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post #1 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Rat owners-

So I really want a pair of rats! I have been doing research and I still have some questions for rat owners and/or previous rat owners. Here goes!

A pair of females or males? (pros and cons)

What kind of cage do you have and where did you get it?

If I keep a large cage on the floor, can my cats bother or harm the rats?

What kind of food do you feed them?

Fun toys and ways to keep them entertained?

What kind of bedding do you use?
I can't think of any others right this second, I will add new ones to the list if I do though. I know that they need at least 1 hour of interaction per day and how long they live, etc. Thanks in advance for all replies, I really appreciate your time. Pictures are great too!


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post #2 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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I have females. Females are adventurous and always on the go, which doesn't make for great cuddlers.
I have a "My first home/pet exotics" cage. I got it at PetSmart and it gives the girls lots of room to play in.
If a cage is on the floor, there is always a chance something could happen. My rats have found ways to get out of the cage, and that could be terrible if there were cats around.
I feed my rats a mixture of lab blocks, carnival rat food, and fresh fruits & veggies. Bella and Velvet get olive oil to keep their skin from getting dry since they are a hairless and a double rex.
Tunnels, bird toys, little kitty toy balls, and teaching tricks will help keep your rats entertained. Teaching them tricks will keep their brains thinking and help get rid of boredum.
For the longest time, I used Carefresh bedding. Now I use soft-sorbent bedding for their litter box.
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post #3 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 11:38 PM
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I have two boys and they play all the time in their cage & since they are still 'new' to us they don't really sit still.
We got them both at petsmart as well as their cage. Its is the small rat cage. Until they get bigger and need more space.
I wouldn't put them on the floor. Thats my opinion reguardless.
I use carefresh bedding currently.
They normally climb inside their cage. We had a wheel but, they didn't ever use it. Haha... They are playing now. Attacking each other.

Shortly we are going to train them to be pottytrained and after that then we are going to try to teach tricks.

Britany.

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post #4 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 12:25 AM
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A pair of females or males? (pros and cons)
I have a female pros: they smell less (the pee) and their hair stays softer (testosterone makes male ratty hair look dirtier i find). cons: they are less affectionate.
Males pros: they are cuddly and squishy and bigger than females. (i think that's a plus ) cons: the pee smells more, and they have ginormous testicules haha just kidding. They are less active and as old ratties they're basically couch potatoes and lazy bums this is all generalization, so you could get a female that loves cuddles and a male who hates being held.

What kind of cage do you have and where did you get it?
I have a hagen starter rat cage like this:

I worked at a pet shop when i got it so I had it very reduced but it's over 100$ I am not sure if it's big enough for 2 males but it's pretty big and has 2 shelves which is nice! and it comes with bowl and water bottle, and horrible rat food and some yogies. Got it at a pet shop, living world brand, should be available pretty much anywhere.
If I keep a large cage on the floor, can my cats bother or harm the rats?
My former boss had a male rat and 3 cats. The cats jumped on top of the cage and the rat was terrorized. He would poop outside the cage and be very stressed because of the cats. I think it would be wise to not let the cats in the room where you put the rats. I went into a store with louna and the owner had her cat there, and louna panicked. I think rats in general are very scared of cats!
What kind of food do you feed them?
Subee's
Fun toys and ways to keep them entertained?
TUNNEL! she loves the tunnel! and burying inside a cover, going under the covers. She also likes new objects. The other day she found my hairband, and wow, hours of pleasure!
What kind of bedding do you use?
Aspen or hemp.
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post #5 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 08:07 AM
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I am ratless for the first time in over 10+ years,but I will answer the questions.


A pair of females or males? (pros and cons)

I personally like males better! Heh.
Male pros are they are bigger,more cuddly,make better lap rats,will often sit with you while your on the computer...etc,etc.
The cons (I personally do not mind the cons,but many people do),they mark everything (pee dribble everything),they have very large goolies which they tend to drag often and they produce "buck grease" (an orange-yellow grease).

Female pros,they are smaller and have softer fur.They do not have large goolies.Cons would be they are very active,adventerous and playful (some people prefer this though) and are not very cuddly in most cases.

Both sexes make wonderful pets though,so it is really personal preference.


What kind of cage do you have and where did you get it?

I personally love Martin's Cages.They are a great brand.
http://www.martinscages.com

If I keep a large cage on the floor, can my cats bother or harm the rats?
It could be bad.I find most rats will attack the cats through the bars and defend themselves anyway and one of my cat's has her ears scarred up from a rat attacking her.But some rats stress out way too much.I keep my cages in a "rat room" where the cats are not allowed.

What kind of food do you feed them?
Pet store food is crap and does not contain the proper nutrients for rats.I make a homemade mix for my rats and give them Nutriblock with the homemade mix.As well as things like rice,bread,veggies,fruit,some fish or meat...etc.


Fun toys and ways to keep them entertained?

Most rats will not use a wheel.They love climbing,so ladders and other things they can climb are good.Tunnels,jingle balls,some bird and cat toys,boxes,paper...etc! Also rats love exploring,so free range time is a MUST!

