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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Rats as pets

Does any one have information about rats? I am *considering* a pair of rats for pets. Any information would be very helpful. What kind of food do they need? What cages are best? etc etc
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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I like this site: www.curiosityrats.com Check it out.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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Thumbs up rats

Rats make good pets. 2 boys might be better if they are brothers. Sometimes the females get mammory tumors if they haven't been bred before. Or you could get a pair and have them fixed.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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Smile Food

A good rat mix. I like fish tanks with wire hoods and hanging water bottle.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 08:31 AM
 
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I've been keeping rats for 10 years now! So you can see that I love them very much!

As small pets, they are full of character and will readily bond with an owner. They're mischievous and nosey and never cease to amaze me. Being a bit bigger than many small animals, they're easy to handle and cuddle.

Girls are *generally* more bouncy and nosey, and boys are often rather more laidback and cuddly. I've had both, and I personally prefer the does, who are very active, but I have one neutered buck, Mocha, who is very, very lovable. I've had bucks who were hyperactive though at the same time, so you can't always stereotype. The bucks do get bigger than does though.

Rats do suffer from some health problems - most notably respiratory issues and tumours. Because of this, you're really best to get them from a reputable breeder than from a pet shop. Well-bred rats are also more likely to be friendly too, as they will probably have been well-socialised. If this doesn't worry you too much, there are often lots of rats in rescue centres - 6 out of my 8 rats are rehomed from elsewhere.

Tanks don't make good housing for rats, because they don't have good ventilation, and as rats suffer easily from respiratory problems, good air circulation is really important. My rats (8 of them) live in a Ferplast Duetto - an indoor aviary. They lived in a 100cm x 100cm size cage before that. Obviously, for 2 rats you don't have to get such a big cage, but the bigger the cage the better!! I have some pics of my cages if you want to see examples.

Rats are very sociable, so yes, you need at least 2 of them. 3 is a good number, as if one dies, the other is not automatically left alone.

Food-wise - they need a good quality mix (I've posted about what I give them in a post about home-made mixes a bit further down)
along with fresh food also. Mine have carrots, peas, rice, pasta, curly kale, apple and lots more!!

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanlou
I've been keeping rats for 10 years now! So you can see that I love them very much!

As small pets, they are full of character and will readily bond with an owner. They're mischievous and nosey and never cease to amaze me. Being a bit bigger than many small animals, they're easy to handle and cuddle.

Girls are *generally* more bouncy and nosey, and boys are often rather more laidback and cuddly. I've had both, and I personally prefer the does, who are very active, but I have one neutered buck, Mocha, who is very, very lovable. I've had bucks who were hyperactive though at the same time, so you can't always stereotype. The bucks do get bigger than does though.

Rats do suffer from some health problems - most notably respiratory issues and tumours. Because of this, you're really best to get them from a reputable breeder than from a pet shop. Well-bred rats are also more likely to be friendly too, as they will probably have been well-socialised. If this doesn't worry you too much, there are often lots of rats in rescue centres - 6 out of my 8 rats are rehomed from elsewhere.

Tanks don't make good housing for rats, because they don't have good ventilation, and as rats suffer easily from respiratory problems, good air circulation is really important. My rats (8 of them) live in a Ferplast Duetto - an indoor aviary. They lived in a 100cm x 100cm size cage before that. Obviously, for 2 rats you don't have to get such a big cage, but the bigger the cage the better!! I have some pics of my cages if you want to see examples.

Rats are very sociable, so yes, you need at least 2 of them. 3 is a good number, as if one dies, the other is not automatically left alone.

Food-wise - they need a good quality mix (I've posted about what I give them in a post about home-made mixes a bit further down)
along with fresh food also. Mine have carrots, peas, rice, pasta, curly kale, apple and lots more!!

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
A picture of your cage would be great! Is glavanized wire ok, or is it not reccoemended? Do they like to chew a lot? Can they have like hammocks etc in their cage? If I think of any more questions I will definitely ask!

Thank you to every one who replied!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanlou
I've been keeping rats for 10 years now! So you can see that I love them very much!

As small pets, they are full of character and will readily bond with an owner. They're mischievous and nosey and never cease to amaze me. Being a bit bigger than many small animals, they're easy to handle and cuddle.

Girls are *generally* more bouncy and nosey, and boys are often rather more laidback and cuddly. I've had both, and I personally prefer the does, who are very active, but I have one neutered buck, Mocha, who is very, very lovable. I've had bucks who were hyperactive though at the same time, so you can't always stereotype. The bucks do get bigger than does though.

