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Hi there. I'm Susan, and I'm going to be a first time rat owner in a couple of weeks. I work at a pet store and I have a fuzzy picked out already because I am just THAT excited (also, my boyfriend said I can't get a rat until the middle of January, because of our financial situation).

But I am totally stoked because I've never been able to own a rat until now. :D My mom never would let me have one and then I moved in with my boyfriend and he didn't want me to have one, either (long story--mainly, he just doesn't like rodents), but I finally talked him into it. The baby's going to be a dumbo and is kind of this color, but with a white blaze going up the nose and between the eyes. I don't know how to describe it, but I will be taking lots and lots of pictures, I'm sure.

I have a couple of questions...

One... what is the earliest you can sex young rats? I don't care what sex it is, I'd just like to know for curiousity's sake and so I can pick out a name. I've turned all the babies over and looked but they all pretty much look the same to me. :p

I have this cage on order. Has anyone used this cage and if so, how much did you like it? And is the bar spacing okay for a baby rat?

Oh, and can you bathe rats? I've seen a couple of pictures/videos of people who bathed their rat, and I knew a girl who used to bathe her rat, but is wet tail a big concern with bathing rats? And if it's okay to bathe rats, how often? And with what kind of shampoo? I have oodles of dog shampoo but if that's bad/not recommended I'll use whatever is recommended.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Thanks. :D
 

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hello and welcome!
first of all, you should be getting two rats.
rats need to have companions, or else they get behavioural and health problems.
i'm pretty sure you can sex baby rats right after they're born..the easiest way to tell is that you can see the nipples on the females. ;]
by the time the ratties are a few weeks old, you can definitely see the boys "manly bits" and sexing them is pretty easy.
i think you're going to be getting a blue dumbo, but you should be careful, because some rats with blazes (high whites) are genetically disposed to develop megacolon (you can google it) and they die within a few weeks. :(
that cage is a bit on the small side, especially for two rats (it looks like a hamster cage to me).
i'd reccommend craigslist or ebay..you can find large cheap cages there!
as for bathing rats, it isn't normally done unless they've somehow gotten really dirty, but you can use kitten shampoo. (cats and ratsv clean themselves in the same way, so stuff that's safe for kittens is typically safe for rats)
hope that helps, and good luck with your new ratties!
 

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Welcome to the forum!

This website seems to be fairly decent at explaining how you should sex rats: http://www.afrma.org/sexing101.htm

Like jellybeanqueen said, it is strongly advised that you get two rats. Even if you spend a lot of time with them, they will still get depressed from being alone. Also, they are nocturnal, so you'll be asleep while they're awake. Make sure that you get a same sex pair, or at least spay or neuter one of them. Also, make sure that the rats at the pet store have been seperated by the time that they are five weeks old- you wouldn't want to go home with a pregnant girl!

And finally... you'll need a much bigger cage. That cage is appropriate for MAYBE one rat... if that. My roommate had three rats in that cage up until recently- not a pretty picture. If you find another cage that you think will be appropriate, plug the dimensions into a cage calculator: http://www.rattycorner.com/odds/calc.shtml

Good luck!
 
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