Rat Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I really want rats, however my mum says no because she had mice as a kid (note: she had a lot in a cubby house, males and female, and about 30 at a time) and she thinks rats will smell worse because they're bigger. I have found multiple websites saying mice smell worse, however she won't believe me. Please help?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Mice definitely smell worse; male rats smell more than females but I never find their smell bothers me as long as you clean them out on the regular. I find if you have 4+ rats, especially males, they will get a bit stinky but never enough for someone to comment or to notice when you walk in the room. If you stick with two, clean them out once a week then you should be fine and then obviously when you have your own place you can grow your rattie family! :)

EDIT: Also, castrating males will reduce their smell as well, so you could always try that approach if your mother isn't approving and if you're going to keep them in a small room, like a bedroom, then I'd suggest to maybe clean then out twice a day.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
i agree mice smell worse. as said males do smell more than females but as long as u keep there cage clean you cant really notice it. i have 4 males at the moment and i give them a fully hammock and cage clean once a week and i change there litter trays every day to every other day and wipe down all the shelves.they scent mark so the more u clean the out the more they will feel they need to scent mark and this can make them smell quickly. it also depends what substrait and bedding you use as that can also help with the smell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
When my son was small I got a hamster for him. That critter smelled. I cleaned the cage every day and hated the smell. Then I got him a gerbil. That critter smelled. I cleaned the cage every day and hated the smell. Then many years later I got rats. I was so surprised. They seldom smelled. I cleaned the cage once a week, and even when I had 13 the smell never equaled that of one hamster or gerbil. The only way for your mother to know, though is to allow you to try. I believe that, like me, she will be pleasantly surprised at how much less rats smell than some other small animals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Do rats smell?
Of course they do; that's how they know what to eat.

But in seriousness, they're pretty clean animals. I have a couple days of poop in their litter trays, and the overall smell is not bad (though I wouldn't stick my face in the litter tray).

You may be able to demonstrate to your mother that the smell is not that bad. Do you know someone with rats? I would use that person as an example. I would not use the pet store as an example, because pet stores tend to keep rats in a glass tank, which has no ventilation. Yeah, it's going to smell in there unless that store is really on top of keeping things clean.

Most likely your mother kept mice in a glass tank—again, no ventilation. That will make a huge difference.

I think that smelling is believing, but that depends on if you can find a suitable sample. Otherwise, point out to her that you would be keeping a cage and not a glass tank. Show her videos of rats grooming themselves. They smell no worse than cats. And you can definitely use the numbers game to compare 30 mice to 2 rats. Rats can be litter trained, but even if they aren't, their poops dry up so quickly that they're just a nuisance.

The biggest issue I'd have is with their urine. Males mark more, but females have their moments too. We use Borris door mats to line our cage, and they soak up the pee. It still can smell, especially if we don't clean for 5 days. Diligent cleaning can easily keep the urine smell down. Pee rocks help localize the pee (so I'm told; need to get some myself).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,871 Posts
All animals have some odor to them. And urine in no way smells lovely. My cats litterbox is not a fun smell either.

But you can control the odor and keep it down.

Have a large cage, and keep less then the maximum number of rats in it. It will depend on what type of bedding you use, if you can littertrain them, how often you clean their cage.

Rats smell much better then mice IMO though.

But keep in mind that people who are not around them often might still find that the smell isn't great. Please make sure that your mom will be 100% ok with you keeping the rats no matter what. It would be a horrible situation if after you get them she makes u get rid of them or wants them kept outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
As a general rule, if your cage is starting to smell, its because it needs cleaned. I don't think you should allow a cage to get to the point where there is a noticeable smell though. Because if it smells bad to you, there is probably a lot of ammonia in the air already, which is bad for delicate rattie respiratory systems. So maybe tell your mom, that regular cleaning (every 3 days I would say, and a deeper cleaning probably every month at least) would really keep the smell down to a unnoticeable level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I had two small female mice for about a day before they went back to the pet store. They are the smelliest animals I have ever had. It was unbelievable. I have four rats and they have a smell but not a stink. They like to pee everywhere but I use uhaul blankets and fleece as bedding, plus litter boxes, and that cut down on the smell a ton. I empty litter every day or so, and the rest of the cage usually stays ok for about a week. My dog is much stinkier in comparison to the rats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
When my son was small I got a hamster for him. That critter smelled. I cleaned the cage every day and hated the smell. Then I got him a gerbil. That critter smelled. I cleaned the cage every day and hated the smell. Then many years later I got rats. I was so surprised. They seldom smelled. I cleaned the cage once a week, and even when I had 13 the smell never equaled that of one hamster or gerbil. The only way for your mother to know, though is to allow you to try. I believe that, like me, she will be pleasantly surprised at how much less rats smell than some other small animals.
THANK YOU! Hopefully this will make a difference, especially as you're a mother
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE - I showed my mum some of these comments, all she said was 'I know mice stink' and when I showed her rain dears comment she said 'they're probably trying to sel rats' and 'of corse people who have them aren't going to say they stink' she's just given up on logical answers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
People aren't here to sell rats. They're here to talk about them. And while there can be an odor, it depends on how much you keep on top of cleaning more than anything. I find that wiping in the middle of the week and cleaning the cages every week helps keep odor down. Any pets will stink if you don't clean up after them, including dogs and cats. That's the reality of having pets--they pee and poop, and with good animal husbandry, you can keep the smell down. I think all pets are going to have a bit of an odor, and I can think of some pets that stink a lot more than a well-kept rat cage (have you ever caught a whiff of a cat hoarder's house?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Well, her mind's made up. I hate to say it, but this may be a fight you cannot win.

