Animal Stories - Pet Rat


Animal-World Information about: Pet Rat

   Active and smart little animals, rats can make great pets especially for children!
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Stacey - 2014-02-02
I bought my daughter two male rats late July 2013, one hairless which was 1 month and a white one which was 3 months. Took them to the vet 2 weeks later once I found a vet that took exotic pets. They got a clean bill of health. On Thursday around 5pm I went to do my daily cleaning of the cage, change the liter pan daily and feed them and fresh water, I notice the hairless which is Rascal was just laying in his hut. This is not normal for him because we call him our hyper boy. He was cold as ice, tried warming him up with heating pad and took him to the vet on Friday. The vet couldn't tell if he had phenomena she would have to get an x- Ray and she said that was not a guarantee account of rats can't hold there breath and he is to sick to sedate. So she gave me medicine for Rascal that was sick and for Ratouille to take as well for 2 weeks. Rascal died Saturday 2/1/14 and my daughter was so upset. I put him in the cage for his buddy to see he had passed but he didn't seem to care he just wanted out to play. Ratatouille is showing no signs and I am a little bit worried on getting another friend for him because I don't want him to get sick. I am not looking to have Rats forever, thought this would be a great first pet for my daughter . If I get a young rat I would be facing with that one being alone after Ratatouille passes and if I try to get an older rat and they don,t get along then I am face with 2 rats being alone. I have the critter nation 3 story cage which I can pull up one of the ladders and it turns out to be 2 cages. So my question is what would be the best for ratatouille with out investing in another cage and can I quarantine in the bath room tub? Please help.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-02
    I'm so sorry to hear about Rascal, a tradgedy for you all. It sounds like your vet wasn't sure what the problem was, so I would probably give Ratouille a couple of weeks before I introduced another friend, if you decide to do that. It could be that he is fine. They are very social and do like a companion. They also have a short life-span, 2-3 years, so that's the length of time you would have these pets.
  • Stacey - 2014-02-03
    Thank you, he is on the meds for 2 weeks. What age of a new male should I try to introduce to an 8 month old? Ratatouille is very friendly and playful.
  • Stacey - 2014-02-03
    Thank you, he is on the meds for 2 weeks. What age of a new male should I try to introduce to a 8 month old? Ratatouille is very friendly and playful.
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Jordan Kimball - 2013-12-12
I have had 2 rats sense mothers day of 2013. But sadly last night my pet fancy rat died. Her name was 'Cupcake.' She started to lose a lot of wight in only 2 days. Then when i picked it up i think i may have touched the back of its legs and it bit me for about 30 seconds. And if i am going to tell you something right its that rats have SHARP teeth! I went to the doctors today and they had to give me a shot because of it. So take this as a tip: Do not touch the rat to much when it cant move or it will BIT because or how much it is in pain. So she passed this morning, on December 12 2013. And when we bought it we had to buy the sister to so now the other rat is really lonely so we are getting another one! I love Fancy Rats! They will cuddle with you more than any hamster would any day! And i am so attached to them so i am really sad that she is gone. :(

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-12
    I'm so sorry about your lose, but happy that you will get Cupcake's sister a new companion. They really do like a friend! They are so very smart that they cuddle more than any hamster and are some of the most personable pets. And you're right, they do have very sharp teeth, I have had gotten a couple bites and quickly learned how to avoid them:)
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Krissy - 2013-08-04
I have owned rats for several years now. Plenty of then have had litters. The rats I have now, are two females and one male. One of the females had a litter of around 9 kittens, they are about a week old. She is taking very well care of them and I am treating to her as she isn't in the cage with the others. But I have a very concerning question, one of the 9 kittens is very tiny, I have seen plenty of baby rats, but never one that small, and considering it's still the same size as it was the day it was born, is very nerve raking, only thing is, is it seems to be very healthy, she's a trooper! Burries right in with all the other bigger rats, she moves a lot. I have been keeping a close eye on her. But I'd like to know if this is normal? And what are the chances of her being okay and a healthy rat ?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-08-22
    It sounds like she is doing well so far for being the runt! If she makes it to weaning, and seems healthy, she should have no problems living a healthy and happy adult life. There is nothing wrong with a small rat, I have had plenty of them!
  • Diane Dennie - 2013-10-01
    I think just like any other species of animal, often there is a runt.  Until the runt gets older it is hard to tell if there is a birth defect that will shorten its life.  All you can do is hope and pray for the best but be prepared for the worst. If she lives to be 2 or three months she will probably do fine.  Remember a rats average life span is only 3 years old due to being predisposed for cancer. I have had one live close to 6 years but I was lucky.  I had a 1 year old begin to get tumors. I had them removed.  Right when she healed she began to grow more rumors.  I couldn't stand to see her suffer so I had her put to sleep.  I agree rats are the smartest of all rodents.  I currently have a male that is almost a year old who is part hooded and part Rex. He is a very nervous little guy there I am having a hard time teaching him tricks but we still love him.  I also have cats. Years ago I taught a girl that if she was on my lap and saw a cat, she would run down my shirt for protection.  If I saw the cat first I made a curtain noise and again she would run for cover.  How many other rodents would be that smart.



