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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm going to be getting my Dumbo (who only has one eye and not great vision in it) a friend to hang out with.
I'm afraid that they wont get along, and that my dumbo will end up getting hurt more. He's very gentle and a little timid.
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Advice? Or am I just being paranoid?
 

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Don't worry too much. I worked my way up from 2 rats to 13 with several introductions. I introduced 1 to 3 rats at a time to my mischief and only had one minor issue with introductions. I was very surprised to discover that there are sometimes real issues. My sister also went from 2 rats to 13 and added 1 to 3 at a time to her cage with no issues. She would just come home and put the new girls in the cage. She was very surprised to learn that there were steps and proper introduction procedures. Follow the procedures and the odds are things will go well. If there is a problem, there are a lot of great people here to help you through it.
 

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Has your dumbo had a cagemate before? From what Ive read, often some rats gentlest with humans can actually show aggression towards rats, it really depends on their personality and past experiences.
But as others have said, following the right steps and being able to read the rats behaviour and responding correctly to them during intros will greatly increase the chance of them going well. I am going to be doing my first rat intros in a few days (2 pairs of males) so Im a bit nervous too.
It would also help tremendously if you can find a suitable cagemate who is already known to be friendly to other rats and have gone through intros before with no problem :) (if youre getting an adult)
I hear adult male to young male intros arent too problematic, as long as the youngster is less than 10-12 weeks old. If you get one or two young rats, they are more likely to be submissive to Dumbo and decrease the chances of him getting hurt
 

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I'd look to get him 2 young boy playmates, so around 7-12 weeks old. These will be the least threatening to him and also are useually the easiest intros.

I would recommend following the carrier method, its pretty fail safe for boys in most situations.
 

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My boy is blind in one eye and his cage mate doesn't fight with him. I would just treat it like a normal intro and not worry so much about his lack of eye sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, they are doing well and getting along.

But now I have a new problem!

My boyfriend HATES them. And it has been bothering him since I got them that they are "disgusting"
So I'm very torn because I've only had them a week and I like having them very much - done all my research and really dedicated myself to making sure I can take care of these guys - and now he wants me to "get rid of them" and maybe get a new pet (anything but a rat he says). I told him IF i do that, he'd have to help me choose a new pet (thinking bird, or other rodent). I just don't know what to do and I didn't get much sleep last night because of it. We argued and I had a cigarette(which I had kicked for a whole month).

I just don't know what to do. ???

(EDIT: My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. Giving him up is not an option.)
 

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Disgusting? Has he even seen animals?

I would expect that attitude from someone who hasn't experienced rats, but I'm surprised he would say such a thing after meeting them. From what I read in your initial post, you've already had your Dumbo. How long did you have him? Why is this suddenly a problem now? I'm no Dr. Phil, but I'm wondering if there is an underlying problem that is manifesting as aggression towards your rats.

Are the new rats somehow dirtier than your Dumbo? Do they have that pet store smell? It took over a week for our newest rat to get rid of that smell (though it might have been from an infection, so it's hard to say). Is your Dumbo litter-trained while they are pooping everywhere?

It seems strange that you've had a rat (just one?) before but now your boyfriend is raising a stink about rats in general now that you have new rats. I could see arguing over new rats. My wife and I would have to agree to add to our mischief, and there'd justifiably be an argument if one of us added to the mischief.

In any case, rats are as clean as cats, so I don't know what animal your boyfriend is thinking of getting that wouldn't be "disgusting." All animals poop, and most of them aren't clean freaks like rats are.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Disgusting? Has he even seen animals?

I would expect that attitude from someone who hasn't experienced rats, but I'm surprised he would say such a thing after meeting them. From what I read in your initial post, you've already had your Dumbo. How long did you have him? Why is this suddenly a problem now? I'm no Dr. Phil, but I'm wondering if there is an underlying problem that is manifesting as aggression towards your rats.

Are the new rats somehow dirtier than your Dumbo? Do they have that pet store smell? It took over a week for our newest rat to get rid of that smell (though it might have been from an infection, so it's hard to say). Is your Dumbo litter-trained while they are pooping everywhere?

It seems strange that you've had a rat (just one?) before but now your boyfriend is raising a stink about rats in general now that you have new rats. I could see arguing over new rats. My wife and I would have to agree to add to our mischief, and there'd justifiably be an argument if one of us added to the mischief.

