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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So in about a week I will hopefully be inviting a new friend into my family! I'm pretty excited and I am determined to take good care of this new little pet. Though, I have an issue. Something a lot of people keep saying, is to always get two or more rats. My issue is that I am not allowed two rats, until I start out with one. I had asked about two, but I had been told that we will start out with one, and wait and see to get another in a month if I can prove I'm capable of caring for a rat along with my two other cats, which may be a lot of work but I have the time. So, now is where I ask you guys, is it alright to get a rat now, and wait at least a month to introduce a new one? I'm going for females, by the way. I have been told they bond well. And since I am getting one during the break I will have plenty of time to occupy the little one for a month. Now on to some simpiler things.

How do you feed your rat? What brand is best? How much do you feed them?

What are the best toys and addons?

Best cage? (preferably one you can buy easily at a petstore)

Rat proofing a room, how should I go about it?
 

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I don't want to be a party pooper here, but keeping more than one is absolutely necessary (unless in extreme cases). There are no try outs with keeping pets the decision for having them should be thought out completely. I don't want to assume too much of your situation I'm just telling you because it's incredibly important to (at least) keep them in pairs or don't get them at all. I'm telling you this out of pure compassion and support, please understand.

An option would to adopt one that has a history of being aggressive to other rats (not humans) and in that case keeping one would be okay.

Depending on where you live food, cages, toys, and misc. are different from country to country.

When rat proofing a room you should make sure nothing you'd want chewed up is in reach. Wires and other hazards should be stored or put out of reach. Block off any areas they can crawl into and get lost in. Just some of the ones from off the top of my head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I don't want to be a party pooper here, but keeping more than one is absolutely necessary (unless in extreme cases). There are no try outs with keeping pets the decision for having them should be thought out completely. I don't want to assume too much of your situation I'm just telling you because it's incredibly important to (at least) keep them in pairs or don't get them at all. I'm telling you this out of pure compassion and support, please understand. <br>
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An option would to adopt one that has a history of being aggressive to other rats (not humans) and in that case keeping one would be okay.<br>
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Depending on where you live food, cages, toys, and misc. are different from country to country. <br>
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When rat proofing a room you should make sure nothing you'd want chewed up is in reach. Wires and other hazards should be stored or put out of reach. Block off any areas they can crawl into and get lost in. Just some of the ones from off the top of my head.
<br><br>Thanks for answering! I'll ask the owner of the rat pups if there is any rats that are aggressive to the others first. I had told my dad today about the whole thing about two rats, at this point I don't think he cares, my mom wanted to get me one for my birthday as a late present, but things are super tight with money on both our sides so I think the whole one rat thing was more of a money issue, so I thought I would just pay half portion for the cage and for a second rat myself. We are getting a used cage off kijiji so we can get a good sized one for less of a price.<br><br>As for the food and toy thing, I live in Canada.For the food portion, I'll be getting things from pet valu since its only pet shop in town, but when it comes to the toys, I think we might go to pet smart, which is basically the exact same as the american one. <br><br>I still have a little while to think about this, I want whats best so if there is something I cant do that is necessary, I'll wait for another time or maybe get a different rodent.
 

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I totally get the whole money thing. Maybe there's a way you can work some mini jobs to bring in some extra income.

The biggest costs for rats are the upfront cost and at the end of their lives (going to the vet). However sometimes you luck out and have perfectly healthy rats until they pass. From past experience, I had had two sisters. One stayed healthy all her life, and the other had a tumor and had to be operated on. So it would be good to try setting aside small amount of money monthly for any medical emergency.

You don't have to buy toys in fact lots of rats like toys that you can make on your own using materials that people usually throw out. http://www.dapper.com.au/toys.htm There's a lot of ideas online!

On our forum we have some DIY ideas: http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?33279-How-to-Make-Cage-Accessories/page7

This forum has DIY ideas that you could also look at: http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk/viewforum.php?f=49

For cage accessories you can go a dollar store and get plastic bins for hanging and huts. Which I think they have examples of in the link I sent you.

I don't want to discourage you at all I just wanted to tell you how important it is to keep them in pairs.
 

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As a owner of a single rat I would say don't do it. You need to be able to take them everywhere with you which ultimatly lead to me not keeping him in a cage anymore. It sounds like your parents are not 100% on board with having a second rat and I fear that this story will end with "you have one now stop asking for more". My advice would be not to get any rats and grab 2 rocks out of the garden and draw rat faces on them. Show them to your parents and do all the things that would need to be done if they were real. That way you can prove to them you will be able to look after them without risking an unhappy animal and also saving yourself the hassel of intros.
 

