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zoomer
08-31-2006, 07:09 PM
I've got a love for rats goin' on! I don't know too much about them, though. So... I was hoping you excellent, knowledgeable PTers (esspecialy you Courtney (yes, you, Chilli!)) You best reply to this thread ;) :D) could give me lots of information on them! How hard are they to care for? How often does their cage need cleaning? What kind of tank do they need? How hard is it to tame them? Do they bite a lot? Do they like to snuggle? Are they nocturnal like hamsters? How much do they cost? And lastly... how do I convience my mom, who has afobia of those supposedly "evil monsters" to her, to let me get one?

Roxyluvsme13
08-31-2006, 07:33 PM
My mom would never let me get a Rat. Hope Courtney sees this so she can help you.. I'm pretty sure they're a little bit similar to hammies though, except for the few minor things, but don't go by my word, lol.

zoomer
08-31-2006, 07:40 PM
My mom would never let me get a Rat. Hope Courtney sees this so she can help you.. I'm pretty sure they're a little bit similar to hammies though, except for the few minor things, but don't go by my word, lol.

Really? I've always thought of rat as big :o *shrugs*
Is Courtney's username Chilli? In the first post I don't really feel comfortable calling her "chilli" :p ;)

Roxyluvsme13
08-31-2006, 07:46 PM
Really? I've always thought of rat as big :o *shrugs*
Is Courtney's username Chilli? In the first post I don't really feel comfortable calling her "chilli" :p ;)
LOL. Well, they're both rodents somewhat and they require the same basic care I suppose, lol. Yes, Courtney's username is Chilli ^__^

zoomer
08-31-2006, 08:01 PM
LOL. Well, they're both rodents somewhat and they require the same basic care I suppose, lol. Yes, Courtney's username is Chilli ^__^

Yeah, I suppose they do require somewhat the same care since they are both basicly rodents... but I think rats like to climb more. I dunno, hurry up Courtney ;)

Argranade
08-31-2006, 08:04 PM
I would get a rat but then there buts kinda kreep me out. :o

zoomer
08-31-2006, 08:07 PM
I would get a rat but then there buts kinda kreep me out. :o

Why? *wonder's what a rat's butt looks like* LOL

Khay
08-31-2006, 09:10 PM
I've got a love for rats goin' on! I don't know too much about them, though. So... I was hoping you excellent, knowledgeable PTers (esspecialy you Courtney (yes, you, Chilli!)) You best reply to this thread ;) :D) could give me lots of information on them! How hard are they to care for? How often does their cage need cleaning? What kind of tank do they need? How hard is it to tame them? Do they bite a lot? Do they like to snuggle? Are they nocturnal like hamsters? How much do they cost? And lastly... how do I convience my mom, who has afobia of those supposedly "evil monsters" to her, to let me get one?

How hard are they to care for? - What do you consider hard? You can't buy them a rodent mix from the pet store, they either need lab blocks or a homemade suebee's mix - see here: http://www.ratsrule.com/diet.html
You will likely go to the vet at the LEAST twice for each rat in their lifetime - probably for respiratory infections, and rats are also very prone to cancerous tumors, so you would need to be ready to have those removed also.

How often does their cage need cleaning? - My boys have a Ruud cage (Martins, it's about 5 feet tall) I covered the wire shelves with coroplast, their cage floors get wiped down daily, and disinfected weekly.

What kind of tank do they need? - You can't really keep them in a tank, especially if you don't spend a huge amount of money to get a big one. Rats are INCREDIBLY prone to respiratory infections, and tanks do not provide them with enough ventilation. These are the best cages IMO:
http://www.martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/

This is a rat cage calculator, you put in the dimensions and it tells you how many rats can fit in it. That is absolute MINIMUM though, and the rats should have more room than that.
http://www.rattycorner.com/odds/calc.shtml

How hard is it to tame them? - Depends on the rat. I currently have a rescue rat who has been neglected and abandoned, I assume he is going to take a long time to tame but has never bitten. Poor little guy was screaming bloody murder at me the first few days I had to restrain him to give him his meds.

