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aww look at her/his little chubby arms!! i want her/him!! lol.. is that your only rat??
 

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Where are the toys? Hidey houses? Hammocks? A tank really isn't an acceptable living space for a rat at all. Also, you should never keep rats alone - you need to get her a friend.
 

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aaww she is truely a beautiful rat :), Is that a single story?? or do you have a topper of some sort?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Night seems out to get me. I have always kept my rats in a tank and they've never had an issue with it. I see a lot of people keep them in wire cages and I must say that the only rat I ever kept in a wire cage chewed on fingers and anything else that got near the cage slats so I prefer to keep them in tanks. And no, he wasn't that way before I kept them in one. Besides they don't get bedding everywhere this way.

We had some chewy sticks in there which she used a little bit but otherwise she just moved them along with rearranging her bedding. Right now she is an only rat and I've been bugging my husband to let me get her a friend but he won't as he didn't want another rat in the first place. She loves being petted in her cage but would prefer not be out of it. She's one of those that makes a fuss getting out of her cage but usually goes back in with no problem. A great example is our top has the two holes in it for habitrails and stuff and our old one was that way as well but it was chewed badly from our last batch o' rats so the lid for the hole didn't lock properly. We use this hole to feed her treats and she eventually learned to take the old lid off when she wanted a treat. She would take the lid off and stick her nose out of the hole and then sit back down and look at you and repeat the process. We eventually had to get a new lid because we'd wake up or come back from somewhere and find the lid in her cage and her sitting at the hole waiting for a treat. Never once did she even attempt to escape but we got a new lid anyway just in case.

She used to get out and run around on our desks and hide in our hair but we recently got a cat so we are introducing them slowly. The cat gets on the cage top and rolls around one and chirps at Trouble. The rat is curious and usually stretches up to sniff at Joy.

^.".^
 

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Ohhh :cry: , a rat is not truely happy living alone(and she doesn't have any toys :x ).. And I can't believe she lives in a aquarium, barely ever comming out :(. Why would you do that to her? it sounds like she never gets out now that you have a cat... which btw, cats Are pretaors, and will hunt a rat.
Everything about your post really made me feel bad for her :(. I'd agree with your husband that maybe you shouldn't have gotten a rat. I'm sorry but the conditions she's kept in sound alarms with any pet owner. And it really doesn't sound like you socalised her or any of the other rats properly.
Please concider geting a tall wire cage, maybe with a deep base so bedding doesn't get everywhere. IF you get a wire cage, she should get a friend aswell. And please read up on socialising properly, and find aswell that rats do enjoy toys, and should not be deprived of what You say "she doesn't seem to like". There are so many toy options to keep her stimulated. She really sounds bored and lonely :? .
 

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Night is not 'out to get you', she's pointing out that your rat's living conditions are subpar. Aquariums get amonia buildup very quickly and can lead to myco flairups. is that a 10 gallon? That's way to small for an adult rat :(.

Do you ever put hammocks in for her? Does she have a hiding spot? I can't imagine she's very happy living the way she is :(.
 

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I know it seems like a lot of people are out to get you but they don't mean to sound like this. I've had this problem before and just try to think of it as you can't hear what people are saying since we can only type out conversations we have no clue what their voice sounds like. I will admit i get bent out of shape every now and then. Knowone likes to have someone rip their head off and say they shouldn't have the joy of owning a rat or any other pet. I think we all just need to try and use more things like "try this" "maybe you can" "you should try this" etc. so we all don't sound like big evil people.
If you can't get a wire cage maybe you can push to get a topper for the cage?? I have 2 my girls in a topper i clean every 2 days to help with amonia. Also a lot of my girls don't seem to like coming out, if you would like to have her out more you can try Forced Soci. I hear a lot of good things about it. Then if you don't want to force her i can tell you of a method i use that also works very well :).
Once again i'm sorry it seems like we're all attacking you, I hope i didn't come off this way and if i did i'm truely sorry.
 

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She is very pretty.

You should consider what is being said by some of the people here though, especially those comments towards you rat's living conditions.

I am in no position to jump down anyone's throat because my rat has a fairly small cage and one toy - but she spends up to 16 hours a day outside of her cage playing in my bedroom and making toys out of my things. What you need to consider is that your rat has absolutely no means of exercising her mind.

Rats are extremely intelligent and they absolutely must have mental stimulation. You cannot keep a rat like that. I don't see a nest box, toys, anything. You can make her a nest box out of anything - a half of a shoebox lined with toilet paper, a bit of cardboard, even a tissue box. You can go to the pet store and buy her one very cheaply if you don't want to make her one.

