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Discussion Starter #1
My roommate has three rats, and I've been annoyed with the way that she keeps them for a while now. I've tried to VERY subtly give her advice, but she either isn't picking up on it or she's just choosing to ignore it. I know that I can be a bit pushy at times, so I'm afraid to push her too much... since she is a good friend of mine and all. I know that she loves her rats dearly, but I just don't understand why she does certain things with them.

Until recently, she kept all three girls in this cage... with no toys, hammocks, or huts:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/ind...s=A-StorePrice-PET&parentPage=family&keepsr=1

She decided to get a new cage for Christmas, and spent a fortune on something similar to this cage:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/ind...s=A-StorePrice-PET&parentPage=family&keepsr=1

The cage has wire floors with rather large spacing, and it seems like she's not going to cover them. And it's only about a foot deep. Also, keep in mind that her cage has none of the little goodies in the picture above. Basically, she could have gotten a Ferret Nation 142 for the price that she paid... I even tried to help her find one online for a decent price. For whatever reason, she decided to buy a cage from the store, though.

She only has one hammock in her cage right now- no toys, no houses, no nothing. I've even let her borrow my igloo before, and gave it back to me today, saying that she didn't want to spend "all that time cleaning it". If she isn't going to use an igloo that was free to her, I HIGHLY doubt that she'll be willing to buy her rats one. Her rats do get lucky every once in a while, though... if she's the one who finished up a toliet paper roll, she'll let them play with that.

And their diet... WHOA. They get this Tropical mix for rats and mice... which is mainly seeds, nuts, and a little bit of cereal. They didn't have that at the pet store last time we went, so she got Kaytee. Even though the pet store here carries Regal Rat. I can understand that the price may seem a bit extreme, but I've tried explaining that she can mix it with other foods to make a Suebee's mix.

Last week was the icing on the cake, though... I caught her cleaning her cage with Windex 8O I gave her some of the spray that I use for my rats' cage when I saw that, and she did end up using that... but I wouldn't be surprised if she went back to her old ways.

I can understand her not wanting to spend a whole lot of money on them, considering the fact that we're still in college (and tight on funds) at this time in our lives. But what's difficult is when doing the right thing for them often wouldn't cost her much more at all- especially when I'm completly willing to lend her toys and what not. I also understand that they are her rats, and no matter how bothered I am, I can't stop her from doing something (or make her do something else).

Basically, I just need to know a nice way to bring all of this up to her. I've tried being really nice about it up until this point, but it breaks my heart to see the way that her rats live sometimes. Does anyone have any suggestions of how I can somehow help her to help her rats? Again, I don't want to offend her, considering the fact that she is a good friend and all. I know she cares about her girls... I just want to get through to her. Anything would be greatly appreciated at this point.


Sorry this post was so long!
 

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Well that is quite the situation. I find myself in similar situations, at times, but I haven't really found a super good way of doing things! Maybe the best thing you can do is convince her to join the forum (or at least browse it) and read all the stickys. Sometimes it's easier listening to a lot of people speak on one issue rather than one. Maybe you can even send her a few links to threads, which cover issues that you've been concerned about. Tell her you found them really helpful. If she truly does care for her rats then she should be willing to do WHAT'S BEST FOR THEM. Let her know that. She may get upset but if you two are good friends then she'll get over it!
 

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i think you're going to have to drop the subtlety and be blunt. some people just dont know how to take hints, no matter how broadly they're dropped. tell her straight out what the problems are and what she needs to do to fix them. when all else fails, confiscate her rats...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice! Unfortunatly, I have shown her this forum... loads of time. I've tried to get her to look at everything pertaining to diet, and she seems completly uninterested. I think that her rational is that if the food wasn't good for rats, it wouldn't be marketed to them... even though people have bad food marketed to them all the time.
 

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All I can say is to just sit her down and say, "Hey, your rats need more, and I'm willing to help you get what they need."

Maybe it's passed the point of being nice, and you really should be firm with her and tell her the animals she so dearly loves are starving for attention and/or a more enriched environment.

I know this is probably overused(but it's true), if she's a good friend as you say she is, she'll hear you out and consider what you have to say. Especially since you repeatedly insist this and are so passionate about it. Make a statement and people are usually willing to hear it.
 

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Like everyone is saying, you'll have to begin being firm with her. Even if she is a close friend, rats are living creatures, they deserve good lives too.

Good luck, and keep us updated .. :D
 

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i would talk some smack.......the rats can't stick up for them selfs....or if you have any extra old toys your not using...
 

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Yeah, I think you're going to have to be a bit more blunt with things. I don't think you should go to the point where you sound like a freakish rat dictator, but maybe show her how much happier her babies could be if she took care of them better. Suebee's mix isn't too expensive for how long it lasts, it does make a bunch. Get examples of cheap, simple toys. If she doesn't want to buy a little hideyhouse, I'll use an old cat food box (ironic, no?), or a tissue box, or even a soda box, if it fits in there. That's free and chewable! =) I do have an igloo, but they usually just sleep behind it, so yeah.
 
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