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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

I have wanted a pet rat for many years now. (Long post sorry, if you don't want to read scroll down to the question part please.)

I finally had the chance to get some I was at the pet store, and there was A Mommy Mouse, and all her babies. They had been someone's pets (the mom) but she didn't want them anymore so gave them to the store as feeder mice.

The Mom is white with a beautiful peach hood, and when I picked her up she licked my hand and was so sweet. The pet store owner said "We really don't want to give that one as a feeder mouse, she's really sweet. So if you need a feeder we have some in back" Which was nice of her, for considering it last I suppose.

One of the babies when you'd open the door (I guess it isn't a "baby baby" anymore) would run to the cage and dance on it's back legs to be picked up. My wife and I fell in love with her. She is all white but has a gray/blue hood with a few spots on her back (Just like her mom, just a different color) They were the only girls (the other 4 were boys), so we purchased the two together.

I noticed them itching and asked if they had fleas. The pet owner said they got Mites from one of the feeder mice that their supplier brought it. They treated them for the mites they said (we had to wait a week before taking them home.)

Questions:

1. They are still itching, is this normal? How long should I expect them to itch?

2. They are sneezing a lot, I read in another post that was normal in a new home. (Just say yes to ease my mind please heh)

3. What kind of toys are safe? I have never had a rat, only mice (and my wife has two hamsters) is there any they _shouldn't_ have? Right now they have 3 balls made for cats (With bells in them.) They enjoy carrying them around the cage, and tossing it into their food bowl (little sports fans heh)

4. I have found plenty of good things to feed rats but I can't for the life of me, see how much food I give them each day.

Please answer when you have time. I promise in return when my digital camera is installed again (had to reformat my PC) to share pictures in return heh.

God Bless,

Adam
 

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Congratulations!
 

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I have never owned rats (even though I want some!!), but here are my answers:

1. They are still itching, is this normal? How long should I expect them to itch?

I think you should search for mites. Mites is not something that you can get rid of so easily. Take them and pull their fur apart with your fingers and if you see tiny black dots moving, those are mites. Also, let them play a bit over a piece of white paper and then search the paper for mites. Keep them AWAY from any other pets and wash your hands throughly when you handle them, to avoid the mites from spreading. I suggest that you call the pet store and ask with what they treated them, and then call a vet, give this information and ask if the product is suitable and efective to get rid of them and if not, then what would be suitable and efective.

2. They are sneezing a lot, I read in another post that was normal in a new home. (Just say yes to ease my mind please heh)

What are you using as bedding? Pine and cedar are really dangerous for small animals so you should avoid them. I think that rats are prone to respiratory infection, but I really don't know about that, so maybe another member or some info websites out there can help you (I have some rat pages if you want me to post the address I will)

3. What kind of toys are safe? I have never had a rat, only mice (and my wife has two hamsters) is there any they _shouldn't_ have? Right now they have 3 balls made for cats (With bells in them.) They enjoy carrying them around the cage, and tossing it into their food bowl (little sports fans heh)

The same toys you give mice and hamsters are ok. Wooden toys (avoid plastic cause they chew it and it can be dangerous if swallowed), pieces of branch (fruit trees, freeze them or bake them before to kill parasites), cardboard boxes and tubes.. Try to arrange the cage differently every now and then cause rats are very very intelligent creatures and get bored easily (so you need to keep an estimulating environment.

4. I have found plenty of good things to feed rats but I can't for the life of me, see how much food I give them each day.
As long as the food doesn't spoil and your rats are not fat, you can leave food for them there. They usually eat what they need, and get fat from eating too much fatty foods (which, of course, are tasty, so should only be given every now and then). Food that spoils should not be left in the cage for more than 24 hours.

I hope that helps you. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. The bedding I use is Aspen btw.

Also before they itch they always lick their feet? Are they simply cleaning?
 

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In my experience with rats, heres some answers to your questions:

Questions:

1. They are still itching, is this normal? How long should I expect them to itch?

Normally after a day they should have stopped itching if they have been treated properly, but you say they lick there feet before doing so, so could be that they are simply preening as they do itch when they preen sometimes but if you are worried a trip to the vets might be in order!

