Rat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I went on a walk with my dog and saw a little carrier. A cop pulled over because the women who's house the rats were by reported (nice little lady) I stopped and told the cop if they need a place to stay I sure as heck have one! So I brought them home and put them in a temporary home I had from my gerbils who passed. These rats look young but I'm not sure what I should do since I just spent most of my paycheck and don't get paid for two weeks! So what should I do!?! They only have a little bit of some type of food that was burried in there bedding (I took the pieces of food out and ditched the bedding.) If they survive, which I'm sure they will they look healthy just scared, I will be taking them to the vet in two weeks when I get my paycheck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
If you're not in a position to take them on as pets right now, you could do some research to see if there are any small-pet or rat-specific rescue organizations in your area. If there aren't you could surrender them to the Humane Society.

If you're interested in keeping them as pets, get ready to spend a bunch of money. The initial set-up costs for rats cost a bit. The biggest expense will be a suitable cage. I'd suggest a good starting size for a pair of rats would be in the range of 7 to 10 cubic feet or more. You'll want a wire cage that provides good ventilation with a bar spacing of around 1/2" to prevent escapes. You might be able to save a little money by purchasing a used cage but you'll still want to spend some time researching what's available and suitable for rats. I'd strongly suggest getting some feedback on a cage before purchasing it.

You'll also want to spend some time researching different bedding options, good cage accessories, and diet options.

My favorite resources for learning to care for rats include the [Isamu Rat Care], [Shadow the Rat], and [Emiology] youtube channels and the [Isamu Rats] and [About Pet Rats] websites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Make sure you don’t stress them because you don’t know what underlying health conditions they have and you don’t want to not be able to take them to the vet if they suddenly get ill. The initial setup can be pretty expensive but there are some ways you can save money. Make sure the cage is wire. Never a tank because rats have very sensitive respiratory systems. If there is a wire floor you’ll need to cover it up because the wires are not good for their feet. I prefer a cage with a tray that goes inside the cage so that that is their floor. You’ll need bedding, a water bottle, food bowls, chew toys and lots of thing to climb on. Rats love to climb so your goal is to make it as entertaining as possible for them. I love going to dollar tree and hanging up the baskets they have there with curtain hangers. It’s a really good place to go if your trying to save money or you can buy/make fleece hammocks. It would nice to have at least two places in the ground for them to hide in. For the bedding I recommend kiln dried pine. It is a bit of a controversial topic but I think it is perfectly safe as long as it is kiln dried and not cedar. You can also use fleece to cover the bottom of the cage and the levels but you’ll have to clean it more. I recommend a cage that has 2.5 cubic feet of space per rat at least maybe even a little larger than that. You can get the cage from craigslist or ebay if your looking for a cheaper price or a used cage. I recommend looking online for cage examples and ideas. It might be a good way for you to get some creative ideas. Lastly, I recommend oxbow food. It’s a very good brand.
I recommend Shadow the Rat, Emiology, and Isamu Rats on Youtube.
Ps
do lots of research it always helps. If you have anymore questions just ask!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If you’re worried about feeding them. I recommend maybe making a mix while you wait for your paycheck. There are lots online. Make sure you don’t stress them because you don’t know what underlying health conditions they have and you don’t want to not be able to take them to the vet if they suddenly get ill. Have you owned many rats? I can give you a more specific explanation if you need more information on care.
I have owned many todetns like gerbils, guinea pigs, and rabbits but never rats. What kind of mixed do you have in mind?
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
434 Posts
Also, thank you for standing up and taking responsibility for these rats, I don't know a lot of people who would do that for these underappreciated, wonderful, animals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
If you're not in a position to take them on as pets right now, you could do some research to see if there are any small-pet or rat-specific rescue organizations in your area. If there aren't you could surrender them to the Humane Society.

If you're interested in keeping them as pets, get ready to spend a bunch of money. The initial set-up costs for rats cost a bit. The biggest expense will be a suitable cage. I'd suggest a good starting size for a pair of rats would be in the range of 7 to 10 cubic feet or more. You'll want a wire cage that provides good ventilation with a bar spacing of around 1/2" to prevent escapes. You might be able to save a little money by purchasing a used cage but you'll still want to spend some time researching what's available and suitable for rats. I'd strongly suggest getting some feedback on a cage before purchasing it.

You'll also want to spend some time researching different bedding options, good cage accessories, and diet options.

My favorite resources for learning to care for rats include the [Isamu Rat Care], [Shadow the Rat], and [Emiology] youtube channels and the [Isamu Rats] and [About Pet Rats] websites.
I know about a good amount of there care I just don't know what my cheaper options are at the moment. The cage will have to wait until my next paycheck along with the vet but I'm not sure what cheaper but good options are for food or toys and stuff until I get my money. They are in a temporary cage which has some cat toys (with no catnip) and I'm currently using fleece liners like I do with my rabbit. They have some food and water. It's three stories high but not big enough for two rats to live in forever. I'd love to get a critter nation but was also thinking of building them there own like I normally do with my animals so it's more suitable and cheaper. If you have any suggestions about temporary food,treats, or toys I'd greatly appreciate it!
Check out this thread, it gives a list of foods rats can eat, and lists of mixes you can makes: Good and Bad Food for Rats & Ratty Recipes
Thank you very much I appreciate the help!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Also, thank you for standing up and taking responsibility for these rats, I don't know a lot of people who would do that for these underappreciated, wonderful, animals.
I love animals and I know how amazing these animals are so I didn't even think twice about it! Again thank you for the help!
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
434 Posts
Do happen to have pictures of these angels?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Do happen to have pictures of these angels?
[/QUO
They are both scared but they seem to be doing good other than jumping if i move to fast I also out a picture of there temporary home. They are little so I'm guessing they are still pretty young
IMG_20201002_094002483.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
434 Posts
Aww they're precious! If you decide to keep them I'm sure they'll transition wonderfully to your home and you'll be able to bond with them too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Aww they're precious! If you decide to keep them I'm sure they'll transition wonderfully to your home and you'll be able to bond with them too.
I hope so! They don't try to bite me or are aggressive so that makes me have a lot of hope for the future!
 