Do they bite a lot? - I've never been bitten

Do they like to snuggle? - Mine like to snuggle only when they've had a good time running around outside their cage.

How much do they cost? - I don't reccommend getting them from a pet store. Adopt from a rescue or buy from a reputable breeder. Buying animals from pet stores is no different than buying from backyard breeders - It's one in the same.

Out of my 2 newest rats, I have had them 1 week and their vet bills have already costed me $100. (I adopted them and they came to me with mites and respiratory infections) They are incredibly prone to tumors and respiratory infections, so if you don't have the money to treat reoccurring respiratory infections, and don't have the money to get any tumors removed, it's best not to get rats.


And lastly... how do I convience my mom, who has afobia of those supposedly "evil monsters" to her, to let me get one? --- First of all, you can't get just one rat. Rats are social, and two or more rats together is NECESSARY.

If your mom isn't supportive of them, it would be best not to get them. Like I said they can cost ALOT in vet bills, cages cost ALOT, if you dont want to make the homemade suebee's mix and dont have lab blocks that sell near you you will need to buy them online and pay for shipping etc.

Rats are more like dogs or cats when it comes to $$$ than other rodents.

zoomer
08-31-2006, 09:19 PM
Thank you very much Khay! Oh, and, about my mom, she's afriad they'll attack her, so if I show her they won't, then she'll have no problem with him/

Khay
08-31-2006, 09:21 PM
Thank you very much Khay! Oh, and, about my mom, she's afriad they'll attack her, so if I show her they won't, then she'll have no problem with him/

Rats are the most friendly rodents I have EVER had the pleasure of knowing.
(Out of hamsters, gerbils, mice, degus)
Just make sure though, that she will pay ANY vet bills that come up, that you can't afford. Rat bills can get expensive.

zoomer
08-31-2006, 09:23 PM
Rats are the most friendly rodents I have EVER had the pleasure of knowing.
(Out of hamsters, gerbils, mice, degus)
Just make sure though, that she will pay ANY vet bills that come up, that you can't afford. Rat bills can get expensive.

Ok... but I'm still wondering how to convience her to let me get a rat?

Khay
08-31-2006, 09:26 PM
Ok... but I'm still wondering how to convience her to let me get a rat?

If she's fallen into the stereotypes for rats, it probably wouldnt be that easy. Have her read up on them and look at pictures of pet rats ;) This is a good fun site for her to learn from and for her to fall in love with rats from:

http://www.ratsrule.com/

And also:
http://www.dapper.com.au/

(And remember, never "a" rat) ;)

Argranade
08-31-2006, 09:28 PM
Why? *wonder's what a rat's butt looks like* LOL


Go look at one at the pet store there buts freak me out.

I think its just male's not shur hehe. :o

Khay
08-31-2006, 09:29 PM
Go look at one at the pet store there buts freak me out.

I think its just male's not shur hehe. :o

You're probably referring to their "manly appendages" :p

Roxyluvsme13
08-31-2006, 09:30 PM
LOL! That used to freak me out too Christina.. it's not actually their butts :p.

Chilli
08-31-2006, 09:30 PM
I'm here! XD
Also, Zara(Miss_Z) knows loads about rats, also. So she can give you plenty of info once she sees this.
First off, a rat isn't quite like a hamster. And adult rats are normally quite a bit bigger than a hamster. =) The only reason my rats look a bit smaller, is that for one, 5 out of 7 of my rats are only 5 months old. Also, my full-grown guys are double rex. Hair adds to a rats' size, so they look rather small.
And about the rat butt, she's probably referring to males? You don't even notice it after a while. I get visiters and they often point and ask what it is. O: Its no different than an un-neutered dog, really...sorta.
To your questions...
How hard are they to care for? As said, it depends on your definition of hard. Like said, they most likely WILL need to go to the vet. So far, only 3 of my rats have had to go. I've spent up to $80-some dollars just on one visit, and I know I'll spend more in the future.

