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Hi everyone, :)

I posted an introduction and some pics in this thread. Yesterday we bought a new pair of female rats. I worry about one of our new "rats" though. She sort of looks and acts like a mouse! When I compare her to the other rat she is much shorter bodied and pretty rotund in the middle. She is smaller but may be younger though. She walks more hunched whereas the other one walks all stretched out and lumbering. Both are calmer like rats though, although they can be come maniacs without warning. :)

Did I get a short bodied pudgy little rat or did I get a mouse on accident? They came from a feeder tank and there were mice displayed in tanks next to theirs.

Look at this short little body:





The two of them side by side. Please don't get onto me about their cage set up or bedding. If you read my introduction post you will see that I didn't know better and when my son gets home today we are off to the store for some fabric for hammocks and some better food (going to try nutro the ingredients for Subee's mix) and for some Yesterday's News litter.



I don't have a mouse to compare, but what do you think?
 

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she's a rat. her pudgy shape could be a result of her age or she can just be fat. i once had a fat rat that looked like a giant mouse. her cheeks were fat, her fingers were fat, everything was fat. we always new she was a small statured rat as well but that really became apparent when she got sick. i think the small frame made the fat look fatter and helped her impersonation of a mouse.

but those ears and that face is definitely a rat face and ears. the arched back may just be her, could be because she's younger (they bounce more then they walk), or could be a sign of illness. a sick rat will hunch up more. but so long as she's active and showing no other signs of illness i would say its a combination of her personality and her age.
 

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twitch said:
she's a rat. her pudgy shape could be a result of her age or she can just be fat. i once had a fat rat that looked like a giant mouse. her cheeks were fat, her fingers were fat, everything was fat. we always new she was a small statured rat as well but that really became apparent when she got sick. i think the small frame made the fat look fatter and helped her impersonation of a mouse.

but those ears and that face is definitely a rat face and ears. the arched back may just be her, could be because she's younger (they bounce more then they walk), or could be a sign of illness. a sick rat will hunch up more. but so long as she's active and showing no other signs of illness i would say its a combination of her personality and her age.

Phewwww! Thanks! I was worried there wondering what to do if she was in fact a mouse.

I think its cute that they are so different. I don't think she's sick as she is very alert and playful. Bright eyes, clean openings. She eats and drinks well. She's the more aggressive of the two and lurks in the shadows for her sister to walk by so she can pounce. They then get into a cute rolling mass of legs, tails and fur until they land on the other side of the cage and begin to groom each other. Just soooo cute. :)
 

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She is definitely a rat. However, watch her closely for the next few weeks. If she came from the feeder bin, there's a very good chance she could be pregnant. Based on the pictures you posted, she does look to have that pudgy pregnant belly look. Just in case, I would start feeding her nutritious foods high in protein, calcium, and calories, and make sure she's getting plenty of folic acid as well. If she ends up not being pregnant, these foods won't hurt her since she's still young and growing. It could also be just the way she's built. There are some rats that are shorter-bodied, making them look fat (and pregnant) when they really are a good weight for their size.
 

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Sorraia said:
She is definitely a rat. However, watch her closely for the next few weeks. If she came from the feeder bin, there's a very good chance she could be pregnant. Based on the pictures you posted, she does look to have that pudgy pregnant belly look. Just in case, I would start feeding her nutritious foods high in protein, calcium, and calories, and make sure she's getting plenty of folic acid as well. If she ends up not being pregnant, these foods won't hurt her since she's still young and growing. It could also be just the way she's built. There are some rats that are shorter-bodied, making them look fat (and pregnant) when they really are a good weight for their size.
If she is pregnant (hope not!) Is the diet of Nutro Ultra Light and Subee's mix good for her?
 