If you can expose her to someone's rats, that may help. Like I said earlier, do not expose her to pet store rats unless the store actually keeps their rats clean, which I doubt in a large store. A local mom-and-pop shop might, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
When I first got interested in the idea of rats as pets, I was 55 years old. I found a local rat forum and posted to ask people if I could meet their rats. Two kind people invited me over and after meeting and handling them, I was sold. Maybe you can find someone near you that could let you and your mom take a look at their rats so she can see for herself. Do you know anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
Well, her mind's made up. I hate to say it, but this may be a fight you cannot win.

If you can expose her to someone's rats, that may help. Like I said earlier, do not expose her to pet store rats unless the store actually keeps their rats clean, which I doubt in a large store. A local mom-and-pop shop might, though.
Actually, even pet store rats probably smell better than mice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Mice smell, but rats really don't, especially when properly cared for. Hamsters stink and ferrets stink, and yet both of them have better reputations than rats. Rats don't bite or smell or scratch nearly as much as the former. Rats, in my opinion and that of many others, are some of the cleanest pets you can have. Domesticated rats do not smell very bad. They don't even smell as bad as dogs. And nope, no one here is trying to sell you rats. I don't sell rats, and most people here do not. You're actually not allowed to sell rats on this website. If someone were doing that they would probably get banned, because rat forum discourages breeding rats and it is forbidden to use the website to do so. The closest this website comes to that is the section for rats who need homes - and even then, you're not allowed to sell them. It's strictly adoption. We're really just here to talk about our pets.

Male rats have a more distinct smell than females, but it's really not that bad. It's nowhere close to the smell of a mouse or a ferret (realizing that ferrets are not rodents, but I still hope you get what I'm saying). Rodents in general are actually pretty clean, as they groom themselves constantly. Rats are on the top of that cleanliness hierarchy, spending at least a 4th of their lives grooming themselves. Now, if you let any creature wallow in its own filth it will stink no matter what. But, if you clean the cage at least weekly (I clean mine two times a week at least) and change out their bedding regularly there won't be a bad smell. I use aspen shavings in their litter box and it makes them smell very fresh and clean. A rat will usually take on a hint of the smell that their litter has, so if you choose aspen and change it every third day or so they will smell very fresh.

And, as a rule of thumb, if you don't like the way that an animal smells, the odds are they do not either. When my girls get stinky (which is rare) it means I've not cleaned their cage in a while. If the smell is too strong it can actually cause them health problems, like extra sneezes. In the wild it wouldn't be as much of an issue, because they would have a bathroom area that was further away from general living area (and their waste would be absorbed by nature), but in captivity we keep them in cages where everything is inadvertently closer together and therefore more concentrated. There's nothing wrong with keeping them in cages, that's NOT what I'm getting at. You just have to clean their cage regularly, or else it will smell. Just as a human must take baths and wash their clothes, you have to help them maintain their living space and they will do the rest. Like I talked about, I use aspen in their litterbox to keep them smelling crisp. I also use fabric and bath rugs to line the cage. These are washed regularly and are pretty easy and cheap to maintain.

Best of luck in your endeavors. I'm not sure how old you are, but I'm 19 and until this year I was in a similar situation. After our family cats died, we stopped having pets (with the exception of fish). I had to work my way up and demonstrate that I was responsible enough to commit myself to the care, keeping, and health of a warm-blooded animal. Now an adult, I have two rats and my family (though initially very skeptical) adores them. Remember that even if it's hard to convince your parents now, it will only be a short time before you are able to get them on your own! It may seem like a long while of waiting, but it will fly by before you know it. And, there are plenty of things you can do in the mean time, like volunteer at a rat rescue or general animal shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
I have males and the smell doesn't bother me set all. I kinda like it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
I had two small female mice for about a day before they went back to the pet store. They are the smelliest animals I have ever had. It was unbelievable.


I don't know what it is about them, but mice have this strange type of smell. It doesn't even smell dirty as in poo/pee wise, it just has this horrible stale smell. Uck!

UPDATE - I showed my mum some of these comments, all she said was 'I know mice stink' and when I showed her rain dears comment she said 'they're probably trying to sel rats' and 'of corse people who have them aren't going to say they stink' she's just given up on logical answers


If my rats smelled, they wouldn't be sitting in a space in my mother's kitchen right now. As 2ratshack and M&D pointed out, if it smells it's because it isn't cleaned. I clean my boys twice a week and I really don't notice them but if it's under your mother's roof then you really don't have a say until you move out.

I say you find a nice hiding place, buy them anyway, video record the whole thing and then when she hasn't noticed for 2+ weeks whip out the tape and BAM, job done.

I have males and the smell doesn't bother me set all. I kinda like it


I'm glad I'm not the only one that enjoys the smell of rats. (Not a fan of sticking my head in the cage when it's coming up to cleaning day)

You only really notice the stinge when you've got your nose poking into the cage.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top