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I mentioned this in my "hello post" but I want to go more in-depth here.

Yes, I'm 18 but I still live with my parents. It most certainly will be a few years before I move out, my boyfriend of 3 years and I want to be sure that we're completely ready for that transition. In the meantime, I would really like to have rats. I have a Syrian hamster at the moment, but he's more of an adventurous spirit than a cuddle bug, and actually won't come out at night if I have the light on. I don't see him as much as I'd like, so while we do have a bond, its not as strong as I'd like from my little boy.


I want rats because I want that companionship—a "little dog" as rats are referred to. I can provide for my own animals and have clearly shown this, however my mom will not allow them to live in the house. Her reason? "I don't like rats."


I'm fine with her not liking them, many people don't, but why should this be a reason for me not to have them? It's not like she will be seeing them, be in contact with them, or even have to pay a cent for their wellbeings. They'd be living in my room, and wouldn't be allowed out. Despite all this, my mom still says no because she doesn't like them. It's really disheartening.


In an attempt of trying to persuade her, I mentioned that I'd pay rent, and she seemed to rather like that idea but still said no. Not to mention that it would be ludicrous to have to pay for livng in my room just because I'm now 18. Our agreement for this time in my life would be that as long as I go to college, I won't have to pay rent. I'm already in college, as well as finishing up high school, so its not like I'm trying to be a freeloader.


I guess I'm just wondering if any rat owners out there had to deal with this. How did you convince your parents? Have any advice to give? Is this just a lost cause?
 

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Make her watch the cutest rat videos you can find online. Let us know how she reacts.

Are you a very heavy sleeper? Rats make tons of noise during the night, and I personally wouldn't be able to sleep if they were in the same room. I actually need to use my old theater sound system to make white noise (app on my IPad), so I won't be awaken by rats who are in the other room. I have 15 feet ceiling and the walls only go to maybe 13 feet. Just something to be aware of ;)
 

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Make her watch the cutest rat videos you can find online. Let us know how she reacts.

Are you a very heavy sleeper? Rats make tons of noise during the night, and I personally wouldn't be able to sleep if they were in the same room. I actually need to use my old theater sound system to make white noise (app on my IPad), so I won't be awaken by rats who are in the other room. I have 15 feet ceiling and the walls only go to maybe 13 feet. Just something to be aware of ;)
Someone actually mentioned this to me when I said I would be keeping them in the same room with me, but I am a very heavy sleeper, luckily. I've slept through fire alarms, and even once when someone was trying to break in. My area isn't very quite to begin with either way—we live near the highway, a police station, an active railroad, and my sister has a scroll poster that bangs against my wall from the otherside of the room when her fan is on. My nights are noisy already, lol.


I've thought about showing her some videos, but I'm just not sure because she's made it very clear that she simply just does not like rats appearance wise. I'm not sure if I can her mind on that.
 

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Has she met rats?

My boyfriend didn't have any idea what they were like until we met some. My boyfriend's mom was very against us getting rats, however yesterday she wanted to come and visit. She finally met them, at first she was a little "eww gross" but then she was having fun watching them and she even let them climb up to her shoulder. This was someone who grew up on a farm with wild rats, and wild rats could damage/ containment all their food (I could understand why she didn't like them). But I can say she totally came around when she finally interacted with pet rats.

People have set images of what rats are like and most often than not have no clue that they can be fun and amazing pets. It's going to take time and patience on your part.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Has she met rats?

My boyfriend didn't have any idea what they were like until we met some. My boyfriend's mom was very against us getting rats, however yesterday she wanted to come and visit. She finally met them, at first she was a little "eww gross" but then she was having fun watching them and she even let them climb up to her shoulder. This was someone who grew up on a farm with wild rats, and wild rats could damage/ containment all their food (I could understand why she didn't like them). But I can say she totally came around when she finally interacted with pet rats.

People have set images of what rats and most often than not have no clue that they can be fun and amazing pets. It's going to take time and patience on your part.
I'd imagine so. She's never met rats, but she's really adamant on not holding them ever. She won't even hold my hamster even though she thinks he's cute and likes to pet his fluffy fur. She just doesn't like the feeling of their little feet and whiskers—says its like a bug. But I do want her to see their awesome personalities. Maybe I can get her to agree with me to let me take her to the pet store to look at the ratties. Out of the three pet stores in my area, there's only one that I trust with some awesome employees who really care about the animals and they're really well socialized if I say so myself. I'd imagine it'd be a positive experience.
 

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Yeah a positive experience for them is important otherwise it might only reinforce their (sometimes) baseless beliefs. If you feel like this pet store treats their rats right perhaps this would be a good place to introduce her. Otherwise if you have a friend who has rats you can ask them if it's okay for your mom to see them.

Apparently when I first got rats the deciding factor for my mom was when she met my neighbor's rat. She just thought they'd be like gerbils or hamsters, but she liked how sweet our friend's rat was so she was sold.
 