Rats do suffer from some health problems - most notably respiratory issues and tumours. Because of this, you're really best to get them from a reputable breeder than from a pet shop. Well-bred rats are also more likely to be friendly too, as they will probably have been well-socialised. If this doesn't worry you too much, there are often lots of rats in rescue centres - 6 out of my 8 rats are rehomed from elsewhere.

Tanks don't make good housing for rats, because they don't have good ventilation, and as rats suffer easily from respiratory problems, good air circulation is really important. My rats (8 of them) live in a Ferplast Duetto - an indoor aviary. They lived in a 100cm x 100cm size cage before that. Obviously, for 2 rats you don't have to get such a big cage, but the bigger the cage the better!! I have some pics of my cages if you want to see examples.

Rats are very sociable, so yes, you need at least 2 of them. 3 is a good number, as if one dies, the other is not automatically left alone.

Food-wise - they need a good quality mix (I've posted about what I give them in a post about home-made mixes a bit further down)
along with fresh food also. Mine have carrots, peas, rice, pasta, curly kale, apple and lots more!!

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
I totally agree with the above post so I don't really have very much to say apart from that they really do make fantastic pets. I kept them for over 10 years and had both males and females and both make excellent pets. Males tend to be very cuddly whereas females tend to be very active and always on the go but there are exeptions to every rule and no two rats are the same. They do need attention everyday and time spending with them much more than some other small animals and they love to be let out. They reward you with so much love and affection and are fantastic pets

Kirsty


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skye
A picture of your cage would be great! Is glavanized wire ok, or is it not reccoemended? Do they like to chew a lot? Can they have like hammocks etc in their cage? If I think of any more questions I will definitely ask!

Thank you to every one who replied!
I found rats tend to chew when they want something or know food is coming but again rats vary some are chewers and some aren't. If you let them out you need to rat proof your room, that means covering wires etc.... and putting away anything of value as they like to have a nibble. One of my boys once destroyed one of my favourite pairs of shoes which was my own fault for leaving them out but he had fun

They do love hammocks, mine used to love snuggling in theirs. They also love tubes on the ground and hanging ones to play hide and seek in

Kirsty


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 03:05 PM
 
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Hello again!!

I find it varies with the gnawing thing - one of my groups loves to gnaw, and I give them chew toys etc, but the other one isn't that bothered. Though they have just eaten a hammock.

They can be a bit naughty, I'm afraid!!

Regarding galvanised mesh - it's not recommended as it contains zinc and so can be toxic. Powder-coated is best (and I think it looks nicer anyway! ).

Pics for you:

This is an old cage - a Brio Medium (an indoor aviary again) -



Here's the Tall Speedy Chinchilla cage:



and here's a couple of ratty pics:

Beatrice:



Henrietta:
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 04:08 PM
 
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hello!

yes rats are the best ever!!! i have had them for 5 years now and can never live with out them! i don't know how i ever did!

i have both makes and females, and as others have already told you- males tend to be more snuggly and the girls love to prove how energetic and independent they are.

i have never had a problem with any of my rats fighting. i only neuter my males to prevent babies... (although rat babies are the cutest ) i never have my does spayed, and luckily mine have never gotten any cancers, just the respiratoty conditions that they go ona nd off antibiotics for at times.

anyway! you'll be amazed at how quickly you get attached to them cause they are just so cute and smart and funny and just absolutely wonderful!!!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to every one who replied! Hanlou your cages are awesome, and your rats are little cuties! I am going to try and fine a local breeder and see if I can come visit.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 09:06 AM
 
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Hello. I browsed down this topic and I dont think there was an answer to the galvanized mesh question, other than about the zinc. Its also not reccomended as the wire soaks up the urine and becomes very gross and smelly in a small time. If you get coated wire you will be so much happier in the long run! Rats make amazing pets. Getting pet rats is the best decision Ive ever made.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 11:20 AM
 
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Thanks!

You're more than welcome. When I look back over past conditions I've kept my rats in etc, I cringe!! So I like to pass on what I've been taught in the hope that it will help others as much as it has helped me and my rats.

Oh, and just to add.... though it's a controversial topic, research has found that any wood-based bedding is bad for rats - especially pine and cedar because the phenols in them are toxic. I use something called Ecopetbed (cardboard squares) and Bio-Catolet (a 100% recycled paper cat litter).

Bea' and Henri' say thanks for the compliments too.... Hope all goes well, let us know how you get on.
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