·
Registered
Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
Joined
·
434 Posts
It looks like oxbow to me, that would be the best kind of food to feed them if possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
Cheap food:
A 3 lb bag of Oxbow will cost around $16 at PetSmart. Their online price is $11 and if you ask them, they will sell it to you for the [cheaper price] at the store. For a pair of rats, it will last about a month and a half. The kibble in your picture is most likely Oxbow but it could also be [Science Selective].

If you need to wait a couple weeks before buying food for them specifically, they should be okay with any leftover hamster/gerbil mix if you have that laying around. I'd avoid guinea pig/rabbit pellets as they're predominantly made from grasses. If you feed your rabbit a mix, that would be okay. If it contains alfalfa pellets, your rats will probably ignore them. If they do nibble on them, it's fine. Even grain-based, low protein dog kibble is okay in a pinch.

Two weeks is a fairly long time but you might be able to feed them human food until you can get them a rat-specific diet. They can eat things like healthy breakfast cereals (Total, Shredded Wheat, etc.), cooked or dry rice/oats/pasta, vegetables, egg, anything "healthy," really. Go heavier on the grains/carbs with smaller amounts of protein and vegetables. Avoid things like uncooked potatoes, uncooked beans, and raw onions. If they're boys, keep citrus to the bare minimum. Spinach is healthy but can cause kidney issues so it's a good "sometimes" treat.

Cheap Cage Accessories:
Rats like to dig, forage, climb, cuddle, and destroy stuff. An ideal cage allows them to do all of these things. Because their temporary cage is a bit small in scale, you could possibly remove the platforms and ramps and fill it with branches, ropes, and hammocks, instead. If they're only going to be in this cage for 2 weeks, you don't need to go crazy, though.

You can easily make hammocks out of any scrap of fabric. Old clothes and hand towels are just fine. You can hang them with safety pins, paper clips, curtain clips, or whatever. Cloth items can get stinky quickly so make sure that whatever you use to hang them can be undone easily because they may need to be washed every few days.

Foraging toys that involve tearing things up to get to food are a great way to provide enrichment. Little bits of food in crumpled up little pieces of paper hidden inside toilet paper rolls or paper egg cartons are fantastic.

When you get a good permanent cage, you really don't need to spend a lot of money outfitting it. Stuff from the recycle bin, backyard, dollar store, and thrift shop can all be used to set up a great cage. A few fantastic store-bought accessories include a [Large Space Pod] or two, lava ledges, and bendy rope perches.

Cages:
The [single unit Critter Nation] would be fantastic for a pair of rats. I quite like [Martin's Cages]. They're lighter weight and can sit on a table or dresser so they don't necessarily take up any floor space. Either the [Lodge R-680] or the [Skyscraper R-695] would be great options. Martin's cages should always be purchased with the powder coating to prevent the metal from absorbing odors.

A decent budget cage for a pair of rats is the [Large MCage] ($60). It has the same dimensions as the Martin's Lodge (18x30x24). It's not the same quality as a Martin's or Critter Nation cage but with some modification, can work well.

Be careful if you choose to go the DIY cage route. Rats pee a lot more than other small pets and some materials (wood) may not be the best choice for construction. If you must use wood, I'd suggest making sure you do so in a way that prevents it from getting peed or chewed on. You can potentially build a DIY cage for less than the cost of a quality manufactured cage but if it smells terrible or if your rats chew through it after a year or so, you might not actually be saving any money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
"You can easily make hammocks out of any scrap of fabric. Old clothes and hand towels are just fine. "

Shirt sleeve (especially from long sleeve T's) work great!

"Foraging toys that involve tearing things up to get to food are a great way to provide enrichment. Little bits of food in crumpled up little pieces of paper hidden inside toilet paper rolls or paper egg cartons are fantastic."

This site: 20 Free or Cheap DIY Rat Toys
has some good ideas.

"When you get a good permanent cage, you really don't need to spend a lot of money outfitting it. Stuff from the recycle bin, backyard, dollar store, and thrift shop can all be used to set up a great cage "

Dollar Tree is one of my favorite places for rat accessories. The little plastic baskets make great perches/beds for them. You can easily attach them higher up in the cage with some zip-ties. Like this:
302551


Tissue boxes make great tunnels. You can get washcloths in a bundle for $1 ... which is great for lining the boxes and they clean up easily, too. Also, some of their "Trail mix" snack packs is a cheap way to see which nuts &/or dried fruits they may like - without buying bigger packages at stores and maybe getting stuck with them.
Once you set your mind into that mode - you'll surprise yourself with how many things you find that can be used in their cages.
I usually will do a web search to see if some materials are safe fr them or not - if I'm not sure.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top