Rat Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So basically I have never owned a rat in my entire life! Mother hates them due to the fact she grew up on a farm and ya self explainitory. But recently I have been very vigilant and I may be able to get one soon. The only rats Ive ever seen are my cousins rats whom I play with and have no "heeby jeebies" about.

What I would like to know are a few basic things from your guys' person opinion:
-Whats better male or female?
-What kind of cage works best? (I have a bird cage that is fairly large)
-What kind of bedding do you suggest?
-Whats the best kind of food for a rat?
-Best way to distribute water?
-What problems have you experienced with your rat(s) and how did you deal with it?
-We own 2 cats, ones too lazy to care and too old to bother with anything but the other is a mouse/bird/frog catcher. Hes never seen a rat before. Should I keep him far away from the rat? Should I somehow get him use to the rat without giving the rat a heart attack? If he should have no contact with the rat its possible to keep him away at all time just I would like to know..lol
-What objects and such do you use for entertainment for your rat?
-ANYTHING else you can clue me in on would be great!

Ive read alot of information about rats and I know what the sites and articles tell me. But any personal opinion would be great! And sorry if I sound niave or fairly dumb. Never owned a rat in my entire life but I personally think they are adorable and also i heard they are quite intelligent and also can be affectionate! So ya anything you guys can help me with would be great!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,195 Posts
xkatex said:
-Whats better male or female?
Depends on your personality! Girls are more active, exploring and bouncing around late into life. Boy rats tend to settle down more as they age. But both can have personality "quirks," either can get lazy, they're all active as babies, and each one has a unique and (pretty much always) adorable personality.

xkatex said:
-What kind of cage works best? (I have a bird cage that is fairly large)
Depends on how big the cage is and how far apart the bars are. Put your cage dimesions into one of the calculators to see if it's big enough. Bar spacing should be about 1/2 inch for girls and young'uns, boys you can usually get away with 1 inch. Don't buy an aquarium, even with a topper.

xkatex said:
-What kind of bedding do you suggest?
Aspen, Care Fresh, or Yesterday's News (or Good Mews, depending on what's available to you) with fleece and litter training. No pine or ceder, it contains oils toxic to rats.

xkatex said:
-Whats the best kind of food for a rat?
I suggest you go see the diet sticky in the "Rat Health" section. Usually people prefer a lab block or Suebee's mix as the staple rat diet, plus veggies, some fruits, and some meats as treats.

xkatex said:
-Best way to distribute water?
Hanging water bottle. Prevents evaporation and contamination, and can be bought at any pet supply store.

xkatex said:
-What problems have you experienced with your rat(s) and how did you deal with it?
What a question! You'll have to read through all the topics to find out all the problems member's have had with rats, there are too many to name!

BUT there are also too many good things to name, so don't be too discouraged by the "problems."

-We own 2 cats, ones too lazy to care and too old to bother with anything but the other is a mouse/bird/frog catcher. Hes never seen a rat before. Should I keep him far away from the rat? Should I somehow get him use to the rat without giving the rat a heart attack? If he should have no contact with the rat its possible to keep him away at all time just I would like to know..lol
I suggest keeping them away, and out of the room that your rats are in as much as humanly possible. If the cat does sneak into the room, though, as long as your rat is safely contained in it's cage you shouldn't have problems, just kick the cat out as soon as possible. Others have had dogs and cats play with rats no troubles, but I've always ended up with a dead rat when my dog or cat have "played" with my rats, and I highly recommend against them ever mixing, especially if one of your cats is a proven hunter.

-What objects and such do you use for entertainment for your rat?
You, your bed, your cloths, your empty boxes, hammocks, wheels, other rats, cat toys, bird toys, dog toys, ferret toys... pretty much everything can be fun to a rat!

