Animal Stories - Pet Rat


Animal-World Information about: Pet Rat

   Active and smart little animals, rats can make great pets especially for children!
Latest Animal Stories
Mary - 2007-05-24
I have an albino rat and her name is Mitzy. She loves to play with my dog and he loves to bath her. She likes chasing my cats when they come near her, grabbing their toes or tails and they all run from her. She likes ridding around on my shoulder and climbing in your shirt. She is very gentle and beautiful. What I love most is she even gives kisses.

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Kate - 2007-05-21
I own two litter mates, does. This is the first time I owned a rat and I got the two. Their names are Maura and Mercedes! I love them so much and I want to know more about what Im doing. So I was looking at different sites to help me better understand and this site is a "winner".

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craig storey - 2007-05-16
i got 5 does, 2 hooded and 3 dumdo. Great website.

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Cece - 2007-05-13
Hi! I have one albino rat name Kayla and she loves to get out of her cage. I got her 2 years ago. She loves cereal!

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tomorrow - 2007-05-08
I'm doing a project on rats because i have one named rattus. i named him that because it sooted his personally. i also have a cat named moggy. rattus loves cuddling up to moggy, it is really strange because it is like they are in love. but they are both boys and I'm sure they aren't gay. ps i lov this site
name:tomorrow rose
age:13
country:Australia

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Jennifer - 2007-05-02
yep i love this site. it helps me know if my rats are going to be ok and healthy. i have 3 rats; der des, nubberlous, and buttercup and i love them all. they mean the world to me :D

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toby - 2007-04-30
my rats, spencer and gerry, have diarrhea a lot. so i was glad when i found a website with the answer in it, and so many amazing facts. this website is brilliant!

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Chestersmom - 2007-04-14
Rats are great pets! They are, like mentioned earlier, dogs in a small package. My rat Chester died just under a year ago and is dearly missed. Rats are perfect pets for kids who have never owned a pet before. They can be fed table scraps occasionally and they dont have very strict dietary requirments like Chinchillas and Sugar gliders. Rats bond closely to owners and are extremely smart. They do like large cages. Bucks (boys) and Does (girls), make equally good pets but Bucke tend to be slower then Does, and more incined to sit on laps. Does are happy to be on the move, exloring. Their are exeptions to this rule though! Rats need lots of toys in their cages, to keep them from getting bored, as they are very smart. Rats should be kept in groups or pairs, as alone rat needs 4 hours of human intention a day. Rats should be fed rat fod, either a mix or lab blocks. Mixes have the down side of the rat being able to pick his or her favorite food and not eating the healthy parts. Lab blocks are really better, as they wear down the constantly growing teeth and provide all healthy nutrients. They dont add much variety. I fed Chester both, and he lived to be 3. Thats the down side of rats. They have short life spans of 2-4 years. Rats also can NEVER be housed on ceder, or pine, actually, no rodents should. Chester had on-going health problems from his original pet home housing him on ceder. Rats should have clean water supplied daily in a plastic or glass water bottle. Beware of plastic, which is easily chewed. Play time is very important, and you should spend at least an hour a day with your rat. As for the puchase, the best place to get a rat is from a local, private breeder. Especially if you have never had a rat before. If you must go to a pet store look for one that keeps the rats off of cedar or pine. Also look for a rat that is responsive, playful, and has clean fur, bright eyes, no discharge around eyes or nose, or a dirty under belly. You should have a wire cage with nessasary supplies aready set up at home. But always remember, if you want a rat research their care. dont be afraid to ask rat breeders questions and ask questions on forums. Enjoy your new best friend!

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Johanna Slotte - 2007-03-29
Hi

First of all I'd like to say that it's good to see another site with information about rats. I've been a rat owner for many years, and I think they make fantastic pets. I would, however like to point out some information.
Almost all rats will show signs of Mycoplasma Pulmonis or "myco" (pneumonia). (More on this later). They are also very prone to tumours, which are usually benign and easily removed by a vet. I'd add a note that it's important to have a contact vet before buying rats, as there will almost certainly be reason to go at some point in the rat's life. This can get expensive, their vet bills are not cheap. I've seen a rat with a benign tumour three inches across that the rat was dragging behind him because the owner didn't want to pay to take him to a vet.

