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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all - before I get into the subject of this posting, Id lke to say that I am enjoying myself on your forum! Everyone is so nice and I feel that Ive gotten a lot of good information...which I am grateful for! For example, I had a FLEETING thought about 'wouldnt it be sweet to have babies...'. Your site has taught me that for me to breed a rat would NOT be sweet, it would be irresponsible. As a result, I have appts for half my ratties to be neutered in 2 weeks and the other half, 2 weeks after that. Thank you for the good information that saved me from making a selfish choice and possibly/probably propagating more of an already too prevelant problem.
To be honest, Im sort of ashamed to admit the above - Im not a child, and I am not ignorant - you would think I could have figured it out on my own, but I didnt...Im just grateful that the information was here for me to access so I didnt make a horrible decision.

But I digress....

I have a situation that is extremely delicate - advice would be so appreciated.

First off, I swear that the following information is relevant. My 18 year old daughter gave me my first rat just a few weeks ago (I mentioned this in my very 1st post. My 18 year odl daughter is emotionally slow - about 4 years behind her age (issue from birth). I became ill with a heart problem about a year ago when she started going through the NOT fun teenage angst, and between my illness and her distaste for my rules, it was decided that it was better fior her to live with her father for a while. During this time she has bought several pocket pets. I keep begging her to stop because I truly do not believe that she is caring for them properly. I have asked her father to put a stop to it, but he just looks at me and responds with something like, 'they are JUST rodents; get over it'. GRRR

Her latest purchase has been ratties. She adopted 2 from petsmart and bought 2. I took one girl from her before the poor thing got pregnant because I could just see her not keeping them seperated. Then I got a look at how she is keeping these animals. (the 2 she has left - remember, I already have 2 of them at my house now, thank god). The cage is too small. THere are no toys - nothing fun for these babies to do. They are getting restless and aggresive. I dont know as much about rats as ya'll do here, but I know enough about life to know that this isnt good! I talked her into bringing one over to the house and letting me 'keep him for a while'. He was in a hamster cage. no toys, little bedding, and I think he is thin. He wouldnt socialize and just shuddered in his cage. This was yesterday morning. I wiped him down wiht warm rags whicvh he loved...he just relaxed in my hand. Then I got him another cage with ample bedding, toys and lots of stuff to entertain him. Just in one day, he is coming out to crawl into my hand and roll around. He LOVES the fresh fruits and veggies that Ive added to his diet and he is playing, cuddling, etc. Just in ONE day.

She still has one at the house. I KNOW its not being cared for adequately. I know she has good intentions, but its not enough. Actually, I guess I dont need advice - I love my child and dont want her to have hurt feelings because I know in HER mind, she LOVES these babies, but I cant allow what is obviously neglegence occur. That would be even worse.
I know what I need to do...I just need to figure out the best way to do it, I guess. And I need to figure it out FAST - I dont want the last rattie to get hurt, ill, or suffer any negative effects from what I believe is flat out negligence on her part. (that really stings to know Ive raised a child to near adulthood -slow or not - that could neglect an animal...UGH) :(
OK, so I know what I need to do - any advice on HOW to do it? I can continue taking her rats until I have a jillion here and it wont matter because Im afraid she will continue buying/adopting more. Is there a way to get these places to STOP selling her the animals? Does anyone have ANY kind of advice?

Thanks.

PS
I know that I mentioned Im ill with heart issues. I have arrangements made for my rats should I get sick or if I have to be hospitalized and even made back up arrangements for my back ups. (I just didnt want anyone to worry that my ratties would be neglected if I became ill again) Actually, I swear it is because of THEM That i feel better! LOL!!! YAY RATS! :D
 

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don't be too ashamed about having the "idea" of having babies, its when people go as far as to not really think things through and just do it. im sure that all of us at one point in time thought id be cute to have some babies, though most have not actually gone through with it.

that is wonderful that you rescued the little fellow :) . its amazing how forgiving and kind pets will be.

I do not have any human children myself, so i really wish i can help you on this issue :( . i can definitely see the potential problems though. the board members here are so great, im sure one of them will be much better suited to help you than me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks...I tried to talk to one of my 'friends' about this, and they were horrified that I would chance hurting my child's feelings for 'just a rat'. I have ended an 8 year friendship after 2 hours of TRYING to explain to her that wheras my 18 year old child can understand the reasoning for something eventually, that the 'just a rat' cannot, and that makes it even more cruel. To let an animal suffer and it cant understand WHY it is suffering is beyond cruel.

