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Anyone keep rats?

(17 Posts)
swiperfox Thu 26-May-05 21:29:35

When we move we are thinking of gettin dd something to keep, that she can easily handle without being bitten if possible!! Most people have suggested rats.

Anyone got them?

Aero Thu 26-May-05 21:30:29

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew - not me I'm afraid, but had hamsters once.

BubblesDeVere Thu 26-May-05 21:31:04

I haven't got one now H, but I did have one as a pet when I was younger, he was white with big red eyes and he was gorgeous, he was very tame and friendly too, I think they are ideal personally and they are very very clean too.

How is dd's head?

swiperfox Thu 26-May-05 21:32:08

She much better thanks Just about to start a whole other thread about our troubles with her at the mo!!

bubbaloo Thu 26-May-05 21:44:48

yes ive had rats.
they make lovely pets,are very intelligent,can be house-trained(if you fancy it!)and will even know their name when called.
they make ideal pets.

bensmum3 Sun 29-May-05 20:15:11

We've got lots of rats in our barn, I swear there was one the size of a small cat the other day, maybe not the kind you are thinking of for dd though
Seriously though , will you have a garden or does it need to be an indoor pet ?

MRSflamesparrow Sun 29-May-05 20:18:04

I used to - they were the nicest pets I've had.

If you get them from babies, and handle them lots, then they are lovely and tame (I was only bitten once, and it was just after one had died, and the other was lonely and lost). Spike (my very first one, and the one I was closest to) would jump from the stool to the chair to sit on my lap or round my neck, and would chitter in my ear. I even went to the shops with him sat in the hood of my cardigan once because he was so quiet I forgot he was there!!!

Gobbledigook Sun 29-May-05 20:18:29


Lara2 Thu 16-Jun-05 23:31:34

I've got 3 rats - gorgeous things! Would suggest that you find a reputable breeder in your area and buy from them. Mine came from a pet shop and were at the vets within 3 days of buying them!! One of them is a biter and won't come out of the cage - but will come for a treat and a stroke.The other 2 are fine , but looking at rat chat sites, pet shop rats are generally a nightmare of problems - health and temprament wise. Also, a breeder will only breed from friendly, non-agressive rats, have handled the kittens from birth and socialsed them. They will keep in touch with you and you can always contact them for advice.There are some very good websites that can give you advice - Google 'Fancy Rats' and see what you come up with.
Good luck - they are great pets!!

Lara2 Thu 16-Jun-05 23:40:41

Just wanted to add - if you do get rats, woodshavings/sawdust are NOT OK to keep them on. They cause major respiratory problems - I've put mine onto some stuff called Bio-Catoilet, which is a paper based cat litter, and this has finally been the end of all their repiratory problems. It also means the cage doesn't smell as it deoderises as well as absorbs. And get the biggest cage you can afford - they need LOTS of running around space - and please get more than one - they're social animals and should always be sold/kept in same sex pairs or more.

suzi2 Sat 25-Jun-05 21:58:26

I used to have 2 - they make lovely pets. Definately better than a hamster (although I've had a lovely hamster too)!

They like being in pairs to keep each other company. I had 2 rescued ones - one was a bit of a biter -the vet suggested neutering him which we never did as we could handle the odd nip.

Give them loads of attention when they're tiny and you can teach them to do anything! My friend had her pair taught to do hurdles - and we used to bet on them when drunk!

One word of warning, male rats tend to smell a bit more than females. But they're also generally more docile.

Sus, x

gigglinggoblin Sat 25-Jun-05 22:05:02

i used to have a couple - lined cage with newspaper and gave them paper hamster bedding, then noticed loads of carpet coloured fluff in there one day - they had been nicking bits of the carpet to make their cage more comfy! v intelligent. easily bribed with food tho - only way we could catch ours to get them back in the cage - they knew when we were gonna put them in and hid under the tele.

we had brown rats, got them from local wildlife oasis for free cos they keep them as an exhibit but had to feed them to the snakes when there got too many so they were happy to give them away. have friends who have had lots of rats - they swear by brown rats as they said fancy rats are more aggressive (still less aggressive than any hanster i have ever known tho).

they are very clean - never made a mess on the carpet, always used the same corner of their cage

charliecat Sat 25-Jun-05 22:08:23

Lara does the respiritry thing go for gerbils too?

Lara2 Thu 07-Jul-05 22:44:31

hi charliecat - sorry haven't been online for a while . It's ok to keep gerbils and hamsters on wood shavings/sawdust. The phenols in the wood are what affects rats.

charliecat Thu 07-Jul-05 22:49:20

Cheers, poor gerby had a lot of blood coming from what I think was his ear tonight No idea whats going on there

handlemecarefully Thu 07-Jul-05 23:16:55

Rats? - you wouldn't consider them potential pets if you were afflicted by them. We're rural and suffer from field rats coming to explore - little disease ridden bastards. Now that feels better for offloading!

I'd go for gerbils. They are easy to handle and rarely if ever bite (they might if you yanked hard on their tale or mistreated them, but otherwise no).

I had 3 until recently. One just died on Monday after some spectacular internal bleeding (big gastro intestinal bleed I think)where she sprayed blood around for quite a radius

Spirited Wed 17-Aug-05 20:32:46

Rats make very good pets. Unlike many other small animals who just live and tolerate handling, rats can become very affectionate like dogs.

Pet rats are not riddled with disease like some of their unfortunate cousins, they are just as clean as other small pets - more so than guinea-pigs and rabbits I'd say (despite loving guinea-pigs too).

Only my most nervous (also the newest and youngest)rat bites, and even then only occasionally when she feels threatened. (As any self-respecting animal does). They are easier to handle (particuarly for children) than smaller (wrigglier) hamsters and mice. But more entertaining than guinea-pigs due to their intelligence and tendancy to build relationships with their owners.

I have a four strong female rat pack, in a cage big enough for six. I've owned both females and males. In general, males are lazier, cuddlier, bigger and more aminiable than the girls. The girls are generally more active, entertaining and rat-centric than the boys. That said, I've got a very cuddly doe. Pick girls or boys and keep a pair (or more) in a large cage with a few toys to keep their minds active.

As for not choosing rats just because their wild cousins are considered pests by some - ridiculous. Mice and rabbits are also considered pests in this country and in other regions of the world I bet gerbils have a similar role, as do dogs, cats and other Britain favourites.

That said, if you do have a wild rat/mouse problem, make sure that your pet (and human) food is stored in airtight containers. I'm sure wild rats would appreciate specially formulated food but you won't. Also make sure that your rats are well secured when you are not supervising them, the last thing you need is a wild rat mating with several of your sweet females... you'd be over run with the offspring! ;)


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