Toys for rats are fairly easy to make and cheap to buy as well. String some treats on a bit of thread from the top of her cage and let her have fun trying to grab them. roll up some tissue paper and wrap some treats in it and let her dig them out. The point is that she is given something productive to do.

There are probably multiple reasons your rat does not want to come out of her enclosure.

Reason #1 - She is scared. She lives in a glass tank. She cannot smell what's going on around her, she cannot poke her nose out and make sure everything's all clear. She has nowhere to hide when she's nervous.

Reason #2 - She is badly socialised. If you keep any rat on it's own, especially if you leave her in the cage as often as you say you do, it will become nervous, it will be less likely to gain the confidence to bond properly with you, and it will be just plain unhappy. Rats are social. They are not supposed to be alone. Bottom line.

If rats you kept in cages chewed fingers they probably had good reason. How often did you let them out? Did you often use your fingers to feed them treats through the bars?

I keep Angelina Doris (my girl ratty) in a wire cage and she never chews fingers, and I have never had that problem.

The reason people are telling you an aquarium is not suitable for a rat is mostly because of health reasons. Your little friend may very quickly end up with respiratory problems. There is a lot of ammonia in their waste, and it builds up in a glass aquarium. Imagine being in a humid tank with nowhere to hide, nothing to do but sit and breathe in the smell of your own waste. Not a very good life.
 

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:( I feel so bad for the little girl. Wire cages aren't associated with biting - i think pretty much everyone here has a wire cage and our rats aren't all biters. Please listen to the advice everyone has given you - we're not being nasty, we just don't like seeing pets that aren't cared for properly and don't have enough room to be happy in. Shavings are also notoriously bad for rat's respiratory systems - maybe you should try using a bedding like Yesterdays News, or Carefresh? Or even better fleeces like Night uses in her cage? What food do you feed her on?

There's no point keeping a rat that's unhappy just because you want one. If you and your husdband can't sort out between you what's best for her, and you knew he didn't want another rat then getting her was not at all in her best interests. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but you have to put the animal first.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, let me see if I can address some issues. First off, I've kept rats for around 10 years or so off and on and I've worked in a pet store for a few years till it closed. I know her home isn't the absolute best she could have but it's not the absolute worse either. Honestly if I could afford a rat mansion for her and some friends I would but I can't. When I started in rats I was told it was a good alternative to a wire cage or even worse, the plastic ones that are so popular and easily chewed through. I have had absolutely no problems with any of the rats I've owned in any tank they've been in.

Now, as for my current rat. I doubt my/her story will make any of see any clearer but here goes. I bought her because I was lonely. My husband works 12 hour days 3 to 4 days a week and my daughter started going to school all day all week this year and I thought getting a rat would be nice company and so I did. I did try and socialize her and she does run around a little when she is out but not too much. My daughter also dropped her early on and ever since then she's been a little crooked. It doesn't seem to affect her too badly but she does sit and stand up slightly crooked now and when we pick her up she squeaks like we are hurting her by picking her up. Let me say this right now before everyone goes wacko. I did check her over for broken bones, especially in her spine, and she looks and feels completely normal and as I said, she doesn't seem affected in any way except for the slightly crooked standing posture...and it's not even really crooked, she just leans a little bit. Anyway, we still get her out on occasion but she prefers her cage. She acts just like one of the two last rats we had. They were kept together and both socialized equally and one always wanted out and the other one was always eager to be back in her cage. Some rats are just homebodies. And no, in the couple of week she really hasn't been out because of the cat because I don't want anything to happen to her. Actually, she was out on my husband's shoulder for a while when the cat was elsewhere sleeping. Over the next week I plan on introducing the two under careful supervision. We do have a ball for her to be in but we found she had trouble moving/steering it from being dropped and we can't just let her roam the floor because this house is old, fall apart, and our landlord is **** when it comes to fixing things and I can't even imagine all the little holes she could find. I would do the habitrails, in fact hubby and I have discussed it but I believe she's too fat to get through them. lol

I don't know about her being scared. She's being kept in the most trafficked area of the house and she's always on her hind legs sniffing the air and as I said she does get out, just not in the last couple of weeks because of the new arrival. I wanted to make sure the cat was settled in and introduced herself to the rat via the cage before I did anything else.

As to her food...she eats blocks and loose food along with, mostly healthy, human treats. Everything from small scraps of meat to fresh veggies and fruits and cereal to rodent pretzel sticks. We try and eat healthy ourselves so meat she gets is lean she gets fat free pringles sometimes etc.