What kind of bedding do you use?
Aspen and Yesterday's News.




* Lisa *

* To the world you are ONE person,but to a rat you are the world *


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post #6 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 09:07 AM
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A pair of females or males? (pros and cons):
I have always had males, and I love them! When they're young (like my current ones are) they are really active and energetic, and as they get older they tend to get much more tame than females. If you want rats who will always play actively, then females are great. If you'd prefer rats who will like to be held, then males are great!

What kind of cage do you have and where did you get it?
I have the Superpet Deluxe My First Home for Exotics, from Petsmart:



It's $99.99, and I really like this cage a lot. It has all plastic levels, so it doesn't hurt their feet, four different levels for them to run around and explore, plus it comes with a hammock and wheel (though I never installed the wheel because I didn't like the construction of it very much). Easy to take apart and clean.

If I keep a large cage on the floor, can my cats bother or harm the rats?

When I was living with my parents and we had our first set of rats, my cat was a baby and he was very interested in them. (The cage was in the kitchen.) One day he discovered that he could stretch up and peek into their cage through the bars...and my rat Ralph bit him on the nose through the bars of the cage! My cat never went near the rats again! If you think your cat might be a problem with them, though, then I'd suggest putting the cage in a non-cat room.

What kind of food do you feed them?

Today is the first day of their new Shunamite diet (minus the dog food). As a base food I use Oxbow Regal Rat. I also supplement daily at my dinner time with fresh veggies and fruit.

Fun toys and ways to keep them entertained?

I just built them a playpen (pictures are on another thread on this forum) and in there they have a bunch of stuff that they love playing with. Rats are easy to please, so I've found that it's not really necessary to buy specially-designed toys for them. The one toy that I did buy, however, they absolutely LOVE: it's one of those cat toys that is a long stick with feathers on the end of it. They love chasing it around the room!!

What kind of bedding do you use?

Mine are litter trained, so they have a litter box with Yesterday's News. For their bed, they have some fleece and random bits of stuff that they've dragged in from their playpen (shredded newspaper, paper towel, etc).


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Last edited by breyer08; 09-13-2009 at 09:12 AM.
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post #7 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 09:09 AM
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Oh, and here's a tip for Yesterday's News: get it in the cat litter section of the store! The company also produces a small animal version, but it's the exact same product and it's more expensive than their larger bag in the cat aisle!


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post #8 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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A pair of females or males? (pros and cons):

-
Males are my favorite. But it depends on what you want: a cuddle rat, or a playful rat (females)? I always enjoy how my oldest rat-boy, Da Vinci, sits on my shoulder to watch me on my computer. He's even fallen asleep nuzzled against my ear.

- Females, as every one has said, are more playful and less willing to just sit with you.

What kind of cage do you have and where did you get it?

-
Mine was bought from a friend, so I'm not much help here.

If I keep a large cage on the floor, can my cats bother or harm the rats?

-
I keep one of my cages on the floor. My older cat ignores it while my kitten just stares! Do your cats try to attack things through the window of your house? That'd prolly be a good way of finding out if they'll bother your rat. But it depends on the personality of your cats, I suppose. Either way, never EVER let them out alone with your rats. I'm sure you already knew that though.

What kind of food do you feed them?

-
I buy store-bought, but as Vanilla said, it's not that great. I'd suggest making your own as it's healthier, and in the long run, saves you money. I plan on making my own soon!

Fun toys and ways to keep them entertained?

-
My favorite thing to do is give them a hard-boiled egg! I crack it just enough for them to taste it and smell it, and they roll it all over the cage trying to get into it! I also like to tickle them - just hold them up and tickle their tummies! Rats laugh, it's just too high a frequency for us to hear, so I imagine my little boys giggling every time.

- But you'll find most toys for them in the Bird Section of stores. Rocks, tree branches, hanging toys, ropes, hammocks, ect ect ect.

I suggest you go to the website: http://www.dapper.com.au/
And: http://www.ratsrule.com/index.html


Enjoy! Be sure to show us pictures!!!
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post #9 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 11:33 AM
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A pair of females or males? (pros and cons)
Personally i prefere males as they are more chilled and arnt as jumpy and active as females, although people say they smell worse then the girls but i couldn't tell the difference from mine and my friends.

What kind of cage do you have and where did you get it?
I kepted my three boys in this cage.
http://www.petworlddirect.co.uk/acat...nfo_28900.html

And now i have my lone male in this cage.
http://www.petcentreonline.co.uk/eco...roduct~484.htm

If I keep a large cage on the floor, can my cats bother or harm the rats?
You can get a little table to place your large cage or a stand like mine to keep off the floor, but there is no guarntee(sp) that they won't annoy the rats. As rats are PREY to them and the rats will feel threatened even by the smell of the cats.

What kind of food do you feed them?
I feed my petshops own brand ( rat nuggets/blocks ) and mix with pasta and high quality rabbit food sometimes.
And they got loads of little tipbits

Fun toys and ways to keep them entertained?
Bits of cloth, pillow cases, chews, dog bones(the plain types), tubes, hammocks, rabbit beds, ropes, ledges, swings made from baskets.