Secondly "when buying a rat"... also "listen for any sign of wheezing". Any sign of the rat squeaking that is not a distinct "eep" is myco (pneumonia) and needs to be treated by a vet IMMEDIATELY to avoid lung scarring which can later lead to other health issues. Also it's important to always buy more than one rat as rats are social creatures and need company. Females are livelier than males and will be more "fun". Males are quiet and will be more "cuddly".

Environment: A handy guide to calculating cage size is two cubic foot per rat, which means the minimum cage size for two rats would be 4 cubic feet. Rats are very active and need space to move around. Rats can't tolerate as high temperatures as we can, and too hot is more serious than too cold. If a human is feeling "warm" then your rat is probably too hot. If you live in a warm area don't buy rats. Don't keep rats in sunlight, and if it's an unusually warm day make sure they have plenty of water. A good "house" for rats is a hammock. Just tie a piece of old clothing, about 1' x 1' up by the corners and you'll find your rats love sleeping in it, or just lying there observing the world. You can make double layer hammocks too, and the rats will crawl between the layers. For bedding pine shavings should never be used since the phenols in the wood (the nice smell) cause lung damage.

Nutrition: You should add something to the cage with calcium, since rats need a lot. Bird calcium stones are good for this.

Social behaviour: No, one rat is not ok. You may think you can spend a lot of time with the rat at first, but nobody has as much time for a rat as another rat would, and they need companionship for grooming, playing, etc. Most rat "fights" you will see are actually the rats tickling each other. Rats have the same "tickly tissue" us humans have and they love flipping each other on their backs and tickling. When they do this they "laugh" although the sound is too high pitched for the human ear to hear.

Breeding: Putting one male in with several females is a recipe for disaster! Each female could have 15 kittens, which would mean 45 extra rats if three females were in the cage with one male. True, sometimes they might only have, say, 7 kittens, but that's not a risk to be taken. Also before breeding you should know where you are going to rehome the rats. Breeding and giving to a petstore just for the sake of seeing you rats breed is not a good idea, however cute it may seem. Fathers can NOT be left in with mothers, since the mother can (and probably will) get pregnant again the SAME DAY she gives birth, which means she will have a runty second litter as she is still feeding the first litter. Female rats can reach sexual maturity in 5 weeks, which is earlier than the males. If the father is left in the cage you will have all the female kittens pregnant after 5 weeks, as well as the mother.

Ailments/ treatments: For any of the ailments I'd recommend going to a vet immediately. Any sign of sluggishness is probably a sign of sickness, watch the rat closely. Any redness around the eyes or nose is porphyrin, which is a sign of stress (like tears in humans). Porphyrin is probably a sign that your rat is sick, and you should see a vet.
A common misconception: Any sound at all, apart from a clear "eep" when the rats are playing, or hurt themselves (or someone tries to steal their food, etc) is a respiratory problem. Rats DO NOT "talk" to their owners with small grunting squeaks - this is a respiratory illness and has to be treated as soon as possible with antibiotics.

Please feel free to verify anything I've said with a rat club, such as the Rat and Mouse Club of America: www.rmca.org, who have a very informative website.

Regards,

Johanna

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Mirella - 2007-03-21
I only discovered that you could have a pet rat after reading about it in a book, and im glad I did otherwise my three pet rats (Yoko, Maisy and Rufis) wouldn't be here! they are extremely happy here in their 3 story cage. they are really clever and are great escape artists but best of all, very lovable! I have learned a lot from this web-site as well since one of my rats has had diarrhea and I was a little bit unsure what to do. now I know to stop feeding them all those lettuce leaves:P

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