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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi there! i want to say before i get into this i鈥檝e been doing a lot of research but i do not know it all so please give me your best criticism! also this might be a bit long:,) i want the best for these guys!


around Friday 13th we got rats, these where supposed to go to my friends but he couldn鈥檛 take him home so i have them, i did not know a lot about rats. it was a bad idea but we get them from pets at home because he really wanted them:( i don't like animals from pets at home or any pet store but i did warn him about what might happen as i had two gerbils from there and one died suddenly and the other got seriously ill and had to be put down. he understood but still wanted them. I couldn鈥檛 say much because at the time i wasn鈥檛 gonna be the ones responsible for them(he has done YEARS of research because it鈥檚 his fixation but he has no experience)but now that i am I've done a lot of research and I've let them settle in, but there still skittish. I have experience with rodents, i have 4 gerbils at the moment but no rat experience. Just wondering what i can do to make them more comfortable in the environment? Also a few questions if you guys could answer i would love you endlessly 馃馃槹

鈥hould they still get time out their cage when their still skittish to be around you?

鈥ow should i go about handling them? i know not by the tails i usually cup them from under their belly鈥檚 and support their bum with my hand and their upper body with my other

also i got a bit worried today because my rat had red stuff around his nose but he isn鈥檛 sneezing or wheezing so i鈥檓 keeping an eye on him, we bought pellet for bedding but i just ordered aspen so i鈥檓 gonna replace that soon:)

also is it normal for a rat to scratch you when you pick them up not on purpose of course but they try and get a grip on my hands and i have a lot of scratches and nicks from it, I'm going out to get lava or pumice stone鈥檚 tomorrow which will give them more enrichment in their cage!

please give me the most advice you can! any criticism i鈥檇 love honestly because i don鈥檛 know if i鈥檓 doing okay or not but i鈥檝e been browsing this forum and it seems i may be doing okay? but i鈥檓 just posting my worries because again i want them to have a happy and comfortable life!
 

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hi there! i want to say before i get into this i鈥檝e been doing a lot of research but i do not know it all so please give me your best criticism! also this might be a bit long:,) i want the best for these guys!


around Friday 13th we got rats, these where supposed to go to my friends but he couldn鈥檛 take him home so i have them, i did not know a lot about rats. it was a bad idea but we get them from pets at home because he really wanted them:( i don't like animals from pets at home or any pet store but i did warn him about what might happen as i had two gerbils from there and one died suddenly and the other got seriously ill and had to be put down. he understood but still wanted them. I couldn鈥檛 say much because at the time i wasn鈥檛 gonna be the ones responsible for them(he has done YEARS of research because it鈥檚 his fixation but he has no experience)but now that i am I've done a lot of research and I've let them settle in, but there still skittish. I have experience with rodents, i have 4 gerbils at the moment but no rat experience. Just wondering what i can do to make them more comfortable in the environment? Also a few questions if you guys could answer i would love you endlessly 馃馃槹

鈥hould they still get time out their cage when their still skittish to be around you?

鈥ow should i go about handling them? i know not by the tails i usually cup them from under their belly鈥檚 and support their bum with my hand and their upper body with my other

also i got a bit worried today because my rat had red stuff around his nose but he isn鈥檛 sneezing or wheezing so i鈥檓 keeping an eye on him, we bought pellet for bedding but i just ordered aspen so i鈥檓 gonna replace that soon:)

also is it normal for a rat to scratch you when you pick them up not on purpose of course but they try and get a grip on my hands and i have a lot of scratches and nicks from it, I'm going out to get lava or pumice stone鈥檚 tomorrow which will give them more enrichment in their cage!

please give me the most advice you can! any criticism i鈥檇 love honestly because i don鈥檛 know if i鈥檓 doing okay or not but i鈥檝e been browsing this forum and it seems i may be doing okay? but i鈥檓 just posting my worries because again i want them to have a happy and comfortable life!
Here's a 101 guide on owning rats you can refer to.

Regarding your questions, I'll answer in order from top to bottom.

Just wondering what i can do to make them more comfortable in the environment?
Make sure their cage has lots of places to hide, i.e. boxes, nesting materials, blankets, hammocks.

Should they still get time out their cage when their still skittish to be around you?
Rats should get free roam time out of their cage every day for at least an hour but I would wait until your rats are comfortable in their new home and with you before letting them roam in an un-barricaded area.

How should i go about handling them?
They way you mentioned is perfect, just scoop and support them underneath so they feel secure. And to confirm what you said, never pick them up by their tails.

Red around eyes?
This is a substance called porphyrin, it's a natural secretion that rats make. I recommend you watch this video on the subject.

