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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

My fiance and I work away from home in Manchester, but will be travelling back to Cardiff to see our families for Christmas. I'm aware of how much my little boys eat/drink and play so I'm a bit worried about leaving them for a couple of nights, and we don't really know anyone here well enough to sit for us.

How long should a rat be left alone if their owner is away? They have a large, 3 tier cage with loads of toys and a warm bed (will post pics soon) and I plan to buy them more for Christmas.

Love my boys to bits but I also need to spend some quality time with my family. Is 3 days (2 nights) too long? :(
 

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Is there a way you could get a neighbor to check in on them at least once a day just to make sure they hadn't hurt themselves/ had food/ hadn't gotten sick? even someone who doesn't really like rats could poke their head in and just make sure nothing was terribly wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I could ask a neighbour but we don't really know them terribly well (bumped into them a few times - we have only lived here for 3-4 months). Perhaps someone from work could, but they will be home for Christmas too...

I will only be back for a short time, leaving late on xmas eve and returning Boxing Day in the afternoon. Just hope I can stay a little longer to see my family if we find a sitter...
 

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Hey LauraJay, I just looked at the distance on the map and wow that is quite a distance. I'd imagine even dropping in and checking on them wouldn't be easy.

Hmm is there a way you could get a cheap holiday cage through craigslist or other classifieds? Because if you can't find anyone around you, three days is a long time to leave them alone, so another alternative is to take them with you.
 

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It's worth checking out this link here, its to a part of a uk based forum where people offer rat sitting services. Hoepfully thats ok to post. Theres a few nearby that could help. I'd offer but i'm likley to have a litter approaching homing age at that time (should the doe cooperate and stay pregnant) so i will have my hands pretty full.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's worth checking out this link here, its to a part of a uk based forum where people offer rat sitting services. Hoepfully thats ok to post. Theres a few nearby that could help. I'd offer but i'm likley to have a litter approaching homing age at that time (should the doe cooperate and stay pregnant) so i will have my hands pretty full.
Wow you live pretty close to me :) Well, Preston isn't as far as Cardiff! Thank you for the link I will take a look! Aww I hope the mum and babies do well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's worth checking out this link here, its to a part of a uk based forum where people offer rat sitting services. Hoepfully thats ok to post. Theres a few nearby that could help. I'd offer but i'm likley to have a litter approaching homing age at that time (should the doe cooperate and stay pregnant) so i will have my hands pretty full.
Ooo Preston isn't far from here at all :) Congrats on the new litter! And thank you for the link, I shall take a look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you both! I shall have a look at that site, hopefully I will find a sitter :) if I can't, is it right to take them home with me on the train in a holder? if I get my parents to buy a cage for home?
 

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Hey Laura Jay, Yes it should be totally fine. Just make sure they have enough blankets/ fleece to keep them warm, and something to cover the cage a bit so it isn't drafty. Have a water bottle and food ready in their carrier cage for them. Keep the carrier in your lap in case there are any dogs on the train. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much for all your help :) I'd love to stay home for longer to be with my family, it would be amazing to take my boys to celebrate Christmas with us!

I'll buy a big carrier from Pets at Home :) there's a spare Hamster Heaven at my dads place, that should be ok for a few days I hope?

Had a look on the fancy rats forum - the only person who can sit for us hasn't been active in nearly two years :(
 

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Make sure the carrier is made out of plastic not fabric and enough room for your boys. In fact some sources I found online suggest looking into cat carriers if you need to transport more than one rat for a long period of time.

The Hamster Heaven looks a bit small, if you could look at some classifieds sometimes people are getting rid of cages for super cheap. If not you could probably make due with the Hamster Heaven, just let them out more often.
 

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For a few days with pleanty of out time its not a bad holiday cage. I use a similar sized cage as a birthing or short term holiday cage. For up to a week plus you probably want something bigger like a furret which flat packs handily or a critter 2 which i hate but is a useful cage.

In terms of carriers i love the catit cabrio which is my main carrier of choice though perhaps overkill for 2 especially if your on the train as its fairly heavy (perfect for car travel though). Add a water bottle and a hammock and you've got a perfectly fine over night stay as well. I also use it for a first stage intro cage and hospital cage. The really small (not suitable for) hamster cages in pets at home are also not bad carriers though they do need covering in bad weather. Failing that a ferplast alidino is a good option, you can drill a hole for a water bottle for longer trips, or for a couple of hours just put in some water rich fruit or veg like melon, grapes, apple etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That one looks great! and it's cheaper :)

Are rats generally ok on 4+ hour journeys in a carrier? Sorry for all the questions, I've never had to transport a pet before!
 

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In larger carriers yes. In tiny ones not so much, smaller ones are usually meant for one rat and a short trip i.e. vet
 

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The last carrier you looked at is quite nice. I would think they would be fine and comfortable for a long ride in it. Mine usually either sleep or are more curious about all the new smells and sounds then playing around in the carrier.

If using a water bottle, I recommend putting an empty bowl below it to catch any drips. Moving around they tend to drip and the water bottle is usually my biggest pain in traveling. I also like to hang a hammock in the cage, just in case water does get spilled they have a dry place to lay down.

Once there, the cage your Dad has doesn't look bad for short term. Between times out, some shoulder rides and maybe moving the cage to where the festivities are from time to time there is plenty for them to hear/smell and see. I have a couple travel cages that aren't much bigger than that, none of my rats have ever minded. I think all the excitement of new things keep them entertained till you can get them back home to their normal big house.

If you plan on some long visits with your family it probably wouldn't hurt at some point to get a nicer sized cage for extended vacations there. I have a 2*2*2 foot cage that collapses all the way down flat that is awesome for that. Your parents would be able to store it flat then when you aren't visiting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My fiance has just ordered the Catit :) really looking forward to our little journey now! I checked the trains too and small animals in a carrier are fine. Just need to keep them warm so will buy plenty of fleece and warm comfy things.

So happy my boys are spending Christmas with us! yay :)
 

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That's the carrier I have and do love (I'm on my 3rd). My top tips to improve it for rats are to fit a water bottle inside, I use simple garden wire to do this through the holes at the top. You can also hang a hammock in it easy enough. Vetoed makes a great floor covering and if you take the food bowls out of the front it makes the perfect ratty door
 
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