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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a rat from a friend of a friend as the friend did not want to care for him anymore. I had rats a while ago, two females, but they were easy to get to trust me. Despereaux is a older male, not sure how old but he is full grown it seems, and he is afraid of the slightest sudden noise from water running to the book moving from the top of his cage. (He was housed in a 10 gallon that looked absolutely atrocious, as if it hadn't been cleaned in weeks and his water was dry and she had tried to feed him raw onions which i found out was a big no no. As soon as I got home i carefully took him out and put him in the clean 11" hamster ball I have for my other rodent and cleaned the cage spotless as it smelled SO bad. I am getting him a HUGE cage in a couple of days when I have transportation. Poor boy.) Anyways, I've been letting him sniff me all day and feeding him good treats like fruits, so far he has been eating like he hasn't had good food in days. If I try to pet him he pushes my hand away, nibbles me or shrinks back so I am avoiding doing that too much. How can I get him to trust me faster or better than what i am doing now. Or is what i am doing now ok? i know that trying to handle him causes a lot of stress but that cage HAD to be cleaned and I'm sure if you saw how it was you'd agree. Umm... yea. Also do you guys/gals have a cheat sheet for snacks and no-no foods? I know this is irrelevant to this topic section but might as well ask while I'm thinking of it. Thank you so much in advance.
 

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it sounds like your doing exactly the right thing. =)

but i'm not sure, should new rats be quarentined from other rodents? (i know they;re not going to have a lot of contact, but as far as being in the same room)
 

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are they in different rooms? no contact with the new rat then YOU coming in contact with you hamster. to make sure the rat doesn't have anything you hamham can get.
 

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yep, sounds to me like you're doing the right thing too. persist with the petting, he will get used to you soon enough.

my girls love fresh and frozen vegetable, like corn, peas, broccoli; and fruit such as avocado, berries, kiwifruit, pineapple. i also give them peanuts in the shell (for their teeth), rat pellets, sugar-free cookies as a treat, pecan nuts and peanuts (unsalted of course). they also like bacon, lamb, in fact most meats cooked. chicken bones are good for their teeth too. and yogies, they love yogies, which i think in the states you get at a pet store.

as others here will suggest, perhaps you should get your new rattie a friend of the same sex... they are very social critters and love company.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ah, I see. I'll wash my hands before touching either rodent. I didn't see the post before. Ok, I'll consider it. This place will be a zoo. lol Two birds, a hamster, 2 rats and a dog? Will that work out? lol (The dog is going to be s small pooch.)
 

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virus' can stay on your clothes for 90 min(?)
just keep them in different rooms and go from you hamster to the rat for play time. I'm unsure about if this is needed though as it's different kinds of rodents, i ment to direct to someone who might know. but no one has answered.

:/
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ah, I didn't know that. Well, so far i haven't bothered Rupaul so he should be fine. Umm... I can't have them in different rooms as I have no room for either cage currently in my other room so I'll just not mess with my hamster as I hardly do anyways. He is not the most sociable guy in the world so I don't bother him unless it is cleaning time, vet time or fruit and veggie time. I already "played" with him by taking him to the vet for his monthly teeth trim. (As his teeth are misaligned.) Anyways, My name is Rachel and i am pleased to have help from you.
 

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The length of time a virus can survive depends on the virus, really.

Hamsters can get PVM, parvoviruses, and Sendai (though I'm not certain it's the same virus?) from rats.

If there is no other option your current situation is likely fine, provided you're washing your hands, etc.

The hammie gets no interaction? :( Though, my hammie wasn't social either ('course I was six).

Rat forbidden foods: http://www.petratscanada.com/forbidden_foods.htm

Most people foods, above excepted, are good for rats. Fatty and sugary foods should be given in moderation.

Those hamster balls can often terrfy a rat all the more - they feel trapped and often freeze and fear poop all over the place. If you want to give him the ball you could tie it in the cage as a bed.

You're doing well. Don't be afraid to pick him up. Handle him gently. Make it brief at first. Let him know you're safe. Some rats will squeek and complain when you pick them up, but as long as you know you're not hurting him, he's probably just being vocal. :)