How often does their cage need cleaning? Once a week, normally. Males are a bit stinkier(their droppings & all), so be prepaired to do extra cleanings.


What kind of tank do they need? No tank! Wire cages are good. Right now my girls are being housed in a large bird cage, you just gotta make sure that there isn't any place for them to escape. My girls are great escape artists. =D

How hard is it to tame them? Again, it depends on the rat. My younger rats were way easier to tame, though one of the girls is super shy. My older males gave me a hard time at first, but now they've turned into sweet guys who like to curl up in my hoodie and sleep^^.


Do they bite a lot? Usually its the person's fault. Normally, no, they don't bite. I've only been bitten by my double rex boys, and that was totally my fault. They tend to mistake fingers as food. Alot of rats have toe-obsessions. So don't think of a nip on the toe as an actual bite. Do discourage this behaivor, though.

Do they like to snuggle? Depends on the rat. Males are known to be much more relaxed and squishy, My double rex boys like nothing more than to crawl into my hoodie and sleep. Though not all males live up to this statement.

Are they nocturnal like hamsters? Really, if you play with them alot, they get used to your schedule. Usually, my rats sleep at night, though occasionally get up to rough-house around.

And lastly... how do I convience my mom, who has afobia of those supposedly "evil monsters" to her, to let me get one?
As said, never just one rat!! They're pack animals. They thrive off of the company of their own kind, and the company of you. Of course, never start out with alot. Starting out with two is a good number. Two of the SAME sex. You don't want no babies. ^__^
Like my mum, your mum thinks of them as "plague-carrying vermin", right? First, show her you know ALL about how to care for them. Point out that they're clean, affectionate, etc. I got my mum to talk to an employee at a petstore that I'm friends with. That guy put in a good word about. It helps mums to know that the info is coming from an another adult, you know?

Any more questions, feel free to ask. If you use MSN (messenger), you can always add me, and we can talk that way.

Miss Z
09-01-2006, 04:35 AM
You've gotten a lot of good information from Courtney and Khay, I'll add my little bit too ;)
How hard are they to care for? I would say no harder than caring for any other rodent. What you put in, you will get out. Male rats are quite sleepy and docile and usually bigger, whilst the females are more alert, active and slender (heh, it's the same in all species, isn't it?:p ). If you are worried about the male rat 'down under' appearance, then it's probably best to get a female.
How often does their cage need cleaning? I would say clean the whole cage every 3-5 days, but it can depend on the rat. I wipe the shelves of Tia's cage everyday to keep them clean, as she pees on them and drags food on them and stuff :o Remember, cleaning out the cage also means wiping the cage bars and washing out all the tubes and toys too.
What kind of tank do they need? I've never seen a rat kept in a tank before, and I wouldn't reccommend it. Rats are natural climbers and need a tall cage with different levels and toys tied around in random places to keep them occupied. Also, make sure the shelves or levels aren't wire, as rats can get a foot condition called bumblefoot by walking on them.
How hard is it to tame them? It's pretty easy generally. Rats are intelligent and curious, and they are quick to associate people with certain things, for example food. As with most animals, offer them treats on occasion, and talk to them softly. Begin by just stroking the rat before you pick it up, and let it run on your hand palm down in the cage. After a while you can gently lift your rat up. Once a bond is established, your rat will jump on your hand when you put your hand in the cage, want to sit on your shoulder and it is possible to teach them some simple tricks or commands.
Do they bite a lot? Tia has never bitten me, she only 'play-bites' when she gets excited and wants to play. In a pet store quite near me, a man has been working there for nearly 8 years. In all the time, he's been bitten by hamsters, gerbils, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, the lot, but not once by a rat ;)
Do they like to snuggle? Once tame, yes, generally. Females may have to work off some steam before they do or you catch them at a sleepy moment. Rats are very affectionate little creatures and they do show you love!
Are they nocturnal like hamsters? Well, yes and no. As Courtney said, rats learn your waking hours and will tailor theirs to fit you. Tia waits for me to go to bed every night, then she goes to sleep at the same time.
How much do they cost? Usually, it's not the rat is the real cost, but the cage and all the other equipment that mounts up. I'm not entirely sure of US money, but Tia herself was 10 whilst her cage was 90. I would reccommend getting the biggest and best cage that you can afford.
Well-bred rats from a breeder will probably be more expensive. I must say though, that a lot of the very fancy colours are likely to have a history of interbreeding to produce the colour, which will make them prone to respiratory problems and tumours. It could be safer to opt for an agouti or hooded rat if you don't want to risk vet bills, but if you do your homework and find out about breeders from other people then you'll know what you want to do.
As Courtney said, rats generally go well in pairs, but it is a myth that they cannot live by themselves. Tia is perfectly happy, and with just people around she has a very strong bond to me, I guess she thinks I'm her big rat sister :p BUT, if you just have one rat, you need to keep them somewhere you will be often, like your room, and be prepared to interact with them at least 5 times a day and different intervals, and when you're not there, leave plenty of toys and objects for your rat to play with.
And lastly... how do I convience my mom, who has afobia of those supposedly "evil monsters" to her, to let me get one? So, you're saying she could refuse this face?

