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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys, new rat owner here. 2 males, riki and Bounty, bought them as "small" rats from petco so idk what the age of them would be. its there second day with me. riki is more shy/nervous than bounty. bounty is a lil more confident. bounty gets the treat out of my hand the easiest. theyre both nice. they play fight. sleep/nap/cuddle together. i bought a small plastic bowl and ive been placing my hand in their cage moving their poop into the bowl and hopefully they figure out that thats their toilet , i heard that rats can identify that later on. so the part where i need help is... if someone can like help me make a schedule on when to clean their cage, when to take them a bath... and the hardest part is. how do i handle them/get them out of the cage to do so... they dont seem to be afraid of my hand anymore. they sniff around it assuming theres food. one of them softly bit my knuckle assuming my hand was food? if you guys can give me tips so i dont scare them to death or stress them out!. thanks !
 

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How often u clean the cage depends on how large the cage is and what u r using for bedding.

I'd probably not let it go more then a week between cleaning.

Rats really don't need baths. They bathe themselves like cats and if I bathe them too often it can dry out their skin. So I'd only do it if they get very dirty. You can also use unscented baby wipes to wipe them down.

I suggest u read the thread on immersion training. I would just dive in and pick them up to remove them from the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
cage is a somewhat bigger than 20gal tank. but its a cage one. it came with a plastic bridge thing that goes up to a platform with a cup for food. and underneath the paltform on the right i have their little castle home.thet nap in. sometimes they go under the bridge thing and sleepand for the bedding im using the petco Sophresh brand? they dont even smell :)
 

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I love my Petco Rat Manor. It has a metal base so the rats can't chew through it and then I lined the platforms with fleece so that they don't hurt their feet on the wires. It's a good size for two rats and I also made some fun hammocks and toys that fit nicely in the cage.
 

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I would agree with just reach in there and get them as well. Find a good place to socialize with them. Put a blanket or sheet on the couch, make sure there are no holes first, or sit with them in the tub. Use lots of treats, get them to know you, trust you, and associate you with good things and the being picked up won't be stressful.
 

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Think of your rats like you might a new puppy or dog... How often would you let a puppy out of it's cage? How often would you let your dog out of a cage? Rats are not like hamsters, they are very much like dogs in that they are pack animals and will socialize with you and become part of your family.

If you lock rats in a cage, they can become antisocial and possibly aggressive just like a caged dog might. The more time they spend with you and/or out of their cage the better...

As to cleaning the cage, basically it's whenever it gets dirty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
love the answers guys. the tub idea is what ill be doing. and should i wear thin winter gloves to grab them to place them in the tub? i dont want to scare them or make them frightened to much in the process. and should i switch the "block food" for something else? people make it sound like block food is prison food lol
 

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Teklad Blocks are pretty good. Blocks are better , IMO, because they can't pick out what they prefer. They get the basic nutrients in one shot. My girls seem yo like them. But, they should also be given fresh veggies and grain goods and sometimes fruits and other yummies as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so like how would i know if im over feeding my rats? i would hand feed them a slice of carrot and a lil branch of brocolli to both of them as a treat. and a rat cracker for a treat . and just leave about 3-5 block food pellets in the bowl?
 

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I feed oxbow blocks and they love it and it is good quality.

I keep blocks in their bowl 24/7. I also give fresh veggies twice a day. It is usually about 1 baby carrot per rat and some lettuce & alittle bit of other veggies depending on what I have. I've heard to give about as big as their head. I probably give slightly more then that but mine get alot of free range time. They are all perfect weights. They often also get some cheerios or gerber baby puffs as a treat most days. As long as they are not getting fat and are actively eating the fresh food when you give it to them. it is all good
 

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Wild type rats don't get fat and rats from really top notch breeders tend to stay at a healthy weight until they get over a year old and then get a little bit full bodied. Bred for meat rats tend to grow really fast and get portly and even outright fat. Some folks have better control over their rat's weight and diet than I tend to exercise... I've had different types of rats and I find their weight has more to do with genetics than diet control on my part. I think you might find that the same applies to people, while obese or underweight isn't healthy for anyone human or rat... there's a wide variation in healthy weight between different rats.

Our big girl is starting to pork up now, she's heading for a year and a half old and I'm trying to take her for walks as much as I can, but she tends to be lazy and prefers to ride than run. But with the weather getting warmer, I've had her outside two days this week and I'm trying to get her to walk at heel as much as possible... I actually got her running today for about 100 feet. After a winter spent indoors vegging I'm hoping we'll trim off a little pudge. Still, I don't expect she'll ever be sleek and trim again and I'm not going to make her life miserable trying to make her something she's not.

Feed healthy foods, give your rats exercise and for the most part they will stay healthy.
 
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