My ex-friend thinks Im being a 'bad parent'. Personally, I think that Id be a bad parent if I let my daughter get away wtih such deplorable behaviour towards an animal, whether she realizes it or not.

Still, it IS a delicate situation. I dont want the rat to suffer - which is why Ive taken 3 of hers away to now live with me at my house. To be honest, Im kind of scared of the rat that she has left...but still, I dont want him to suffer neglect. And there just HAS to be a way to get the places to stop selling to her??? Maybe?

Anyway, thank you for the reply. Thats one thing I love about this place. You never have to wait long for a response! :)
 

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Could you show your daughter how you keep the rats at your house? such as the correct cage, toys and bedding. Also, show her how happy the rats are and ask if she thinks they seem happier. ask her why the rats are happier and if she gives you the answer you will know at least that she can understand how to treat them. Maybe you should tell her the other one will be lonely so should come and stay with the others and that she can come and see them and play with them when she wants. You could tell her it will be nicer for her to have them with you as she won't have to clean them and feed them, but just do the fun stuff. you could tell her that you don't want to burden her with it?

i'm not really sure, these are just a few suggestions. good luck to you though, and let us know how you get on x
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you. That DOES seem like a good idea...
I feel kind of dumb for not thinking of it myself, its pretty straightforward.
I guess its just that its an emotionally charged issue for me since its my own child and also since I feel so strongly about how ppl care for their animals and how crucial it is to do so properly.

I have invited her over for the weekend, and will try that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will most definately be posting whenever we are able to get her last rat from her. I want to do right by him, but just to be really honest, he frightens me somewhat.

He's huge and nippy and he looks nothing like any of my ratties. He looks like a sewer rat in the movies. She got him from a petco and they said he was a surrendered rat from ppl that had to move and couldnt take him.

I hate to admit that Im frightened of him, but Id hate more NOT admitting it and not doing the best things for him and so forth.
 

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sorry i just went to post my reply and it deleted itself!

i am finishing work now and going away for the weekend so can't get on line til monday possibly. i hope it all goes okay, and don't feel bad for not thinking of a suggestion, as you say it's hard to when you are in the situation.

good luck, also, there are lots of tips here on how to tame a rat x
 

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You could tell her that you want to take the other rat to work on his aggression issues, that you are getting advice about how to do that and that his "brother" is lonely without him.

In the meantime, if she has any free time, maybe take a look around your area and see if there are any rescues that need volunteers. You can sell the idea to her as she can see/handle all the animals she wants with a "job" like that. At least then she would have someone to supervise her animal interaction time and teach her right from wrong on looking after animals (not that you can't, but some kids will listen to strangers better than their own parents).

As for being scared of the remaining rat... it's good to be cautious, but do remember that rats can sense your fear, so you could be making him worse by making him uneasy. Try to be confident in handling him... give him some space to come around, too, and with lots of love and consistency, 9 times out of 10 you can turn a bitey unhappy rat into a happy healthy loving little fuzzball.

I wish you all the luck in the world with this. Please do keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's a good idea too. Heck, Id like to volunteer myself!

Im looking around my room realizing that my one male rattie has expanded into 4 male ratties and 3 females. Ive got the fever, I think

LOL!
 

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DFW_Rat_Luvr said:
That's a good idea too. Heck, Id like to volunteer myself!

Im looking around my room realizing that my one male rattie has expanded into 4 male ratties and 3 females. Ive got the fever, I think

LOL!
I volunteer for a wildlife rescue and it is very rewarding work. Not to mention I get to coo over any number of animals/birds that you wouldn't usually be able to get close to. Maybe it's something you can do together, then?

It sounds to me like you have GGMR Syndrome! ;) Remember to save some space for any future confiscations, though :? (I really hope you don't have to confiscate any more!)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
me too. Well its time for the morningtime skrtich hour - adn Id better not be late or I will have some angry ratties! :D
 

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Well it sounds like you knew what to do deep down, but just needed to write it down and get it out. You have gotten some very good advice on here, and your ex-friend is totally wrong. I took in an old female rat who had been badly neglected. The younger sister snuck her out to me, since her parents (her dad was a vet!) were letting an emotionally disturbed young woman (aggression issues) neglect and kill many small animals to "keep her happy". The little ratgirl's sister died horribly and the younger brave sister incurred the wrath of her parents and got her to me. Gwinny only lived a week more but you could tell she was very very happy. I am soo proud of you for doing what you know is the right thing as a parent and not listening to others who know "what's best for you".