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i287/Miss_Z_rat_luver/Tiainthegarden007.jpg (http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i287/Miss_Z_rat_luver/?start=100#imgAnch118)

(LOL, joke:p )

It's common for many people to fear or hate rats, they've had bad press for hundreds of years, basically because they live alongside humans in their waste, homes and property. This is only because they are adaptable and intelligent creatures who can make changes in their lifestyle to keep up with their habitat. Know another creature exactly like that? Yep, humans. ;) We aren't that different at all.
Many people also don't like the tail. Yes, it's bald and scaly, but without it, a rat would not be a rat!
And of course, once you have a rat you'll never look back. They have the willingness of a dog, the charisma of a cat and the intellect and feelings of a person. After a while, I can guarantee your mother will see things differently, she just has to be ready to accept a little rat into her home.

I hope everything works out!!!:D

buttercup132
09-01-2006, 07:01 AM
AWWW Zara is that Tia!?!
That picture is gorgeouse!
I agree rats are amazingly freindly and loving. I cant wait to won another one.
Just be sure to not place two males in a cage. Two females is ok but never two males.Sorry if its been mentioned already I'm just too lazy right now to read all the info givin cause there is LOTS.

Miss Z
09-01-2006, 07:22 AM
AWWW Zara is that Tia!?!
That picture is gorgeouse!


Yep, that's Tia alright. Thanks Alicia :D

Khay
09-01-2006, 12:34 PM
Just be sure to not place two males in a cage. Two females is ok but never two males.Sorry if its been mentioned already I'm just too lazy right now to read all the info givin cause there is LOTS.

That is not true.

And it is NOT a myth that rats cannot live on their own.

My first rat Cairo, has been living alone his entire life. I took him from a free ad, and I figured he was happy. I spent alot of time with him, he was always happy and bouncing around in his cage when I came to see him, however I would say he was more starved of interaction than anything. Now that he has his buddies, if I compare how he is now to how he was before the new rats, I would say he was DEPRESSED.

Any rat needs to have proper introductions done, female or male, they need to be first introduced on neutral territory, get their order figured out, and then introduced to the same cage.

When introducing males, the easiest scenario is either babies (Under 3 mos.) Or an adult male introducing to two babies that have already been introduced to each other.

