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I just wanted to share how thankful I am for this group and just the general awesomeness of rats in general.. if you had told me 6 months ago that I would be the owner of rats I would have laughed at you.... the first time the guy at the pet store said rat I immediate said f*ck no!!

We went to the dreaded pet store because my triplets wanted a hamster and had begged and begged my husband for one so he had finally caved. It was the young man that worked there that introduced us to rats and the incredibly wonderful pets they make. We left the pet store and I started doing TONS of research, finding this group and thinking long and hard on it, I thought maybe these guys just have a really bad rep...
After looking at nearly every store within a 45 minutes for baby dumbos with no luck, I was lucky enough to find a nice young couple on Craigslist selling their fancy rats recent litter. The girls were handled often, were just shy of 5 weeks old and incredibly social. My girls could NOT have been more in love with their "baby rats" and named them Elsa and Anna... I would have gone for something more unique but of course these are for my girls and not me.. BAHA!

I find myself looking forward to our "play time" together. Even though my girls are still so young and pretty hyper it is so fun to see their little personalities come out and see them get all excited every time me or one of the girls come to the cage. I am looking forward to making my first "rat food recipe" and just learning all there is to know from these little gals.

Thanks to everyone who has answered my questions or shared your rats with me.. I love checking this site daily now and reading about you all and your stories. I am so glad to be a rat momma!!

Rat Mammal Muridae Mouse Hamster
 

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We started out with a part wild rat named Fluffy... and then the remarkable Fuzzy Rat... My then 5 year old had something in mind like Princess Rose Jasmine Crystal Daisey etc.... I talked her into something easier... Fluffy was in fact Fluffy... And when my daughter got out to six of seven names for our second rat I looked down at the receipt and it read "Fuzzy Rat (larger rat pup)..... $2.49 I looked at the mangy little rat pup my daughter chose and indeed it was fuzzy rather than fluffy... So another relatively easy sell.

So I suppose my daughter chooses the names but I offer advise and try to keep them short. It also helps if your rats names relate to something or someone kids and adults like. It's hard enough to promote the virtues of pet rats without naming them Ben, Fang or Cujo.
 

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Even one-word names can take too long. Our black rat I named Penumbra. We call her Penny for short. We only refer to her as Penumbra to other humans. She only knows Penny. Although it's handy for talking about the rat without getting her attention. If I tell my wife, "Look at that cute thing Penny is doing," then Penny will stop doing the cute thing and come to the door. If I call her Penumbra, then she doesn't notice.

Even Latte has been "shortened" to Lotty. The name may have the same number of syllables, but Lotty just rolls off the tongue more easily than Latte. Our newest rat is Little Tuxedo. Her name has been shortened to Tuck.

Only Loki is called by her proper name all the time.

Glad your kids are enjoying the rats. I agree that rats are far more fun than hamsters. Sure, hamsters are ridiculously cute, but that's about all they have going for them IMO.
 

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That's actually a very fine point! Rats brains don't generalize. Once they learn that the chair in the living room is "chair" they don't think of anything else as "chair". In our minds pretty much anything we can sit on is a chair... to a rat there can be only one "chair". Same goes with names... if "Penny" is her name then Penumbria isn't. There's no close enough...

Actually it isn't that rats can't generalize, they just don't do it like we do... For example Fuzzy Rat learned to pee outdoors on black asphalt. Indoors she would also pee on my wife's black leather chair and my black telephone... She didn't make phone calls or sit in chairs.... but black matte surface meant it was a place to pee....

When you train rats to lean their names or follow commands you really have to use language carefully and precisely... If you say "go to chair" and the chair your rat recognizes as "chair" isn't nearby he or she is going to get very confused. And again it's the same thing with their names... Fuzz, Fuzzy and Fuzzy Rat weren't the same thing... Her name was Fuzzy Rat and if I expected her to listen or obey a command... she needed to hear her name the way she recognized it....

And if you think about it... a really smart rat is likely to only learn somewhere between 5 and 50 human words. Everything else we say is just human noise...

Also kind of funny is that rats will hold a conversation with us... my girls do it all of the time, but rats actually talk at a frequency which is too high for us humans to hear. So I'll talk to my girls and they will "talk" back... I can see their lips move but I can't hear a single sound... They can't get that I can't hear them so I guess they figure I'm just not smart enough to understand 'rat'....
 
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