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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
My name is Chichi and I think I have a problem.

I've been thinking about getting a pet a while (volunteering at the animal shelter helped with the crazy animal woman urges for a bit) but a few weeks ago I saw a chinchilla at the local petco and BAM! That was it. I knew it was time..
Coming from Australia, I had never seen a chinchilla before and this cute, cuddly small creature just made me happy looking at it. Unfortunately (fortunately for chinchilla owners?) they are very long lived, and because we might have to head back home within the next 5 years I don't feel it's fair to get one.

So back to the drawing board. I wanted something smart, cuddly and apartment friendly. Why not rats? I've always been a dog person, keeping rats never occurred to me. A week ago I started feverishly researching. I wanted to prove to my husband that yes, we could have an awesome pet here, even without a backyard and having to face quarantine laws (issues that made me reluctant to get a dog - 6 months in quarantine is too much to ask of a pet I think.) I could give a couple of nice rats a great life here in the time that we are around.
I'm sorry if I sound cruel, as I have read a lot of stories here on wonderful pets who are just too short lived. I hope my pragmatism doesn't offend anyone.

So hi again, it's time for me to stop lurking. This forum has been so helpful to me and I am very grateful to everyone for posting their advice and their stories. It helped me a lot and I've barely started! I thought I would add my story on the very start of my rat journey.

I haven't gotten any babies yet, I was thinking of 2 young boys. As I am inexperienced with rats I thought getting a couple of friendly young babies was best - I hope to foster later on.

Have spent the last week setting up their cage and getting ready for them. Bedding is a mix of aspen and carefresh. Also I found a great bomber hat in Goodwill I'm using as a hammock! (I be bad at sewing.)
If anyone has any suggestions for breeders near south bay I would love to hear them! Also if I could improve on the cage in any way, or any tips you think a newbie like me should hear :)

Cage Degu Rodent Gerbil Muroidea Cage Animal shelter Pet supply Degu Cage Animal shelter Degu Pet supply Rat

Cheers!
 

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Hello and welcome! I'm also a Bay Area rat owner. Two great small animal foster groups in the area are Rattie Ratz and North Star Rescue. I believe Rattie Ratz has several litters at the moment. I got my rats from Rattie Ratz, and it was a fantastic experience—they spayed my rats, dropped them off to me, and provided me with Baytril and doxy after one of my rats developed a URI.

Either way, best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Zaraxae, thanks for such a quick response! I will definitely take another look - when I checked out their adoption list previously I couldn't see any babies but you have convinced me to put in a general application. Hope your little one is well and recovered from her URI
 

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Welcome! Chinchillas are definitely pretty cute, but rats are wonderful pets! If you don't mind driving a couple hours, I highly, HIGHLY recommend contacting Bleu Royale rattery of Sacramento. The owners of the rattery are such nice people and their rats are adorable and amazingly sweet. My two Bleu Royale babies are climbing all over me right now. I just brought home my second girl today. So sociable! Three of my new girl's brothers are still available, so check out her website at http://www.freewebs.com/bleuroyale. I really can't reccommend Bleu Royale enough. :)Also, their lines are free of myco and have low tumor reports, so all their ratties are super healthy. They are handled from day one and are well socialized - my new four week old knew immediately to climb to my shoulder today when I got her. Wherever you get your rats, I'm sure you will love your new pets. They are very much like little dogs. Such personalities!Good luck getting your babies!
 

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Hmm, the formatting of my above post got messed up and the paragraphs were combined. Now it won't let me edit it. ??? ​Oh well.

By the way - noticed you have a lava ledge in your cage. I have one of those, and my girl Charlotte loves it! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks WolfPuppy! I love hearing about great breeders. I think I could persuade the husband to take a drive up to Sacramento.. Your little girl sounds adorable!!

What are your thoughts on the boys vs girls debate? I was so sure I wanted boys but now I'm not so certain. I am not sure how bad the marking will be. As their cage isn't next to a window but is right next to us I would like to keep smells to a minimum - I will spot clean daily and bigger clean weekly of course.

Plus I hear girls are more energetic - if this translates to higher drive, I am looking forward to some trick training sessions with them :D
 

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One of my main reasons for getting girls was just that I thought having girls would be cuter. :) As for marking, my girl Charlotte marks me a lot. I don't think that it's necessarily only boys who mark. I think it just depends on the rat. As for smell, rats tend to potty in one corner, so if you clean that corner regularly you shouldn't smell a think. I have two mice as well and I know what mouse urine smells like and I can tell you rat urine will never compare. Even the mice are fine as long as their cage is cleaned weekly.

Girls are definitely more energetic as a rule, though again it depends on the rat. They just tend to be on the move a lot more. Male rats are more cuddly. Although girls are more often trained than boys, both sexes can learn tricks if you work with them. :)

I hope that helps you make up your mind. If you'd like to see my first girl, here are some photos of her: http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?257666-Charlotte-Velveteen-Dumbo-Fawn-Berkshire I will be photographing my second girl soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nope, still struggling haha! Either sex sounds great, I can work with either. I'll keep reading... happy to wait for the right personalities.
Charlotte is just gorgeous!!! Classy name for a girl. Can't wait to see pics of your newest baby
 

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Keep us updated! You should fill out Leslie's adoption form if you are interested in getting a Bleu Royale rat, since her lists tend to fill fast. She has two cute litters that will be ready in a few weeks, one with the same father as Charlotte. They generally go home around five weeks. If you fill out her form, you can tell her that the adopter of Avalon and Sapphire (those were her names for my ratties) referred you. :)

I hope you find great babies. I know there are some other good ratteries around like Candirats and Eunoia. I don't think Candirats is currently very active though.

