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I am constantly disgusted by the way i see people keeping their rats, or rat. I am always seeing pictures of little girls with a single rat in a tiny hamster cage. I mean, i bet soooo many parents get their little kids a single rat thinking its just a big hamster, not knowing ANYTHING about how to take care of them, and their needs. RATS NEED CAGE MATES, AND A BIG CAGE TO CLIMB AROUND IN! Its simple, just dont buy a single rat, and make sure you get a RAT cage, not a HAMSTER cage! THANK YOU!
 

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I was ready to cry when I saw someone showing off their new rats (thankfully they got two) in the cage. It was tiny. It was a very, very small mouse cage. I commented on the FB post, but never got a response. I don't want to come across as an arrogant know-it-all, but I know what rats need to live a happy life, and pet shop workers either don't know or don't care and that really upsets me.
 

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Ugh, I know how you feel. On the FB rescue page I joined I once saw a link to a Gumtree ad for a single 8 month old male living in a small rectangular moulded-plastic hamster cage with sawdust. No toys, no house, nothing. Its food and water dishes caked in feces and the poor thing was hunched over with its head nearly hitting the top of the cage. The owner just said that they were bored of it as all it did was apparently bite and scream, so they wanted to get rid of it. Poor baby was rescued by a man who lived locally. Last I heard the little one had put on some weight, had seen a vet to get meds and to be neutered, and was living with a trio of sisters quite happily learning how to be a rat again.

That little one was one of the lucky ones. I don't want to imagine how many people in my county alone keep single or paired rats in inappropriate housing. It just upsets me whenever I think about how uneducated people are about the needs of most small furries.
 

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It is scary how some people keep rats, though to be honest a lot of the time its the pet shops giving inadequate care information which backs up the approach of just going and getting a small disposable pet. Then you get the mis sexing, I suppose one advantage of them only getting one is they are less likely to sell them 2 of different sexes. We had one massive rescue here in the UK where there was something like 26 rats all squashed into a habitrail ovo (google it, its not big enough for 1 hamster, never mind 26 rats)

To be honest though I find it pretty sad when people just get one baby on its own and introduce it to a group of adults, yes it has company, but not a proper play mate. Its not nearly as bad as entirely alone, but seems so normal to some people I find it sadder.
 

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I try to give new rat owners the benefit of the doubt. I realize that some of them didn't know what they were getting into when they adopted their first rat. And I try to help them to do better for their best furry friends within their means. The world is not fair to rats, it isn't fair to wild rats and it is unfair to domestic rats. For the most part, better is always possible and good is usually achievable. Optimal is best, but were a long way away from a perfect world.


We currently have a two rat limit, which means we replace one rat when one rat dies. Due to no fault of our own our rats are currently about a year apart in age. So right now, Misty is almost one-year-old while Cloud is almost 2. Misty is energetic and playful and Cloud pretty much sleeps all the time. Cloud is Misty's great aunt and they really do get along very well and they clearly love each other. Misty steals stuff from all around the house and Cloud builds elaborate rats nests out of it. But as far as really playing together goes, I don't think that's really ever happened. Naturally, my daughter and I try to fill in as best as we can when it comes to playing with Misty. Hopefully, Cloud isn't in any hurry to weeble over the rainbow bridge, but that means Misty will be older by that time and the cycle is likely to repeat itself again.


Letting our older rat live out it's life alone or adopting another old rat to keep it company isn't an option for us either.

I don't think it's a bad situation, in fact, as all of our rats have been, at one time or another, likely to become snake food, I think they've done pretty well in our home. But like I said, good is better than bad and optimal can be very elusive.
 
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