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Old 07-15-2016, 11:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2012
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Default soon to be a rat owner. advice needed

Hi all I'm wondering if anyone here has any advice about rats.

I'm looking for advice on housing ( which cages do people have) and taming (is it much the same as a hamster)

I'm really looking forward to brining home a pair of ratted soon but want to be ready for them.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: soon to be a rat owner. advice needed

Domestic rats tend to be automatically social,however,unlike hamsters I would say they don't need quite as much time to settle in!3-4 days should be perfectly fine for rats,while hamsters would often need a week or more to settle in.Along that note,when you're choosing rats whether in a shelter or pet store or even from a breeder choose rats that are curious as they should be curious and alert as well as already very socially inclined.

While a pair is the minimum,odd numbers can often do even better and are much easier to work with if some rats end up falling out of the group.Something like 5 rats is great,since then you can split the group if they don't get along unlike a pair or trio where you'd have to find even more rats for them to be grouped with.

In terms of foods and treats it can be very similar,same with toys.However,unlike hamsters their layout should be catered towards arboreal animals as they are not terrestrial.In simple terms,they need levels and climbing toys and such where hamsters prefer ground space for the most part.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: soon to be a rat owner. advice needed

Hiya, great to see another rat owner! (Well soon to be, rat owner!)

I have 7 girlies at the moment. Are yours going to be girls or boys? Girls are known to be a lot more active than boys, whilst boys tend to be much more laid back.

As I have 7 rats, they have a massive cage. I have this one for my girls, they love it! Savic Royal Suite 95 Double Ferret Cage |Great deals at zooplus Its huge, takes up a lot of space, but its totally worth it! Many people often spoil their pair of rats and get this cage too, all that room just for two rats is really good. Rats do use all the space! Especially if you make it super interesting for them by absolutely filling it with toys and enrichment. Another good thing about the cage (there are so many reasons why!) is that it can be split into two cages by folding one of the ramps up that shuts off the hole between the two sections. This is good if you have one injured rattie, a new addition that slowly being introduced, or if you want two groups of rats! Lots of people have one half with girls in, and the other with boys in.

This is the cage I started off with when I just had 2 girlies. Savic Royal Suite 95 Double Ferret Cage |Great deals at zooplus Its a nice size and can be used for up to 3 girls, though I would only house a pair of boys in there as they grow larger than girls and need that bit more space!

This is the larger version of the cage above:
Rat Cages
(Suited for up to 4 rats)

Common cages that are advertized as rat cages, but are NOT suitable are:
Savic Ruffy 2 Rat Cage | Pets At Home
Ferplast Cage Mary Grey
They are simply no where near tall enough. These are suited to hams! Not rats!

As well as those cages, tanks, vivariums and anything similar, are also not suitable for rats. Though you probably already know this!

Rats are prone to respiratory infections and tumours unfortuantely, so make sure you have a good exotic vet ready if needed! I cannot stress the words 'exotic vet' enough! So many people go to their local vets with their rats only to find that the treatment they are given, just doesn't do anything. Most vets specialise in cats and dogs. So get registered to a rat savvy vet!

Taming rats is a lot easier than hamsters I have found. I've had a total of 12?? rats over the years and none of them were ever aggressive or drew blood. Baby rats do nip, but its like a baby. Babies put things in their mouths to test the object out and get a feel for it. Its the same with young rats. Its easily sorted out with a little tap on the nose and a stern (not shouting!) 'no!' some people even make a squeak sound (the sound rats make to let the other rat know that they hurt them) as rats are very intelligent, its picked up on super quickly!

Any questions, let me know! I rushed this post, normally my posts are a bit more together than this! haha
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Old 07-16-2016, 05:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: soon to be a rat owner. advice needed

When I was taming my rats I just got into the bath tub with them and let them run around on my legs to get the scent. They were from a breeder so were tame already but that seemed to help them get used to me quickly.

One of my other boys was a rescue who had been returned by his owner for fighting with another rat (Im sure it was only play fighting because he got on with my others brilliantly) at first I was a bit nervous of him biting me so I handled him with gloves for the first week or so but he was absolutely fine.

Rats are really clever, as soon as you prove to them you are no threat they won't try to bite you. Give them lots of yummy things to begin with and they will soon be asking to be picked up.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: soon to be a rat owner. advice needed

Thanks for the advice. I ended up buying a savic zeno 3 cage as it was an emergency.
I rehomed 2 little rattie girls from someone who didn't want them anymore and were living in a hamster cage.

It's not the best cage but it's better than what they were in. The access is bad just one small door but I can take the roof off to access/rrearrange hammocks.
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:28 PM   #6
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Location: Birmingham
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Default Re: soon to be a rat owner. advice needed

Welcome to ratty world!

Ive been owned by ratties for 6 years now and I can't remember life without them! I keep bucks and I show them also

That cage is fine for a pair of girlies. Shove them down your hoody and walk around with them, hearing your heart and the warmth helps for taming and bonding

I echo what the others have said, feel free to ask as many questions as you like and good luck with the newbies, looking forward to seeing them
Feel free to ask me about rat advice too
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advice, hamster, home, ready, taming, owner, needed, rat

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