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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I live in North Carolina and currently don't have any rats, but I'm hoping to adopt three males in several months - it'll take me some time to get the money together for all of their supplies. ^^ I figured I may as well join - maybe I can learn some things before I get my ratties. These will be my first rats so I'm rather inexperienced but I'm already in love with pet rats <3
 

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Welcome to the forum :)

Rats are awesome pets. Just be wary alot of items out their marketed for rats are sadly junk.

Make sure to get a nice large cage, you can look around craigslist for used but brand new it is probably going to set you back $100-$200+ But it is well worth it to buy a proper cage instead of spending more money in the long run with bad ones. Plastic bottoms can be chewed through and quite a few rats have escaped by doing so. Males usually chew less but there is no guarantee. I'd also suggest going for bar spacing of 1/2" adult males may not be able to get through 1" usually but if you get younger rats they may be able to.

You will have to consider what type of bedding to use. You do not want anything too dusty and stay away from cedar.

Hammocks are a huge favorite!

Research foods. IMO the best is a good quality lab block. The three main brands are mazuri, native earth and oxbow. I personally prefer oxbow myself for its lack of corn and lower protein. I would definitely stay away from mixes they are often full of junk and are not well suited for a daily diet. Also alot of the time rats pick through only eating what they want and leave the rest so they are not getting a balanced diet and also wasting money and food.

If you have any specific questions just ask!
 

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Thanks for the quick and helpful reply :)

Yeah, I definitely want to start them off with a nice cage. I'm planning to get a Martin's cage, hopefully used for a better deal and definitely powder-coated. I'm not quite sure which one yet though - the R-690 would fit perfectly in the space I'm hoping to keep their cage in, and I think it seems like it would be fine space-wise from looking at photos, but it's kind of hard to tell from just pictures. It worries me some though because the ramps seem very steep and I'm concerned about that being an issue during their old age, and the cage calculators say it's not deep enough for adult rats to live in.

The bedding I'm not really sure on. I have straw around as I also keep chickens, but I think it seems too dusty for rats and I would expect they'd get poked by it a lot since they're so low to the ground. I'd like to find a suitable bedding material that I already have at home in order to save some money and also for convenience... I have a lot of old, soft blankets and I was thinking of cutting them up to line the bottom of the cage, and then something else for a litter tray. I have no shortage of extra blankets in different materials, and also plenty of old t-shirts that could also work.

As for foods I haven't completely decided on a brand, though I've been looking at different lab blocks. So far I'm trying to decide between either Native Earth or Oxbow.
 

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Hi! Rats are the best pets- you will NEVER regret getting them, I promise you.

Don't use straw. Way too dusty, rats have seriously sensitive respiratory systems.
Blankets are an awesome idea- ratties love them! Just know you'll have to wash them often- male rats mark their territory a lot, and rat pee is stinky :)

Couple things to watch out for with new ratties- sneezing, discharge, itching, and scabs.

Most rats sneeze the first couple days in a new home- so don't worry about that. But, if you see red, blood-looking discharge from the rat's nose or mouth, along with sneezing, I would reccommend contacting a vet :)
Itching and scabs usually means mites- very VERY common in rats, a lot of times mites hitch a ride on bedding. Again, contact your vet- luckily, mites aren't by any means deadly, and they're super easy to treat.

And let me tell you something- you will screw up. Don't beat yourself up about it- I've been there, trust me. You'll realize thier water is empty and has been all day, you'll close their toes in the cage door, you'll spill their food. It's part of having pets. They love you no matter what, and it's important to learn from your mistakes instead of beating yourself up about them.

I'm not exactly a rat-owner veteran, but I'll be happy to help you as much as I can!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good to hear! I'm really looking forward to getting my little babies ;D

Yeah, I had a feeling it would be. I won't use it then. I think the blankets seem like the way to go at least during the cooler months, so I'll be using those.

Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for all of that :)

This seems like a lovely board already!
 

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I love Martins cages. They are so well built, long lasting and easy to clean. I am a huge fan.

I actually have the 690 and it is very thin. I would not have gotten it again if I could go back. Size wise it fits a wheel almost perfectly in the bottom to give u an idea.

I dont think the ramps are too steep personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmm... I live in a very small house with limited space, and my rats' cage will be going on top of a dresser. The top of the dresser is 15 inches deep though, so while the 14-inch depth cages fit perfectly anything larger would hang over the edge a bit. I don't want to risk losing stability. but 14 inches isn't really ideal. Would it be at all safe to even try fitting a cage with an 18-inch depth on that surface or is it too risky? I think it'll only be a couple inches' difference though I'll take a look again tomorrow with the larger measurements in mind. Sorry if it seems like a silly question, I just want to make sure my babies will get the best home I can provide.
 
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