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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My name is Cameron Oz and I am an animal lover! I’m 19 years old and live in Central Alabama. I have two babies: a miniature schnauzer and my newest addition, the hairless rat Phiona. I bought Phiona from PetSmart three days ago and have SO many questions! Before continuing, I should note that I did not understand the importance of have a cage mate for Phiona and will probably be getting one Friday! (YAY!) Phiona is my first pet rat and I’m extremely excited. I knew nothing about Pet Rats before Friday nor had I ever dreamed of owning one! (BUT NOW I DO! J)
I’m not quite sure how old Phiona is… (Which kinda sucks… I really wish I did) But you should know a little about her, (or as much as I do so far) before giving me advice about her. I brought Phiona home and left her in her little carry home box while setting up her cage. Her cage is about 12”x24”. I’m not sure how tall… But anyway, it contains a little wooden house, watter bottle, a shelf made from cardboard, a hammock made from an old hanky, food-bowl and an old T-Shirt for warmth until she gets her new playmate.
She stayed in her cage most of the night and slept the whole next day. That night, I tried giving her a treat which she ignored. So after a while I put her on the floor and let her free range for about 10 minutes. (I’m totally new at this, can’t you tell) Then I placed her back in her cage and found that she was much happier hidden in her house, so I left her there with a rice krispie which she never ate. Sunday, I worked until 4, came home and woke her up and put on 2 old shirts and lied down on my bed with her. She crawled through the shirts and through the covers (NEVER POOPED OR PEED!!) for about an hour. Then I put her back in her cage and left for about 3 hours. When I came home, it was about midnight and she was wide awake. I did the same thing, let her free roam and kept trying to give her treats. I found out that she likes Almonds pretty well, but she still doesn’t take them too easy. Today is the same as Sunday. She’s a bit friendlier towards me and even stayed right under my chin and slept for a good 30 minutes.
So my questions are:
1.) How do I get Phiona to start taking the treats from my hand? She’ll take them if I just hand them to her, but I want her to come out of her cage and get them or actually work for them.
2.) How long should it take Phiona to learn her name?
3.) Is it good that I let her roam on my body while I lie down?
4.) What other suggestions do you have?
[FONT='Calibri','sans-serif'] Thank you for your time! I really appreciate it! I’m new to this and want Phiona to have a long great life! I can’t wait to get another one for her to play with! I feel sorry for her now that I have read about how they get depressed and lonely. Thanks again! [/FONT]
 

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well i let my ratties climb all over me but watch for sharp claws, and getting peed on constanly. its somthign u need to get ok with fast because its not somthing u can avoid if your letting them on you from all my research and personal expirience. USE YOUR INTERNET. almost any question you could ask is on here. use it and learn form it. google is your friend. spend lots of time with your little ratties. as much as you can manage. and get her a friend ASAP. 2 rats are no harder to care for then 1. but make sure you get them friendly with each other befor throwing them together. have a look on here and on google about how to introduce new ratties to each other.
girls fight too. its not just boys that wrestle and fight.and dont panic if you hear little squeaks. they will nip each other and little ratties will make unhappy noise about it but unless theres blood, then its not really a problem. toilet paper is a ratties best friend, my guys and grls LOVE to play and shred and nest with toilet paper. or any papaer really but tissues and TP i prefer coz its soft and comfy for them and they look sooooo cute nesting and building there homes.

rats are clean animals. i do wash mine weekly when i do there cage but i normally leave a bowl of water as well so they can also keep themselves clean, i noticed they got a lil smellyer when there was just the water bottle then the water bottle and a bowl, but keep in mind you need to realy watch the water and change it at least daily but preferably more to keep it nice and fresh.

if you have any more Q then dont hesitate to ask. good info is good to ask for, but specific questions are evan better and google google google
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you

I would like to update you and say that 1.) Phiona is doing extremely well. I rat proofed my bedroom and they really had a ball playing under my dustruffle. And 2.) I just said they! I went to the pet store today and after finding the rat that I have been wishing for since about Saturday, explaining that I would have to buy her Friday when I get paid, and telling her how much I really wanted her, she decided I could have her. For free! Yay! I am still going to pay the woman, but that was awfully nice of her. So Sophie is her name. And her and phiona already get along so well. I've noticed phiona has started being more confident with me today too! She's my baby and I think she knows it! Haha! Niether know their names yet... But we are still working on it. Wish us luck and post and comments or suggestions you have. By the way Kaiden, I do google. A lot! Lol! I have read so much about the little fur(less) balls. Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
turns out sophie had a tumor in her right eye. Since I was not yet attatched to her n neither was phiona, I took her back to the petstore where I traded her in for a different rattie. I have not yet decided on a name, so any suggestions would be great.
 