Ive read alot of information about rats and I know what the sites and articles tell me. But any personal opinion would be great! And sorry if I sound niave or fairly dumb. Never owned a rat in my entire life but I personally think they are adorable and also i heard they are quite intelligent and also can be affectionate! So ya anything you guys can help me with would be great!!
Well, welcome! This is a great place for personal experiences. Just look around and do your research before you bring the little guys home! Rats are extremely intelligent and personable, very friendly and fun, you definitely got that right! Any other questions, feel free to ask!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
As complete a set of answers as that was, the good Captain forgot to mention one very important thing. Rats should never be kept alone. You should have no less than two living together in the cage. They are extremely social animals... you could even say they are kind of "needy". They NEED companionship... more than you can provide by yourself. Having a cage mate (same sex, of course) provides fun, companionship, and emotional support that rats really need. You will find that a pair of closely bonded rats will be very affectionate and loving toward you. A lone rat can have emotional/psychological problems and may actually be less friendly toward you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow thats some great information. See I many have the problem with having "two" rats. Im having enough trouble convincing the mother about one and if i say the word "two" and "rats" together it probably wont end well. Do I absolutely need two rats? If it were up to me its no problem at all. But yeah I will try to see what I can do but chances are I can only get one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Secularian and Captain are good people to listen to, a wealth of knowlege. I have 4 cats and I introduced my girlies to them slowly. Now, admitedly, 2 are 15 years old and one more is so scared of his own shadow to worry about the ratties, but I do have a 5 year old cat that I thought would be a problem. She loves to watch them play under the covers but has decided that they are terrorist and runs away from them when they come out from under the sheets.

When my daughter was given her first rat, Turfle, my hubby had said ok but only because she really wanted one and I talked him into it. Then, the lovely and very wise folks here said it would be MUCH HEALTHIER for the rat to have a playmate and I simply read the articles and did research and talked him into another one. I doubt I could talk him into a third unless one of our kitties decides to go and personally meet Bast.

Ratties also play with pretty much anything. My girlies like tearing a toilet tissue roll filled with treats (like raisins, apricots, cherries)to pieces just to get to the treats. Rats also love to just play with thier people. I have played many a game of ring around the grandmommy.

Cages are rather simple. Get a big one, with the bars close together and a plastic bottom that can be pulled out to clean easier. One that has multiple levels. It isn't good for the little guy's feet to be running on open bars so it is highly suggested to cover the ladders with a nice fluffy cover, like fleece or a heavy cotton. I have also heard of covering one of the ladders with very fine sandpaper to help keep their claws from getting too sharp.

hmmmm I guess that is all I have for a bit and I am quite certain that I have left ALOT of stuff out. But, have fun...ratties are so amazing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
My first rat was a single male, and so was my second. Thye were both pretty happy and healthy.

Raziel was so loving and kissy and he just sat on my shoulder at all times - computer, dishes, tv, homework. He even escaped his cage a few times and I woke up to him cuddling up to me in my bed - every time! Even when his cage was complete other side of my room once. I don't know how he did it! He loved loved loved to brux! (rat equivalent of a purr).

Ruben just loved to cuddle up and most times go to sleep. He would snooze on my chest when I watched tv, or my lap when I was on the computer, he even slept in the small of my back one time when I was doing homework while laying on my stomach. He would just chill out and gave kisses now and again, he was pretty content and happy.

It is beneficial for rats to be in pairs, but I do think some males maybe more so than females, can be content with their own space and soaking up all the attention.

If you are a beginner and the idea of two rats is truly completely out of the question, perhaps one rat would be easiest to start and learn with.
If so, then they will definitely need a ton of attention frequently.

Maybe you could look into adopting a rat from a rescue that has to be a loner or maybe there is a well-rounded rat out there for you who could possibly get a companion later, after this first has won over some hearts!

Just a little bit from my experiences, so maybe you are not completely doomed if you can not have two at the moment. IF you go for a single rat, you would have to choose very wisely. You would need a rat that is very interested in you and enjoying your attention. A rat that has not been taken away from its mother or siblings too early on, that has had time to fully develop into a well adjusted individual. A great big bonus for bruxing or if you get smothered in kisses.