Pellet bedding?
I would actually reccommend paper pellet bedding over Aspen since wood shavings tend to make a huge mess. But, both are equally safe for rats as long as they are unscented.

Nail trimming?
Rat nails are generally worn down by climbing around, I suggest getting some bricks for them to climb on, a pumice stone will work too, whatever works best for you. :)
 

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Twig and Sprig 馃挄
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hi there! i want to say before i get into this i鈥檝e been doing a lot of research but i do not know it all so please give me your best criticism! also this might be a bit long:,) i want the best for these guys!


around Friday 13th we got rats, these where supposed to go to my friends but he couldn鈥檛 take him home so i have them, i did not know a lot about rats. it was a bad idea but we get them from pets at home because he really wanted them:( i don't like animals from pets at home or any pet store but i did warn him about what might happen as i had two gerbils from there and one died suddenly and the other got seriously ill and had to be put down. he understood but still wanted them. I couldn鈥檛 say much because at the time i wasn鈥檛 gonna be the ones responsible for them(he has done YEARS of research because it鈥檚 his fixation but he has no experience)but now that i am I've done a lot of research and I've let them settle in, but there still skittish. I have experience with rodents, i have 4 gerbils at the moment but no rat experience. Just wondering what i can do to make them more comfortable in the environment? Also a few questions if you guys could answer i would love you endlessly 馃馃槹

鈥hould they still get time out their cage when their still skittish to be around you?

鈥ow should i go about handling them? i know not by the tails i usually cup them from under their belly鈥檚 and support their bum with my hand and their upper body with my other

also i got a bit worried today because my rat had red stuff around his nose but he isn鈥檛 sneezing or wheezing so i鈥檓 keeping an eye on him, we bought pellet for bedding but i just ordered aspen so i鈥檓 gonna replace that soon:)

also is it normal for a rat to scratch you when you pick them up not on purpose of course but they try and get a grip on my hands and i have a lot of scratches and nicks from it, I'm going out to get lava or pumice stone鈥檚 tomorrow which will give them more enrichment in their cage!

please give me the most advice you can! any criticism i鈥檇 love honestly because i don鈥檛 know if i鈥檓 doing okay or not but i鈥檝e been browsing this forum and it seems i may be doing okay? but i鈥檓 just posting my worries because again i want them to have a happy and comfortable life!
My favorite YouTube channel for research is The Rat Guru. You can click 鈥減laylists鈥 and rattepedia is all about rats. Along with some other

You should start in a small space when free roaming and let them crawl out of the cage as they wish. Leave the cage open while you free roam so they can come out and go back in whenever. Don鈥檛 grab them and set them on the floor when they are still skittish.

You can either scoop them up from underneath or grab them by under their arms.

The red stuff could just be porphyrin caused by stress, I wouldn鈥檛 be worried.

That鈥檚 normal. Rats generally have sharp nails. Lava ledges can help. Some rats can also have regular nail trimmings so do some research on that!

Other YouTube channels:
-Shadow The Rat
-Emiology
-Friendly Rat Forecast

Books:
-Rats by Debbie Duccoman

I hope this helped! 馃挍
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's a 101 guide on owning rats you can refer to.

Regarding your questions, I'll answer in order from top to bottom.

Just wondering what i can do to make them more comfortable in the environment?
Make sure their cage has lots of places to hide, i.e. boxes, nesting materials, blankets, hammocks.

Should they still get time out their cage when their still skittish to be around you?
Rats should get free roam time out of their cage every day for at least an hour but I would wait until your rats are comfortable in their new home and with you before letting them roam in an un-barricaded area.

How should i go about handling them?
They way you mentioned is perfect, just scoop and support them underneath so they feel secure. And to confirm what you said, never pick them up by their tails.

Red around eyes?
This is a substance called porphyrin, it's a natural secretion that rats make. I recommend you watch this video on the subject.

Pellet bedding?
I would actually reccommend paper pellet bedding over Aspen since wood shavings tend to make a huge mess. But, both are equally safe for rats as long as they are unscented.

Nail trimming?
Rat nails are generally worn down by climbing around, I suggest getting some bricks for them to climb on, a pumice stone will work too, whatever works best for you. :)
thank you so so much!! i really appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My favorite YouTube channel for research is The Rat Guru. You can click 鈥減laylists鈥 and rattepedia is all about rats. Along with some other

You should start in a small space when free roaming and let them crawl out of the cage as they wish. Leave the cage open while you free roam so they can come out and go back in whenever. Don鈥檛 grab them and set them on the floor when they are still skittish.

You can either scoop them up from underneath or grab them by under their arms.

The red stuff could just be porphyrin caused by stress, I wouldn鈥檛 be worried.

That鈥檚 normal. Rats generally have sharp nails. Lava ledges can help. Some rats can also have regular nail trimmings so do some research on that!

