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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Just after some advice, i am going to be getting my first rat hopefully very soon.

but i was wondering where the best places to get them from? ive been told and read its best to go straight to a breeder. on average how much do breeders charge?
and is it better to get 2 females or 2 males? i'm obviously getting 2 of the same sex to keep each other company.

thanks
 

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Hi Gen-Cat
Welcome to the wonderful world of ratties. I have some suggestions that you may like, but please keep in mind that I am a newbie too! Depending on your location, you may want to see if you have a rat rescue. You can visit that and see if you can find a nice rattie who needs a good home. If you do not have a rat rescue, then a reputable breeder is better than a petshop. However, there are some good pet shops out there that have some great rats. Of course, in my oppinion, I try to rescue those poor unfortunate ratties stuck in petshops. That way I know they will be loved and not food.

As for girls versus boys, they say boys are more affectionate than girls, but I have 2 girls that are very very affetionate. My girls love to play and roughhouse and ride on my shoulder EVERYWHERE I go. So, I think that the rats you pick will be exactly the rats you will want.

GOOD LUCK
 

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You could also try Petfinder.com to see if there are any rats up for adoption in your area at regular shelters, if you're not near a rat rescue. Giving an animal a second chance at a happy life is a wonderful thing.

Or Craigslist or Kajiji. I got a girl off Craigslist and she has been a wonderful addition to my little mischief.

However, since these will be your first rats, you may prefer to go to a breeder. Pedigreed rats have less health issues, and are friendly right off the bat since they have been socialized since birth. You would also get to pick out your own colors,

With shelter rats, you may not know what you're getting into. Rats, however, are extremely forgiving of past troubles as long as in their present they are getting plenty of attention and affection! And most shelter rats have been handled at least a little by their previous owners. Plus they can be the ones who become the most affectionate once they properly warm up to their human, because they have known a time when they were less than lucky.

Breeders charge usually somewhere between $15 and $30, usually closer to $20 per rat, although I think most offer discounts when you buy a pair (and good for you to know you need two!).
 

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Whatever you do, leave pet stores as a last resort. :)

I'm a first-time owner too, and I got my sweethearts from a pet store that breeds their own rats, thinking they'd be fairly healthy compaired to rats from other stores... Big mistake! In less than 2 days after bringing them home I had already paid over $200 in getting meds for an upper respiratory infection, AND having them checked for worms. The worm test was negative, but it was still crazy expensive just to have the vet look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Iam so excited i've wanted rats since i was little but never allowed any but after months of bugging my boyfirend he has finally agreed i can get some.
i went to the local Pets at home pet shop today and just had a quick look at the rats in there.

I know i shouldn't get rats from the pet shop but the bloke did say they get handled every day and they were only 10weeks old, they did look very cute.

would it be a bad idea to purchase these rats?
 

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I think if you a prepared for the fact that they may not be the healthyiest rats. Then pet store rats are fine. All my 3 current girls. Are from a Pets at Home Branch. However i do recoomend that when buying..Dont just go for the cutest one. Have them open the door and put ure hand in. They will all run at first but a couple should come over and sniff. Be sure you dont get the one huddled up in the corner shivering from fear just because hes the cutest little blue rex dumbo ever. Personality counts ! And will help later on. One of mine was like this. She was the only himalayan in the tank. Very cute all fluffy. But EXTREMLY nervous. Ive had her for around 9 months. And she is only now starting to trust me.
 

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The other thing about pet stores isn't just unhealthy rats, it's also poor genetics, and poor ethics. Most pet store rats are bred indiscriminately to be food. The mother bears litter after litter until she is too exhausted to do so anymore, and is then stuck in the feeder bin herself. Males and females are often allowed to intermingle, and young girls often come pregnant (as many members on this forum can attest to!). The often have underlying genetic conditions, because none of the rats lived long enough to know to breed those conditions out.

Most pet store keep their rats in substandard conditions, and don't care a whit for the welfare of the animal. And even if you think you're "rescuing" rats from being snake food, the truth is that you're still paying money to these people to continue their behavior, and in the grand scheme of things you haven't done much good at all. Of course, to that one rat you did save, it meant the world, but to the other rats that were bred because you told the pet store it was okay, it wasn't such a good idea.

If you think that your petstore is different, and feel that it's an ethically sound decision to support them by purchasing their rats, and they are healthy and well socialized, then go ahead.

And all that being said, though, two of my girls I bought from PetCo, the third was a rescue, originally from PetCo. I'm taking my chances, and in hindsight I'm not sure I wanted to support PetCo like that (though they're actually the best store in town, which really says something, so I'd be supporting them no matter what), but looking at my girls, it's hard to feel too bad.
 

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I dont know where youre from , but over here. we cant have live animals as feeders. And the conditions are extremly suibtable. As a couple of you may remember ours even let me use my own vet to check them. And i have met their breeder who is perfectly reputable
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm from Bedfordshire in the UK.
so i dunno what the rules on petshop rats are.
the pet shop i was looking at is a well known one throughout the UK so it makes me think there rats might be ok.
I'm hopefully going to have a look round on sat for some.

Also if anyone knows any rescue centres around Bedfordshire area in the UK i might be able to get 2 rats from it would be very helpful.

thanks
 
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