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Another deciding factor I've found with some of my friends who say eww to rats is their intelligence. When they say "why would you want a rat for a pet" I tell them how smart they are and some of the things mine do all the time that are humorous and adorable. Most people lump rats in with all the "bad" traits of rodents in their head. Even if they don't consciously realize they're doing it. When I told on of my coworkers I play fetch with one of my rats she was like. Okay, I need to meet them.lol

Another trick I've found with hesitant humans being introduce to rats. Find the calmest one. Quick movements can be frightening to those who are worried about them. If you're holding the rat...cover up the tail with your hand or jacket so its out of sight for a bit. I don't find tails gross but some people do. Out of sight out of mind as they say. That way they can see how soft and cuddly they are without distractions.
 

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Maybe do some extra chores around the house or get a part time job, or whatever else would make her very proud of you. Sure she will still dislike rats, but you being so nice and taking a job or whatever else might please her so much that refusing you rats would now make her feel like a bad mom. This isn't a strategy that will work with everyone, but it is an option.
 

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If you get rats, please know that a rat will most likely costs you a few hundreds in vet care only during his lifetime (that is only for 1 rat). So unless you can pay those vet fees, plus a big cage...it is highly unlikely that your mom would help.
 

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If you get rats, please know that a rat will most likely costs you a few hundreds in vet care only during his lifetime (that is only for 1 rat). So unless you can pay those vet fees, plus a big cage...it is highly unlikely that your mom would help.
True that. Vet care gets really expensive. So far my four rats have cost me over 700 dollars in vet care and it has been around 1 year and 4 months.
 

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Our last 3 rats have never seen a vet... so far, but it's good to have some money just in case. Our rats free range around the house most of the time, so their cage is just a little bigger than average, but not huge as they aren't in it anyway... Still it set me back about $100.00.

We've helped some kids to get rats by introducing our rats to their moms. Sometimes the moms get more enthusiastic than the kids, but there's no changing the mind of a real rat phobic. Don't waste your time, it won't happen.

Lastly, I'd suggest you stay away from the word 'rat' use 'fancy rat' if you must use the 'R' word. Fancy rats aren't like wild rats, but people don't get the difference if you use the names interchangeably. Wild rats can be destructive and even dangerous and for the most part people are smart not to want them in their homes... fancy rats are entirely something different. If your mom isn't rat phobic, and she gets the difference you may have a chance.

Best luck.
 

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Yep. I had a $350 vet bill (3 visits + meds), plus $100 in nutritional supplements, plus over $1,000 for an oxygen concentrator. That is only for 1 rat. Granted the O2 concentrator will serve me for my other rats, but that is still $450 without it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Oh I absolutely understand this, and have a job of my own, which is why I've assured her that I don't need her help and she wouldn't have to pitch in. We have exoctic vets in my area, and I took my Ham to them when he came down with sneezing fits (turned out to just be allergies to his paper bedding which had baking soda in it). This is why I'm perplexed about not being able to have them, just because of what they look like. I think I'm making some progress on her though.
 

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What doesn't she like about them. Ears, tails, red eyes.
 

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What doesn't she like about them. Ears, tails, red eyes.
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Tails, specifically. She also says rats are wild, dirty creatures. She's also someone who gets freaked out by red or pink pigmented eyes—whether it be in guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, ect. <br>
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BUT, she put this aside and had time to think with a letter I wrote for her on this issue. She appreciated the effort and realized that I had a plan and wasn't just doing this all willy nilly. With her permission, I can now bring ratties into the house. It might take a little while to accumulate everything and see if the shelter has any rats, but I'd imagine they'd be here this year. <img src="images/smilies/smiley.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smiley" smilieid="1" class="inlineimg">
 

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Nice job. im glad that you can get them.
 

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I don't know if anyone has said this but... even though you should respect your mothers wishes I would just go ahead and and buy a cage and all the supplies you need for your future ratties. Save up as much money as you possibly can with in a few months as well. Tell her she'd never have to look at them or touch them. Start just spouting out rat facts and cute things rats do, show her a video of a rat cleaning its face. My mom was sold on the whole face cleaning thing.
 

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Honestly I would suggest waiting until you are on your own. Waiting sucks ofcourse. In the meantime you could save up money and buy supplies to have some really nice stuff and a good vet fund set up. it could also let u have time to find a good breeder and be added to a future wait list maybe.

I have just seen a ton of posts from people who had pets when they are not in their own home and what usually happens is that the other person still has some control over the pets because it is THEIR house, not yours.
So if they change their mind, or decide they don't like the smell or any other crazy thing you are put in a bad situation where they are trying to force you to rehome them. And they will likely put their nose into your pet care... saying they don't like the cage, don't like what you are buying for them, don't want them out of their cage, don't want the cage inside the house, etc.... it often becomes a fight and is almost always worse when the home owners do not like the pets to begin with.

Ofcourse this does not always happen....but it does happen alot. I can't even count the number of times people have said they had to rehome their pets because their parents decided they didnt want them anymore in the house or people saying their parents made them put them outside :(

I like to have total control over my pets. What happens to them, what I do or do not do for them. I don't want to fight about it or have any part of it dependent on someone else.

Waiting is almost always a better idea.
 
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