People who haven't had rats don't really understand how close you can get to these beautiful creatures, I think. Whenever I tell someone who doesn't know me that well that one of my boys is sick, they look at me with a puzzled stare and tell me to just put it down or get a new one - and yet, they'd be horrified if I said that about their dog. I am as close to my rats as other people are to their dogs - closer, in some instances. Losing Jekyll to a stroke, and then worse, having to put down my heart rat, Hyde, was the absolute worst. Of course I will willingly spend the amount I do on my boys (amounted to $1000 in vet bills one year when all six of them got myco repeatedly, plus other things) - they are living creatures that I have undertaken to care for, and my convenience is not a factor in that.
Rats are ridiculously cute, hilariously funny, very affectionate, intelligent, just naughty enough to be adorable, and clearly bond with their owners. How could you not love them?
Yeah it angers me when people say that. I told someone about my rats illnesses once and how I brought them to the vet with no avail and they just looked at me and said, " You know they cost like $10 at the store, right?" Like you cam replace a two year bond with a living creature for $10. Makes no sense when you put it that way....
I currently own two girl rats Holly and Alice
Holly is a mink hooded and Alice is just a red eyed white lab rat kind. There both around the same age and only small for rats (im thinking they will still grow, there only 4-5 months old)
Neither of them are the cuddling kind of rats and much perfer to be running around the apartment exploring typical females! But holly is good to be handled, comes when you kneel down and call her name and she doesn't fight to get away however Alice is quite skiddish and shy and dislikes being handled. Me and my partner think its because she has sight issues (head swaying when she sees us) and that makes her feel more vunerable so she prefers to be hiding where shes safe
I was really looking for a third rattie to add to our group however i would love either a desexed male (there MUCH more laid back, i used to own a male) or a breeder raised female, would love a rat that loves scratches and cuddles
Another interesting fact is that im actually allergic to rats Family thinks im crazy to own them while im breaking out in hives and dealing with a stuffed nosed and itchy eyes. Its not so bad if i have a hot shower after or if i dont touch my face while/after touching them but im a little worried a male will make my allergies worse (since there alot more stinky then females) and was a big factor to go for females since there less "pee on myself and everything" then males are..
I have had both (I own males but looked after females when a friend was away on holiday, and I found the females to be worse - they dragged all their bedding to one spot, then piddled in it concentratedly. If your male is de-sexed, he won't urinate any more than a female. Desexed males also remain softer. However, don't neuter the male unless you find a vet who is really good with rats.
My boys are neutered using the same Superlorin implant they use in dogs - it isn't as sure-fire a way of preventing ratlets as manual castration, but it is a shorter (and consequently safer) operation, being over in literally two minutes. There is no bruising of the testicles to deal with, just a little scab on the back of the neck.
I owned a few Ratties before My oldest female Kamile passed away this year, little guys really keep a special place in your heart so much Personality so little time. Glad to see some people with rats they are really such wonderful pets to have :). Kind of a Double edged sword though Since you grow SO attached to them yet in a couple of years they are gone.
I had a horrible shock on Tuesday. Whilst I was out at the local aquarium society meeting, I got a phone call from my dad to say my beautiful boy Willoughby had died. I was not expecting it and it absolutely broke my heart. I was in church this morning and my sister showed me a cartoon she'd drawn of my ratties a while ago, and I burst into tears and had to leave.
On the plus side, I have two new additions to the ratty family, Jack (black hooded) and Algy (champagne hooded). I didn't want more rats, and they are certainly not a replacement for my poor Wibbly, but they are gorgeous and I couldn't leave them where they were. They had been dumped at a petshop by an owner who no longer wanted them, and a guy was trying to buy them (due to their large size) to feed, alive, to his snake. They'd been there more than a month, living in a 5 gallon tank. They had to come home with me.
They are really poorly socialised - Algy squeals whenever he is picked up and gets very panicky, and Jack is only slightly better - but I am determined to keep showing them love and care until they are normal, happy ratties. They are going in for Superlorin implants tomorrow (or as soon as possible after that), which will have the effect of neutering without nearly as much risk as an operation. In about a month I'll start to introduce them to my other boys, and hopefully they'll be integrated in two. I've split my monster cage in half, and Jack and Algy have the bottom. D'Artagnan, Richelieu and Darcy, who were all implanted last year, have the top.
It was interesting to watch them eat today - Jack and Algy have been living off that awful dry mix that is basically half budgie food and half rabbit food, with no nutrition. I gave them some lab blocks, a cracker, a bit of potato and rice, and a couple of grapes. They seemed to enjoy trying new food and exploring the huge cage, although Algy seems a little overwhelmed by all the space.
It's going to be a long process, but completely worth it because they are no longer facing a horrific death or living in cramped conditions with no handling and a poor diet. :)