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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my first pair of rats, they're really, really adorable male blues. I have a donated cage that someone used for their ferret. I cleaned it with soap and water, then sprayed it down with disinfectant, then rinsed it with clean water. I put down a pretty thick (1"-2") layer of CareFresh. It's the exact same type they had at Petsmart. I am feeding them the same kind of food as well.

I got home and it set them in their cage, it's got their food dish, bedding, water bottle and a shoebox for them to play with for now. I plan to go out in an hour or so when my girlfriend gets home and we're gonna pick up a hammock and some real toys for them. I tried to be as gentle driving home as I could, but when I took them out of the box, they had really made a mess of the box, I assume out of just fright.

I tried a few times since they've been home to pick them up, but they don't really want me to. They haven't been aggressive or mean at all, they'll sniff my fingers or climb on the back of my hand, but if I try to pick them up, they kind of make this little noise and back away. I am assuming they are just adjusting and I should give them a little while to get used to the cage before I start harassing them.

Also, it sounds like they're sneezing a lot, but I'm not totally sure what a rat sneeze sounds like, it's a noise they weren't making at Petsmart though.

Right now, their cage is about 18" x 30" x 18" with half inch mesh. It's just a rectangle, wire cage with a linoleum-ish stuck-on bottom. I hope to upgrade to an FN in the next paycheck or two.

So, am I doing anything wrong? Do my ratties sound like they're alright? Thanks for any help!

-Tryxx

EDIT: At the moment, they have both wedged themselves between the side of the cage against the wall and the shoebox and they're just laying there. It's adorable <33
 

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Give them some time to settle, they're in a totally new environment and probably freaked out! But after a day or so, start putting your hand in there (preferably with some food!) and talking to them so that they start getting to know you.

New home sneezies are common, just watch them and make sure that they calm down after a few days, otherwise you might want to schedule a trip to the vet.

Housing sounds good! You can also make your own hammocks, the easiest way being to string up an old shirt or pant leg. Rats are chewers, most people's wallets can't take the investment in store bought hammocks! What kind of food are you feeding them? You might want to take a look at the diet sticky at the top of the Rat Health section to make sure you're getting them the best- most pet stores don't stock adequate food, but some do, so you'll just have to see what you've got!

And of course, welcome and we'd love to see pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply! They seem to have settled down a bit and are currently napping on each other. My girlfriend should be home any minute, then it's time for some Christmas-giftcard spending to commence on our adorable little ratties. They seem really friendly, just scared. They saw where I opened the cage, and as soon as I'd walk away, they'd stand up and put their paws against it. Soooo adorable! A couple of the giftcard dollars are definately gonna go towards some new AA's for the camera, so hopefully I will be able to toss up some pictures this afternoon.

-Tryxx
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Edit: Fixed the pictures... They are less... Huge now...

Just got a few snapshots of my ratties! My girlfriend is in the process of cutting up a really soft blanket to make a hammock or two.






Hehe, they just wouldn't stand still, I took about 30 pictures and those are the only ones that didn't end up being either their tail end or them being mashed into the lens.

-Tryxx

PS - They're still sneezing a fair bit :-/
 

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awww they are so gorgeous!!
 

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I have one question. You mentioned you are using the same bedding & the same food as the store. Sometimes the pet stores aren't so knowledgeable about foods.

What is the type of food you are using?

There are mixed reviews out on carefresh bedding. Some people use it & never ever have a problem with it & others have noticed their rats sneezing from it or getting it in their eyes. The new home sneezes are a normal part of the settling process but if you notice sneezing when they are in their cages more than when they are out or much past 10 days... try a different bedding such as aspen or yesterday's news.
 

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They are sooooo cute
Jess x
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The sneezing seems to be slowing down a bit now, which makes me feel a lot better. They haven't been out of their cage too much ( they've only been with me for about 24 hours now )

They're very friendly and curious when I put my hand in and pet them, give them food, change their water, etc... But if I actually try to reach my hand around one of them to pick them up, they'll kind of duck down and back up, so right now I'm just trying to let them get used to being in a new home.

We actually just got offered someones two-story ferret cage which I might end up getting. They said it's got ramps and everything in it, it actually almost sounds like an FN, but they said they didn't know the actual make. I would love to get them into something a little bigger, this one is almost bare minimum.

-Tryxx
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oops, almost forgot... It's Nutriphase Mouse/Rat formula. They seem to be enjoying it, all George likes to do most of the time is sleep and munch on it, hehe.

-Tryxx
 
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