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I just rescued a small-med sized feeder rat (young little guy but very friendly) from my brother who's snake refuses to eat, I am very familiar with gerbils and other rodents(but never owned rats before but would love any advice as i plan on spoiling this guy) and will do my best to provide this little guy a good home. I was hoping if anyone could recommend me a good cage? (perhaps 2-3 floors), I was also wondering if i should adopt him another buddy, (he is a young male) if so, should the other guy be a fancy pet rat or another feeder? Any help be greatly appreciated, tysm!
 

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I actually have some experience with feeder rats, as my first few were feeders. Feeder rats can come with some insecurities, depending on how they were handled as babies. This can make it a little harder for them to fully trust humans, but that's not to say that they won't ever trust humans. My first girl was a little skittish when I got her, but after only a couple weeks, she became a social butterfly, and spent every second she could with me. She'd even readily interact with complete strangers, and it was always fun to let visitors meet her.

Regarding cages, you'll want to choose something sturdy and safe that the rat can't chew up. Cages with plastic bottoms can easily be chewed through. Metal works a lot better, as the rats can't chew through it, but make sure there's a flat bottom, as wire cage bottoms can hurt your rat's feet. You can also cover a wire floor with fleece or provide cardboard so they have something easier on their feet. Rats will also naturally choose certain areas in their enclosures in which to eat; sleep; stash food; and do their business, so make sure the cage is big enough for the rat to have plenty of room for its needs. Also, make sure the bars are spaced about a half inch apart, as rats can squeeze through anything they can fit their head through. Rats also love to climb, so a multi-level cage is a great idea. I once had a rat who used the ceiling of her enclosure as monkey bars, and it was adorable to watch her play.

As for a cagemate, rats are pack animals, which means that they have an essential need for social interaction. While it is true that rats tend to bond more easily with human owners if they are housed alone, this only means that they are trying to find other ways of alleviating their loneliness. Rats should always be housed in groups of at least two, unless they are very aggressive or don't take well to other rats. You should definitely consider getting your rat a furry playmate. Even when multiple rats are housed together, they will still readily bond with humans. As for feeder rats versus fancy rats, I would recommend getting a rat from a breeder. Feeders usually come from rat mills, and they tend to be very insecure around humans as a result. One of my rats was adorable at the pet store, and he'd curl up in my pocket, but once I brought him home, he absolutely refused to set paw outside the cage, though he loved it when I gave him attention. That's not to say all feeders are scared of humans. My first girl took about a couple weeks of training, and then she was pretty much glued to my shoulder the rest of her life. So it depends on the rat, but good breeders socialize their rats, and so these rats most likely won't have any qualms about humans, which is a big plus. Also, feeders are more prone to having diseases and getting cancer early, which is absolutely heartbreaking to see.

I hope this all helps, sorry if it was a big info dump, and I'd be happy to answer any more related questions.
 
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