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Thanks for bearing with me!

1.) Is it safe to assume that 3-5 month old male littermates would be safely adopted together (and could be left unneutered)? I fell in love with several rats at the local humane society in this situation, but I don't want to neuter if not necessary. I am hoping that since they were raised together, they will stay "friends."

2.) Is PVC piping safe for rats? We used to leave this in the cages at the other humane society I worked at. I was hoping it could make a neat tunnel, either for out-of-the-cage supervised play or to leave in their cage to knaw on and hide in.

3.) Why is it so hard to find Harlan Teklad blocks? I actually live in Wisconsin (their headquarters) and I have never seen these or heard of them. Are there any chain stores (Petco, Petsmart, etc.) that carry this item, or where do you buy them?

4.) Are vitamin chew blocks that say "For rabbits" or "for hamsters/gerbils" or "for guinea pigs" okay for rats? I know that guinea pigs need a supplement of vitamin C on a regular basis, and I am leary about which vitamin supplement blocks would be okay or wouldn't cause a sort of overdose of an unnecessary vitamin.

5.) Along the same track, are lava chew stones of any use at all?

I'm sure I'll have more later, but let's start with this! :wink:
 

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... I can't help you with all of these questions BUT as for your first question I think they would definately get along, they've probably already assembled a slight pecking order among the two so you may not have to worry about future dominance fights although I wouldn't completely rule it out either. Rats are extremely social animals, and in order to live happily they need to have atleast one other litter mate.
 

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1.) Is it safe to assume that 3-5 month old male littermates would be safely adopted together (and could be left unneutered)? I fell in love with several rats at the local humane society in this situation, but I don't want to neuter if not necessary. I am hoping that since they were raised together, they will stay "friends."
I believe as long as they are already living together, then you are fine to keep them together. Actually, I think this is the preferred method of getting two rats.

2.) Is PVC piping safe for rats? We used to leave this in the cages at the other humane society I worked at. I was hoping it could make a neat tunnel, either for out-of-the-cage supervised play or to leave in their cage to knaw on and hide in.
I've never heard any complaints about PVC piping. I think lots of people use it, and I've been considering getting some myself. The way a rats teeth are, when they chew on something, they rarely ever actually ingest it. So you don't have to worry about them getting sick from it or something.

3.) Why is it so hard to find Harlan Teklad blocks? I actually live in Wisconsin (their headquarters) and I have never seen these or heard of them. Are there any chain stores (Petco, Petsmart, etc.) that carry this item, or where do you buy them?
I'm pretty sure you can not get Harlan Teklad in stores. That's because it's actually manufactured for laboratory rats and not household rats. There are lots of online stores you can get it form. I believe I got mine from Kim's Ark Rescue (http://www.kimsarkrescue.org/).

4.) Are vitamin chew blocks that say "For rabbits" or "for hamsters/gerbils" or "for guinea pigs" okay for rats? I know that guinea pigs need a supplement of vitamin C on a regular basis, and I am leary about which vitamin supplement blocks would be okay or wouldn't cause a sort of overdose of an unnecessary vitamin.
I don't know much about this, so definitely get a second opinion. All I know is to stay away from the "salt" blocks.

5.) Along the same track, are lava chew stones of any use at all?
I'm not entirely sure what a lava chew stone is, but I once got a stone-ish tube from Petco that was supposed to help wear down their claws. Only one day I came home and couldn't find it because they ate/gnawed down the whole thing. So they were fine with that, at least.

(Edited to look prettier)
 

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madonnaswimmer said:
Thanks for bearing with me!

1.) Is it safe to assume that 3-5 month old male littermates would be safely adopted together (and could be left unneutered)? I fell in love with several rats at the local humane society in this situation, but I don't want to neuter if not necessary. I am hoping that since they were raised together, they will stay "friends."
SHould be fine, though they might bicker a little as teenagers.
2.) Is PVC piping safe for rats? We used to leave this in the cages at the other humane society I worked at. I was hoping it could make a neat tunnel, either for out-of-the-cage supervised play or to leave in their cage to knaw on and hide in.
Yep, that's fine. Or dryer tubing...
3.) Why is it so hard to find Harlan Teklad blocks? I actually live in Wisconsin (their headquarters) and I have never seen these or heard of them. Are there any chain stores (Petco, Petsmart, etc.) that carry this item, or where do you buy them?
Because they're sold in bulk, and most people don't buy 33 lbs of small animal food so stores don't carry them. Try kim's ark, the crafty rat, the rat shop, etc.
4.) Are vitamin chew blocks that say "For rabbits" or "for hamsters/gerbils" or "for guinea pigs" okay for rats? I know that guinea pigs need a supplement of vitamin C on a regular basis, and I am leary about which vitamin supplement blocks would be okay or wouldn't cause a sort of overdose of an unnecessary vitamin.

5.) Along the same track, are lava chew stones of any use at all?
Both are unnecessary and basically worthless providing the rat is being fed a decent diet in the first place.
I'm sure I'll have more later, but let's start with this! :wink:
Ask away! :D
 
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