In any case, rats are as clean as cats, so I don't know what animal your boyfriend is thinking of getting that wouldn't be "disgusting." All animals poop, and most of them aren't clean freaks like rats are.
That's the thing. It's not the poop, or the smell. It's just the stigma that he had planted in his brain about rats. That they eat garbage and crawl in the sewers. I've also explained to him that they are not like that - and he's seem them. He's just being SUPER stubborn and has decided to just explode now that I've had him a week.

I've had the Dumbo for about a week, and I just got him a cage mate yesterday. They are getting along well. They both poop in the bottom of the cage in the same general spot

Side note: While he is over a lot, we don't live together.
Side side note: It may be just the stress of his recent schedule change is causing him to be touchy on this subject more than he rationally would be any other time.
 

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All animals eat garbage. They don't think of it as garbage, it's food. Dogs do it too. Dogs also like to r oll in dead things..which I've never seen a rat do. No offense to dogs, I have 2..but they do gross things more often than the rats do. My dogs like to eat chicken poo too...yuck. I'd much rather get face kisses from my rats than my dogs.

Rats do have very good surviveablity and can live pretty much anywhere in the world, especially any place humans live. They are a lot like us to be honest, their diet c an be extremely varied, like us, allowing them to live almost every where.

Keep their cage very clean, and allow him to get to know them at his own pace. Though to be honest, I could not have a meaningful relationship with someone who doesn't care for animals.
 

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Well, the fact that you don't live together may be helpful here. That means that while he may pressure you to get rid of them, it's not going to turn into a them-or-me ultimatum. If he doesn't like it, you spend some time at his place. This may give you some time to let him warm up to them. And if this contention is the result of stress, then he'll have time to settle down.

Since your rats poop in the same area, you may want to consider a litter tray for them. I'm constantly amazing people when I say my rats are litter-trained. It really shakes up their preconceptions. I use the ferret corner tray with Kaylee's Critter Litter. They are hard little pellets that initially get chewed on but are then ignored. There are plenty of threads about litter preferences.

As your rats become more comfortable with you, you can have them out to play, and your boyfriend can see how happy they're making you (more relaxing than cigarettes! [maybe not, but tell yourself that]).

Then it's a matter of fighting those other preconceptions. Like mimsy said, animals eat garbage. It's an opportunity for them. If we weren't so picky, we would eat garbage too, but we have an awareness about bacteria that animals don't have that keeps us from digging in the can for Tuesday's pizza crust. And you know what? Even if you do fish that pizza crust out and eat it, nothing bad will probably happen as long as it wasn't soaking in raw chicken juice or something. And the sewer thing just requires a quick lesson in ecology. Animals live in all sorts of places. Sewers can also be home to snakes, fish, and even some birds, but those are often adopted as pets. Not those particular animals, no, but then again, sewer rats aren't adopted either. Your rats are obviously not sewer rats.

It sounds like you're going through a rough patch, and stress could be to blame. I don't want you to get into a situation where either the rats go or he goes, but he should at least give it some time to see how he feels. So stay at his place for a bit but invite him to yours to see how you're bonding with your rats.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, the fact that you don't live together may be helpful here. That means that while he may pressure you to get rid of them, it's not going to turn into a them-or-me ultimatum. If he doesn't like it, you spend some time at his place. This may give you some time to let him warm up to them. And if this contention is the result of stress, then he'll have time to settle down.

Since your rats poop in the same area, you may want to consider a litter tray for them. I'm constantly amazing people when I say my rats are litter-trained. It really shakes up their preconceptions. I use the ferret corner tray with Kaylee's Critter Litter. They are hard little pellets that initially get chewed on but are then ignored. There are plenty of threads about litter preferences.

As your rats become more comfortable with you, you can have them out to play, and your boyfriend can see how happy they're making you (more relaxing than cigarettes! [maybe not, but tell yourself that]).

Then it's a matter of fighting those other preconceptions. Like mimsy said, animals eat garbage. It's an opportunity for them. If we weren't so picky, we would eat garbage too, but we have an awareness about bacteria that animals don't have that keeps us from digging in the can for Tuesday's pizza crust. And you know what? Even if you do fish that pizza crust out and eat it, nothing bad will probably happen as long as it wasn't soaking in raw chicken juice or something. And the sewer thing just requires a quick lesson in ecology. Animals live in all sorts of places. Sewers can also be home to snakes, fish, and even some birds, but those are often adopted as pets. Not those particular animals, no, but then again, sewer rats aren't adopted either. Your rats are obviously not sewer rats.

