Paw Talk - Pet Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone :)
It's only a thought, I'm not completely sure about it yet, and I need to discuss it with my boyfriend and our flatmates.

BUT, I'm thinking about adopting an elderly rat. I know rats are sociable creatures and are better kept in pairs, like most rodents - however, in one of our local animal shelters there are some elderly rats that have been dumped there and are looking for new homes that have always lived alone.
I've never kept rats or mice, but I've kept many other types of rodents. I know that all rodents are different, hence I'm going to do a lot of research first.

The only thing that I really want to know is how smelly they are. I know that sounds like a weird question, but I'm really sensitive to strong smells. Are they smellier than hamsters? I've kept hamsters in the past, and although I loved them, I found the smell quite intolerable. This will most likely be the strongest determining factor as to whether or not I get one.

As the rat will be elderly, I've read in a few places that it's best to keep the environment quite simple, ladders quite low and food and water highly accessible. Although I know rats like climbing, would it be suitable to keep an elderly rat in a tank / vivarium type environment?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

·
Will It Ever Change?
Joined
·
7,346 Posts
personally i find hammies to stink more than rats. my ratties are litter trained, and if they pee stink up their bed cloths they put it in their litterbox LOL. also they're so sweet, like dogs, as long as you spend a little time with then everday, give a treat, they give you unconditional love and kisses. my timmy loves to clean my face, eyes, nose, ears and mouth for me. if i didn't stop him he's clean my teeth lol he even tries to claw open my lips (owee) so i eep at him lol. anyways, you're a wonderufl person for adopting oldies, they need it too, and they'll love you for it

oh, and i don't recommend a tank, they're busybodies and like to climb and explore. how big would the tank/vivarium be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
Male rats produce a musk that can be strong, though not necessarily unpleasant. If you are sensitive, consider getting a female. Other than that, change the bedding frequently and it shouldn't smell. Perhaps try to find one that's litterbox trained and it will be easier.

Alone or not, a rattie will be happier with you than in a shelter. Just give it lots of attention, as I know you will since you will fall quite in love with them. Good idea to keep the environment simple. I think you can keep them in a tank, but that will cause the smells the build up more than in a cage. Good luck.
 

·
RAT ADDICT
Joined
·
19,199 Posts
What a good idea!

Males do have a bit of an odor compared to females,but it is not strong and shouldn't be.With clean enviroments,things should be fine.Females smell a little like grape.

Rats are very social and do do better in pairs,but in some case they are fine alone.

I actually have a lone senoir rat right now named Paco.Paco is over 2 yrs old.He is in a simple cage,because where he is older,he has fallen off of things.He doesn't climb or anything,he sits there and sleeps.Gone are the days of him playing.He is doing amazing on his own,so I am sure with loads of attention you can pull off having a lone older rat.

However if you decide to go with a younger rat,I say get TWO!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,238 Posts
the more often you clean the less smell there will be, with one rat it will be very easy to clean, and its a very neat idea to adopt an older rat, you are saving its life and letting it live its last few months well

i personally would go with a wired cage with some sort of pan on the bottom, for better ventilation, plus you could add some toys like a hammock and such

good luck on your decision, rats are one of the sweetest rodents around, its very hard not to love a rat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
:confetti: I love hearing about people considering adopting an elderly pet.
That being said,everyone already replied with good answers& I have no other opinion.
I have females& theres no smell...really! I don't notice a thing& their cage is in my bedroom.

I wouldn't recommend an aquarium to house rats in personally.Mice can do well in such a setup!(provided theres good ventilation of course) but rats,they are a bit different there.
So I would go with a large guinea pig cage.Or rabbit cage,for a rat.
Hamster cages are wayyy too small to even consider ;)

Keep us updated if you get the newbie!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,083 Posts
i like a tank with a tank topper for one rat... its crowded with 2 but if they are old.. it would work.. it works for 2 there just isnt that much you can do for decorating..

My motto with my rats is if i can smell them i should have cleaned their cage a day or so ago.. other wise they dont stink... and the rats them selves never stink...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your replies. I have got the thumbs up from almost everyone, just working on somebody with a mild rat bias atm....

I used a cage calculator that I found on the fancy rats website and I put in the dimensions for my old gerbil vivarium, tank bottom, cage top, it says that it would be enough for a lone rat.

See how it goes. I have plans on expanding my rodent environments which I mentioned on another thread (building a large custom cage unit to hold all of my rodents, seperately of course).

So, fingers crossed, we may have a ratty! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just an update...
Everyone's given the thumbs up, we're getting a home visit on Sunday and then hopefully I will have a new rattie to show you some time next week! :)

Can't wait to do up his cage for him...Got no idea what he looks like yet or anything :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
Yay! How exciting for you! Hopefully he's a sweet old man and I know he will be happy living out the rest his days with you.
:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
:D I did ask about introducing him to a pair of younger males, but his vet (he's staying in a neuter clinc turned rescue type place) said that due to his age and current state of health, it would be best not to expose him to stressful situations like that.

He's got problems with his teeth, but the vet there has offered to clip for him for free for the rest of his rattie life :)
 

·
RAT ADDICT
Joined
·
19,199 Posts
So does this mean that you have one chosen???

I had a sweet old man,a rescue rat who had teeth problems.But with regular teeth clippings,he was really good! It is about $15 here to get a rat's teeth clipped,but my vet charged me $9.Thats good that you have a deal for free!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well there were originally 4, all from the same house, all similar circumstances (all housed seperately, I have no idea why). Sadly one died at the rescue. 2 have already been rehomed, and we're taking the one guy that has been left there all alone. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,238 Posts
you could always trim the teeth yourself with regular clippers there are plenty of sites that have good explanations and pics...of course that s really nice of the vet to offer to do it for free
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
Skratikans said:
you could always trim the teeth yourself with regular clippers there are plenty of sites that have good explanations and pics...of course that s really nice of the vet to offer to do it for free
I would definitely use the vet for an offer like that, lol. I hate doing stuff like that to my babies. I guess I'm just too soft... :giggle:
 

·
RAT ADDICT
Joined
·
19,199 Posts
Yeah,with my little guy...I was SHOWN how to trim his teeth,but I was too paranoid to do it myself,so I let the vet do it.Raymond (R.I.P) was a good sport about it tho.

So your just getting the one? Do you have him yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Getting our home visit tomorrow, so hopefully we'll get him tomorrow or sometime next week.

I would be terrified to cut teeth on my own in case I got it wrong. I'm fine cutting nails and that for any animal, but teeth! :eek:
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top