    Good luck to you and your little rat family.  Diane
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marenne - 2013-01-18
my rat needs to be put down and we cant afford a vet a fellow rat lover said give them deadly food but are there any foods that can kill a rat without makeing it suffer

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-18
     If you can't here's a very humane way (which is arguably more humane than the euthanasia shot)



    Its called a CO2 (carbon dioxide) chamber. take a small, airtight box or bowl, a small cup with a good bit of baking soda and another cup of vinegar. say goodbye to your rat, and put him in the box. put the cup in as well, and pour in the vinegar. shut the box tightly, and leave it alone for 20-30 minutes. then remove the lid and bury your rat
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Luca - 2012-06-12
I love rats. They are so adorable! Rats have many different personalities(ex: my rats hazel is very active and likes to explore but gravity is more shy and will just cuddle up with you). Just wanna say that rats make adorable pets and I highly recommend them as pets.

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  • Michael - 2012-11-25
    Are rats really good pets? Everyone says they are just disgusting little smelly things, is it true? I mean I am kinda scared of them, but some are kinda cute though. But the ones that i think are really disgusting and gross and that i have a HUGE fear of is the sewer rats, or those wild rats that have rabies!! They scare me!!
  • Steph - 2012-11-30
    Rats are great pets. Wild rats are different then pet rats. Just like a wild cat is a lot different then a pet cat. Pet rats are definitely not disgusting animals. They clean themselves and are very intelligent. I love rats as pets, you'll also come to realize each have their own individual personality.
  • brian sigmon - 2012-12-06
    I am wanting a pet rat.. If you could call me with places to get one I would be extremly happy! My number is 828-302-5691
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S.Holder - 2012-11-28
Rats do make fine pets. I have had several thoughout the years. I am almost 50 and will have rats till the day I have to say goodbye to all. They are fun, they are affectionate, they are smart, they can be litter box trained....any more questions?

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shaan sahab chowdhury - 2012-11-27
i love pet rats...

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Anonymous - 2012-04-03
I have 2 female rats, Covey and Ella.
Covey is 9 months old and Ella is 6 weeks old.
I would recommend a pet rat to anyone.
Covey is friendly and energetic whilst Ella loves to explore.
They are very clean creatures and do not smell like my pet mouse I owned earlier.

