Rat Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone :)

I'm Sam & have just found & joined this site, this is my first post & I haven't yet read through the threads but I will!

I've never had rats before & am wanting to get either three or four sometime early next year. I'm waiting until i've read all the websites & books I can get my hands on & of course am speaking to & reading forums like these :)

I'd be greatful for any advice at all right now, I was thinking of getting three or four females but a woman at Pets At Home (Which I *won't* be going to) said males are more laid back & easier to get to settle. I then wondered about a mixed sex group but obviously don't want them to breed, I thought about neutering/speying them all but then I read rats can get pregnant as young as four weeks?? So I guess a single sex group it is cause I so don't want breeding!

A few questions are preferences on sex? Do females ever settle down? I don't want to be stroking them all the time I love watching animals doing what they'd normally do, am thinking of putting some things up in the room i'd let them out in for them to climb etc too

Do rats need neutering even if in single sex groups?

Is it worth insurance? I've never insured previous small animals & had a look at a site that covers rats but it costs double what my cats cost for three rats!

Size cage for three/four? & is three or four a good number to have lol (Sorry so many q's I will read the previous topics I promise)

I've seen all wire/metal? cages & thought they shouldn't have the wire on the bottom for the rats feet, they had plastic bases but with a wire bit slightly over the base? I want the biggest cage I can get, cost doesn't matter, I won't get any rats until I have everything they need & money put by for vet bills etc

Finally, I either want rats from a breeder or a rat rescue place, not a pet shop or local ads in papers or shop windows, can anyone recommend any breeders or rescues in the East Midlands? I'll be checking with the RSPCA & other known rescues.

I think i'd really like rescues but I need to find out all I can first

Sorry for the essay & thanks to anyone who read this far! ANY help & advice & opinions will be very appreciated, i've kept mice, gerbils & hamsters before but no rats
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Missfit said:
Hi everyone :)

I'm Sam & have just found & joined this site, this is my first post & I haven't yet read through the threads but I will!

I've never had rats before & am wanting to get either three or four sometime early next year. I'm waiting until i've read all the websites & books I can get my hands on & of course am speaking to & reading forums like these :)

I'd be greatful for any advice at all right now, I was thinking of getting three or four females but a woman at Pets At Home (Which I *won't* be going to) said males are more laid back & easier to get to settle. I then wondered about a mixed sex group but obviously don't want them to breed, I thought about neutering/speying them all but then I read rats cvan get pregnant as young as four weeks?? So I guess a single sex group it is cause I so don't want breeding!

A few questions are preferences on sex? Do females ever settle down? I don't want to be stroking them all the time I love watching animals doing what they'd normally do, am thinking of putting some things up in the room i'd let them out in for them to climb etc too

Do rats need neutering even if in single sex groups?
Females generally cannot get pregnant until they are 6 weeks old, however, there are always the few early bloomers to worry about. Also, you'd have to find a vet willing to do a spay/neuter that young and they'd have to be keep in separate cages until it's done.

The stereotypes about gender are generally true, but personality really varies from rat to rat.

Females are smaller and can often be more hyper, they smell less and fewer people are allergic to them (boys get buck grease), they are also more prone to tumors (mammary tumors are very common. Some females, however, are very big/lazy/etc.

Males get bigger and can be more laid back, they smell more and some people are allergic to their urine/buck grease. Some males are quite small/hyper/playful, etc.

I prefer boys, I love their squishy-ness. But they aren't as playful (baring some, my Puck is very playful).

Is it worth insurance? I've never insured previous small animals & had a look at a site that covers rats but it costs double what my cats cost for three rats!
I don't know. Rats can be quite expensive for surgeries and such as they're exotics.

Size cage for three/four? & is three or four a good number to have lol (Sorry so many q's I will read the previous topics I promise)

I've seen all wire/metal? cages & thought they shouldn't have the wire on the bottom for the rats feet, they had plastic bases but with a wire bit slightly over the base? I want the biggest cage I can get, cost doesn't matter, I won't get any rats until I have everything they need & money put by for vet bills etc
Bigger is always better. There's a sticky in Rat homes with a cage calculator to look at to check the sizes of cages you're interested in. Keep in mind bar spacing, females and small males or young rats can often escape larger bar spacing.

