Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Finless Friends
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-21-2013, 02:46 AM   #1 
RedCassette
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: BC, Canada
Wanting to get rats

I've been wanting to get rats for a few years now. I've had plenty of time to research their care and consider things, and I think I'm finally ready to give this a go. I'm just really worried about the whole thing. I suffer from terrible anxiety and a lot of things trigger it - the idea of getting new pets, for example.

I know I can take care of them. I have the space and the time and the money and the knowhow. It's a big change and a big commitment. I will be honest; I tried once before, a few years ago, and had a total breakdown. Had to return everything I bought, including the darling little girl (only got one because they only had one rat at the store, but I had planned on getting her a playmate).

I think I'm ready to try again. I want to be ready to try again. I keep thinking about it and thinking about it! People I've expressed my concerns to have reassured me that I'm more than prepared and able to take care of them; some of my friends have also agreed that keeping rats might be good for me. My mental illnesses make it extremely difficult for me to interact with people, and so to have some little rat buddies to spend time with would (hopefully) be wonderful for me in the long run.

Apologies for the really long post. I guess I'm just concerned and not sure what to do. I've done lots of rat research, but I guess... for those of you who own rats or have owned them in the past, what should I expect the first few days? How can I properly ease myself into owning rats?
RedCassette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 09:03 AM   #2 
1077
Member
 
1077's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: missouri
I might suggest starting with one rat to avoid possibility of babies ,which may be hard to find homes for, and increase stress level's by having too many to care for properly.
One rat in 55 gallon tank worked for me for a couple year's, till girlfriend's cat managed to remove the screen over the tank and the rat was killed.
Should you decide to allow breeding,,please see that you have an outlet for the babies (NOT to fed to snakes).
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 09:16 AM   #3 
Laki
Member
 
Laki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. John's NL
Instead of buying one rat then another later and having to deal with the whole bonding process.. Go to the pet store whenever you can and practice properly sexing them. A member very recently discovered her "female" to be a male so do NOT listen to employees at the pet store. Some males develop late. If you have hands on learning practice you can get 2 of the same litter who are already bonded.

Better yet, start scavenging classifieds now. Reptile food breeders, accidental litters and other home raised rats might be a better choice since they will have had the chance to be hand raised. Pet stores usually get mill animals who have had no or little human contact which might up your anxiety and stress. A Pair is definitely better than one at ALL stages of a rat's life.
Laki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 12:05 PM   #4 
RedCassette
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: BC, Canada
I've been looking through classifieds for months now. We used to have a rattery in our area and the breeder was really nice and knowledgeable but she recently shut down. Pretty unfortunate -- her babies were beautiful and very well socialized.

And... I never mentioned breeding, so I don't know why that was leapt upon. Rats get lonely, so when I mentioned I had planned to get the other one a playmate, I had meant one of the same gender. They're supposed to be kept in pairs. I also can't use a tank, as they don't ventilate well enough for rats. The heat and the stuffiness can cause respiratory issues.

I was thinking of going to the pet store to see if I could handle one. I might buy from somewhere else (as the classifieds have all dried up as of recently), but that way I can make sure I'm comfortable handling one before I buy.
RedCassette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 12:12 PM   #5 
Laki
Member
 
Laki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. John's NL
Hopefully, and if you can, go to a pet store where the animals are handled regularly. That way the rats you handle won't be too fidgety and nervous when you, a total stranger, picks them up.

They definitely do better in pairs/trios, I'm glad you know that in advance! The small animal rescue always gets in lone rats or pairs which bred before being surrendered to the rescue. -_-

You'll certainly fall in love :)
Laki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 01:07 PM   #6 
shannonpwns
Member
 
shannonpwns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Simi Valley, California
IMO pet store rats have been some of the best socialized rats I've ever owned. I've had thousands of rats. When picking out a rat, be sure and look for excessive sneezing, red/pink stains around the nose and eyes, and any kind of head tilt. Stay farrrrr away from any of those signs. I'd actually not even buy a rat from a store who had other rats with mycoplasmosis (the pink stains, a sign of respiratory problems).

