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QT Melon

So I'm thinking of getting a couple of ratties

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So I've been a long time hamster owner, and I've been thinking about switching to rats.

I've been watching various videos specially from The Rat Guru  to make sure if this is the pet right for me.

Right now been looking at the upfront cost of getting one, though I may have a contact that can get me the cages for half.the prices I see them (they're offering 60 bucks or so)

I'm thinking of getting a pair of males, and met up with a breeder that has a few (she'll probably have more I make sure I have all the supplies for them ready)..

So for males I know they're more laid back, so is there better arrangement for items/accessories for males?

She may have naked rats more available, so is there special advice I should take care of them? I'm likely more to go with the furry variety but if I'm gonna make sure I get a pair I may go with a naked if it's one of the few littermate options.

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Experiences, advice anyone want to share or maybe discourage me if you think I shouldn't own them? (besides people that are scared of them, I mean other owners).

Edited by QT Melon
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If you can handle it, if the breeder is confident you can handle it, then the only drawback I can think of is the fact that rats tend to have pretty short lifespans. But then again if you've kept hamsters before I assume you're prepared to deal with that aspect as well.

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4 hours ago, FlynnCoyote said:

If you can handle it, if the breeder is confident you can handle it, then the only drawback I can think of is the fact that rats tend to have pretty short lifespans. But then again if you've kept hamsters before I assume you're prepared to deal with that aspect as well.

Yes, I know they don't have long lifespans unfortunately. The reason I wanted to switch is as adorable as my cheek stuffing fuzzy bags of greed were, they were also ...well dumb compared to rats. The fact it's hard for them to sit still is another factor. I'm looking for something that won't get lonely during my work hours but has some degree of affection when I do get home. Cats and Dogs are not gonna be good due to apartment rules, but small pets like hamsters were good since they don't really cause dander and damage (unless you don't take proper care)  which is usually why landlords don't want pets around.

 

The brown male in the picture I actually did get to pick up along with one of the naked ones. The brown one sat in my hand and started licking me and grooming himself, then went back to licking me.

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Yay! Sounds cute!

 

...this may be a little dark but out of curiosity do rat breeders sell to people who use them as feeders for larger reptiles, or do they only have pet exclusive breeding? I guess each one may be different  I'm just curious what they do.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, WolfNightV4X1 said:

Yay! Sounds cute!

 

...this may be a little dark but out of curiosity do rat breeders sell to people who use them as feeders for larger reptiles, or do they only have pet exclusive breeding? I guess each one may be different  I'm just curious what they do.

 

 

Depends on the breeder. Usually you can tell on a Craigslist add. If they have them listed in size varieties like "Jumbo, Pinks, Fuzzies, Smalls" those are feeders. If you don't care about color or ear type ie Dumbo vs Top eared, this may be the way to go if you want to get a pair for cheap. I'd go with the "Small" or weened babies, if this would be your first. I also would check genders. Male rats don't have nipples (and yeah they have big BALLS) but they tend to be the more mellow of the two if you're looking for beginner pets. You will probably have to spend a bit of time socializing them if they are feeders since they're bred for quantity vs color/quality.

I know its unfortunate, if breeders don't particularly care if they go as feeders or not, but reptiles need to eat too and some will not eat frozen and only live ones.

 

 

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Isn't it more suggested to adopt abandoned animals instead of buying from breeders/pet stores? (I know breeders and pet stores are not the same thing all the time.)

I mean, I could see maybe that not being the case for rats as much as it is for dogs and cats.

Either way, super cute, good luck!

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47 minutes ago, WolfNightV4X1 said:

Yay! Sounds cute!

 

...this may be a little dark but out of curiosity do rat breeders sell to people who use them as feeders for larger reptiles, or do they only have pet exclusive breeding? I guess each one may be different  I'm just curious what they do.

 

 

I think there's some breeders who solely sell rats (& other rodents) for food, but from what I know if you're breeding out of sheer love for the animal then you probably would want to avoid those kind of customers (if you can spot 'em, or just ask). When I was breeding gerbils (my last batch), there was a couple who had come and bought about 10 from my friend and I. Now that I look back, they were most likely fed.. poor lil guys. 

 

4 minutes ago, Feelwell said:

Isn't it more suggested to adopt abandoned animals instead of buying from breeders/pet stores? (I know breeders and pet stores are not the same thing all the time.)

I mean, I could see maybe that not being the case for rats as much as it is for dogs and cats.

Either way, super cute, good luck!

I don't see anything wrong with wanting to buy from a registered breeder, it more ensures the pet will be in good health due to a better known history in it's bloodline (or least in the case when my family went & got our German Shephered). Though if you're ok with being a tad risky on the health & temperment side, I'd definitely say adopt. Gotta give those guys a chance & loving home too, right?

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1 hour ago, Feelwell said:

Isn't it more suggested to adopt abandoned animals instead of buying from breeders/pet stores? (I know breeders and pet stores are not the same thing all the time.)

I mean, I could see maybe that not being the case for rats as much as it is for dogs and cats.

Either way, super cute, good luck!

The problem with adopting rats, is the following.

