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Discussion Starter #1
So my friends were over for a bit. They love the ratties. They played with them for a bit, said things about wanting a rat, and left.

Then the next day I found out that they all got rats. They conspired not to tell me, because I'd yell at them. They each have one rat, a hamster cage, and a whole lot of ego. Anything I say is me attacking them. They know what they're doing. I don't know everything. They dont have to do it my way. They're going to do it how they want, because "Jordan, you have-six- rats". I'm so obviously crazy, I take over the top unnesesary care of my rats. I'm being a child, I'm insulting them.

The person feeding them their rat info? She had one rat in a ten gallon tank. No toys. Barely lived two years. Didnt move from the corner. But since her rat was alive, and she's telling them what they want to hear, they listen to her.

It's making me miserable. It's like they're spitting on all my hard work and money spent. Despite my words or sending them websites, they're going to do it "their way". One rat, hamster cage, I need to shut up, I don't mke the rules. "Rats aren't an exlusive club, we can do what we want". The only thing they see is their egos. Even the one rational friend I have (she takes amazing care of her pets), is telling me she doesnt have to do it "my way". THERES NOT REALLY DIFFRENT WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF A RAT ffs. I'm not being a snob,THATS HOW YOU TAKE CARE OF THEM. But no. They listen to the worst pet owner I know. My other friend with rats has social anxiety and wont speak up. So I'm stuck. I haven't slept for more than three hours, and this started on tuesday.

They care so little.. The rats are only a novelty for them.. I just want to scream.
 

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maybe you can try saying that if they get better supplies their rats will live longer
 

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I'm sorry. I have an 85 gallon reef tank and got into the hobby with a 20 gallon reef tank. I am the type of person that has multiple obsessions. Anything new I find, I have to learn EVERYTHING I can. Rats, cats, dogs (specific breed requirements, greyhounds need a little different care then most breeds. I have two retired racing greyhounds), and, of course, the latest craze, my reef tank (which is awesome for an obsessive person like me there is SO MUCH TO LEARN!). So, when I set up my tank, I had a really good idea of what I was doing and had connected with a really knowledgeable community who I could get reliable information from.

Now, it kills me when I see a teeny tiny "Dory" in a 20 gallon tank. Yeah, the fish is small, but tangs swim MILES a day and it will grow to at least 10" in length. They are huge fish. But, people say "Well the guy at the pet store told me it was okay, and fish flakes are fine, and yada-yada-yada My-ego-is-so-big-the-world-can't-contain-it and OF COURSE ITS NAMED DORY! WTH is a Regal Blue Tang?" <-FYI A regal blue tang or hippo tang is what "dory" is-

Then you see this small, hyperactive fish stressing out in a tank that's been set up for a few hours (you need to let the tank "cycle" to build up a bacteria population to control pollutants in the water, process takes about 4 to 6 weeks) with pink pebbles and plastic fake plants (not the best for marine fish) getting fed goldfish food (tangs need macro and micro algae like the seaweed used in sushi) with no heater (tank needs to be maintained between 76 to 80 F). That same person will then be wondering a week later why the fish died.

And while these fish aren't as intelligent as rats, they do recognize their keepers. My fish would hide from husband every time he walked into the room until he was the only one feeding them. Now they come out every time he's in the room. My rabbitfish (the big striped fish in the photo) will blow bubbles and play with them and spit water at me when it's time to eat because I'm not fast enough. It kills me how people can treat animals with such carelessness and cruelty!

Point of all this:
I totally get your frustration. And if you already knew all of that about taking fish, I wasn't being snarky. People just seem to think fish are a throw away pet with no specific needs for life outside of water and flakes. Which is the same mindset we all understand here and fight regularly with our small pets. I wish people valued all life on the same level. (But I will still eat meat, I just try to make sure the animals I eat had good lives before I consume them.)

And shamelessly proud of my tank (everything is live, no fake decoration here. all coral and the anemone are living animals) so here's a photo!

 

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^ I just have to say... That tank is stunning. Also, I think it's really cool how your fish recognize and interact with you! Fish are so underrated and mistreated. =/

~

Anyways, Smilebud, I feel you. I've taken to not talking too much about my rats to people lest they decide they want some without researching them properly. I don't know how close you are to those people, but with those attitudes... I'd start not counting them as friends, personally. Their attitudes towards this seems... beyond just the issue at hand. Discounting you as a source of information and treating you that way is horrendous in my opinion, even forgetting there are little ratty lives involved.
 

