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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi I am new to this site, I am a 14 year old girl that LOVES animals. Well right now I own 1 horse(for sale), 2 cats(1 indoor, 1 outdoor) and 2 parakeets. I am interested in owning a pet rat. I have owned hamsters before and even 1 guinea pig before. I am trying to find one but can't seem to find one that is free or cheap that comes with a cage and is free or cheap on shipping and one that can ship. Maybe you all can help me? I like in the US.(but I would like 2 rats because I dont want one to get lonly and I havnt found anyone with owning just one soo...)
 

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Two rats are definitely a much better idea. They will be much healthier and happier. Cheap rats are easy to find, even pedigree breeders like myself charge 15 or under per rat. Cheap cages are a bit more complicated, but you can usually find some on craigslist or ebay or freecycle or newspapers etc. One inexpensive way to go is a ten gallon tank with a tank topper.

The shipping is a problem. Unfortunately that's not up to the person shipping it to you. The carriers charge ridiculous prices for the shipping of mammals, so anyone shipping legally has to pay that. Most people who quote you a shipping price are quoting you exactly what it costs them to ship the animal.

Your best bet will probably be to ask petstores, vets, pet supply places etc. in your area if they know of local breeders. You could also find someone who's just a few hours away from you and beg a friend or family member to drive you. Many breeders will drive a reasonable distance to meet a pet owner, including myself. Where do you live by the way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mississippi, and I begged my dad to drive me 2 hours for a horse, I am pretty sure there are no local rat breeders that are under 2 hours away. The local SPCA doesnt have rats, they only have dogs and cats. I looked on petfinder but normally they only have ones that don't ship. I found this one site that charges $50 to ship but I couldn't find where her price was and right now work is slow and I am not making any money yet(until I start working at my barn then I will make $50 a day. but I will only work on Sundays) My dad has a cage for me but its a hamster cage like this one:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754670
and sence it says "hamster home" I am SURE 2 rats cant live in that. I have a fish tank but I was affraid it might be too small for 2 rats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, what I am going to do is use my fish tank I got for my 12th birthday and buy a fish tank topper. Now...what BEDDING do I use? what do I feed them? is there some kind of "Rat Bedding" and is there some kind of "rat food" or what? And now I am looking for 2 rats and shipping avaliabe or the place be near me.
 

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don't you have any petco or pet smarts around you? they have rats normally, and they carry rat food i would use carefresh or yeterdays news for littler/bedding. plus have hides and things
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a petsmart but I think there rats are like no less then $50 yea there alot.
 

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ok...well i was thinking if you were closer...i would let you adopt 2 of the babies my Minnie unexpectedly had,but you're a bit far from Fort Wayne.But for food you should be able to find rat/mouse mixes of food and you can add other foods to it that ratties like.I use Carefresh for my bedding..it's a little dusty,but better than some beddings.Just never use pine...that's bad for ratties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok thanks kristie.
 

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you're welcome...good luck finding some ratties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks, I need the luck lol. I don't know if I want 2 boys or 2 girls?? The girl hamsters I always had didn't bite but the first male I got bit me all the time. What do you all suggest?
 

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Rats almost never bite at all, so that shouldn't be an issue with males or females. Male rats tend to be lazier and are more likely to calmly sit with you and just enjoy your company. Females are more active and are usually on the go and more playful. So it's just personal preference. I have males, I like to just sit with them and watch tv or read a book.
 

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As mtmaughan said male rats are more calm and laid back...females are more outgoing and like to explore...I have girls and I love them although sometimes I do wish they'd just calm down sometimes.Even my 2 year old is quite an active rattie.It just depends on if you want to sit and watch tv with your rat or let your rat explore your room and play with you a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I want to just sit with mine when I get 2 also. So I guess I will look for males =] thanks mtmaughan
 

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maybe try looking for a reptile store. They often sell live feeder rats for fairly cheap. I can't see anyone charging more than $15 for a single rat, anywhere. Feeders generally go for about $5, and can still make great pets. My SIL has 5 girls from the feeder bin who are the sweetest things, and very smart. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am trying to talk my sister to bring me to petsmart and check there prices(its an hour away lol)
 

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unless you are ready to bring them home, it might be better to simply call the store for the prices, see if they have any currently in stock, etc. It could save a potentially useless two hour car ride. Just a thought.
 

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Good luck with that. Petsmart usually only sells one gender of all their small animals. The one by me sells females, never any males. Just letting you know in case you are set on one gender and they have the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks =] This is harder then I thought. Do alot of poeple say "oh its just a rat, it will be EASY to find one" and then its harder then they think?
 

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Are there any Petcos around you? They usually have both gender "feeder" rats. Most of my rats have come from feeder bins from Petco or a bird/reptile store near me. They're always really sweet rats. The only thing you risk is possible health problems when buying from a feeder bin. Make sure to get fat, active rats with clear eyes and noses. Sneezing is a sign of illness, and so is being underweight, hunched over, slanted eyes, breathing through their mouth, "bloody" noses (rat snot is red)... but if they're nice and plump, curious, happy, playful then they're usually good health.

What someone else said was to try and find a reptile store. That's actually a really good idea. Look through Yellowpages.com or a phone book, and call around asking local reptile stores if they have live feeder rats. Sometimes pet stores inside of malls carry feeder/pet rats too. If it's a pet store call 'em up and ask if they have live rats.
 

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