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Hello there from the Crescent City

1177 Views 10 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  BigEasy
My name's Josh and I was first introduced to rats as pets about 8 years ago. A friend of mine had 4 of them and I used to hang out with him and play with the rats. I remember they loved climbing up arms, sitting on shoulders, and licking ears. They were clever little cuties.

Now I'm looking for some pet rats of my own to keep me company in a new house. Closing date is July 10th so I'm getting excited about the house and the new family members. I went to a rat rescue today that was quite interesting and found a pair I liked bunches. One was a nipper and scared me but didn't hurt me when he nipped my finger. The other was very chill and was happy snuggling against my chest.

I think I'll be adopting them in a few weeks after the house is done. I planned on getting the critter nation cage for them but not sure about getting a single or double. A double seems like too much space but a single is so low to the floor it will be a pain to clean. What do you guys think? Is there a cage that's tall and on wheels?
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Hello Josh ^.^

So I debated getting a Critter Nation cage for years. Then, once I did a TON of research and decided that it really was the best cage to buy(still believe that now that I own one!) I also struggled with the idea of buying a single or double unit.

For me personally, what it came down to was that buying a double was cheaper in the long run by a good amount of money than buying a single and later deciding to purchase an add on unit to make a double.

Also, since the single unit is lower to the ground, having the double is nice because I put their food/water/litter box and their main sleeping places and toys on the top section so they spend most of their time up there. Not only is it easier to see them and interact with them but because they spend 75+% of their time up there, I don't have the clean the bottom very often at all.

As far as too much space goes, in my opinion they can never have too much space. I keep the bottom of the cage pretty bare, there is only a corner litter box and a big hammock, and they love to use that space to just run around and play. Not to mention, it also leaves you with the ability to adopt more rats in the future if you want to, and still give them all a lot of room and personal space.

Obviously the choice is yours and I'm sure you and your rats will be happy with whatever you decide, but I highly recommend the Double Critter Nation cage or even just a single. After owning all kinds of different cages, I'll never use anything else as my main setup.
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Thanks for the information :) I guess I'll definitely get the double then. Was just worried it would give them even more space to get in trouble with and more for me to clean :) I can't wait to adopt the little critters. Already plan on naming them voodoo and dixie to stick with a new orleans/southern theme.
Oh! I love the names! My girls are named after TV show characters. I line my cage with Fleece. I sweep up any stray poops and food scraps once a day and I take the fleece out and put new liners in once a week. I just throw the dirty fleece in the washing machine to clean it and keep reusing the same liners until they are too chewed up to cover the pans with. But you can also get deep-set pans to put bedding in as well.
I read you could litter train them to poop in a box but they still like to pee everywhere (a sign that they feel safe and marking territory or something?) Washing the fleece doesn't leave a smell in the washer or on your clothes after you run a load of laundry after washing the fleece?

Also maybe a silly question but is it okay to separate the pair from time to time? Say I just want to snuggle with one while watching TV because I don't feel like chasing after the 2nd. Is it alright to take one out the cage for a bit leaving the other one behind? I don't think that would bother them too much as long as I did the same to both right?
I have litter boxes in my cage. I use the corner ones. They are getting really good at pooping in there I would say 85% of the time now. Honestly it may never be 100% with the poop but if they are using it 75% of the time or more consider it a win. Like I said I just sweep the cage with a tiny hand brook and pan once a day and it only takes a couple minutes and keeps the cage nice and clean.

As far as the peeing is concerned you're half right. They do scent mark with urine but it's different than straight up peeing. When they scent mark with urine it's only a couple or drops. My girls mark me on my hands all the time to say "This is my mommy" and it's just a small glistening spot not a puddle. To encourage them to pee in their little box just put a rock in there. I literally just picked up a rock off the street, brought it home, ran it under extremely hot water and then froze it overnight to kill anything that may have been on it, then put it in their litter box. They like to pee on the rock and as far as I can tell they pee on it 100% of the time, all the rats I've ever owned have. A rock about that can fit inside your fist or bigger(depending on the size of your litter box) would be good. Some people even use a bunch of smaller stones or pebbles but I'm not personally a fan of that.

When it comes to washing the fleece I just wash it alone or with towels, not with the clothes. That's mainly because when I go to do a load of clothes there is no room for anything else lol! And as far as smell goes I've never had any issues with my washing machine or dryer smelling like anything other than normal. I wash with hot water and dry on the high heat setting. I've never had issues with smell at all owning rats really.

I currently have 5 rats. I take each of them out every day for solo bonding time. It's perfectly fine to do that, no matter how many rats you have. There is a huge difference between them constantly living alone and being separated for short periods of time. Honestly I believe that one on one time with your rats is a great way to learn individual personalities, likes and dislikes and also a great way to bond and socialize. As long as they both get some one on one attention from you and live together during the rest of the time, they'll be fine.
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You're awesome! Thank you :) Getting so excited! Notified the rescue that I would be adopting the two boys I liked when I visited Saturday. Sent her the adoption costs so she could get them neutered for me so they would be nice and healed by the time I go pick them up.

Now I'm going to put together a wishlist on Amazon for the cage and toys and all so I can it all setup as soon as the house is ready :D More excited for the rats than the house lol just know people are going to look at me funny whenever I tell them I have pet rats. The stigma sucks :( I "liked" the rat rescue on facebook and already had some people message me asking if I lost my mind. Blah!
Yeah I remember how excited I was when my boyfriend and I finally decided that we wanted to go through with adopting our first mutually owned rats. I placed my order for the DCN on amazon and was so impatient I paid for next day shipping! I had to wait until I was off work to put it together with my roommate and I literally just stared at the box all day lol. I'm constantly buying new stuff for their cage and re-arranging things. Now that I have a boy on the bottom waiting to be neutered I have an excuse to get more stuff for him while he's waiting to join his girlfriends up top lol.
Just wanted to share some pics the rescue sent me of them :) They're so cute I wish I could go pick them up right now.

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Oh wow they are super adorable! I just adopted my very first male rat (I've always had females) and I'm so excited for him to get big and squishy.

Do you know how old they are?

Rat Muridae Rodent Gerbil Skin
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She said they were < 6 months but she didn't know for sure.

Awww he's a cutie!
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