cause you never know when one will push the other off while playing).

As for a play area - I use a table. I drape a colorful towel over this little table and put all these different things on it for them to play. You could also make up your bed. But my boys try to get off, and I have to little ones so they're too fast for me.

Girls aren't that hard to introduce. What I do is I put them in the tub, and you sit outside it to catch any ratty that tries to get out. Watch carefully what they do. You can cover their scent if you want, but I've never really done that with my boys, and they're doing well.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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I suspect that my rattie, Bella, is blind, or very close to it. She's actually the best at not falling off of anything in the cage. Perhaps because of her heightened other senses, she's more careful. One of my other girls, Bonnie, whom I'm sure can see as well as a normal rat can see, falls off of the top level ALL THE TIME. Because she is NUTS. She sees me coming towards the cage, so she runs to the top, and then tries to reach towards the door, which is too far for her to reach, and she will tumble off almost every time. I've tried countless different things to "Bonnie-proof" the top levels, but she always finds a way to fall off... lol. But never Bella, she's too smart for that. So I'm sure your rattie will be just fine even if she is completely blind. Especially if she is blind from a very young age, she will learn early to cope with it.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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Like everyone's said so far, she should be fine and very smart.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info and advice guys. It's silly, Spes always tends to fall off the top level.. well, more like tumble down the ramp a little ways. I suspect she's a little crazy too, lol. Hopefully Fizzi will settle in to the cage just fine. I'll just do a big hammock between the second and first levels for both of their sakes. :] And as I'm typing this Fizzi seems to be curled up almost impossibly with her tail over her head and Spes is just munching away as usual. Gosh, ratties are the most adorable creatures ever. -so says the future crazy rat lady-
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 06:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzspestiks View Post
Gosh, ratties are the most adorable creatures ever. -so says the future crazy rat lady-
Oh I know how it is. I started off with one boy long ago, who was the best boy ratty a girl like me could want, and now I have three boys! My boyfriend starts to get jealous sometimes - but I just hand him a yogie.

Oooh Himalayan? I love how that sounds, those rattys are always so beautiful. Too bad I can't squeeze one more ratty into this mix..!!!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 07:13 AM
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i think she'll be fine. i think my brave boy oscar is blind after he had the accident where he lost one of his eyes. he's fine though. he's more docile now he can't see quite as well, but animals with restricted vision tend to be more docile. good luck with fizzi, she sounds beautiful.


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Babies:
rats: girls:belle, beauty and sweetness Boys: ronnie and oscar
Dogs: Cassie, Jazzmin and Buddy
Cat: Pebbles
Hamster: Skye
gerbils: Tremor and Sparkle
quails
chickens
9 ducks
3 guinea fowl

R.I.P. Cheryl & Kim
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys. I think my boyfriend is jealous too, haha, no yogies for him though! I can already see that Fizzi will be difficult to handle, at first, she just had a frightening time in the bathtub with me trying to gently pick her up and her running around peeing and pooping everywhere. Poor girl. Hopefully with consistent handling she'll get used to me rather quickly.

And I'm excited, I get to go to the hardware store after class tonight and pick up some things to work on their play area.
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