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Poor Sophie, :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know :( sophie was so sweet. But I would really hate for my baby phiona to get attatched and the sophie end up passing on in the next couple of weeks. I thought long and hard about that decision with what's best for phiona kept in mind. It broke my heart to give her back,and I would have kept her and got another one, but my cage is only 12x24... So 3 is too many... :( I'm sorry sophie.
 

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Unfortunately that's what happens when animals are purchased from pet stores -- many are ill, and the ones that are 'returned' are often shipped back like broken TVs to be euthanized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so I totally could have gone the rest of my life believing that sophie is having a great wonderful life... But nope... That ruined it. I have no idea how true this is, but the lady said the breeder who supplies them is a local breeder and he takes in sick rats and either gets them better for resell or keeps them for himself. So maybe that's true... :)
 

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Why would you want to believe a lie to make yourself feel better?

All pet stores say that "a local breeder" supplies them, even Petsmart and Petco which clearly have to order from large suppliers to meet demand. The truth is that a responsible breeder is not peddling their rats off through a pet store.

That's why so many people advocate getting rats from responsible breeders or from rescues, instead of contributing to the overpopulation problem by rewarding pet stores for irresponsible behavior and poor care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so maybe she will be euthinized... That's sad. But I would rather that be the case than have her hurt for the next month until I get paid. Or to be fed to a snake.
 

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If money for vet bills is a concern, you need to start saving, and have cash in a savings fund. There is no illness that rats develop which can wait a month to be treated, and rats in general are prone to a variety of health problems including cancers and respiratory infections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well I have savings for phiona and my miniature schnauzer. But I had just bought the girl. I was worried about the cold temps in my home and my hairless,phiona. Therefore I bought the little fuzz ball to keep her warm and company. Please don't patronize me. I'm a wonderful pet owner. I love all my animals and they are very well taken care of. Upon purchasing phiona, I set aside $100 for her health. I'm not risking spending that money for a rat that #1. I have no personal relationship with and #2. I can trade in for a healthier rat who I can build a personal relationship with. Providing this one gets sick next week, I will take her to the vet and have whatever treatment done. Thank you for your kindness and your concern, but I'm doing what I feel is best for my baby phiona, me, my wallet, and sophie.
 

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I'm not trying to patronize you, however, most people don't know that rats are prone to problems and do need vet care. I'm glad you've started a savings fund -- in most cases, though, $100 will only cover the most basic of issues (like a respiratory infection), whereas tumor removals or anything more serious (such as nebulizer treatments for a serious respiratory infection) will generally need a more significant amount. Depending on the area you live, $100 may only be enough to get you into the door of the vet (in more expensive areas, exotics checkups can start at $80!)
 

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awww unfortunatly Jennicat is right. Pet stores are usually horrible places to get rats. Unless I see rats needing homes or one of my few friends who rescue say they have rats I usually purchase from a pet store. The thing with getting from a pet store is you need to have money saved up just incase stuff happens. I can't tell you how much money I have spent taking sick rats to the vet right after I got them. I even had to get a rats tail amputated because the care she was given was so bad. But I think a tad bit differently then Jennicat. Those rats at pet stores deserve a good life as well and don't deserve the crappy care they are given. BUT you have to have it set in your mind the rat or rats will most likely need vet care.

Rats have very weak immune systems which makes them prone to upper respitory infections. Rats usually also live 2 years, 3 if your lucky. Unless you go to a good breeder who is breeding for health and longevity of the animal. Female rats are prone to mammory tumors unless they are spayed. If tumors come up its then a choice whether or not you wanna get the tumor removed or just let the rat live out the rest of its days comfortable and happy. I wont get a tumor removed in a rat whos over 2 years. If its mammory they will get multiple tumors and multiple surgeries just seems like more pain and more stress put on the rat. Just my personal opinion, everyone is different and that doesnt make anyone better then anyone else. Rats are under exotics which sadly makes them cost more then you would think they would. The most expensive exotic vet is not always the best either. Just like the cheapest isnt always best.

Your new to rats, taking back sophie was probably the only thing you could have done unless you wanted to pay over $200 (maybe) for an eye surgery. I mean your not horrible for not wanting to spend that much. You did the best you could so I wouldnt feel guilty or anything. These things happen I'm afraid.

Well anyways, I hope all goes well with Phiona and your new rat. If you have any questions feel free to ask my dear :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do have a really big question indeed. I posted a new thread about it. Please go check it out. I could really use the help!
 

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I believe if its about a possible pregnancy with your new rat then yes I did post.
 
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