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Ratties do need a member of their own species to keep them company or they can get severely anxious, depressed and can stop eating, drinking and become extremely sick especially when young. My best explanation for this is to just reverse the situation and imagine that a human were to leave and live in a society with only ratties. At first this might be lovely and fun, and some may even have no issues with this, but the majority of people in that situation would become lonely without other people around and get very depressed.
Where would you be looking to adopt? The vast majority of breeders will not allow rats to be adopted out alone unless it is proven that the rat does not like company.
FORTUNATELY two rats is no different than owning one save for the fact that you will get double the love and have some very healthy ratties. They will groom each other to help keep clean, entertain each other when you are busy, and can be easily litter trained so the "mess" isn't double. Cage cleaning should be done every few days but won't have to be done more frequently with two ratties. Basically the maintenance will be the same, just more loving and confidence and happiness!
Hope that could be explained to the parents :)
I like Oxbow food and food should be left in the cage at all times unless vet instructed (which I haven't been thus far with all my many ratties), they will manage their own diets properly!
For toys, the most easily obtained would be tissue boxes (plastic removed) and toilet paper rolls! They love those and play with them constantly! Wooden toys that hang down are also great for them to chew on and play with, they love that.
My favourite cages are the All Living Things Starter Kit, Small Animal Home and of course the critter nations. These all can be found at petsmart! Anything that has 2'x2' per rat is great (to avoid territorial issues, to keep everyone healthy, to keep the cage cleaner for longer) and the bigger the better. All of those cages are easy to clean!
Rat proofing is very easy, just take everything off of the floor and cover any places where they may sneak out aka. under the door, any holes in the wall etc.
Then again if your ratties happen to be super active and curious like some of mine they may climb up onto shelves and push things off and go literally everywhere you can :p I just put away any loose objects that I would not want them pushing around or sniffing or eating when they are in the room and give them a bit of responsibility which they take very well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
My moms completely on board (then again I don't live with her) , its just the money issue with the cage and stuff. But we are finding things out well. I saw someone selling a homemade cage, big, and cheap. Don't worry, we are for sure getting two now! We are looking on Kijiji and so far we have found a litter of rescue rats, healthy, handled daily, and another, accidental litter, but healthy and handled well too. Litter trained already too! It all depends on availability at the time.

We plan for next friday. So excited! I think I'm teetering more for male now that I've learnt the differences. Thinking about the names Rocket and Finn. My dad mostly doesn't want them because he doesn't want to hear me whine if one gets sick, that and he doesn't want the smell. But I plan to do a full cage cleaned every Sunday. Since I'm soon to get a job, I will save some money for vet visits if one ever gets sick. I just hope the local vet does rats.

What should I do with them on trips? There always someone home or nearby. When I am out on trips I typically go out for about 2-3 days,someone can always feed them but the playing part I don't know about, are they good with each other for a few days? Should I ask a friend to come over once a day to check up and play with them? I never go out of the country and rarely out of the province.

One last thing, when cleaning the cage, can I put them temporarily in a hamster cage? I used to own three dwarf hamsters and I still have a double decker cage left over (too small for a rat, let alone 2 to actually live in) or should I let them just roam the bathroom while I clean it out?

Thanks for the help! I want to be a good owner, so this information really helps.
 

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2-3 days with someone changing food and water everyday is fine but not too often. It's ok to place them in a small cage while cleaning and saves the risk of them escaping while you aren't focused on them. Congratz on getting a pair.
 

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My issue is that I am not allowed two rats, until I start out with one. <- That is a common response and a completely understandable one!
I had asked about two, but I had been told that we will start out with one, and wait and see to get another in a month if I can prove I'm capable of caring for a rat.
is it alright to get a rat now, and wait at least a month to introduce a new one?<- As long as you KNOW for sure sure you will/can get another one
I'm going for females, by the way. I have been told they bond well.<- Every rat is different but female do tend to be more accepting but that's not always the case.
And since I am getting one during the break I will have plenty of time to occupy the little one for a month. <- as long as you give a lot of play time since she'll just be alone it will be fine until you can get another one. It's highly important you do though.

How do you feed your rat? What brand is best? <- I like Mazuri, Oxbow
How much do you feed them? <- I keep their bowl full all the time.

What are the best toys and addons? <- Hammocks, bird ladders, ropes, tubing. Avoid "balls"

Best cage? (preferably one you can buy easily at a petstore) I HIGHLY prefer Critter Nation. They can be purchased on Amazon. Trust me you won't regret it.

Rat proofing a room, how should I go about it?<- YES! Trust me you will love letting them run around your room but if you do not rat proof it they could get hurt. Common sense + mistakes will help you, every room is different.

Everything is in bold what I said.
 

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Thats really good that you are getting a pair- rats are really unhappy on their own. We have 3 currently and the day to day cost isn't that much more. Vets bills are another matter though. We make sure we have some money saved up- although our vets are also good at letting us pay later if we need to. Make sure you look around to find a vet who knows about rats, they're not that common but it makes a massive difference if you have one!

We let our Rats roam around our front room as they wish. We've kept rats for a long time so we've manged to rat proof our room, but its amazing how "creative" they are ha ha! They will get into and destroy anything. The main thing is to keep them safe so check for holes, places they might get to where you can't help them (Especially when you first get them and they're less inclined to come back to you!) Protect wires or remove them if you're not having them out of the cage all of the time. They'll love to climb as well, we let them do this because its just ratty nature but you can check the areas they climb and make sure you remove anything unstable that they might fall off on, especially objects hanging over edges. Also watch them if you have cups/ jugs anything that stores water in, they might fall in! Basically you'll get to see what mischief your rats get up to and act accordingly if you think its dangerous.

If you're getting a baby rat they probably won't be that adventurous for a few weeks anyway, do everything slowly, once they've found their feet and courage there will be no stopping them!
 
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