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Thank you. :) It is an expensive but rewarding hobby. My husband considers it "living art". I have to agree :)

ALSO (to add to your stupid owner rant)
When I was in college, I had my nice super pet 3 level ferret cage for my boys. This one girl from another dorm thought "oh! we could be rat buddies!" And invited me over to see her rats. They were kept in 10 gallon tanks. And she had 2 females and 1 male (not fixed). She asked what I thought of her setup. So I tried going "soft" on her, telling her that rats really like vertical climbing space and all that, and she said "oh, not my rats, I thought of getting a topper but they seem happier here." Well, I also told her her room stank and her rats needed clean cages. And when I got home, I made sure to shower quite thoroughly and had my roommate bring me in new cloths into the shower (dorm life, communal shower) and take my clothes to the washer. Who knows what her rats had and I also told my roommate that girl was never allowed in our room. (My roommate's sister was a responsible rat owner, so she understood the concern). About two months later, I got a phone call from terrible rat keeper saying she needed homes for 16 baby rats. I did my civic duty, managed to find good homes for 14 babies (going through my rat contacts) and then told her to never contact me again if she was going to continue to keep rats so irresponsibly. At least she bought me a new 10 gallon tank (I'd keep them in it when deep cleaning their cage) after she broke mine she borrowed to separate the male and female babies.

People are ridiculous. And I blame the pet industry.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They've never acted likw this before. I think I should've waited for the new rat high to wear off before I confeonted them.. They're so focused on how happy and friendly bubs are that they can't even consider that they aren't doing something right. I got told today that "If you want your opinions heard, maybe you shouldnt insult someone's care and throw a tantrum". My part of the convo with her was "that cage is too small, I'm sorry.. I'll help you build a bigcheap bin cage, the pet shop lied about the cage. If you take it back you cna get your money back" and "rats really dont do well on their own. They can get depressed and shy. Two isnt harder than one."

I've been friend with these people for as long as I've had rats. Tried to interest them, get them into the hobby, tell them about proper care. They were never interested. Thats how the worst rat owner I know got into it. She saw one of my babies. But she had a good heart, although she blindly believed pet store things. I forgave her, tried to teach her, brought her rat hammocks. She had good intentions, or so I thought. Now I doubt, since she's feeding the others her bullshit.

The "rational" friend has never ever wanted rats before. This was literally three giggling 19 y/o walking into a petshop on a cute rat high. Its a five minute drive from my house to where they got their rats. They are the most impluse bought pets I've ever expirienced. I was surprised that the PetSmart even sold pets to them. I wish rats were difficult.. Then the novelty would wear off sooner.. As it is theyre either going to not get bored and keep thinking that theirpet care is fantastic because their rats are so friendly or they'll just leave them to rot in their cages, only changing food and water. Even if they lose interest, they wouldnt give them away. Too ego driven.

Am I the only one who doesnt have an animal ego? If I find out I'm wrong I change. No one is perfect, you learn over time. I've been a bad rat owner. I've dropped a bub that later died. I've gone way too long without a cage clean. My rats started out in a bird cage. Right now I might have an accidental litter because I underestimated rat teeth vs. cage pan. Everyone makes mistakes. Why is it that I'm the only one who can admit it and try to change it?
 

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it's silly that they think it's about them. Your goal as an animal owner should be to give the creature the best life you can. You should not take advice to change personally because it isn't about you as a person. (unless you don't take it. Then it implies something about you)
it is arrogant for them to assume that the rats are happy. they seem happy when they are alone because they are desperate for companionship and interaction.
And as long as you were reasonable in talking to them they have no right to get mad. If they were on a forum like this and they mentioned the conditions their animals are being kept in they would be positively BOMBARDED with carefully worded messages about the actual needs of the animals and how to change their setup. if you mention keeping a rat alone here, your thread grows to massive proportions because we all feel the need to submit a friendly "please don't!". The impulse to gently advise is something that we all have here....you shouldn't be made to feel bad about it.
I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
 