Other YouTube channels:
-Shadow The Rat
-Emiology
-Friendly Rat Forecast

Books:
-Rats by Debbie Duccoman

I hope this helped! 馃挍
thank you so much!! i鈥檒l take that advice on the free roaming as i鈥檓 tidying my room so they have a safe place to free roam without wires and stuff like that馃 and i鈥檒l definitely take those yt channels and books and note them!!
 

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Some online resources:

https://www.nfrs.org/articles_keeping_rats_as_pets.html (UK)
American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association (US)

Youtube (someone posted channels above. Emiology is in the UK I think)

I have had gerbils in the past and currently have a rat. IMO, rats are not much different than gerbils. They're just bigger and more intelligent :)

I'd let the rats settle into their new cage for at least a week. Stressed out rats are harder to tame if you handle them too soon. You can talk to them and offer treats but don't push it. Let them settle in at their own pace.

How big is the cage?

Rat eyes and noses secrete a red substance called porphyrin. Gerbils secrete the same substance from their eyes too. Some secretion is normal. You may even see light red / pink colored stains on light colored fur because the rat spreads the secretions around while grooming.

Pelleted bedding can be used as litter box training material, if you're interested in that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some online resources:

https://www.nfrs.org/articles_keeping_rats_as_pets.html (UK)
American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association (US)

Youtube (someone posted channels above. Emiology is in the UK I think)

I have had gerbils in the past and currently have a rat. IMO, rats are not much different than gerbils. They're just bigger and more intelligent :)

I'd let the rats settle into their new cage for at least a week. Stressed out rats are harder to tame if you handle them too soon. You can talk to them and offer treats but don't push it. Let them settle in at their own pace.

How big is the cage?

Rat eyes and noses secrete a red substance called porphyrin. Gerbils secrete the same substance from their eyes too. Some secretion is normal. You may even see light red / pink colored stains on light colored fur because the rat spreads the secretions around while grooming.

Pelleted bedding can be used as litter box training material, if you're interested in that.
hi! the original cage is 78 x 48 x h 70cm but we bought two and stacked them for a taller cage:) and thank you for the advice as that will probably save me in the future from worrying as they are both albinos 馃馃槶
 

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Rats, rats, rats!
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@stick_:) Some other advice re: scratches from the rats, this is a simple one: a long sleeve tee shirt (or sweatshirt) and long pants are great for avoiding scratches, just make sure whatever you wear is old and not something you鈥檒l be upset about them chewing on. I have dedicated 鈥渞atty clothes鈥 for hanging out with my rat buddies, and also a robe that has been chewed to tatters over the years.

On moving ratties back and forth, I鈥檝e found with skittish ratties (and with new rats in general) it is helpful to get them used to a carrier 鈥 it鈥檚 best to use whatever carrier you plan on using for vet trips or transport, so that they are more comfortable when you need to take them away from the house for any reason. You can put special treats and some soft fleece inside the carrier and make it a comfy 鈥渟afe spot,鈥 and keep it available when they are in their free range. That way you can use it to carry them from their cage to their free range and back, and not freak them out by grabbing at them before they get a chance to grow comfortable being held. I鈥檝e found that rats who don鈥檛 like to be picked up pretty quickly catch on to the carrier being their 鈥渞ide鈥 back and forth, so if it is time to take them out of the cage and you put the carrier up to the open cage door they will hop right in, and when play time is done, if you put the carrier in front of the individual rats they will generally hop in again to be carried back home. I鈥檝e had rats who NEVER wanted to be held, but were still super social on their own terms, and were never hard to 鈥渃atch鈥 because they were used to the carrier and thought of it as a safe place.

The more time you can spend with them, even if you just sit in their company and read a book or use your computer (I recommend doing something quiet without a lot of movement involved), the more they will become comfortable and start exploring you on their own terms. That鈥檚 the biggest thing when dealing with prey animals, getting them to accept your presence and not find you threatening. And of course a little yogurt or baby food to encourage them to trust your hands is never a bad idea鈥!

Best of luck with your new buddies, hope it works out great! I know it was a strange way to end up with pet rats, but it might be the happiest 鈥渁ccident鈥 ever鈥!
 

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@stick_:) Some other advice re: scratches from the rats, this is a simple one: a long sleeve tee shirt (or sweatshirt) and long pants are great for avoiding scratches, just make sure whatever you wear is old and not something you鈥檒l be upset about them chewing on. I have dedicated 鈥渞atty clothes鈥 for hanging out with my rat buddies, and also a robe that has been chewed to tatters over the years.

Couture "rat fashion" 馃ぃ A Rat Forum Fashion Show: Couture from the House of...
 
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