I've been thinking hard about which of these animals I want as a pet, however I would like some clarification on rats as I read so much conflicting information.
I'm a bit of a germaphobe, I keep things tidy and I can deal with the nature of an animal. However, I've been told by people who have supposedly owned rats for years that they will continually defecate anywhere and everywhere, on you, your floor, bed, anything. Then I read information on the internet, many rat care sites say rats will eventually stop pooing on you once they're used to you and they will learn to go in their cage, the websites also say they will start peeing on you less frequently over time, but it will never really cease.
Is that how it works?
Another thing I'm curious of, people who claim to have rats litter trained then post pictures on the internet of their cages. Their rats still have poop several places and pee spots everywhere in the cage, then there's conflicting information on the internet saying rats will start using a specific area to poop in their cage but peeing is hit or miss.
I've owned four ferrets, over a 14 year span, I pretty much know all ferret habits. All of them passed away from cancer, and I must say even though I cleaned their cages thoroughly and frequently I don't care much for the remaining cage smell, ferret poop is quite distinct. And God knows, I loved the little buggers but mischievousness can get the better of me.
I'm really looking for a calmer pet, one of my ferrets was a bit if a lazy bones but would still never just chill out. Rats seem like they can definitely be cuddlers, which is what I'm looking now.
Would a rat even be right for me? Someone who doesn't want to always be pooped and peed on? Like I said, I can deal with it for awhile and I don't mind cleaning up accidents, but I don't really want careless defecation. My ferrets would use their litter box 7.5/10, are rats pretty consistent once trained?
And now I'm in an even bigger dilemma, which gender of rat would be for me? Are male rats as bad as peeing on you as I read?
I want a playful but mellow lap animal, male rats fit the bill.
I want an animal that will be less likely to pee on me, females fit the bill.
Then I get information saying male and females mark almost the same amount, then I get information that gender personalities are vastly different, then I read they aren't.
I mean it's getting confusing, I'm looking for a good general education here without vastly differing opinions and experiences.
Sorry for rambling, but if I'm going to make a commitment to an animal, I want to feel a bond between it and no friction.
Also, does anyone know of any reputable breeders in south east PA? I would rather buy from a breeder rather pet store if possible.