And you are very right, aquariums do not have enough ventilation for a rat at all. Be wary of any cages with wire bottoms though, when I was 14 I had a large male rat get his foot stuck into the 1 inch x 1/2 inch cage bottom (it was a rabbit cage) and he was SCREAMING....I had to grab him and yank him out, and in the process he bit me pretty good and I still show people the scar on both sides of my finger haha.

When you first get your rat(s) home, be sure and watch for any odd signs as i mentioned above. The head tilting, is a very bad sign. I had a rat get this before, her name was Tinkerbell, and she had to be put to sleep. It's a neurological disorder, and she was from the pet store btw. Also, scraggly looking fur is no good, fur that stands on ends usually is a sign of a sick rat.

Other than that, rats who are raised properly aren't usually scared of people, so your rat should warm up to you pretty quickly. I'd recommend not feeding your rat through the cage bars btw, or they may mistake your finger for food and bite you. Some do, some don't. Just give your rat a day or two to settle down and explore its new home, and provide lots of stuff to chew on! You can even make your own rattie hammock with an old shirt (one you don't care about, because it WILL get chewed up haha)
shannonpwns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 07:01 PM   #7 
LinkLover
Member
 
LinkLover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington
I also suffer from anxiety and other mental issues, and I have to say that my rat was the best pet I ever owned. I definitely suggest you get two, obviously the same gender, who have already been living together if possible. You need to make sure you have at least an hour a day to get them out and play with them, because they thrive on human/rat attention. If you give them all their basic needs, they are pretty easy to care for, but I do have a word of caution. I don't want this to deter you from getting them, as I believe they are the best pets you can own, especially if you don't like people very much. But, they get sick fairly frequently, especially the ones from the pet store. Although even well bred rats are susceptible to getting things such as tumors and upper respiratory infections. Be prepared for vet bills (you should be with any pet anyways), and know what to watch for, and you and your rats can have a wonderful loving relationship.
LinkLover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 07:53 AM   #8 
1077
Member
 
1077's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: missouri
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonpwns View Post
IMO pet store rats have been some of the best socialized rats I've ever owned. I've had thousands of rats. When picking out a rat, be sure and look for excessive sneezing, red/pink stains around the nose and eyes, and any kind of head tilt. Stay farrrrr away from any of those signs. I'd actually not even buy a rat from a store who had other rats with mycoplasmosis (the pink stains, a sign of respiratory problems).

And you are very right, aquariums do not have enough ventilation for a rat at all. Be wary of any cages with wire bottoms though, when I was 14 I had a large male rat get his foot stuck into the 1 inch x 1/2 inch cage bottom (it was a rabbit cage) and he was SCREAMING....I had to grab him and yank him out, and in the process he bit me pretty good and I still show people the scar on both sides of my finger haha.

When you first get your rat(s) home, be sure and watch for any odd signs as i mentioned above. The head tilting, is a very bad sign. I had a rat get this before, her name was Tinkerbell, and she had to be put to sleep. It's a neurological disorder, and she was from the pet store btw. Also, scraggly looking fur is no good, fur that stands on ends usually is a sign of a sick rat.

Other than that, rats who are raised properly aren't usually scared of people, so your rat should warm up to you pretty quickly. I'd recommend not feeding your rat through the cage bars btw, or they may mistake your finger for food and bite you. Some do, some don't. Just give your rat a day or two to settle down and explore its new home, and provide lots of stuff to chew on! You can even make your own rattie hammock with an old shirt (one you don't care about, because it WILL get chewed up haha)

Who say's aquarium with screen top does not offer enough ventilation? (keep the bedding clean ).
Enviornment inside, would be same as room unless you run high watt bulb's over ther tank(not sure why anyone would).
I work for local School district and several class room's keep rat's ,Hamster's,guinea pig's,in aquarium's with no issues and some of these critter's are several year's old. (dirty bedding = ammonia ,that is the only issues with any container)
Each summer,they are cared for either by teacher that comes in during summer vacation,or by myself.
Also curious as to where info can be viewed that rat's need company?