Please check out the sites I posted in a previous post, they have alot of really good information - More than you're going to get just by asking here. Also check out ratsrule.com and check out the forum linked from that site.

zoomer
09-01-2006, 12:49 PM
Thank you everyone! :D
I showed that picture of Tia to my mom and she made this disgusted face... :( I think she's rather cute though!

CathyBogart
09-01-2006, 01:11 PM
If your mom is one of those who is eeked out by ratty tails, perhaps you could look around in your area for tailless ratties. They're very cute, but a little hard to find because of some issues with breeding them. Tailless ratties that I've seen have a slightly arched back and a little "hop" to their walk that is just adorable!

Chilli
09-01-2006, 04:02 PM
I just wanted to put in that I agree that two males CAN be housed together. My two double rex boys have been living with eachother for the longest time, and nothing bad happened. Yes, they used to get a bit rough with eachother, but that hasn't happened since Ven established that he was dominant. Right now, three of my males are housed together. No problems whatsoever.

Just try something. Show her these pictures of my Ophelia (back when she was VERY young), but don't tell her its a rat. I think Tia is one of the most GORGEOUS rats, but to anti-rat people, a baby rat might be more appealing. If, as soon as she sees the picture, you say that its a rat. Your mum may put on a disgusted look, just because of the fact that its a rat. Get what I mean^^?

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h10/EmotionsOnSleeves/O01.png http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h10/EmotionsOnSleeves/O02.png http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h10/EmotionsOnSleeves/O03.png

And I do advise you to read every little thing you find about rats. The more knowledge the better.

zoomer
09-01-2006, 08:26 PM
Thanks, Courtney. I'll show that picture to my mom once I get home... @ a friend's house @ the moment...

Miss Z
09-02-2006, 05:34 AM
Thank you everyone! :D
I showed that picture of Tia to my mom and she made this disgusted face... :( I think she's rather cute though!

LOL, never mind it was worth a try :p


Just try something. Show her these pictures of my Ophelia (back when she was VERY young), but don't tell her its a rat. I think Tia is one of the most GORGEOUS rats, but to anti-rat people, a baby rat might be more appealing.


Thanks Courtney! Ophelia was (and still is) really cute!



And it is NOT a myth that rats cannot live on their own.

My first rat Cairo, has been living alone his entire life. I took him from a free ad, and I figured he was happy. I spent alot of time with him, he was always happy and bouncing around in his cage when I came to see him, however I would say he was more starved of interaction than anything. Now that he has his buddies, if I compare how he is now to how he was before the new rats, I would say he was DEPRESSED.


Well, all I can say is that Tia is not depressed. If I introduced any other rat to Tia, she would kill it, no doubt about that.

Chilli
09-02-2006, 09:32 AM
Well, all I can say is that Tia is not depressed. If I introduced any other rat to Tia, she would kill it, no doubt about that.


That reminds me! There are some rare cases, where rats simply don't accept cagemates. All rats are completely different. I have a rat who is housed alone because of a handicap. I know what my rats moods are, and he isn't depressed, either. He gets loads of time out of his cage to be with me.
Though, I still suggest to always keep them in pairs^^. Its the cutest thing to see when you walk in and they're all piled ontop of eachother in a hammock.

zoomer
09-02-2006, 12:51 PM
Courtney, I showed her the pictures of Ophelia without even telling her she was a rat and she said "YUCK, YUCK, YUCK! GROSS, GROSS, GROSS!". Ughh :( :rolleyes:

Chilli
09-02-2006, 12:56 PM
Ah well^^ Are you taking it slow with your mum? Usually, if you bug a mum too much, they'll be even more against it. Take it very slow. Heck, you might have to wait until you move out to get some rats... it just depends. I have to wait until I move out before I'm able to get certain pets, but I'm okay with that.

zoomer
09-02-2006, 01:07 PM
Ah well^^ Are you taking it slow with your mum? Usually, if you bug a mum too much, they'll be even more against it. Take it very slow. Heck, you might have to wait until you move out to get some rats... it just depends. I have to wait until I move out before I'm able to get certain pets, but I'm okay with that.