It sounds like you're going through a rough patch, and stress could be to blame. I don't want you to get into a situation where either the rats go or he goes, but he should at least give it some time to see how he feels. So stay at his place for a bit but invite him to yours to see how you're bonding with your rats.
Eventually I did get him to say what about them specifically bothered him, and he said it was their hands and tails. Which honestly, is something he should be able to get past.

But he did try and give me the him or them ultimatum and that was awful..

He actually likes animals - which is why this is so weird and awful for me because i don't understand where this side of him came from.
I bet it is the stress of what he's dealing with right now. I'm going to make a proposition to him: Moving the rats into the living room (which we dont really hang out in) when he comes over, but they stay in my room when he's not there.

My roommate is also kinda freaked out about them but she actually helped me set up their new cage the other day and is trying to get used to them.

And my boyfriend only comes over when she's not there - so i think the living room thing might work... Do you think it'll stress them out?
 

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And my boyfriend only comes over when she's not there - so i think the living room thing might work... Do you think it'll stress them out?
Rats are funny creatures. They can be so inquisitive, but they're not a fan of change. But you know, if moving the cage back and forth becomes a routine, then they'll learn to accept it. They're pretty resilient.

Every week, I roll my DCN away from the corner and into the middle of the living room. This gets the rats excited as it's interesting and also they know that there will be new boxes in the cage as I clean everything out. So for the hour or two that I spend cleaning their cage, my little girls are running all over. Then after the cleaning, we give them special treats and put the cage back in the corner.

If you give a treat every time you move the cage, they'll probably start enjoying the upset because they know a moving cage means yummies!

I've heard many people say that the tails freak them out. And I guess I can see why. They're scaly and hairless. And since they use the tail to maintain their balance, you'll feel the tail press up against you as they crawl on you, using you as leverage. I can't really understand the hands complaint. It's rather cute to watch them hold onto a Cheerio and nibble at it. My girls climb the inside of the DCN like little monkeys, so I can see where that might squick someone out.

The living-room compromise sounds reasonable. This means that he'll come over and can be exposed to the rats more often. You have a chance to help him see what good pets they are. If they were in the bedroom, then they could wake him up, which would make him even more sour.

I guess just don't be demanding so he'll warm up in his own time. That'll probably mean reining yourself in if you find yourself getting excited over them and want to share their exploit with him. You'll have to watch his mood for that. Good luck, and hopefully the stress goes away soon.
 

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To be honest I really dont think moving the cage will be a problem.
Ive been house-sitting at my parents for a while now, and for the first 2 weeks I moved their cage between the lounge and the bedroom every morning and night so that I could see them 24/7 (Im writing a thesis at home). First couple of times they looked scared but after that they actually seem interested in the moving process, sticking their noses out between the bars and sniffing around haha
Also my cage is a very lightweight cage (compared to stuff like CN, even though this one is 120cm in height) so I had to physically carry the cage which causes a lot of shake

Maybe you could show some super cute photos of rats? There are loads of photos floating around of cute dumbo rats holding teddy bears or instruments, the photos are so cute that I dont think anyone could say that their hands look disgusting haha
 

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My mum was pretty anti-rat, a week after I got my girls she was letting them climb over her.


I wouldn't get rid of the rats. It's your boyfriends problem and he needs to get over it. If he'd actually give you an ultimatum or leave you because of a couple small pets, is that really someone you need in your life?? If he doesn't like them he doesn't need to handle them or look after them.

They're your pets and your responsibility, not his so he doesn't have to like them but he does need to tolerate their existence, it's that simple.
 

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My advice, be just as stubborn back. What's he going to do? I mean, if he wanted to break up with you over it (which I'm sure isn't the case) then you'd be better off without him anyway.

Everyone has to make compromises in relationships, that's just the way it is. If he really would make you give away a pet that you love just because he doesn't like it then he's a douche.

I'm sure you're right and he's just over reacting because he's stressed. Show him that you're not going to back down (without being confrontational) and give him time to come around.
 
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