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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope that this is in the right section of the forum. I'm wondering, which would be a better pet for me, a dwarf hamster (or 2) or a rat?
I want to get one as soon as my grandparents move out of our house, within a year or so.
Here are some things to help your answers.
1. I'm still in high school.
2. We have a 3-bedroom house with bonus room
3. I love animals
4. I am very responsible, and am willing to give special attention to a pet.
5. I have taken care of the school's hamsters before (for summers and stuff)
6. I like pets that are not ultra-expensive, but that do need attention.
7. I like to play and cuddle with animals.
8. I have 2 10-gallon aquariums sitting in storage right now.


I have read up on some stuff on the internet (how wonderful it is) and I think that a dwarf hamster (or 2) would be better suited for me.

Replies are much appreciated. :)

Thanks!
 

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RAT ADDICT
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I have lots of experiance with rats,but not with dwarf hamsters.I currently have a syrian hammie.I would say go for a rat.

Rats are highly sociable (you should actually have 2 same sex rats...they thrive with a companion),they bond with humans and love interacting with humans,they are friendly and affectionate,clean,can be trained and taught little tricks...etc.

You mentioned you like to play with and cuddle animals.I don't think dwarf hamsters are very cuddly.They don't like to be awake during the day,while rats will adapt to their human's schedule and rats like to cuddle.Male rats especially are cuddly and will even sit with you while you watch TV or go online.

A rat needs at least an hour out of it's cage a day...you can free range rats in small rooms like a bathroom or somewhere and they love it!

I say definatly go with a pair of rats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, and I forgot to ask:

would a wire "cage expansion" for the top of my 10-gallon aquarium work as a suitable, but relatively inexpensive cage? I don't have too much room, and I don't have much money.
 

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It's a matter of personal preference. I have RWWs, simply because of the 'tail thing'...:) Vanilla Rat (how apt a name :)), said it all and from experience. It's your choice...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd love to have a rat. My mom could probably be convinced that they're great pets. My Nana, however, that's a different story. Nana is really stubborn and she doesn't want another pet (we only have one dog and one cat that stay outside). Hopefully, she will be moving out of this house within a year so I can get one then. :)
 

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RAT ADDICT
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About how much would a 2 rats cost (with supplies and stuff)? :)
It depends on how much you wanna spoil them! :D Well you need a big cage,one that is big enough for the number of rats you have.Then you need a good diet and bedding (NO pine/cedar!),toys,food dishes...etc! And you should set up a saving account for vet expenses.Rats have to go to the vet sometimes,just like cats or dogs.It costs me about $30 every month to get their supplies.I usually buy in bulk tho,so sometimes it is less.

Oh, and I forgot to ask:

would a wire "cage expansion" for the top of my 10-gallon aquarium work as a suitable, but relatively inexpensive cage? I don't have too much room, and I don't have much money.
Do you mean a cage topper? If you just get two rats,I think that would be suitable.I don't use them myself,so I don't know alot about them.

http://www.martinscages.com Check that site out! They have some awesome cages and cage toppers and are not expensive.


I'd love to have a rat. My mom could probably be convinced that they're great pets. My Nana, however, that's a different story. Nana is really stubborn and she doesn't want another pet (we only have one dog and one cat that stay outside). Hopefully, she will be moving out of this house within a year so I can get one then. :)
Sounds like my nanny.Heh...I have gotten people who normally hated or feared rats to totally fall in love with them...but my nanny,she is one who is just too stubborn and still to this day hates rats and mice! :rolleyes: She doesn't live with me tho.
 

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Zippy Chickenshorts
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If you have an aquarium than you really do need to make sure they have good ventilation, because in hot places rats tend to get heat stroke in the summe,u would probablybe best with a wire cage, however you can use anything for the top of an aquarium as long as the rats can't get out. I really hope you do get rats because they truely are the best choice, but I really, really think you should get two as I had a rat go missing for 4 days and my pepper suffered without a cagemate extremly badly and pepper used to be the dominate one, but once rayray was back in the cage he was so happy to see him he stopped pinning him down to prove he was boss and now rayray is!?!! So I really think you should get two. All together I spent £140 on them-
£90- for the cage
£10- for food and bedding
£10- toys and place to sleep
£10- large exercise ball-(which by the way they don't use so don't get one)
and £20 for the rats because I got dumbo and they cost more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll check out Martin's cages. I've seen some of them before, and they look really nice. :)

Yeah, if my mom will let me get a rat, I'll be sure to get a pair. I don't want them to be lonely. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was telling my mom about some stuff I looked up about rats today. I asked her if I was weird 'cause I want a pet rat. She said that I was just curious about them. She said that they are gross and unclean and disease-carrying. I know that those are untrue (they are as unclean and others mentioned above as hamsters!). She told me that I need to let the rat thing go, 'cause I'm never gonna get one. She's being a total b****.:bawl:
 

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I had rats when I was in grade school. The best advise I can give is to make sure they can't chew their way out of the cage. My rats reached out their wire cage and grabbed my dad's police uniform jacket (very expensive) and chewed a hole in it! Then the crafty lil' animals figured out how to unlock their cage door...:rolleyes:

Recently I've had syrian hamsters. They are a little less adept at escaping, but still managed to. If properly socialized they can be cuddley, but I had one who was socialized that didn't like to be held a bunch.

