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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm Cas! I just set up my profile on here yesterday, so I'm very new to the community. However, I'm a life long rat and rodent lover. I currently own a hamster, rabbit and dog but have never owned a rat. I've always wanted a pair though. I've been researching like crazy for the past few months, and now know probably way too much about them. xD I've been trying to convince my parents, but I haven't gotten an actual answer. Both of my parents are animal lovers, but my mom isn't really a fan of all the misunderstood animals (ex: rats) so it's been kinda hard educating her. I even made a PowerPoint presentation over the summer and presented it to my mom (I don't think my dad has seen it) but I may show both of them. Before that presentation, whenever I mentioned rats, my mom would put on that same disgusted face every time and said what she thought were facts (but were not, they were actually the myths that the media and about 80% of the rest of the Earth believes). She told me maybe, but never said anything else about it. I've shown her countless cute rat photos, but have yet to actually show her a video of them in action; because I don't want to overwhelm her. My birthday is coming up and I thought that maybe I could ask for two male rats. The times that I've actually interacted with or held fancy rats, it's been absolutely incredible to hold such a misunderstood and hated creature in my own arms. I want to help educate the world on rats, and the first step would be getting a pair of my own. Since I'm already pretty educated on rodents and small animals in general (again, I currently own a hamster and a rabbit) I feel like it would be a bit easier for me to care for them as a first time rat owner than most people. This is where I need your guys' help. It would be absolutely fantastic if you could comment some good and clever ways to convince difficult parents, or even share how you got your parents to let you own rats. Thank you so much for reading and I can't wait to hear your suggestions!
 

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Welcome! I am a new member on here myself and love your rat loving enthusiasm. I can't wait for the day to come when you do have your own rattie babies! As for suggestions, thats a tough one. Since your dad is cool with it, maybe you can ask him to help convince your mom. She may listen to him. Or bargain? Offer to do something or take on more responsibilites in exchange for being allowed a rat. Maybe just pester them so often they say yes, just so you stop. I don't know whats best because I don't know you or you parents, but those are my ideas. Good luck!
 

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Hello & welcome to the forum :)

I hate to rain on your parade but I am actually pretty much against children trying to convince their parents for pets, that the parents do not want/are not interested in. There are some times where it works out great but I have seen far too many times where it does not go well for the pets involved :(

This is nothing against you :) But Some questions to consider first-

1) Do you have a part time job or money coming in to buy stuff for them? - I often see a huge issue where the child learns that x brand/product/cage/bedding/whatever is better then what they are using currently. But then the parents do not care to listen and refuse to buy it. Rats should have a fairly large cage which is a bit expensive, a really good quality food. It adds up!

2) Do you have the time for it? Between school, activities, friends and other pets time is always an issue for everyone! Rats are IMO much more high maintenance then the hamster/rabbit. It is more like getting two small dogs in that aspect. They will need time out of their cage daily. And always cleaning another cage takes more time.

3) IDK how old you are. And yes sadly rats average lifespan is only 2-3 years (though some live longer). What happens when you go off to college?

4) vet bills.... vets for rats are often very expensive. More so then for cats or dogs. Rats are also sadly prone to tumors and respiratory issues. I have seen issues come up where parents refuse to take the rat to the vet because they are not going to pay hundreds of dollars on a $10 pet.

5) I have also seen parents who do not like the rats & threaten to rehome them, let them loose, or make the kids keep them outside!

My point is that it can be very difficult to love and care for a pet when you do not have complete control over their care. It is something to atleast consider going into this.

You obviously know your parents best though.

If you do decide, I always suggest trying to find a rescue or a good breeder. If you buy from a breeder you have a much better chance getting healthy rats with good temperament. Rats that have been handled since birth and are sweet.
If you go with a pet store do not just go for the cute ones. Look them over, make sure they look healthy and have no signs of illness. Also look for happy confident rats. You will want to hold them and spend alittle time making sure they are going to be a good fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi! I completely understand what you're saying. Yes, I volunteer at the local shelter and horse stables, which I get paid for. I already planned out what kind of food and cage I'll get for them. I do have plenty of time. Everyday when I get home from school, it's pet playtime for me. If I DO still have the rats when I go off to college, I'll make sure that I go to one that's both good and has small pet safe dorms. I'm also aware about the vet bills. I've planned out how I'll handle that. My parents would definitely not make me keep the rats outside, or set them loose or anything like that. Although my mom isn't a fan of rats at the moment, she definitely doesn't hate them enough to do that. Honestly, I think she'll like rats if she gives them a chance. I've done LOTS of research, and I can guarantee you that I won't be the kind of first time rat owner that only gets one and puts it in a plastic Crittertrail cage or anything like that. I've planned that I'll look in a shelter first for needy rats, but if there are no rats at the shelter, I've found a good breeder that I will go to. I most definitely will NOT be going to a pet store. Thank you so much!-Cas
 

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Hi Cas, it sounds like you have done your homework and are making responsible plans for having rats. I wish you the best of luck with your mother. Please keep us updated on the situation and post pics if you actually get some. I am cheering for you!!!😀
 

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As a shoulder rat trainer, we take out rats out quite a bit and we meet lots of people. A few days ago we took our girls along to the doctor's office. This particular doctor had expressed his dislike for rats... well, that was until he met our girls... Once he saw them walk at heel and come when called and how friendly Cloud was, he was impressed and enjoyed petting and meeting them.

We've done many such meet and greets, sometimes one on one and sometimes with large crowds of people... Some people are phobic or can't be convinced to change their minds but most people get over their fears pretty quickly....

Part of our presentation includes "these are trained fancy rats, raised by us almost from birth, they aren't like wild rats." To be entirely honest, we've actually had a part wild rat and she was very sweet, but she could be vicious and dangerous to strangers... She had sharp teeth and claws and she knew exactly how to use them to do lots of flesh damage fast. Most of the "myths" about rats are actually true... Our part wild rat could shred a feral cat in seconds, but my daughter could still stuff her into doll clothes.

It's important to be honest with your parents.. yes wild rats are dangerous animals and if mistreated domestic rats can be too... But wild rats are like wolves whereas domestic rats are like dogs. Dogs are sweet and loyal companions, like rats, but they can hurt you if you mistreat them.

I honestly don't try and dis-spell the myths about rats, I just explain why fancy rats are different and why they are great companion animals, then I introduce people to ours and let the rats do the rest.

If you can find someone near you who has rats that can bring them over to meet your parents that would be the way to go...


This is Max making new friends at the town fair.
Long hair People Fun Friendship Smile Child
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you! I really appreciate all your information, and those are some adorable pictures. Max seems like a really sweet little guy. I think I'll read your paragraph to my mom
 
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