Oh, BTW? Are you looking for a new cage for him? Aquariums aren't the best for ratties.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, i thought i mentioned that. I am getting a HUMONGOUS cage for him tomorrow. I don't know the dimensions but it's big... I didn't know where else to place him while I cleaned his cage as I don't have a spare for him as of yet. I will be, eventually, getting a vet cage for transportation to the vet when needed. I saw that list and wondered if there was more. Glad to know I looked at a good list. The hamster ball is REALLY big and he didn't seem very afraid as he sleeps in a much smaller one. i took it out cause it's just so small and uncomfortable looking. He may be used to it but he shouldn't be, in my opinion. It was like a... mouse size ball. i wouldn't even put my hamster in that one. The ball is the largest they make. He did poop in it but that was to be expected as it was sudden. But he fell asleep in it so... yea.
Yea, the hammie doesn't like getting touched, he'll tolerate it but I can tell he just likes being left alone. I do handle him on occasion, I try once a day.
I was petting the rat, lightly, and he jumped up onto me. It was a bit startling at first. i quickly picked him up and put him down as i was afraid he'd fall off me and i didn't want a loose hurt rat in my apartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Already? lol He tried nibbling my fingers and won't really let me pet him for too long. I did get him his own toys such as a wooden thing with a bunch of wooden dowels all interconnected with a walnut in the middle. It's some toy I bought for the hamster but he never touched it. I also got a mini dog toy that you put treats in. i thought this would give him something interesting to do. I might get one for the other rodent. I have so far given him a small piece of ripe banana, a bit of honeydew melon (which came with my dinner but don't like), a small bit of a tiny greenie and some pretzels made for hamsters but thought that since they are sugar free that he'd like 'em as well. Oh, and of course I gave him REAL rat block food and not guinea pig food like he's been fed since who knows when. He's really diggin' that real food. I noticed he likes to take a few bites of everything and then come back to it later. He is also a stash rat. He covered his food with the bedding once i gave it to him. Oh, I forgot, I gave him a bit of apple leather I was munching on. I was unsure of it since it has a bit of lemon in it. But the sheet doesn't say no lemon so I thought it'd be fine.
I have a lot of treats since I like to give them to my hammie every other week. I have greenies, these peanut and peanut butter small ball things with seeds on the outside. Rupaul likes them. I also have those pretzel thingies. Oh, I should mention that the pretzels are salt free too. They are like flour and water baked or something, kinda like real basic bread. I don't give too many of those either. I try to stay to the veggies and fruit.

What do I avoid that might give Despereaux gas? Do i avoid beans? I have leftover rice and beans and wondered if he would be able to eat it without getting gassy. And thanks so much for all your help. It is really appreciated. :)
 

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I'm not sure if you mentioned this or not, but you should get him a friend. it'll comfort him.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I should. But i think cage comes first then when I get more money another rat which I will have to slowly introduce to Despereaux. Is there someplace that tells you how to do that?
 

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yes, intro's are "simple" but some rats don't always take to another friend. A younger rat is your best bet, since they're smaller and seen as less of a threat. you would need to go through quarentine for 2 week (seperate rooms, but most say to do it on compleat opposite side of a house, or not even having the rat in the same household) you intro them in a neutral place like a bath tub, over a few weeks at most. if he doesn't tke to another rat he might be one of those rats happier alone.

rats don't pass gas or burp so carful of soda and such things with carbanation. the rice and beans should be fine, but not too much, if he's still getting used to the proper rat food he might get the runs/mess with his tummy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok. What if he doesn't take to the younger rat? Then I'll have three rats. Cause I'd have to get a companion for the other young one. Right? i don't know if i can handle that many rodents. lol
 

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well most people intro 2 younger rats since they arent as scared with a little buddy when intro'd to your big guy. Call a local rescue and see if they have any boys up for adoption, then you can tell them your situation if the intro'd don't take and you could take them back. these places usually have done the QT for you and you can see on the first day reactions and such.

do you plan on keeping this rat or finding it a new home?

most rats take to knew ones and 2 or 3 rats is not much more work then 1, but it does cost more food wise and bedding wise. you can always get one to try an intro, but then if it doesn't take then you'd have to either bring the new one back or get him a friend.... i think you said you think this rat is older? If so, it might not be worth trying an intro, has he been alone for a long time? some older male rats that have gone without a friend for a while can be very aggressive.

where are you located if you don't mind me asking?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oregon, USA. He is not aggressive. He does try to nibble me and sometimes bite but not like hard or anything. It's like he's testing me or something. I don't know how old he is as it hard with rats but I guess 2 years or so. I do plan on keeping him.
 

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Nibbling may not be a bad thing. He may think you're food if you smell at all like food, or he might just be 'testing' as you said. Some rats will also give 'love nibbles' kinda like they're trying to groom you. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Maybe, I found out i have too many pets allowed for my apartment so i am giving my birds away. This means that Despereaux cannot have a buddy unless I want to give away my hamster too. I don't want to get evicted and they are very... persistent with checks to see if your obeying rules. So yea...
 
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