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Thread: thinking of getting a pet rat

  1. #1
    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    thinking of getting a pet rat

    I have been going to petco alot now (not wise on my parents account, if only they knew me better! ) and I have been looking at the rats. I have a few questions about them first.

    What kind of cage is the best? Ex. metal bars, no plastic
    What gender should I go for?
    Where should I get them?
    How many should I get atleast?
    What toys do they like?
    What kind of bedding is bests?
    How often should their bedding be changed?
    How freindly are they?
    How long do they live?
    What brand of food should i get?
    How big should their cage be?
    What treats should they get?

    I know its alot but, those are before starting to research.

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Don't shop at Petco. I wouldn't even buy dry good there. Petco is where the pets go... to die. They have a reputation of neglect and selling sick animals, more so than any other chain store.

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    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    um, I don't know about the petco you have been going to but this one takes care of its pets, even the hermit crabs have good conditions compared to ANY other chain store I have ever gone to.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    You wouldn't be supporting just that store, you'd be supporting the company, which sucks. Of course if you don't care...

    Not my problem. Do what you will. It's well documented online.

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    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    I don't see how it supports multiple stores at all. do the stores send money to one another?

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Petco is a corporation. The money ultimately goes into the corporate coffers.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Loves VFT's! Trapper7's Avatar
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    What kind of cage is the best? Ex. metal bars, no plastic

    Rat's like to climb, so a metal cage I think would be best. One thing that is a big no no is metal bars on the bottom of the cage. Rats get something called bubble foot if they have to walk on wire bars. It's very painful for the rat and could even result in death if not treated properly. An aquarium is not a good idea. The rat won't be able to climb very well in it, and also it's not well ventilated.

    What gender should I go for?

    I've had both genders and they are both almost the same. The males tend to be a bit friendlier, in my experience.

    Where should I get them?

    I would look at a shelter first. If you look online in your area, there may be a rat rescue, or sometimes the ASPCA has some. I would definetly adopt rather than buy from a pet store. Animals at shelters have a lot harder time getting a home, whereas the ones in stores gets homes pretty much all the time. If you go to a shelter, you will be helping a rattie and you'll get a great buddy

    How many should I get atleast?

    Rats like to be with other rats. You CAN get just one and spend a lot of time with it, but they do like to be with their own kind. There are just some things that a rat can do for another rat, that a person can't do I've have same sex pairs before in one cage. Some got a long fine, some didn't. You may need to neuter your males if you get two males because they CAN fight a lot. If you try at a shelter, they may have a bonded pair already

    What toys do they like?

    Rats need to chew, so chew sticks are a good idea. Like I said, they love to climb, so anything they can hang onto is fun for them. Extra shelves in the cage are a big hit. Mine also used to love playing with one of those small cat balls with the bell inside.

    What kind of bedding is bests?

    NEVER us cedar or pine. Aspen is a good choice, but so is fleece or paper towels. Don't use newspaper, I don't think the ink is good for them.

    How often should their bedding be changed?

    Depends on how many rats you have and how big the cage is. You can do spot cleaning (clean up poop here and there), and do a whole cage cleaning once a week. Rats are very clean animals and they like to stay that way

    How freindly are they?

    I have never had a mean rat, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. Mine were extremely friendly and would groom me all the time, which is their way of showing they like you. The more time you spend with them, the happier they are. People at a pet store, probably wouldn't know much about their rats personality because they don't spend time with them (I'm not bad mouthing the store, but they don't have time for that kind of thing). At a shelter you have a much better chance of knowing how friendly they are because the staff do tend to interact with them more, and they'll be able to tell you (most likely) what the rat likes and doesn't like

    How long do they live?

    They say they live for 2-3 years (different sites say different things) but I had a rat live to be 4 and a half and that was old.

    What brand of food should i get?

    Something with not a lot of colorful nuts and whatever they are in it. That's fake food and not healthy for any pet, in my opinion. My rats really liked this stuff: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...utm_source=cse
    I also fed mine carrots and some other veggies, but I can't remember what exactly, besides the carrots.


    How big should their cage be?

    The bigger, the better! A hamster cage is WAY too small and is not suitable for a rat. A guinea pig cage for one rat is a good start. A rabbit cage is even better. You can also build your own, if that's what you're into. Just make sure, with whichever cage you get, that the rat can't stick it's head between the bars.


    What treats should they get?

    Fresh veggies like baby carrots are good, but there are also lots of things you can find at a pet store. But again, nothing with too much funky colors because it's not natural. My guys liked these: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753573

    or these: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753310

    A rat is a great pet....that's how I ended up with 17 at one point Good luck! I hope I helped some.
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  8. #8
    rattler's Avatar
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    What kind of cage is the best? Ex. metal bars, no plastic

    i always used 10 gal aquariums but then i took them out for hours on end....the less you take them out the bigger the cage needs to be....wouldnt keep them in a 10 gal if i had them now as i wouldnt have them out as much due to work and being out of town alot....bigger parakeet type bird cages with lots of floor space work well too....

    What gender should I go for?

    dont think it matters but have had good luck with males

    Where should I get them?

    given their short lives prolly someone whos pet has had babies with mom and pop pet shops being second

    How many should I get atleast?

    if you have lots of time to interact with them one is fine but i generally always kept 2 males preferably brothers

    What toys do they like?

    anything they can crawl through and wood toys they can chew

    What kind of bedding is bests?

    i always used pine

    How often should their bedding be changed?

    once a week unless the spill their water or something similar

    How freindly are they?

    if hand raised think lil dog

    How long do they live?

    never had one live past 30 months

    What brand of food should i get?

    actually mine ate whatever i did....fruits, veggies, grains, occationally meats some large bird seeds......they loved it when i had ham and scrambled eggs......cooked rice and saltine crackers were also favorites


    How big should their cage be?

    see above, in general 3 square feet of floor space would be ideal that way if your gone for a bit they have room to move

    What treats should they get?

    whatever....most fruits veggies and nuts are relished....mine loved x-mas time when i would buy a bag of nuts(almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, ect) still in the shells.....they would gnaw on the shells and extract the nuts themselves
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