Rats are fun because they will sit on your shoulder and hamsters are fun to watch. For me those were the selling points. My hamsters did all kinds of crazy stuff and my rats were really interactive. I would say go to a pet store and hold some. My first hamster was really interactive... he would beg if I was eating any carrots around him! I think it depends on the hamster ;)
 

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Fluffy Gerbilshorts
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First I want to add that no animal is really cheap. You should have a vet fund saved up or know that you can take them to the vet if need be.

Rats make very good pets but they should be kept in pairs. A cage topper is okay for babies but once they hit full size they really are too small. Even though the top of the cage is ventilated the bottom is not so that is a concern also.

If you are looking into getting some rats then start saving your money now. If you save for lets say a year I'm sure you could buy a decent cage off martins or even another cage. I think their smallest that is suitable for 2 rats is $60 before shipping, don't quote me on that though.

It's good that you are considering your options and doing your research first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
She told me that I need to let the rat thing go, 'cause I'm never gonna get one. She's being a total b****.:bawl:
Mom telling me that will not really stop me from doing research about rats. Summertime is my time to save up money. My parents give me spending money when I go on trip(s) (this year, Spain (my 2nd time out of the country) and the usual oboe camp) and let me keep most of what I don't spend. Also, saving up my birthday money and Christmas money (it's what I ask for a little of), 'cause at this point, I'm just too young to get any sort of job. A few months could solve that (some stores around my area will hire ad 14 and 15). I used to know this former neighbor of mine who owned two westies and she had to go out of town a lot. She'd pay me to walk her dogs and feed them and make sure that they were taken care of. That is the most fun job for me to do.
I'm still doing research on rats, and the more I do, the better pets they seem to make. :)
 

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I personelly like Dwarf Hammies, the tail thing is just creepy!
 

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(no offense rat lovers just my opinion)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Let's say that I was ready (financially and parents agreed) to buy a pair of rats. What size cage would I need to sufficiently house two?
 

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RAT ADDICT
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I was telling my mom about some stuff I looked up about rats today. I asked her if I was weird 'cause I want a pet rat. She said that I was just curious about them. She said that they are gross and unclean and disease-carrying. I know that those are untrue (they are as unclean and others mentioned above as hamsters!). She told me that I need to let the rat thing go, 'cause I'm never gonna get one. She's being a total b****.:bawl:
The disease carrying and unclean thing are just myths.Rats are very clean animals and do not carry disease.Pet rats make very good pets.Maybe if your mom met one,she would change her mind.Take her to a pet store and let her see the rats or contact a rat breeder and see if you can go look at the rats!

I personelly like Dwarf Hammies, the tail thing is just creepy!
Alot of people dislike the tails (I am not one of them!),but once they get past the whole tail thing,they like rats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You have some great ideas!
I'm gonna try to get her to go to one of the pet stores around our area. I know at least one of them carries rats. Last Sat. there was a PetSmart in Atlanta that had 2 male blue-and-white Dumbo rats. They were both really cute and were active in the middle of the day. I think they are adorable.
 

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RAT ADDICT
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You have some great ideas!
I'm gonna try to get her to go to one of the pet stores around our area. I know at least one of them carries rats. Last Sat. there was a PetSmart in Atlanta that had 2 male blue-and-white Dumbo rats. They were both really cute and were active in the middle of the day. I think they are adorable.
Now who cannot resist a dumbo?
I adore dumbos.Two of my boys are dumbo! And if they are baby dumbos,they are even cuter...because their ears are really big and they need to "grow into them"!!

Good luck and keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'll do my best to keep you updated. :)

Yesterday, I was talking to my dad a bit about this and at first he said, "When we get our own house, there won't be any wild animals free-ranging" (I didn't mention letting rats have time out of their cage. Then later he said, "There won't be any strange pets in my house, no rats, no snakes, no spiders. You have a dog and a cat. That's enough pets." I asked him why, and he used his famous response "Because it's my house. When you're 18 you can do whatever you want." (Slight problem with that: most people turn 18 either right before they start college or during their first semester in their freshman year; I won't turn 18 until I'm almost finished with my sophmore year).

Mom was like, "When we get our own house, you can get a hamster." I personally don't think that a hamster is a substitute for a rat. Dwarf hamsters can substitute syrian hamsters, mice MIGHT substitute rats, but hamsters do not substitute rats.
 
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