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Discussion Starter #1
Been lurking for a bit, figured it was time to say hello! First time rat owner. I have a 5mo female black rat (as in Rattus rattus, not the color;) ) named Claudia. She's been hand raised since she was a week old, I got her around 3 weeks. Never gave much thought to rats as pets until I met her, and I can't believe what I've been missing out all this time! She's affectionate and playful and it's just been super rewarding all around. I'm going to try attaching a picture, hopefully it works. Definitely interested in talking to other R rattus owners. I'm sure they are very similar to R norvegicus but since I have no experience with them I'm always wondering. Anyway, I also have 2 house bunnies (a sweet netherland dwarf named Signy, and Batman- a rescued lop who is friendly but does not like to be touched) and am a regular volunteer at a wildlife refuge.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm. I can't seem to get the spacing to take. I swear this was broken up into paragraphs! Is there a trick to it? Maybe it's because I'm on my ipad? Or am I on restricted posting privileges as a newb? Idk. Even under Go Advanced I couldn't find any formatting options.
 

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Huh you might be on the mobile version and that changes things, never been on the mobile version so I can't say. The only restricting privileges as a newbie is that you can only post in the Say Hello thread until you've posted 3 things then no restrictions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She is very cute! But rats are very social so you should think of getting her a friend.

Yeah, I do feel bad that she doesn't have a buddy!
Basically she came in as a wild rescue at 1 week old. She came in all alone, no siblings or anything, and not eligible for release back into the wild. I got in touch with some other rehabbers with R rattus litters hoping I could adopt another one, but unfortunately none of their babies made it :(.
I still have an eye out, but haven't had any luck since the busy season for babies passed.
I've thought about pairing her with a Norway, but I've read that it's not a good idea and I'm a bit scared to risk it.
She has never lived with another rat (I know so sad!) so I'm not sure if that's better or worse or if that would make introducing a friend more challenging.


I do try to keep her as entertained as possible, though. She has the largest enclosure I could manage (31x20x54, including stand) and I provide daily enrichment to keep things stimulating. I let her run around the living room a few times a week, and let her hang out on me as much as she wants when I'm home. I'm home a lot, and probably average 3 hours a day of out of the cage time with her. Some days it will be less, but usually it's more. And I keep insane hours, so I get to play with her when she's at her most active. I know it's not the same as rat friend, but I'm hoping it's enough, for now at least.
 

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Well rats go into heat every 5 days so its not like they have a breeding season but most people breed during the spring. I know stupid right? Like the spring is the magical time to breed all animals. Have you checked out any local breeders (not pet stores) or rescues for any young girls? They need to be at least 12 weeks of age in the pet rat world to be accepted by the dominant female. I would suggest a pair if you get them young.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^ Yeah, I've noticed! Lol. But yeah you're right, it's probably not due to a rat "breeding season", but during the busy baby season (which is basically baby squirrel season) there does seem to be more baby rats around. I was thinking it's probably because rehabbers get so overloaded, everyone ends up swapping groups or baby sitting for each other to try and accommodate the high volume of intakes. So everyone is communicating more and trading babies around so if someone DOES have baby rats, you are way more likely to find out about it. Or maybe it's something to do with the change in weather and predator or human activity that leads to less rat babies being found and brought in. I'm not sure! But there were quite a few rat babies around and now there's none :/

I haven't been able to find any breeders near me, but I did find a rescue with a bunch of female rats. It says they are under one year, but they're not babies or anything.

But can roof rats and norway rats be friends? I read somewhere that it's not a good idea, and then another place said it was fine if they were babies but not as adults? If someone has experience with this I'm all ears! I'd love for her to have a friend, I just don't want to try it and have it end in disaster, or end up with two rats that need to be housed separately because I just don't have the room. I know you can never be 100% certain, but I was under the impression it was mostly a bad idea.
Would the fact that Claudia hasn't ever socialized with other rats matter?
Oh! Someone also told me that all pet rats all have Myco, but wild rats don't, so if you expose them to each other the wild rat will get Myco and die because it has no immunity. Pretty much everything I could find online seemed to indicate this is NOT true- I've read that most wild rats probably do have it, and also that they are more likely to be resistant to it. But it definitely scared me!

I've tried to do my research, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what's legit and what isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
^ Oooooh that's a great idea! I'd been looking on there but it never occurred to me to place my own ad. I'll try that, thank you!
 

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You should try and talk to the member Gotchea. She has experience with keeping a roof rat as a pet. I personally don't think it's a good idea to try and keep the two different species together. They act very differently and R. Norvegicus has a history of being a territorial bully towards its smaller cousin.
 

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Its hard to say. I can say that orcas who live in the antarctic and those that live in the milder waters of the pacific ocean are known to sound differently (speak different languages) maybe its the same for rats...I am not sure...
 
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