And I said Night had it out for me because of my other post about giving her worms. The topic was about worms and she blew up a stunt that I did eight or nine years ago because I had to, which I only posted to show that there are exceptions to every rule and then she came here and yelled at me some more. I just wanted to show off my pretty rat, I haven't seen many like her since most rats around here are considered snake food and the fancier colors/patterns just aren't seen.

Anyway, I love rats and have ever since I bought my first one 10 years ago but I'm also not so obsessed that I am going to get a rat neutered because I can. Heck, I've never even taken a rat to the vet and I don't really plan to. They are hardy little creatures and imo shouldn't ever need to see a vet unless it's something dire or endangering the animal's life.

Oh, as for the bedding, it's old and settled. We've had the same bag of bedding for 5 years or so and are just now running low. It was one of those huge bales that we originally got for our hedgehogs. I will see about a different kind when we pick some more up. I know cedar is bad because of the oils but I don't understand the other, I mean in the wild they would use it as bedding. *shrugs* Anyway, thanks to everyone who responded here and I probably won't hang around after the welcome I've received.

^.".^
 

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WiccanWolf said:
Anyway, I love rats and have ever since I bought my first one 10 years ago but I'm also not so obsessed that I am going to get a rat neutered because I can. Heck, I've never even taken a rat to the vet and I don't really plan to. They are hardy little creatures and imo shouldn't ever need to see a vet unless it's something dire or endangering the animal's life.

Oh, as for the bedding, it's old and settled. We've had the same bag of bedding for 5 years or so and are just now running low. It was one of those huge bales that we originally got for our hedgehogs. I will see about a different kind when we pick some more up. I know cedar is bad because of the oils but I don't understand the other, I mean in the wild they would use it as bedding. *shrugs* Anyway, thanks to everyone who responded here and I probably won't hang around after the welcome I've received.

^.".^
That first paragraph...just...wow. That hurt me, actually. Rats, believe it or not, are VERY VERY VERY prone to tumors. If you've had a rat that hasn't developed a tumor somewhere in it's life it either didn't live very long or you had a miracle rat. (please don't think I'm attacking you, this is just fact and it hit home hard when you said there's no necessity in sending a rat to a vet) You said yourself the rat squeaked when you picked her up as if you were hurting her; well, yeah, you were. Rats handle pain pretty well, I've known all of mine to only let me know when something hurts was when it was extreme. So if they squeak and screech, it's time for a vet visit.

And as for wood beddings, pine and cedar are both soft woods, they both have the oils which really irritate the respiratory tract over time. It's okay, I guess, as temporary until you find a source of more decent, non-toxic bedding. Aspen is good if money is a bit tight, it's cheap like pine and cedar and perfectly safe(some shredded aspens may be a tad too dusty, but I haven't run into a problemyet) and still have the pleasant, woodsy smell.

I've had rats for four years, and only in my past two years have I really learned about rats. Many people read tons of false information, or info aimed at hamster, gerbil, or mouse owners. All of these animals require different things, they are all different animals. Rats are very active, especially females. They need stimulation.

I only suggest giving her a tank topper, more toys and hide-aways and whatnot. A wheel will help greatly(that is, if she's a runner :p), along with a buddy.

If you want my opinion, maybe you should reconsider having a rat. Maybe look into other small animals that may fit your lifestyle more. -shrug- Just my suggestion, though.

Hope we've helped you with all of this. :)
 

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Tanks trap ammonia and therefore must be cleaned more often. Nobody's out to get you. Rats also NEED to live in pairs. There's no such thing as 'it's okay to get a single rat.' They NEED a cagemate. Wire cages provide more ventilation, and make your rats less likely to get sick. Rats also need toys, a place to hide, a wheel, etc. What do you feed your rats? And bedding never gets out of my Martin's, which has a drop-in pan... But like I said, nobody is out to get you - we're just trying to show you what's best for your rats. Trust me, I went through the same thing when I got my rats in February.

Rats NEED to go to the vet anytime you hear them sneezing a lot or whatever. Klardae sneezes on rare occasions but she's fine, she'd be dead now if I hadn't taken her to the vet because of a URI and an abcess that she had. If you see ANY sign of sickness, TAKE YOUR RAT TO THE VET ASAP.
 

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Wow... just... wow. I'm honestly offened by your attitude towards your pets. I can't begin to estimate the money I've spent on my rats in vet care and I don't regret a penny of it. I've had rats neutered, tumors removed and meds bought for resp. infections. Rats are hardy little critters yes, but when something hits them, it hits them hard.

Your setting your poor girl up for so many breathing issues later in life. She's on pine which is terrible for their lungs and she's in a tank which makes it ten times worse on her.