What kind of bedding do you use?
I used fleece, towels, paper, shredded paper, and now im using nothing and just wipe everyday or two.

Hope this helps!

Rip Novo, Mummy Loves You x
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post #10 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for responding!!

In the house I live in right now I don't really have a No-cat room, I wasn't really worried about my cats hurting the rats, just watching, but now I am worried about the rats hurting the cats! Hmm...

Sorry for any misunderstanding about the cage. I wouldn't keep a regular cage on the floor, but a large cage similar to this size- I am not really sure now though.

I do make food for the mice, so I could probably buy food and mix in the homemade Fruits and veggies are okay for ratties right?

There are some rats on craigslist I have been looking at because there aren't any rescues in my area, but no rats for me until I can solve some of these problems!


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2 male cats~Scout and Oscar
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post #11 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 10:09 PM
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That cage looks like it would work well! If the levels are made of wire, you might want to cover them with something so they don't get their feet caught (some people use linoleum tiles, others use fleece--basically whatever works best for you and for cleaning time!). Rats definitely can and should have fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their regular diet. Here's a great comprehensive list of the fresh foods that rats can eat:

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...hp?f=7&t=64533

Things not on this list should be avoided--most importantly, raw sweet potato, orange and orange juice (not good for males, though apparently females can have some), raw beans, green potatoes, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Rats enjoy a variety of food, so I've found the above link to be really helpful!


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post #12 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 09:04 AM
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Don't worry,most cats learn not to bother the rats once the rats show them who is boss! You have mice,where do you keep them? I would be more worried about having mice near cats then rats.

That cage would be good.As long as they cannot squeeze out.Small females or babies may be able to squeeze out of it.You can get chicken wire to cover the outside of the cage with.




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post #13 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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Also on the food subject - Avacado is a little risky. I've read you CAN let them have some, but not the meat around the seed since it's toxic. Any one comment if I'm wrong.

I think you were saying how you'd be getting smaller rats? I'd make sure the bars are..oh what is the measurement..I think it was half an inch apart, for babies and smaller rats? The smaller the space between, the less paws can fit through also.
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post #14 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breyer08 View Post
That cage looks like it would work well! If the levels are made of wire, you might want to cover them with something so they don't get their feet caught (some people use linoleum tiles, others use fleece--basically whatever works best for you and for cleaning time!). Rats definitely can and should have fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their regular diet. Here's a great comprehensive list of the fresh foods that rats can eat:

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...hp?f=7&t=64533

Things not on this list should be avoided--most importantly, raw sweet potato, orange and orange juice (not good for males, though apparently females can have some), raw beans, green potatoes, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Rats enjoy a variety of food, so I've found the above link to be really helpful!
Thank you for the great advice! I was thinking about a cage similar to this, but I could definitely cover the floors with fleece. Oh I bet they would love that!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillaRat View Post
Don't worry,most cats learn not to bother the rats once the rats show them who is boss! You have mice,where do you keep them? I would be more worried about having mice near cats then rats.

That cage would be good.As long as they cannot squeeze out.Small females or babies may be able to squeeze out of it.You can get chicken wire to cover the outside of the cage with.
Thanks also for the great advice! My cats are kinda weird (but aren't they all ) so I am not sure if they would do anything or not. I keep my mice in a 10 gallon aquarium on my desk in my room...and now that you say that maybe I can get rats after all!! My cats (mostly Scout) watches them but he never tries to get into the cage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khodieylia View Post
Also on the food subject - Avacado is a little risky. I've read you CAN let them have some, but not the meat around the seed since it's toxic. Any one comment if I'm wrong.

I think you were saying how you'd be getting smaller rats? I'd make sure the bars are..oh what is the measurement..I think it was half an inch apart, for babies and smaller rats? The smaller the space between, the less paws can fit through also.
And thank you for the great advice! Maybe I should just steer clear of avocado! My mom wants small rats, so most likely females, (maybe I could talk her into males though, but I think she doesn't want the smelliness ] I will be sure to consider the cage sizes. I bet it will be easy to find at least 1/2 inch, but have to ever tried finding 1/4? Its near impossible!


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2 male cats~Scout and Oscar
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post #15 of 108 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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Aw, boys aren't stinky, in the sense they'll stink up your room. I'm sure your cats do that a lot more when they go poo. At least my cats do - I have a litter box in my room and it's icky! Or maybe the cat poo smell just masks the rat smell.

I'm done talking about poo! Heh, but don't write off avocado fully! Rattys love it just skim the top of one with a knife, and you'll be fine!

I bet your mom'll let you have a boy someday - she'll fall in love with the little cutiepies, I'm sure. She just needs to hold one that's owned and loved by you, and see how happy and unafraid you are of them.

Also, I'm sure you've read this or heard this, put a rock in their cage for their nails. I always feel guilty cutting nails, so I plopped a big flat rock in there, and it's helped a lot!
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