2. They are sneezing a lot, I read in another post that was normal in a new home. (Just say yes to ease my mind please heh)

Like what padfoot said it could be an allergic reaction to the bedding etc... but with sneezing, i'd beware as theres a disease rats can get that makes them sneeze and its contagious, try changing the bedding and if they are still sneezing afterwards and you are still worried take them to a vet as soon as possible to be on safe side as they could need antibiotics!

3. What kind of toys are safe? I have never had a rat, only mice (and my wife has two hamsters) is there any they _shouldn't_ have? Right now they have 3 balls made for cats (With bells in them.) They enjoy carrying them around the cage, and tossing it into their food bowl (little sports fans heh)

If you can get hold of it from a builders yard, brand new drain pipe makes the best ratty toy as they can run through it and play hide and seek in it, and pretty durable so hard to chew through. Also branches off fruit trees as they love to climb and wooden rat toys (not hamster as too small) or hammocks they can sleep and play in. I used to occasionally give my rats general purpose compost to play in as well as they loved to dig! A solid rat wheel is a good idea as well gives them plenty of excercie but it must be solid so not to trap there tails or feet!

4. I have found plenty of good things to feed rats but I can't for the life of me, see how much food I give them each day.

I used to feed my rats a handful of food each, each day but i also went on how much they was eating and how many treats they had, had that day. My rats used to love cornflakes and used to beg me each morning and they got into a routine of sitting and begging at breakfast time :)

Anyway goodluck with your new little buddies :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
An update:

1. They no longer sneeze regularly. They sneeze when I travel with them (went to visit Mom for thanksgiving) and when I put new things into their cages. (Food/bedding/toys)

2. They stopped Itching.. but still lick their feet and itch occasionally, but not like before.

3. Thanks for the idea to give them branches. I pruned the plum tree and baked the branches. Then put them in zip lock bags, I gave them some of it and they were in love. In fact they both wrestled over the biggest piece at first, but now they are sharing. :)

Peace to you,

Adam
 

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Glad to hear things are going well now.. I will give you a couple responses about toys and food... Mites I don't know about, but it sounds as though that was already handled.
I give mine the balls with the bells too. Mine have large tubes made of cardboard which you can get at a petstore or you can get large pvc pipes for them to hide and play in. Mine also have the wood branches for reptiles, but I found that the rats like to climb on them as well. Lastly, may I suggest a wheel for exercise. They need a large one. Made for chinchillas and ferrets( honestly, I don't know how they want a ferret to fit in there). It does work good for rats. My rats love their wheel. I never used a flying saucer wheel, but I hear those are very good.
As far as food goes feed them as much as they like as long as they are not overweight. I like to give mine varieties. I give them their staple rat food and I mix a little cat food, nuts, and dried pasta. Not too much dried pasta.... Then I give them some celery, carots, fruits or veggies that I have on hand. By trial and error you will find out what they like and don't like. :clap:
 

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Just posting even though I know this thread is old: a lot of people get either a Stealth Wheel or a Wodent Wheel (can get both at critterwheels.com. If you have male rats, make sure you get the Wodent Wheel Wobust.)

I wouldn't go with a chinchilla wheel just because most are really heavy. I bought a chin spin once for them and I knew as soon as I took it out of the box that it was too heavy for them to run in easily. It weighed 4 pounds!
 

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Are we talling about mice or rats here? Because even tho it says he wants rats, he is talking about mice and we are giving answers about rats....
I think I'm confused???
xxx
 

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And this thread is from 2004.....
 

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Zippy Chickenshorts
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LOL!!!
 

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You're right, I didn't even notice where he said "mice."

Personally I think he typed the wrong thing and meant rat. He does say
What kind of toys are safe? I have never had a rat, only mice ...is there any they _shouldn't_ have?
and
I have found plenty of good things to feed rats but I can't for the life of me, see how much food I give them each day.
If he has had mice before and these are mice he just got, he wouldn't be asking all these questions.

Also his description of them sounds like rats, doesn't it?
 

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RAT ADDICT
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Yes...but the person as not been here in awhile...this thread is from 2004.
 

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True.

The thread is still alive and kicking on the search engines, though. Anyone who searches for 'what kind of toys are safe' and 'rats' will probably see it.
 

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True.
But I am just stating the OP has never been here in a long time,so the question doesn't need to be answered anymore in this thread! :)
 
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