Yes, I'm taking it slow. But what are the stages? I mean... what should I do from beginning to end?

Chilli
09-02-2006, 03:04 PM
Start out with cramming your head with info. I know you were given alot of info in this thread, but there is always more to learn. Also, just casually bring things up in conversations with your mum. Such as how rats are very clean, grooming themselves and eachother numerous times a day. Find out exactly what she doesn't like about rats. The tail, "smell", etc. See if there is a way you can convince her to change her mind on how she veiws that particular thing.

Argranade
09-02-2006, 03:05 PM
Yes, I'm taking it slow. But what are the stages? I mean... what should I do from beginning to end?


Take her to a pet store ask the Pet worker if you can hold a rat then bring it up to your mom and say ''See there so cute mom'' and if she screams uhhh....then maybe you should move to a mouse lol.

I dont mind rats my mom thinks there cute but I dout she would want me to have one and I dout I would get one ill stick with birds. ;)

There's also gerbals try to find somthing small like a rat thats more..how can I put this...your moms style? lol.

zoomer
09-02-2006, 03:18 PM
Take her to a pet store ask the Pet worker if you can hold a rat then bring it up to your mom and say ''See there so cute mom'' and if she screams uhhh....then maybe you should move to a mouse lol.

She'd kill me if I did that.. but I suppose it's worth a try :p

Khay
09-02-2006, 05:06 PM
Well there are ALWAYS exceptions to rules.

EVERY social species has the few rare animals that are anti-social. But that is not the rule at all, and is very rare. Just like in people. If there was a person who never had contact with another person, most people would lose their mind. Then there is those rare people who hate everyone of the human race.

Have you ever tried introducing another rat to Tia? What did she do? Pin it down and dig into its stomach with her nose while the other rat was screeching like it was being skinned alive? That is what's supposed to happen. It's called power-grooming. No blood, no foul.

Go to any rat forum, and they will say, rats should never be kept alone unless they've proven to completely dislike other rats (That takes months to determine. Some introductions just take longer because they can't figure out their pecking order.) Or if the rat is ill/injured in such a way that they need to be quarantined or alone because other rats would be a danger to them.

Miss Z
09-03-2006, 04:56 PM
Have you ever tried introducing another rat to Tia? What did she do? Pin it down and dig into its stomach with her nose while the other rat was screeching like it was being skinned alive? That is what's supposed to happen. It's called power-grooming. No blood, no foul.

Go to any rat forum, and they will say, rats should never be kept alone unless they've proven to completely dislike other rats (That takes months to determine. Some introductions just take longer because they can't figure out their pecking order.) Or if the rat is ill/injured in such a way that they need to be quarantined or alone because other rats would be a danger to them.

Yes, she has been alongside a rat, I would not dare to let them together. I know all about power-grooming, and I can tell you it was definitely not that. She is defensive of her own territory and becomes pretty aggressive, it's hard to explain when I can't show you. It was the same when we had Foxy, obviously a hamster is not the same, but she took up the same defensive posture and bared her teeth whenever she was near Foxy. It's mostly when she's in her cage, but generally she doesn't like to be around other animals. She becomes very tense and if I am holding her, it feels like she's going to spring and attack at any moment.

I have no plans to attempt to introduce another rat to Tia, firstly, as my mum would not allow another rat, and secondly, she is perfectly happy as she is. As I said before, as she's on her own, she gets plenty of attention each day, has free runs and runs in her rat ball each day, has a cage big enough to house two adult ferrets and generally accompanies me in many things I do, as I type she's sat on my shoulder. If I thought she was upset about being lonely, of course I would consider a companion for her, but I know she's perfectly fine. As we spend so much time together, we have a very strong bond, and I know her moods very well, I could certainly tell if she was unhappy.