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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Preferably two or three, since I know they'd be much happier in a pair or group. They're the sweetest small mammals I've ever come across.

Here are the current questions I have:
  1. I rent an apartment, and I have space, but I have yet to talk to my landlord (a step I would take before doing any more than planning). What do you think is the likelihood of rats being allowed/accepted? I feel it's likely, since they are quiet and clean.
  2. I have one small cage (a PetSmart variety - maybe 18x18x30") that would not work for more than one rat, I know. But I have an area I could conceivably let them run in the grass - would the top part of that cage make for a good outdoor pen? They wouldn't be unsupervised, of course, I'd be with them.
  3. Any cages you recommend to fit 2-3 adult rats?
  4. I have a skin reaction when I hold a rat - an itchy rash. From what I've heard, this is very common due to their tiny little claws, and a tolerance builds when the rats are handled regularly. Do others have experience with this sort of issue? How quickly did it die down?
  5. Where should I get my rats? There's a PetSmart not far from my place, but I know they don't always care well for the animals. Tips on other places to get them?
If everything works out, I definitely want to get some rats. It's just a matter of things working out. I'll probably post again in dedicated threads with more specific questions and such, but I didn't think it would hurt to throw this out there in the newbie corner :)
 

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first off welcome to the forums!

1. I unfortunately think it is unlikely they are very easy to slip from their cages and when they do they can wiggle into strange places maybe even causing damage to apartments. If you have an awesome landlord then it might be fine but chances are they might say no.

2. I think that might be big enough :) they live best in two story wire cages or at least that's what many rat owners seem to prefer using!

3. see above

4. I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it does not last long as I have not dealt with this

5. I whole heartedly prefer breeders, pet stores cannot handle all their animals enough to socialize them. Try petsmart or look in your local classifieds. I also think however that if you must get a rat go for a large chain store (like petsmart or petco)


These are just my thoughts as I am a unexperienced rat owner I still hope this helps :)
 

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Hello, welcome!

1. Some apartments will and some won't. You could just ask if they accept small cage animals and then go from there. I live in a apartment and I have 3 rats. No problems here.

2. Here is a link to a rat cage size calculator. (turn the inches into centimeters) It will tell you how many rats can fit into your cage. http://www.rattycorner.com/odds/calc.shtml and if you are looking at others, you can use it to see how many it will hold.

3. I have a Petco Rat Manor cage, it is big enough for 3 rats according to the above mention calculator. Though it is pricey, I would also suggest a single critter nation, or double critter nation. They seem to be the best.

4. I haven't experience any thing like that, I do hope it doesn't last long for you. You could probably try taking Benadryl for it to help.

5. Could try contacting local shelters and see if they have any. Or research and see about maybe rat rescues near you. Could try Craigslist, or Petfinder.com. I myself got 2 of my girls from a feeder bin at my local feed shop, and my most recent girl was adopted from somebody off Craigslist.

Hope any of this helps you. I am sure more experienced members can help out with more info
 

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  1. Check your lease. Mine specified "dogs and cats" but didn't mention caged animals so my property manager deemed it ok. Also be vauge: "Would it be okay if I got a small caged pet? A guinea pig or gerbil or something? Would I have to notify you if I did?" Act like youre thinking about it to get a feel for how they'll react. And if anything else, you could offer to pay a pet deposit.
  2. Yes! Lots of people do this. Theres a sticky around here somewhere about Outdoor Activities and how to safely handle taking rats outside.
  3. The Critter Nation is the most popular but also relatively expensive. Check Craigslist/Kijiji/online yard sale sites. Keep in mind girl rats need a smaller bar space. Another great brand is Martin's Cages, they come in a vast range of sizes and are incredibly light weight and easy to move around.
  4. After 3 years of owning rats, I still sometimes get a little itchy. Try to keep their nails short. You can cut them or use Lava Ledges or even just place a brick or rock under the water bottle. I always give my hands a good wash after playing too.
  5. Chain stores are hit or miss. Some are great and some are crap. Google/Facebook search breeders maybe near you. Again, Craigslist/Kijiji/online yard sale sites. Ask questions at Petsmart. Check Petfinder and local humane societies/SPCAs.
 
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