Best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Rats really enjoy a fuller life if allowed to have a friend to live with. If you absolutely cannot get a second rat, you might look into getting a rat from a shelter that cannot live with other rats. Some get along with humans and just don't get along with other rats. If you can't do that, I honestly would not suggest getting a rat as a pet. Hamsters do well by themselves.

Another thing to bring up is vet bills. Rats get sick quite often, dealing with tumors, upper respiratory infections, and other various issues. You should know that it's not unheard of to spend $1,000 a year on vet bills. If you can't afford the vet, you shouldn't get the pet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This information is amazing! The vet bill will not be a problem. Mother is on the verge of okaying it and we discussed future issues that the rat may have and she agreed to help pay for if its out of my range. It may be possible now for me to aquire a second rat. My sister is becoming fond of the idea(she use to save little mice from the barn cats at our farm) and she too is thinking about joining my army (lol).

Not to sound stupid but what does bruxing(if thats how you spell it :S) sound like? Also I was looking at other posts and saw the term skritching used several times. I heard of skritching once and it was on a weird episode of CSI. What exactly is it?

Also is there anywheres on here where they have definitions for the terms used?

Once again thanks....this site and your opinions are unbelievabley helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Bruxing sounds like running your finger across corigated cardboard. Basically it is grinding of the teeth. It doesn't just mean the rat is happy, although it is what they do when they are, it also helps keep the teeth at the proper length. You would know the sound when you hear it. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Ya.. Scritching here is NOT the scritching on that CSI episode.. I saw that episode also >_<.

I believe it is like scratching behind a rats ears or scratching that is also a kind of grabbing tugging or rubbing of the skin similar to if they were being groomed by another rat.

Also ya, Bruxing kinda sounds like chattering your teeth like when you're cold.
Only on a smaller rattie scale. Also when they are super-bruxing they will "Boggle" which is when they are chattering, their eyes vibrate and are kinda like wiggling, Mostly in a 'in and out' motion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
8O Whoa!! A rat can do that? I don't think my ratties have EVER done a weird in and out eye movement or chattered. Of course, they are typically under my shirt when I message them to sleep. So, maybe they do and I just don't see that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
They Lol take them out of your shirt next time, it's so funny to watch. When my first ratty did it I freaked out and consulted Google. I thought his eyes were going to pop out and I read all these articles on the pressure behind the eyes and operations etc.

xkatex...if you're going to free range your ratty/s, then I suggest you get some sort of piping to cover your cables and cords in...I learnt this the hard way and had to go to hospital after being electricuted lol...so glad it was me and not Willy though.

As for problems (and they're hardly problems because one could never bring themselves to hold a gruge against a ratty)...I think weeing on things that shouldnt be weed on...chewing things you dont need chewed...and I suppose it's a good idea to attempt to potty train them otherwise you'll end up waking up with poop in your hair (if your rats are THAT evil)!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I dont really plan on allowed them to roam without someones supervison for sure! I dont really trust the one cat I have lol. If I allow them loose I or my sister will always keep an eye on them and have them in an area where they can stay outta trouble! I also plan on getting a ball for them to roll around in if I need to do something but want them out and about.

Also is there such thing as a "rat harness" so you could like walk them around or something? Kinda another stupid question but i think it would be cool!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
xkatex said:
I also plan on getting a ball for them to roll around in if I need to do something but want them out and about.

Also is there such thing as a "rat harness" so you could like walk them around or something? Kinda another stupid question but i think it would be cool!
Rats have very bad eyesight, relying mostly on their senses of smell, hearing, and touch. They're also very smart. Most seem pretty offended to be put inside a ball, and it pretty much renders them blind as well. You could try a rat harness, but keep in mind that most rats don't like being restrained, and nearly all harnesses are pretty easy of them to wriggle out of if they so desire. I would suggest making sure you have a closed in area to let them free-roam in if you do.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top