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Discussion Starter #1
OK - I had a rat move into the house over a month ago. I have (finally)caught him (last night) and have LOTS of questions. First off, he is a hooded rat, grey on the head, broken stripe down the back. He's been pretty upset since I got him, but prior to his capture I had almost got him to come to me. I'm guessing he was someone's pet once.

So...
Does anyone think he may be wild? I can't see the white coloration helping with predators. What are his odds of making it through winter if I release him?

Should I be concerned about disease? I also have flying squirrels, so should I be careful about transmission?

What are the chances this guy is going to be my buddy?

I appreciate any info you could give me - I'm feeling pretty sorry fot the guy (girl?) as the chase was pretty traumatizing for him. I'll be watching for your tips and comments.

Bugsike
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

If its a hooded rat my guess would be that it was once a pet and someone either lost him, or a child brought him home and the mother didn't want them so they just released the rat into the wild.

Either way I doubt it was born into the wild, since the coloration wouldn't help much with predators. Either way its kind of risky. I would advise taking him in to get checked by a vet to see what diseases he has if any, etc.

As for if he'll ever warm up to you. I honestly can't say. I think it could go either way in my opinion... but then I have no experience with this.
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

Thanks - (s)he's a hooded, with decent markings - the back stripe is broken but otherwise she looks great. He has calmed down and is already letting me pet his rump - I think he'd let me pet his head too, but I'm the one who's scared. She's definately a pet. Eye's are bright, coat is smooth and shiny, and she's a real fatso. I know she's been around for a month, so I think she's disease free, but I'll be talk to my vet and see if a visit is needed.
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

Rats can live for a long time with some diseases. In particular, that one transmittable, incurable lung disease they are prone to. No idea if it squirrels can pick it up, but best not to risk it.

As for keeping it, if your vet says it's clean (or can give it shots or whatever), then you might be able to re-socialize it if it was someone's pet before (it could have been from a litter from an escaped pet). In that case, you'll want to get another rat of the same gender to keep it company. Preferably a well socialized one, in the hopes that it will rub off a bit.
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

Thanks everyone. I spoke to my exotics vet, she says it looks fine, just be careful about the squirrels - wash hand between critters and such. On that adive, I have stopped wearing leather gloves. I gave her one of my dirty socks to put in her nest; that way she can get used to my smell. The little gal is already letting us pick her up, pet her and give her little chucks under the chin. Anything in particular about picking out a friend (e.g. age)? I'm kinda strapped for money, and hoping to afford a decent size cage and maybe just pick up a feeder for her buddy.
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

If you got a female feeder, it could be pregnant. If they are just going to be eaten anyway, I'm sure that the pet store wouldn't care much about them breeding indiscriminately.

I'm all for saving feeders, but if you don't have tons of money to spend on pets right now, a huge litter of babies would not be good.

Good luck with your little girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

"Meet My Rat" now has a picture of Ratty, no doubt the world's most beautiful rat :lol: She's still a little nervous about being held, but falls right asleep on my hand if I keep it in her cage.
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

a feeder should be fine if you get it from a shop that seperates the males and females? as the petco here does.
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

Well - I went for a hoodie - black. What a difference in Ratties temperment. She has opened right up now that she has a new best friend.
They are snuggle buddies now.
 

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Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

i know someone who found a fancy pet rat living in her shed. it was pregnant. she took it in but released the babies since they were half wild.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Pet? rat - caught in my house

Andrea said:
Wow fancy a pet rat roaming into your house.
I'm lucky, but Ratty is luckier. I think most people in the nieghborhood would have just put out rat poison after Ratty chewed though both the phone wires and the icemaker wires. Instead, she gets a three story deluxe home and a little buddy. She's still a bit nervous, but loves sleeping in my shirt or sticking her little nose out to smell the house. BTW - that's not ratty in my picture - can you guess what it is?
 
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