Rats are best in pairs, 3 is better (in case one falls ill/gets hurt and needs to be separated, etc.) More is great, if they all get along!

Wire floors... those are a bickering point often enough. They're hard to clean and can therefore harbor bacteria. Sometimes, rats have also gotten feet/claws caught in them. Many people cover the floors with linoleum tiles/fabric/etc to make them more comfortable.

Also if you can afford a small cage as a 'hospital' or transport cage, it can be very useful. :)

Finally, I either want rats from a breeder or a rat rescue place, not a pet shop or local ads in papers or shop windows, can anyone recommend any breeders or rescues in the East Midlands? I'll be checking with the RSPCA & other known rescues.

I think i'd really like rescues but I need to find out all I can first

Sorry for the essay & thanks to anyone who read this far! ANY help & advice & opinions will be very appreciated, i've kept mice, gerbils & hamsters before but no rats
Can't help with the rescue (stuck in the middle of the US, after all!), but the biggest thing I'd say is that rats are very personable and they make wonderfully loving pets! Just be sure to ask the rescue about their temperment so you aren't surprised and make sure they've been living together so you won't have to go through introductions. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
(I'm at lunch so can't be long - I'll post a proper reply later)

Pets at Home - does your local branch have an adoption scheme? I went to one in Stevenage where I adopted two hairless boys for no more than a donation to a local animal shelter. They have stories (mine came from a home with an 'accident' litter and all the babies were bought to the shop at 2 weeks old and barely weaned. The shop looked after them and then put them into this adoption scheme.

I find it hard getting breeders in my area, I thought that makes a nice change from the regular pet-shop bought rats, as the shop actually makes no profit from the 'sale'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Ok, I've decided not to wait.

Speaking from experience, boys are definately more laid back and cuddleable. Most of my girls are just MAD and race around the house, of course they do enjoy the odd cuddle but the boys are the ones that will come and sit next to you for a little 'social grooming'.

Regarding single sex grouping - a lot of people I think tend to do this because it's easier. I guess if you were to get mixed groups and spayed/neutered them (giving them the 'holiday period' afterwards of course) I'm sure they should get along just fine. Most people suggest spaying females anyway to reduce the risk of mammary tumours and other lady-rat prone illnesses.

Insurance - eh! I've had a look for a lot of insurance providers for my rats, and you REALLY have to read the small print. One I picked up at my vets WOULD insure rats, but only as long as the females were spayed first. I've never insured my rats - as usually a lot of the 'common' problems like respiritory infections are very specific to the policy. I've just started a seperate savings fund, that I add to weekly, and that should cover any emergency vet bills etc

Wire cages are ok - but if you have wire platorms they should be covered with something - rats have very delicate little toesies! Also, be careful of the bar-spacing. One of my little girls can't get through the bars of her cage - but when she has her run around time she can squeeze herself into the guinea-pigs cage and harrass him! Poor Pancakes is traumatised (she tries to hump him - that girl has balls!) The cages I use for my groups I bought at Pets at Home (I can't remember the name of it, but it's a huge one with a yellow bottom, black/navy bars and has a plastic platform and ladder that are detachable. They reccommend it to home 4 rats, but I use it for 2 or 3 at most if I can. I think it's about £70, but it's durable and easy to clean)

So..yeah. I think I've waffled on enough. Hope it helps a little
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks both for all your help & info it made informative & interesting reading =) Yep, my Pets At Home do have an adoption scheme, I didn't really read about it cause I nipped in to see what cages they had but once I get all the gear it may be worth me contacting them, I've googled breeders but so far haven't found any.

It made me laugh so much to read about your rat visiting the Guinea Pig! I think i'll also keep saving seperately for vet bills, the only insurance i've found has been 2x as much as I pay for one 9 1/2yr old cat!

Thanks again both!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top