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  • boo - 2012-04-25
    My rat smells really bad. Does that mean theres something wrong with him ?
  • Anonymous - 2012-04-28
    It may be that you don't clean his cage enough. I would recommend cleaning it every week. It could also be the bedding I would recomend hardwood shavings as they are warm and don't smell like some beddings such as hay or newspaper, but if it continues get some advice from a vet or qualified breeder although one of my rats urinates a lot in her cage and smells a bit so I have to wipe the cage down every day if this is the case it is nothing to worry about.
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Tessa - 2012-04-29
I just bought two pet rats last night from Petsmart, Tre and Reese. When we first picked up Tre, at the pet store, he was sneezing and then he stopped. When we got Reese out to put him inside his box he did the same thing. Last night and still this morning they are sneezing, is this bad or is it normal? Thanks.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-29
    Could be allergic to the bedding. I would try that first.
  • Anonymous - 2012-04-30
    It could be the bedding (don't ever give them pine or cedar shavings), if you see them sneezing out red or pink liquid it would be them reacting to the new cold weather or it could be a respiratory tract Infection but get some advice from a vet if it carries on.
  • Anonymous - 2012-06-12
    Same thing happened to my rats. After a few weeks they stopped because the bedding at the store was pine or cedar but we put different bedding in. (I would recommend carefresh or boxo)
  • Wackadoodle - 2012-09-17
    That happened with me too, we got different bedding but a day later one of them died, it had only been 3 days after we got her, this may be unlikely though so don't listen to me only
  • Christian - 2012-10-24
    Take them to a vet. its seroius mine died and got my other rat sick.
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Daria - 2012-09-18
Does anyone know if you can domesticate the rattus rattus version or are they always high strung-you know, like the difference between parakeets and canaries-look but don't touch! I have been able to catch them with my bare hands and stroke them in a cage but that's about all.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2012-09-19
    The rat species 'Black Rat, Rattus rattus' is a larger and more aggressive species than the Brown Rat (shown here) which has become more common and domesticated. Although I've never reared this wild rat, I have reared wild mice and the biggest difference between them and domestic mice is they are always more nervous and jumpy. Even though they are handled and socialized from infancy, they never outgrow this tendency. I would bet it is similar for the Black Rat.
  • Andrea Sosio - 2012-10-11
    R. rattus is actually smaller (not larger) than R. norvegicus. I wouldn't equate the black rat to 'wild rats' as in fact most wild rats are brown (norvegics) rats. There is not much evidence of people domesticating black rats, but it is difficult to say if this is because black rats are harder to domesticate or, more simply, because they are rare. Rat domestication / rat fancy has started in the XIX Century, when the R. norvegicus had already largely replaced the black rat all over Europe, so breeders didn't have much chance to breed the black ones.
  • Clarice Brough - 2012-10-13
    Great info about the background on these two species. But I did find myself questioning the size so did a bit more research just to make sure. What I've found is that the Black Rat, Rattus rattus, is in fact larger. It has a body length between almost 13 inches (32.4 cm) up to 25 inches (46.4 cm). The Brown Rat, Rattus norvegicus, on the other hand can only reach up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length.
  • Lee Fairclough - 2012-10-22
    Speaking as someone who has kept both, they both adapt superbly to captivity. They are both placid, highly tamable and live happily in soicial groups. While I wouldn't say either was more tamable than the other, I have never been bitten by a black while I have had the occasional nip from a brown (although I've ket more browns). Re: the sizes, the brown rat is considerably bigger. While the black rat may get slightly longer including tail-length, the blacks have a proportionately much longer tail. Additionally, brown rats are much more heavily built and are getting on for twice the adult weight on average as the blacks. In terms of build and appearance blacks are much more like very large mice, with larger ears and more delicate features. I suspect the principle reason you don't see many black rats in captivity is that the brown rat has become an ubiquitous laboratory animal and is bred in large numbers for this and as a food animal for reptiles. I suspect that there is also a stronger stigmatism still attached to the black rat still as harbinger of the plague. Finally, in the UK at least wild black rats were virtually driven to extinction by browns. While black rats aren't encountered in pet shops, many zoological parks and attractions still have colonies on display. As you can imagine with a large mix-sexed colony of rodents, they often have an abundance of surplus animals which end up euthenised as food for other exhibits, but a chat with the appropriate keeper can often secure some in return for beer money. This is how I got mine. One word about blacks for anyone deciding to keep them, tho', they are a lot more fragile than browns and their tails are much more easily damaged, also they can lose toe-nails if you're not careful picking them up from a substrate they don't want to let go of so you need to be gentle with them.
  • pes11 - 2012-10-22
    I have a black and norway rat that live happily in the same cage. My black rat, Lars, is actually much more tame than my norway rat though i think that might just be their personalities. Lars is much smaller than my norway though he is the dominant rat. He also seems to pick up on verbal cues better. He learns tricks faster and is more motivated by human attention than food.
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