Also, something I did that you may want to consider was to get one rat, then wait about a month before getting another. That gave me a chance to bond with each baby individually. I really liked that.

Here are some links on the difference between males and females. I'd personally reccommend males for a first time owner. I love my girls, but I am an EXTREMELY active person so I enjoy their energy. But it's up to you. If you adopt from Leslie or a similar breeder, your rats will be sweet no matter what.
http://www.shadowrat.com/rats/malefemale.html
Http://petlvr.com/blog/2008/09/30/male-rats-or-female-rats/
http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?141433-Male-vs.-Female-Pet-Rats

Tumors and aggression shouldn't be a problem if you adopt from a good breeder. The main differences will be size and energy level. That's why I wouldn't reccommend getting from a rescue or pet store if these are your first rats.

Good luck! Oh, and thanks. I think my babies are beautiful too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome, I am reading the links now. I think you've steered me towards boys again - ideally I would like the rat to pick us but I should really decide on a gender and stick with it. I used to go on daily runs/long walks with my dog, but I can't say I'm very active INSIDE the house - so maybe boys are more for me.
Thanks kindly for the referral, I am going to fill out an application form today! Pretty excited, I will keep you updated on the progress ^.^
What name have you picked for your new girl?
 

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So glad to have helped you! I love seeing people get the perfect rats, and since you're local its especially fun. :) My girls can be insane sometimes; boys are definitely more mellow. Leslie will be glad to advise you too.

I named my new girl Meliana, or Anna for short (her outgoing personality reminded me of Anna in Frozen). She is so lovable. I took some good photos today and I will take some more later and post them. !
 

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I just moved from Central valley California to Oregon.

Have fun with your chin chin. I always wanted one, But did not do any research into what kind of pets they make. Always thought of them to look at but not hold type of pet.
 

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Rats are definitely a better choice as a pet, Chins are awesome animals but honestly in my opinion they make horrible pets. Rats are incredibly affectionate while Chins are kind of a pet you just look at, they don't like to cuddle or be handled all that much and they have a really sensitive diet that if not followed can end in death. I learned the hard way that I should just stick to Rats and Guinea Pigs.
 

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Hello all. :)

Wolfie, I'm in contact with Leslie from Bleu Royale. I'm looking at some of her boys. If I might ask... did you have any issues with biting, or are their rats pretty mild in that area? I did read that they are socialized from a young age.

I live in Sunnyvale, but I may make a trip up there.

Thanks much! :)
Ted
 

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I'm going to throw a quick 2 cents worth in here. I had rats for several years. At one point I had 13+. I found that hamsters and gerbils bite more than rats. I only got 1 real rat bite and that one was my own mistake. I got my hand between to hormonal males (both had to be neutered shortly thereafter) when I shouldn't have. My sister had an unsocialized mother rat bite her. We rescued the mother and her litter from a feeder breeder. After her litter grew up and was rehomed, she came to live with me and never bit me. I have had several cases where a rat would bite at me but stop as soon as it recognized that it was me. Usually my Siamese rat if I woke her or tried to pick her up before she was really awake. I wish someone had told me that rats seldom bite their humans when I was trying to have hamsters and gerbils. I might have discovered these wonderful pets many years sooner. You are embarking on a wonderful journey.

I also want to mention that one reason I am looking at rats is that I am 65 and with rats I have less risk of leaving pets behind for someone else to care for. I have seen sad stories of pets left behind when their owners died and family members chose not to care for them.
 

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Hi Tedology,

No problems with biting at all! Her rats are incredibly tame. My second one climbed straight to my shoulder when I got her at four and a half weeks old. Such beautiful sweeties! Very affectionate and people oriented. Leslie handles them from the day they are born, so they learn right away that humans are friends. Which litter are you looking at? They might be littermates of my little girl. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Raindear, thank you for your story. 65 is young still! But very thoughtful of you to look ahead and think of your animals above your needs. What makes me sad is that I have a huge list of all the breeds of dog I want to own - you know you're getting older when you have to start taking names off the list!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey Wolfie, Anna is beautiful! Thanks for sharing her pics, just too cute. I had a chance to adopt her brothers but I waffled for too long and I lost it :(
I have put my name down for two young boys though, one of them looks like he could be a shoo-in for your Charlotte (ignoring the future big balls, so OK, maybe not. Was I naive to think their ball to body ratio would be smaller. Far out.) Question though... how do you find Charlotte's eyesight with her ruby eyes?
 

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Thanks! She is cuddled up asleep in the crook of my arm right now. These girls are so sweet!

Lol, that was one of the reasons I wanted girls. Of course, I'm a teenage girl, I was grossed out by the 'boy parts' more than some people. :D

Which litter are your boys from? Are they from the Arabella x Athens litter? If so, then they will be half-brothers of my Charlotte (she was out of Astrid and Athens). I saw one of those babies on Facebook - so precious!

I've never seen any issues with Charlotte's eyesight. Like any rat, her eyesight isn't spectacular, but I can tell she can definitely see things pretty well. I try to keep her eyes shaded sometimes when she's outside, but I think that it's really only pink eyed rats that have major eyesight issues. Also poorly-bred rats might tend to have more problems. In any case, fawn has very dark (nearly black) ruby eyes. The darker the eyes, the better the eyesight (generally).

To give you an idea of the temperament of my rats, I brought Charlotte with me to my mom's hair appointment today. She stayed on my shoulder the whole time, and even got to meet and be held by a lady who was looking into getting rats for her sons. Then she sat on my shoulder while my mom and I walked four miles around our neighborhood, dozing or looking around the whole time. And I've only had her six weeks! I plan on bringing either Charlotte or Anna out with me tomorrow.
 
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