Thinking about getting rats

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Thinking about getting rats

Post by cookietiger » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:59 pm

So after meeting a lovely rat in the adoption section of pets at home yesterday my interest in owning rats has rapidly increased. ( The rat in pets at home had a short tail that was quite rounded at the end and was so friendly, up against the glass didn't want me to go away. The worker got him out and had him chilling on her and when I went to leave I asked about his tail. Apparently the other rats picked on him when he was younger and damaged his tail. She let me hold him and he was so sweet.)

I am probably not getting rats anytime soon but I would really appreciate it if you just told me everything you need to know about rats.I also have a few additional questions listed below.

Is this cage okay for permanent living? ... erret-cage#
Do rats need wheels?
Can I use fitch bedding in their enclosure or would they need something else? If you don't know fitch heres the link ... -20kg.html
Do rats need vaccinations or anything?
I heard you should keep a group of rats but if in the pet shop there is only one from a litter should/could you house it with a rat of a different litter?

Literally just tell me everything about rats if you can :D thank you

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Re: Thinking about getting rats

Post by Caza66 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:49 pm

Well done for asking questions first. But there is soooo much about rats I couldn’t put it in one message. That cage is a good size for a trio of rats, a trio is better than two as they are social animals and better dynamics. It’s good to give rats wheels, at least 15 inches big (silent spinner or tic tac are most popular) but it doesn’t mean that your rats will use it. I’ve used fitch in the past and liked it but I couldnt get it easily. Alternatively you can use cardboard squares or cardboard strips. Litter tray with pellets, I use breeder celect.

Do you know the age of the rat? Best to get two youngsters, at least 10 weeks old, up to about 5 months. Any older and you might have behavioural issues. But you can with any rats. You would need to introduce using the carrier method, found on this forum, I swear by it.

In your cage, take out shelves And put in ropes and flat hammocks. Once your group have integrated well and are used to you, then you can introduce tubes and hidey holes and houses. You also need to have a safe place for them to free range. I either block off my hall, use the spare room or people use the bathroom, so long as there are no cables or holes they can squeeze in to.

The other thing to consider is vet bills, and there will be some. Every rat I have had has been a rescue, sometimes I was at the vet weekly. However, more recently, my last visit was a month ago.

Good luck and I hope I haven’t put you off :lol:
Officially ratless. Groot, Star-lord, Yondu adopted by another rat lover.
:rattyrainbow: To all those who have filled my heart, have fun at the bridge.

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Re: Thinking about getting rats

Post by cookietiger » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:52 pm

Wow thanks!

I've only ever owned hamsters so I wasn't sure how similar things would be. In the hamster community they say that a cage of around 80x50cm is the recommended minimum for a hamster and hamsters are much smaller than rats so I just wanted to double check on that cage.

I don't know the age of the rat,Stumpy (as they named him) but I don't think I would get him as I am going to uni in about a year so I would probably get rats after uni instead (I am really sad about not being able to get Stumpy but it's for the best really). With hamsters although dwarfs can live in groups you are never supposed to introduce them to other dwarf hamsters from other litters.

Sorry this turned into me rabbiting on about hamsters :lol:

I am definitely not put off of owning rats! I can't wait until I can! Thank you so much! Hopefully in a couple of years I'll pop back on here one day with a new family :D

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Re: Thinking about getting rats

Post by liaren77 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:58 pm

Hi, I think I might just to intervene here. I do have some experience with the hamster, but personally, I think a rat will be a rat, just like a hamster I think. (maybe just a few minor differences because of a different breed)

You mentioned above about a rat, and what kind of rat? Sorry, I am also a newbie in this topic, yes I know a rat, but to tell about some different breed might be hard for me. Still, need to learn a lot.

The thing is I want to tell you that I also got a chance to meet up a lovely teddy bear rat. I bring my niece and nephew to a mini zoo, then I stumble upon to see that rat. At first I thought it was a normal rat, but actually, the zookeeper tells a little bit detail about this lovely tiny creature, here a random article from the internet if you are confused. Just a big ear.

If I got a chance to raise one I think I want to put my rat and this teddy bear rat together, but maybe this is not a good idea because of the different breed might cause chaos living in the same cage.

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Re: Thinking about getting rats

Post by ScissorCrow » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:56 am

Don't worry liaren77, rats don't have different breeds. The different ear types Standard/Top Ear and Dumbo are just to do with genetics.
You might come across rex rats that have fuzzy coats, this is also just genetics.

There are lots of different coat colours of rats, but no different breeds.

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Re: Thinking about getting rats

Post by [cub] » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:00 pm

Yeah, a dumbo rat is just a rat with slightly differently positioned ears. They can (and often do) appear in the same litters as top eared rats. They can be introduced to top eared rats just as easily, and need same-species company just as much as top eared rats do.

Some people try to present them as a different (and generally more expensive) breed, but they are usually idiots trying to make a quick buck. :P
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