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Camobee said:
Sorraia said:
She is definitely a rat. However, watch her closely for the next few weeks. If she came from the feeder bin, there's a very good chance she could be pregnant. Based on the pictures you posted, she does look to have that pudgy pregnant belly look. Just in case, I would start feeding her nutritious foods high in protein, calcium, and calories, and make sure she's getting plenty of folic acid as well. If she ends up not being pregnant, these foods won't hurt her since she's still young and growing. It could also be just the way she's built. There are some rats that are shorter-bodied, making them look fat (and pregnant) when they really are a good weight for their size.
If she is pregnant (hope not!) Is the diet of Nutro Ultra Light and Subee's mix good for her?
That's a good start, but I would supplement with additional foods as well. Soy milk or KMR (kitten milk replacement) are good supplements, as are scrambled eggs.
 

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that bedding doesn't really look bad - what is it? it's kinda green...not like pine or cedar. i've never seen anything like it :D
 

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That bedding is pine with chlorophyll to make odors less. NOT good bedding, in fact it stains the rat's tails and paws green. Likely full of dyes. :(

They are now temporarily on terry towels and later when I can get out I'm going to try fleece with a litter pan with Yesterday's News in it.

The store had them on pine and I thought only cedar was bad so before these forums I had them on that pine thinking it was harmless.

They are a bit sneezy and I hope being away from that litter will make it better for them.
 

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wow - like i said, i've never seen any litter like that before. i thought it might be soft-sorbent, because that's the only green stuff i've ever seen.

i'm sure they'll be fine :D new home sneezes are common for rats, and if they've been living on pine up till now, it should go away after they move to new bedding.

don't feel too bad - a lot of rumors are going around that pine is safe and only cedar is harmful, and it doesn't help that PetsMart is discontinuing their cedar chips but will still sell pine chips.
 

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Rats would kill mice usually anyway, so she wouldn't have gotten a chance to be bought by you if she was a mouse, a rat can definately tell the difference even as young as they are. I thought Honey and her tank mates were all fancy mice when I was at the petstore looking around before I bought her, because they also had a tank of juvenile rats, I asked why the fancy mice and albino mice were seperated if they were all feeders anyway, and she said, "Oh, those are baby rats, we have to seperate them from the big rats, because they could get killed, and I was like "TOO CUTE, I need to buy one!" I didn't impulse buy, I was looking for a rat anyway, but didn't know they had babies.... Because the baby rats were the exact same size as an adult mouse. I had the same bedding as you do, the chlorophyll kind, but I thought it stunk, as in physically, not my opinion, it hurt my nose.... I have been using regular pine, but I am switching to good old newspaper tonight as soon as I hand shred it, I do not like how carefresh and all those paper pulp beddings look, they are ugly to me, it distracts me from my rat.
 

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imo newspaper isnt all that good either.... think about it...it has ink that rubs off in it, it smells weird, and who knows what people have done on it (my mum used to work at a place that shipped newspapers places....oh the horror stories she told me). but thats just my opinion... ive used notebook paper before when i had nothing else, they seemed to like burrowing in it.
 

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you can tell a mouse from a rat mostly by their ears. mouse have disproportionately large ears set kind of half-way between standard and dumbo ears on a rat. you can especially see the difference in their body types when you google "nude mice" vs "hairless rats", lol. nude mice are, forgive me, fugly as sin, whereas i want a whole horde of hairless rats... :D
 

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I always see the difference in the placement of the mouth... on a mouse, the front jaw juts over and the bottom jaw is so recessed that the mouth opening is on the "bottom" of their frame. A rat has a more proportional head arrangement.

Mice also have less developed front feet, still dexterous but very small. Mice are so small... even fat ones, compared to young rats. It is hard to mistake them. If you have had mice, you also can tell from the structure of their tails, where rats have a much less stringy tail, with the "scales", that the mice do not have so much.

Anyway, definitely a rat... but unusual roundness around the belly sides could very well mean pregnancy.
 

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In the top picture she really does resemble a mouse, but she's definately a rat. She looks like she might be pregnant though. :|
 

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The bottom picture, you can see the protrusions on her sides... that can mean pregnancy. I will be curious to see how this ends up.
 
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