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I am looking for thoughts on the best place to set up our rat cage. I have read two different trains of thought regarding this (as I have for pretty much everything rat related e.g. lab blocks vs. homemade, wire cage causes bumblefoot vs. dirty cages cause bumblefoot and wire totally fine etc etc etc - who knew owning rats would have so many controversial variables - LOL). One is that they should be placed in the family room so that they have constant interaction, and one where the rats should be somewhere that they have peace and quiet during the day. Now, for most families, rats in the family room would be perfect because people are at work / school in the day, thus giving the rats peace to sleep, and then people are hanging out there during the evening, giving the rats companionship. However, this is not so easy for our family - I am a stay at home mom and I homeschool my kids, so we are in our living room, being pretty rowdy (4 and 7 year old kids) almost all day and evening. We have another room (entire other floor of the house) we can put them in where we are often going in and out of, but rarely stay there for long. I was thinking that would be a better place for the rats during the day, and thenin the evenings I am just assuming they will be out of their cages with us in the family room. Will they be too lonely if they are on a different floor? Even if I have them out with us most of the evening? If I keep them in the family room will that be too distracting for them to sleep? Maybe it would be best - might they become less nocturnal and adapt more to our lifestyle if they are around us all the time?

I realize I just rambled and probably make very little sense, but I hope someone can help me.

Thanks in advance
Tanya
 

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Well first of all, welcome! :)

But no, your message made perfect sense. You want to make sure your little fur family members are acquiring the right attention and aren't terrified.

In my opinion (and you're right as well, many people think differently and it depends on the personality of your rattie/how many rats you have), but I keep my rats in my room.

I work for 8 hours a day and my schedule is always changing. No one really comes into my room.. But my rats are quite content because they're in an adequate sized group of 6 in a quiet environment. So they have plenty of ratty time and then plenty of me time when I come home.

Because you have younger children, I would personally prefer the quiet area of the house and whenever your kids want to take them out and play with them (with supervision of course) your ratties are not already extremely overwhelmed by the constant hussle and bussle of your house.

But honestly, like I said. It depends on how well socialized your rats are and their temperament/personality. (Some rattlings can be super outgoing, some are terrified of loud noises and a lot of people.)

The more time you spend with them, the more they'll get used to your people family.

Maybe start off in the quiet room and gradually as you socialize the rats more and more, bring them out into the busier room.

But proper socialization is key in this situation.

I'd read Rat Daddy's immersion thread. It's super helpful.

For example, I was off work for a week when I got my first 2. I coddled them. They were with me in a quiet area for 12 + hours a day and then they would go into their cage. They were super shy/nervous at first. But after they became bonded with me... They became outgoing. Now I can bring them out into my living room with my rowdy/loud English family with no one hiding in fear. :3
 

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Well first of all, welcome! :)

But no, your message made perfect sense. You want to make sure your little fur family members are acquiring the right attention and aren't terrified.

In my opinion (and you're right as well, many people think differently and it depends on the personality of your rattie/how many rats you have), but I keep my rats in my room.

I work for 8 hours a day and my schedule is always changing. No one really comes into my room.. But my rats are quite content because they're in an adequate sized group of 6 in a quiet environment. So they have plenty of ratty time and then plenty of me time when I come home.

Because you have younger children, I would personally prefer the quiet area of the house and whenever your kids want to take them out and play with them (with supervision of course) your ratties are not already extremely overwhelmed by the constant hussle and bussle of your house.

But honestly, like I said. It depends on how well socialized your rats are and their temperament/personality. (Some rattlings can be super outgoing, some are terrified of loud noises and a lot of people.)

The more time you spend with them, the more they'll get used to your people family.

Maybe start off in the quiet room and gradually as you socialize the rats more and more, bring them out into the busier room.

But proper socialization is key in this situation.

I'd read Rat Daddy's immersion thread. It's super helpful.

For example, I was off work for a week when I got my first 2. I coddled them. They were with me in a quiet area for 12 + hours a day and then they would go into their cage. They were super shy/nervous at first. But after they became bonded with me... They became outgoing. Now I can bring them out into my living room with my rowdy/loud English family with no one hiding in fear. :3
That makes sense, to start them somewhere quiet and then move them - I think they are pretty well socialized (not getting them until Monday but they are used to being handled already) and there will be three of them so they'll have each other. My kids can be so loud that they terrify me, so the rats will likely have to get used to them gradually :)

It's funny, getting rats seems to involve so much more effort than getting a cat - cats are so easy - you find the best litter and food you can afford, then let them do whatever they want, and take them to the vets once a year. No fuss or hassle or deciding where best to place them, what floors they might prefer etc.
 

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I suspect that your rats will acclimate wherever you place them. I personally am not too worried about noise levels. Animals (including humans) can sleep through noises. My cage is next to my TV, so when we're watching television, there is constant noise right next to the cage. They sleep right through it. As for kids squealing, that can be a different issue, but it's not too unlike when I unload the dishwasher and make clanging noises. It may bug them at first, but they sleep through it.

I've noticed that while my rats are nocturnal, they still sleep sometimes in the night, so it's not like a specific pattern.
 

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Haha yeah, they sure can be little buggers. But definitely worth the companionship. :3

I don't know, I personally didn't get my babies from a breeder, there isn't a lot of breeders where I live. I would've either of had to get them shipped or wait several months to get them and I couldn't wait. I was too excited! I think (personally) rats that are used to being handled is a different thing than proper socialization. They'll still need to learn to trust and bond with you and not freak out at every sight and sound. It's still a brand new environment!

I wish you the best and I totally want to see lots and lots of pictures your of kids playing with them! I'm sure it'll be super cute. x)
 

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I'm pretty sure I will be posting many pictures once the ratties are all settled in!

Haha yeah, they sure can be little buggers. But definitely worth the companionship. :3

I don't know, I personally didn't get my babies from a breeder, there isn't a lot of breeders where I live. I would've either of had to get them shipped or wait several months to get them and I couldn't wait. I was too excited! I think (personally) rats that are used to being handled is a different thing than proper socialization. They'll still need to learn to trust and bond with you and not freak out at every sight and sound. It's still a brand new environment!

I wish you the best and I totally want to see lots and lots of pictures your of kids playing with them! I'm sure it'll be super cute. x)
 

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Hello!

My rats that had been placed in a noisier / more frequently inhabited environment became more outgoing in a shorter amount of time vs. the ones kept in another, quieter room. They just seem to get used to household noises and aren't startled as easily. All my rats are very social at this point, but keeping them in the living room definitely helped when they were new. In my experience of course. :)
 

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Thank you for your thoughts on this :)

Hello!

My rats that had been placed in a noisier / more frequently inhabited environment became more outgoing in a shorter amount of time vs. the ones kept in another, quieter room. They just seem to get used to household noises and aren't startled as easily. All my rats are very social at this point, but keeping them in the living room definitely helped when they were new. In my experience of course. :)
 

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At first, I was worried about the noise level around the cage as well. My rat cage is in between the living room and kitchen: the two busiest areas of our home. I don't have kids but I have 3 very noisy guinea pigs, loud pots and pans clammering all of the time, and a loud television on very often. My rats were jumpy at first, but have gotten used to the noise and can now sleep through anything. One of our rats was very skittish when we first adopted her, but she very quickly got used to the smell and noises in our home. Rats are great at adapting to their surroundings so no matter what you decide to do, I'm sure your rats will be fine :)
There are up and down sides to rats living in a busier area vs a quiet one and you will need to find out what works best for your specific rats. In my experience, I like having them in high traffic areas to socialize them better.
 
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