I wish you lived near me so I could take the poor girl in :(.
 

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Exactly what rts said. Your rat needs better living conditions, ASAP. Please do everything in your power to make it happen. You remind me of a friend of mine, who insists that her rats are fine in a tank with no toys, being fed seed mix, only because she's owned them for 7 years. Like someone else said, I've owned three rats before my two current ones and only just now learned proper care for them; this was over the course of several years that I owned the previous rats. Please try to learn instead of fighting us, we only want what's best for your girl.
 

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Yeah... I didn't even remember that it was you who wrote the worms post, so I didn't "have it out for you." Stop throwing out accusations blindly.

Rats need vet care, simple enough. ALL animals need vet care! No matter how small they are. Even if your rat(s) aren't sickly, a wellness check every 4-6 months. Simply because you've never taken a rat to the vet in the length of time you've had them, doesn't mean it's okay. In fact, that just shows how long you've been mistreating animals (whether you realized it or not, I don't know). Small animals break bones easily, so falls need to be taken seriously. Considering the fact that she's "crooked," there IS something wrong. You don't just develop those kinds of things without a reason. She should have been taken to the emergency vet when that happened.

She probably prefers being in her cage because she unsocialized. You need to work with her. Take her out daily! Rats need playtime out of their cage for at least a couple hours a day - more for her since she's all alone. Buy her some toys and hammocks - rats love ferret tunnels and hanging bird toys, especially. NEVER use Habitrail homes for rats - ever. They're way, way too small. They're even too small for hamsters and mice. If you can't play with her and take her out for a few hours everyday, you should look into re-homing her. Rats need a lot of stimulation - they're extremely intelligent. An animal cannot thrive in a cage, especially one that has absolutely nothing in it.

You've had the same bag of bedding for five years? How is that possible? Also, do you know that pine and cedar are toxic to animals? It's not an opinion, it's fact. If you need actually articles on it, I can provide them.

Running away from the truth is a bad habit, especially when you can learn quite a lot from us, and that's all we're trying to help you do - learn.

I find it funny that your username has "wiccan" in it. Are you Wiccan? If so, you should respect animals a lot more and take more consideration into their care and well-being. You shrug off our advice and critiques, and would rather cover your ears and say we're attacking you.
 

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WiccanWolf said:
My daughter also dropped her early on and ever since then she's been a little crooked. It doesn't seem to affect her too badly but she does sit and stand up slightly crooked now and when we pick her up she squeaks like we are hurting her by picking her up.
I've got money on her having detatched retinas.

We do have a ball for her to be in but we found she had trouble moving/steering it from being dropped
No, most rats won't move when you put them in those things. Or they'll just refuse to go in. Rats hate those balls. They have no sense of their environment while in them. They feel trapped, and it terrifies them.

Anyway, I love rats and have ever since I bought my first one 10 years ago but I'm also not so obsessed that I am going to get a rat neutered because I can. Heck, I've never even taken a rat to the vet and I don't really plan to. They are hardy little creatures and imo shouldn't ever need to see a vet unless it's something dire or endangering the animal's life.
This is one of the most blatantly ignorant and disgusting things I've read in all my time on rat forums. You don't deserve to own rats. Period.

Oh, as for the bedding, it's old and settled. We've had the same bag of bedding for 5 years or so and are just now running low. It was one of those huge bales that we originally got for our hedgehogs. I will see about a different kind when we pick some more up. I know cedar is bad because of the oils but I don't understand the other, I mean in the wild they would use it as bedding. *shrugs*
Domesticated rats AREN'T wild. You might as well say that a chihuahua can hunt for its own prey in the wild.
 

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You keep saying that she doesn't have a better cage because you can't afford one. Well then you shouldn't have got a rat in the first place! If you can't give your pet everything she needs, and make her life the happiest you can then getting her was a very selfish act. Just because you've owned rats for 10 years doesn't mean everything you're doing is right. I've owned them for 2, and i can tell already that i know a lot more about them than you do - and thats because i learned what rats need. I'm not made of money, but i saved for weeks before i got my first rats so i could make sure they had the best of everything.

As for being lonely - your husband works 3-4 days a week and you're lonely?! My fianceé works 5 day weeks, and evenings and weekends are pretty much the only time we get to spend time together. I'm not lonely, and i wouldn't try to fill that gap with some selfish urge to have company by buying a pet i can't afford to care for.

Please consider learning from what we have said here and improving her living conditions, or give her up to a rescue where she can be found a better home. Those pictures of her you posted make my heart break :( you don't understand rats at all.
 
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