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You know despite the sass they're giving you now, they may well change their minds in future. Being told there wasn't enough room in my cage for the rats i had and basically what i felt was being insulted because I'd had rats before and never had problems, not to mention there ARE breeders who keep their rats in smaller bins and racks and there is nothing wrong with their animals, so yes i lashed out and I'm no longer a part of that group anymore because i DID feel insulted, and there was actually just enough room in the cage i have for the two males. BUT, it also made me start researching after I'd calmed down, because of course i want to do right by my creatures. And now they have a whopping great $400 DCN as soon as i get it decorated. However if i was going to breed large scale you can bet i would use a rack system.
Don't discount them just because they feel insulted, being questioned on choices is not comfortable for many people. Maybe just take one aside at a time on a quiet note and say "look, i know you're trying to do right by them, and im not insulting you but please reconsider a bigger cage/second rat because X" or suggest that if they lose interest you'd be willing to take them in so they don't have to bother with it. Pick the ones who you think might actually listen away from the posse, make it about conveniencing THEM and less about how you're appalled with their behaviour. Even if you change one person's mind you're saving their rat/s from a not-so-fancy life.
Having said that, as long as the rats aren't being MIS-treated, i dont really understand why it's even your problem, i that get you care but if there's nothing you can do about it stop stressing, its not worth it. If they really wont listen, walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think I make it my problem because it's my fault. If I hadn't had them over they wouldnt have gotten their new rats... Now it's my fault if they don't have a good life.

The cage they have right now is great for babies. It's that teeny basic one level rat cage that they sell everywhere. You all have seen what I'm talking about. They call it a "rat" cage, but I wouldnt even use it for my hamster (turns out they need just as much space as rats)... It looks the right size now, but rats get BIG.


I'm not gonna lie... I started out calm and non-confrontational (they immediatly jumped into aggressivness) but today I sort of lost my cool after being told that I don't know what I'm talking about for the umpteenth time. I really regret it because now I'm just being a crazy rat extremist.

I'm just want to get the seed of the idea in their heads, I don't really care if they stay as my friends or not.
 

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First of all, it's not your fault at all. If they were impulsive enough to buy rats under these circumstances, then what's to say they wouldn't see someone else's rabbit or guinea pig and do the same thing?

It an unfortunate situation. In my experience there are two types of people. The first is the group of us that think of keeping animals of a privilege. We chose to have them, they didn't chose to have us, so of course it's up to us to give them the best possible life we can and to make efforts to learn and improve all throughout their lives.
The second group, are the ones who see owning animals as a right. In these cases the purpose of the animals is solely to give pleasure to the person who bought it. Having a rat is fun for them, so it doesn't matter that the rat is lonely, depressed, bored out of it's mind and living in a space far too small. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with your 'friends'.

It's a very childlike mentality, so much so that i couldn't quite believe it when you mentioned they are 19!

If you truly don't want to stay friends with them, then show them this thread so they can see that it isn't just you who disagrees with them, but a large group of experienced rat keepers who are appalled by what they have done.

Oh and tell them what to look out for: self harm/mutilation, chewing and shaking of the cage bars and even serious weight loss and illness. Rats aren't meant to be kept alone, i wonder how they'd like it!
 

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Can't stand people who treat pets like toys.
 

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At least they didn't all get two of opposite sexes and end up with accidental litters...
It's not your fault in the least, people like that generally do it no matter who or what sparks their few brain cells into thinking it's such a great idea.
It's probably not comforting at all, but at least rats don't live as long as dogs or cats, and if they do end up with antisocial biting neurotic rats, they'll probably put them up for rescue sooner rather than later.
 

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Sometimes I come across someone in my life with one rat and I remind them that rats should be in pairs, but it hasn't changed anything and I hate that situation. Luckily I haven't met them in person because immediately I'd be picking at their living situation if it was bad too.

These people that are your friends seem really immature. If you want a pet, you go research, find out what you need to know about it before you just jump in because it was "fun to play with Jordan's rats." If they were smart they would have talked to you and probed you for questions until you helped them know everything you need to know. They're not good friends. There are many people in this world that take rat ownership as a joke compared to what we do.
What am I planning for tomorrow? Calling around and making sure I have a great vet, who does a humane procedure, and has experience with it, because my treasured old gal may need to be pts and I moved to a new area.
Rodents are seen as throw away pets by many. If you only /want/ one and that's best for you then why the heck not only have one. That is how people think. Since your friends are not going to listen, I would honestly say this (assuming since they are your friends despite being like this and you want to keep their friendship):

"you're being irresponsible owners and I am not going to talk to you about rats anymore because you're not listening to reason. If you get in trouble, you won't have my help unless you promise to change. If you want to share about your rats, I don't want to hear it. It hurts me that you're treating your pets this way and more importantly you are hurting your rats mentally and if you did any research, you'd see that you're wrong. I would love nothing more than to be able to talk with you about rats and bond with you all over having them, but I'm wasting my breath because you don't listen to me."

It's hard, I don't know what else I could do. I would be so mad if they didn't listen to me after what you've already told them.
 
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