Last edited by 1077; 08-23-2013 at 07:59 AM.
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 11:09 AM   #9 
RedCassette
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: BC, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Who say's aquarium with screen top does not offer enough ventilation? (keep the bedding clean ).
Enviornment inside, would be same as room unless you run high watt bulb's over ther tank(not sure why anyone would).
I work for local School district and several class room's keep rat's ,Hamster's,guinea pig's,in aquarium's with no issues and some of these critter's are several year's old. (dirty bedding = ammonia ,that is the only issues with any container)
Each summer,they are cared for either by teacher that comes in during summer vacation,or by myself.
Also curious as to where info can be viewed that rat's need company?
Pretty much any rat guide you can find will tell you that aquariums do not offer enough ventilation. They are super susceptible to respiratory infections. In order to keep the ammonia level down, one would need to change the bedding (all of it, not just scooping out the poops) daily. Rats also need more space than an aquarium can offer, in most cases. They enjoy climbing, and so the wire bars of a cage are very handy. You may have had success in the past with aquariums, but in the long run wire cages are safer and easier to maintain.

Same goes for the fact that rats need company. They are social animals by nature and require interaction with their own species to stay happy and healthy. Keeping rats as solitary pets is possible but not recommended. Most breeders, even hobbyists, will refuse to sell rats separately unless you have one already because they crave interaction.

Please don't post your "advice" here anymore.
It is incorrect and unhelpful. Thanks. I am not trying to be rude but you are coming off as quite bigoted.

As for everyone else, I appreciate the insight and the tips. I may go look at rats sometime this weekend, but I'm not about to rush head-first into something I'm not ready for.

Last edited by RedCassette; 08-23-2013 at 11:14 AM.
RedCassette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 11:32 AM   #10 
1077
Member
 
1077's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: missouri
[quote=RedCassette;2865529]Pretty much any rat guide you can find will tell you that aquariums do not offer enough ventilation. They are super susceptible to respiratory infections. In order to keep the ammonia level down, one would need to change the bedding (all of it, not just scooping out the poops) daily. Rats also need more space than an aquarium can offer, in most cases. They enjoy climbing, and so the wire bars of a cage are very handy. You may have had success in the past with aquariums, but in the long run wire cages are safer and easier to maintain.

Same goes for the fact that rats need company. They are social animals by nature and require interaction with their own species to stay happy and healthy. Keeping rats as solitary pets is possible but not recommended. Most breeders, even hobbyists, will refuse to sell rats separately unless you have one already because they crave interaction.

Please don't post your "advice" here anymore.
It is incorrect and unhelpful. Thanks. I am not trying to be rude but you are coming off as quite bigoted.

As for everyone else, I appreciate the insight and the tips. I may go look at rats sometime this weekend, but I'm not about to rush head-first into something I'm not ready for.[/quot


As you wish.

I shall continue to care for the children's pet's which includes weekly removal of bedding in their aquariums.
Havent lost one of the critter's save a parakeet that was 12 yrs old in the fifteen year's I have volunteered to look after the creatures.
Respritory problem's are largely due to breathing the ammonia smell from dirty bedding .
Still waiting for anyone to point me to so called rat guide, or empiracle evidence that keeping a rat in an aquarium is harmful (maybe if tank is ten gal or smaller and or beeding is fouled).
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anybody else own pet rats? rubinthebetta Finless Friends 36 05-28-2013 08:17 PM
Thoughts on adopting 2 more rats? gossipgirl1031 Finless Friends 14 12-20-2012 05:58 PM
Mice and Rats OH MY LadyVictorian Finless Friends 15 09-09-2012 08:22 PM
Dumbo Rats? BlueHaven The Lounge 8 05-24-2011 11:22 PM
Has anyone had pet rats? Jooleeah The Lounge 11 09-04-2010 02:17 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.