The big agouti (wild brown colouring) might take a bit longer to come around but I am sure he will sense your love and the change in his situation.

((Hugs)) Very very proud of you!!!
 

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I would get that big agouti neutered as well. That does wonders for biting issues.

I agree with the just showing her how they are being taken care of now, how well they are behaving now that they are being taken care of, etc. You can try to give a picture of her to the petshops and explain the situation and hope they won't allow her to buy anymore animals. Some might, some might just ignore you.

In my opinion, even if these are 'just a rat' to your ex husband allowing an emotionally slow child to neglect anything is going to be bad for her emotional growth. Whenever one dies, she will beat herself up for it inside. That or she will just shrug it off teaching her that taking care of her responsibilities don't matter at all. I would explain it in that terms to your ex. Tell him she is better off without them as she isn't being taught that doing horrible things to what she is responsible for is alright. Taking them away when she is NOT being responsible is teaching her to take responsibility to her actions. It's also good for her to see how much better and more fun they are when they ARE being taken care of.

Your husband should be waay more responsible and realize this isn't a good thing to do with his child. That or if he lets her have them, he should be the one taking care of them properly.

If he thinks she needs animals to take care of, perhaps they should get something easier to take care of like a cat. Or again, I agree with the getting a job at a shelter or other animal care place to learn how to treat the animals.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
exhusband, EX! Not husband, My husband feels as strongly about this as I do. As far as my ex-husband goes, its not that he feels she SHOULD have animals to raise, he just doesnt want to deal with telling her no about this situation since in HIS words, 'they are just rats, and rats, lke gerbils, hamsters and mice are disposable pets'. I could have slapped him when he said that. ABSOLUTELY slapped him.

We've decided to go get the ratty today after talking to her. I feel way more confident about what to say and how to say it after receiving so many wonderful responses - thank you everyone! Especially because you all do not know me, or her, I feel that the advice Ive gotten here today is completely on the mark...simply because it is advice for the issue plain and simple and isnt confused by personally knowing me or my child.

Thank you again everyone! :)
 

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You have great intentions and seem very wise. Thank you for makin sure your daughter's rats get proper care. And having arrangements for your rats shows your responsible.

Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just found out that my husband (not the yicky ex!) is lurking.

Maybe he will post!
 

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Being a daughter. I know what you're going through from another point of veiw. I have basicaly raised my mother she has had a 20 year old drug addiction taht she has now left in the past. I have seen her go through a lot. But one thing i admired her for was letting me live with my grandparents because she couldnt give me the life i needed at the time and was if she had an animal at the time that she couldnt take care of she wouldnt say "I love this animal to much to let it go" but "I love this animal to much to let it live this way." She had to give her dog to a rescue because she didnt have a stable place to live. and that dog was the best thing to happen to her but she knew it wasnt good for aiko.
So i think you should explain to your daughter she still has her ratties so she doesnt need anymore. and for you to get the last rat. and let her visit as often as desired. but instead get her an animal that needs less mantience like a hermit crab.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
taralyncouture said:
Being a daughter. I know what you're going through from another point of veiw. I have basicaly raised my mother she has had a 20 year old drug addiction taht she has now left in the past. I have seen her go through a lot. But one thing i admired her for was letting me live with my grandparents because she couldnt give me the life i needed at the time and was if she had an animal at the time that she couldnt take care of she wouldnt say "I love this animal to much to let it go" but "I love this animal to much to let it live this way." She had to give her dog to a rescue because she didnt have a stable place to live. and that dog was the best thing to happen to her but she knew it wasnt good for aiko. So i think you should explain to your daughter she still has her ratties so she doesnt need anymore. and for you to get the last rat. and let her visit as often as desired. but instead get her an animal that needs less mantience like a hermit crab.
Wow, sounds like you had to grow up before you had time to be a kid! :(
That's rough. It's difficult enough dealing with this from my child, but I cannot imagine what iit was like BEING the child and dealing with it from a parent. Hats off to you, and I hope you take time to be a kid now, no matter HOW old you are!

Thanks for the response :)
 
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