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I got my two boys last year Aug. The main reason was for my daughter. She has a real love for animals (we have this in common), We live in an apartment where no 'pets' are allowed. After much research I decided on rats. I searched long and hard for a breeder. They are scarce in SA. But I found one, and was blessed to find my two boys. I have done everything by the book when it comes to my two boys. Healthy diet, free range, love, a huge clean cage. I'm a single mom, with long working hours. And my daughter lost interest in the boys. I knew this was a possibility, and I knew that they boys were my responsibility no matter what as I chose to bring them into our lives. I've always believed in trying to give the best to my two boys. No matter how tired I am, they get a cooked meal every night, they have their own room to free range and they have a clean cage to live in. But I don't have the time to truly love them. Don't get me wrong, they get kisses from me every morning before leaving for work and every night before my bed time. When I get home, they get let out of their cage for free range whilst I'm cooking and attending to my duties. They have a healthy diet, free range and a clean home, but my point is I feel like they deserve better. I don't have the time to play with them, spend time with them and give them the true love they deserve. I was thinking of rehoming them, for a better life. Someone that can give them more attention. In SA, pet rats are unknown, misunderstood. And in true honesty, I wouldn't trust anyone with my boys. I would worry about them every day. Are they being looked after? Are they being fed correctly? Are they warm? Are they loved? But yet I feel I don't give them the life and attention they deserve! I thought of euthanasia. But that makes me sick to my stomach and beyond..These two precious boys deserve more than just 'being looked after because they didn't choose to be here', if that makes sense. I feel guilty for not being able to give them the attention they need and deserve. Euthanasia or trust a rehoming situation? Any advise is welcome pleas...
 

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I mean, rehoming them would definitely be the humane option.
I'm sure many people would be willing to help you out, on this forum.
 

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Don't euthanize them. They may not be getting attention from you,but they have each other and you are tending to their physical needs. Just my opinion, but if they are healthy, eliminating them seems wrong.
 

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Children go through phases... my daughter, now 9 doesn't spend nearly as much time with her rats as she used to... but rats adapt and find ways to keep themselves busy to some extent.

I try and incorporate our rats into our activities, taking them along whenever we can, I let the free range the house when I'm home working and I do try and spend as much time as I can with them... We've had a few rats that given a choice just kept to themselves... One rat was good at hording food and didn't come out for days at a time... entirely by her choice... I was there and when she wanted something she would turn up, but otherwise she actually preferred a solitary life.

Mostly, my advise is to try and integrate your rats into your household as much as possible, let them hang out with you when you cook or clean or read or watch TV. Eat dinner with them if you can and try to make them as competent as you can. I see our current big rat several times a day, but rarely for more than a few minutes at a time... She swings by to steal my food and get a skritch, sometimes she hangs out to explore my desk or play a little bit, but then after a few minutes she evaporates into the furniture again...

I had another rat that used to nap on my desk next to me while I worked... Every rat is different, but by integrating them into your activities they get more of you and you get more rat time and you don't really have to lose time from your other activities... Also as rats get older they tend to get more reclusive.

Mostly, just do the best you can rats adapt to you for the most part... your life isn't perfect and their life won't be perfect, just do the best you can and it's likely to be good enough.

Watching TV..

Rat Muridae Rodent Muroidea Gerbil

Just chilling while dad works...

Mammal Mouse Hamster Whiskers Gerbil

Sharing dinner
Food Comfort food Cuisine Lunch Dish

A trip to the fair

People Fun Friendship Smile Child

A day at the beach...


Although our rats are highly trained true shoulder rats... mostly they are trained to be competent and they pretty much adapt to whatever our lifestyle is...

In fact, my wife is rat phobic, so our first rats weren't allowed to play inside the house, so we had to take them outdoors to play with them... Everyone said that rats couldn't go outdoors and play like dogs... well our rats adapted.

I might add that we start training our rats for outdoor activities very young at a safe site, not all rats can do this, but it was this lifestyle or none at all for us

Our true shoulder rats are very different from most people's rats, but that's mostly because they have adapted to our lifestyle rather than us trying to keep rats the right way.

So, our method is integration and adaptation... Rats are brilliant animals and they can learn to fit into almost any situation given a little training and patience. Remember we are talking about RATS... the second most successful species on earth... they have survived for thousand of years in the worlds most hostile environments, they live in places where no other animal can and they have even survived nuclear bombs. Chances are they can adapt to your household too.

Remember, both humans and rats are designed to live in an imperfect world, that's no excuse for abuse, but there's a lot of room between perfect and worse than death.

Best luck
 

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Definitely not Euthanasia. Honestly from all you have said they probably have better lives then far too many pets!

You might not give them alot of attention but you are not ignoring them either. You are giving them a nice healthy life.

If you want them to have someone better who can give them more attention, I'd suggest seeking that but being very choosy and making sure they get the most perfect home. In the meantime keep them and give them extra love when you can.

I wouldn't be overly worried. Atleast they do have each other and free range time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much everyone. After reading your suggestions/comments I realized that even though I feel guilty for not giving my boys the attention they deserve, I do care for them as best as I can. And thank you Rat Daddy for your advise. By boys need to be part of my life! Tonight they went with me to get bread and milk at the store! Rascal loved it! Justin, was nervous, but I think in his own way, he enjoyed the little trip. I've realized that I shouldn't feel so bad for not giving them my attention like I feel they deserve. But just to know that I do my best with them and they are well taken care of. I love them to bits. And I will find ways to let them be part of my daily 'duties'. Thank you everyone!
 

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I wrote a thread on how to train rats to be shoulder rats and go outdoors with you more safely. Be careful it's a bit dangerous for rats in the big wide world, but if done well it's quite manageable with the right rats. And it's way better than euthanizeing them.

Do try and find yourself a safe place to experiment and train your rats outdoors so you will get more experience handling them and they will get a little more comfortable with the experience. But yes, integrating your rats into your activities will make life way more fun for them and for you! Just be very careful doing it.

And when you get time do look up my thread, it has lots of good information on keeping your rats safer.

http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?51718-Shoulder-Rats-and-all-out-of-home-rat-activities
 
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