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First let me tell you a lil story. I had a pet ferret (Pinball) for 4 days. I was in a constant state of worry with him. Mostly because ferrets can easily get intestinal blockage and die within days if not rushed to a Vet. The funny thing was I went to the pet store to look at the rats and the guy there let me play with the ferrets and like kryptonite to Superman I was powerless to resist.

Now the problems I worried about with Pinball, were problems rats don't have. Plastic, wood, or cloth can be death to a ferret, but nothing to a rat. Only downside of rats is their lifespan. The rats here are "feeder" rats, and sold as food or pets. Their are all different ages and sizes. I can safely say the pet store does not handle the rats, so they are scared of people. I've read so many horror stories of pet store rats that are ill and die quickly. Or need alot of costly vet care only to die after a month.

I have a few books of keeping rats so I know what they should and shouldn't eat or do. But with all the genetic issues rats have, I can't shake the feeling they are like lil time bombs that will get cancer or lung infections no matter what I do. And since they are pet store rats, the odds are they are already sick. I just don't know what I should do.
 

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Try to find a private breeder that had healthy rats already instead of a pet store. I live in a rural area and was sure there were none around me but after some searching I did find a few. All of my rats are mixtures of store bought and feeder 'saves', which I'm learning the hard way here is not really the best way to go. If I had done proper research I'd have never bought any of my boys the way I did. Don't get me wrong, I love them tons, but buying from a good breeder is much better for rat quality.

I've never had a ferret, they are illegal in California so you don't see them in petstores. There are people who get them, but the next problem is finding a vet that can see them, most vets won't go near a ferret around here because they can lose their license to practice.
 

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2 of the same sex (or opposite if u get one fixed.. prolly the female since it lowers tumor chances and such) is nice, since they keep each other company and sometimes have drastic differences in personality. You could have one cuddlier rat and one more playful. Have the best of both worlds and all that.

I've had a few single male rats, back when even having 1 rat was an iffy subject with my parents, and I only knew anything from one pet rat book. I had them out all the time and they watched tv with me, sat on my shoulder when I was on the computer or even did the dishes, and ran all over me when I would do my homework on my bed with them. They would brux easily and give plenty of kisses. They were quite happy and mentally healthy. Sometimes the way people talk it sounds like a rat would be completely psychotic or disturbed, like deeply depressed without a rat companion. But yhea you could prolly get away with one big fat male as long as you can spend plenty of time with em. If u really want just one to start.

I haven't had much experience with single females, they seem to be more sensitive and hyper, I could see a female needing to socialize more than a male.

I know that one good point of getting a pair of rats is that they can clean each other where they can't reach themselves, and therefore should be healthier as a whole. Also, lots people say it is better for their mental health and such, to have a more constant and same species companion.
 

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I've had two of my ferrets for six years, one for nearly five. They have never gotten an intestinal blockage and are pretty good at not messing with stuff and eating stuff that is inedible. They are out everyday for many hours a day on top of that.

Things you would need to worry about a ferret though: Constant need for attention and out time, incredibly high vet bills at the end of the life (surgery and shots costing upwards of $100/month) and shots every year. They are little money drainers but I love them.

Stick to here and read tons of past threads about the rats. So what happened to the ferret? Was he returned to the pet store ):
 

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Yes I brought him back. I felt so bad doing it, I would visit him at the store like 4 times a week. Recently he and one of his brothers were bought. I hope he has a good home.
 

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Lesath said:
I've never had a ferret, they are illegal in California so you don't see them in petstores. There are people who get them, but the next problem is finding a vet that can see them, most vets won't go near a ferret around here because they can lose their license to practice.
Actually - that doesn't/can't happen. Prosecuting doctors for treating illegal animals violates ethics. All animals - legal or otherwise - have to natural right to medical care and doctors have the right to give them that care.

And I am sooo glad. :lol:
 

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Interesting! The only ones i've ever talked to about it said no way at all. :( Maybe it's different if you actually show up with the animal. I've had friends with ferrets before but they've always drove into Nevada to get care for them.
 

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Thats too bad. Maybe they (the doctors and your friends) just didn't realize... I've worked as an RVT for years and it is completely legal to treat them.

Not all facilities are equiped to handle ferrets... I know the hospital I am at now only treats dogs and cats (and my rats :D ) so we have to turn people away for that reason.

Maybe that was the issue? Who knows.
 

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By the way - I love that the middle rat, the black and white one, is winking. ;-)
 

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Well that's good to know! Makes me feel a little better about possibly getting a ferret in the future. I've never wanted to get one before since the care was so difficult to get, I'd hate to have something happen and not be able to get care for the animal. Right now though I'm sticking with rats! :lol:


Edit: And the middle rat is Stanley, he loves the camera. :D
 

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So cute.

You could always research it first to be sure that you know a place you could take them if you ever decided to get more - probably both a daytime vet and an emergency hospital.

Where in California do you live?
 
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