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Rats as Pets
Yes, I said Rats. They make awesome pets and are clean.Most Rats do not bite, compared to a hamster
or gerbil, in the past I have had pet rats and mostly just one rat at a time. I
used to keep the rat in a 10 Gal aquarium which I find out is wrong. The rat
would just lie in the Aquarium all day and looked depressed. Times have changed
for the better for the rat. I started reading and doing research. Rats are
sociable. Always have at least two Rats together, same sex of course or you
will have many more unless they are neutered. Rats like to run and play with
each other and their toys. Homemade toys are the best and are cheap.
Housing:First let me
talk about housing for the Rats. Please don’t keep them in an aquarium. The air
does not circulate in them to well and the ammonia builds up quickly from their
urine and will cause the rats to have upper respiratory infections. Rats are
clean; they clean themselves daily like a cat. They also can be litter box trained.
Homemade cages can be built; there are so many ways to build them a cage so
they will be happy and healthy. I decided on purchasing a 5 foot tall
multi-level metal cage (used usually for a ferret of Chinchilla) as rats cannot
chew through the metal. The spacing of
the bars on the cages can be ½ inch – ¾ inch wide. Female rats cannot get their
head through them and escape. Remember if they can get their head through the
rest of their body will fit through also.If the bar spacing is too wide you can buy coated hardware cloth and it
can be zipped tied to the existing bars on the outside of the cage and your pet
rats cannot escape. The multi-level cage that I purchased, I set it up, put the
levels and ramps in. I left room for a fabric hammock and other toys to put in
their Rat Condo, as I now call it. J The rats love it! I bought two Sterilite containers
to put on the bottom of the cage for their litter boxes. It is amazing to see
them sleep on the top of the Rat Condo and when they wake up they go running
down the ramps to the bottom of the Rat Condo to go do their business in the
litter boxes. It was so easy litter box training them. On the Internet research
in You Tube, type in “How to litter train a rat”.
Diet:Make a homemade
diet mixture or better yet, feed your Rats most of the Natural healthy diet
that you eat. Rats can eat Fruits, vegetables and even cooked meat along with seeds,
grains, nuts, berries, mealworms, insects, fish and eggs. Rats are Omnivores.
They need a wide variety diet to stay healthy and not the commercial bird seed
looking food sold in the pet stores. There is some food that they should not
have also like onion, make sure you do research. Stay away from processed
foods. If it has Soy or chemicals in the food that you eat do not feed it to
your rats. It may cause cancer.I feed
my rats, mealworms, superworms (feed one at a time presented to the rats with
tweezers, as they love them and may accidently bite your finger) cooked
chicken, steak, beef, nuts, strawberries, banana, blueberries, all kinds of
fruit and vegetables. For a treat as they should not get too much sugar in
their diet, a piece of cookie every once in a while. They eat cooked oatmeal
Toys:Buy a yard of
fleece and make braided walking ropes, a hammock for them to sleep on. I put a
paper bag in their Condo with a hole in it and they use that for a nest box.
Buy a $1.00 box of tissues and they will have start pulling out the tissues for
nesting material. Old socks can be used. If you knit or crochet you can make a
hammock out of yarn. Empty milk carton with an opening cut out of it. Rocks,
they like to climb and using a rock(s) will also keep their nails trim.
Do Rats bite? Any animal can bite. Rats hardly ever bite
compared to a Hamster or Gerbil. If you have a food smell or leftovers on your
fingers that they may accidently bite your finger looking for the food.
Friendly pet rats usually will be used to being petted and held that they won’t
bite as they trust you.
To get you started on your research for your Rats for a
happy healthy life here are some links:
It has been awhile since I have posted anything. There has been a reason why. We have gone through some great sadness and loss lately. My favorite Best girl, Peepot was diagnosed with Lympho Sarcoma, which is cancer in the Lymph nodes. The Doctor said she may last 2 months. She was able to last 3 months. After ending her suffering we took out Champion Retriever to the Doctor as he was lame on his front right leg for no reason for a couple days. Roux underwent many tests, blood work, several x-rays etc. We sent out blood work test for Valley Fever as that can cause lameness and bone tumors. He had a big very hard swelling on his right front leg's knuckle/knee area that came up suddenly, almost overnight. The Doctor suspected Bone Cancer, yes, Osteosarcoma, the worst thing that could happen to our fast running always on the go, born to retrieve Champion that loves his work and won't stop Chocolate Labrador. This photo shows the size of the hard growth on Roux's ri
On this past Saturday after calling the Sheriff, I thought I would remind us of the summer heat and what is can and will do our pets. I have seen it first hand and it is not a easy thing to witness or our 4 footed kids, fur babies, extended family. I was driving down the street and I saw a black dog tied to a post in the center of a yard. The line was tangled and the dog could barely move 6-12 inches. There was no shade for the dog or water. The dog was panting very stressed. I could not go in their yard myself so I called the Sheriff as it was in the county to take care of the situation of the dog being overheated and if left it could possibly die of heatstroke. We as pet lover's, guardian's of all pet's must not turn the other way. It is a matter of life and death for this animal in a situation like this. Don't turn your back on them, please. We all need to watch out for their safety. I will not hesitate. Below are some ch