1. you need them to be in pairs. So if you see a lonely male rat up for adoption, it's going to be extra work to socialize a pair. I mean if i threw two strangers in a room and told them to stfu and live with each other, regardless of their backgrounds in language and culture...well that is going to be a problem. Female rats have a bit of an easier time introducing them into the mischief (which is what rat groups are) but males are more difficult. So do you think this would be a good idea for me as a starter to get my hand full taking this into account?

2. Socialization. Rats need at least 45 minutes to an hour of your time every day. Unlike a hamster where you can leave alone and they kinda don't give a fuck as long as there's food. You'll have to deal with getting the rat acclimated to you which can take months if they're older. This is great for experienced owners who may want a challenge, but I'm gonna be a newbie. Rats are more social creatures, I need time to learn how to build a relationship with one.

3. Lifepsan, the older they are...well they only live for 2-3 years on average. I'd like to get to know what I'm getting into by starting off with a young/baby set so I can understand their habits better. Dogs, Cats and Birds have longer lifespans, this would be less of an issue. But if I get an older rat, I could unintentionally stress him due to inexperience and make it worse for him.

 

On another note doing a shopping list so I make sure I have all the supplies for them. I may do a "commission off my wishlist" kind of deal where I could post my Amazon wishlist and someone offering to buy something off it can see what kind of commission they get based off the item they purchase. I need to finish a couple more before I decide. (Already had an issue with my stylus which slowed me down a bit).

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Oh I see, thanks guys @QT Melon

 

I appreciate the attitude about feeders, reptiles do need to eat, too. So I guess if you're looking for a pet you go to a breeder that stresses the health and look of the rat than quantity, and they usually don't sell them as feeders, makes sense. I wonder if breeders usually designate their preference if they do not wish their rats to be feeders.

 

@Moogle ah, sorry to hear! Does it bother you or is it more of an "oh well, it needed to happen for their pet" sort of thing. Might be best to specify that sort of thing if you do it next time.

 

 

 

Anyways you seem to know a lot about rats so far, QT :P Good to see they will be in good hands. I have two cats so I won't be getting any anytime soon, but I might join the ratwagon someday 

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Yeah I do this heavy research phase before I decide on pets, especially make sure they suit my lifestyle. I actually love birds but I know I wouldn't give it the attention it would need. Actually I know I couldn't have birds because I used to own cockatiels when I was in high school.

So that is why I am thinking of rats, tho chinchillas look neat, they may not be the personality I am looking for.

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Chinchillas need a huge amount of space and are fairly high maintenance, although they are very smart and endearing. Rats are better at amusing themselves.

...and now I feel really nostalgic, because one of my friends in high school had rats and they really liked me. ;w;

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As far as I know rats have to be kept in pairs at least (or more) because lone ones stress out and run their lifespan down as a result.

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12 hours ago, WolfNightV4X1 said:

Oh I see, thanks guys @QT Melon

I appreciate the attitude about feeders, reptiles do need to eat, too. So I guess if you're looking for a pet you go to a breeder that stresses the health and look of the rat than quantity, and they usually don't sell them as feeders, makes sense. I wonder if breeders usually designate their preference if they do not wish their rats to be feeders.

@Moogle ah, sorry to hear! Does it bother you or is it more of an "oh well, it needed to happen for their pet" sort of thing. Might be best to specify that sort of thing if you do it next time.

Anyways you seem to know a lot about rats so far, QT :P Good to see they will be in good hands. I have two cats so I won't be getting any anytime soon, but I might join the ratwagon someday 

 

Real talk here. One of the things I understand about people wanting to be ethical and responsible about pets is their longevity. However, we're already giving domestic rats a better life than their wild counterparts. I'm not saying to support cruelty and neglect, but their wild brethren have a 95% mortality rate. They're lucky to get a year. Domestic rats can live as long as 3. The only problem with breeding really is more inbreeding and overbreeding (female lifespans drastically shorten each time they give birth) will of course bring in other health problems.. Take reasonable care of your pet and give it 2 years, you shouldn't feel bad it didn't get 3...:P I just get a bit tired of people being a bit overzealous (not saying the person I quoted did at all), in pet care.

 

 

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Rats are amazing pets! They're so smart and have a lot of personality. I've had 9 of them throughout the years and I've been wanting to get another pair really bad lately. I've been rat-less for over 3 years now.

I used to like teaching them this :3

 

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Very cute.

I'm definitely going to invest in a good cage. I'm going to get a Critter nation cage. So saving up. I am only gonna stick with a single unit for now, since I'm just starting. Looking at some decorating ideas. Thinking of going with a Grand Company theme, like Maelstrom from FFXIV (cuz pirates ARRRR)

CageTop.jpg

 

pirateratecage.jpg

 

DIGPtxU.jpg

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19 hours ago, WolfNightV4X1 said:

@Moogle ah, sorry to hear! Does it bother you or is it more of an "oh well, it needed to happen for their pet" sort of thing. Might be best to specify that sort of thing if you do it next time.


A bit of both. I'd have preferred it didn't happen since there was a lot of socializing we did with them so they wouldn't be afraid of people's hands, they were young & also each one was a sweet heart. On the flip side however, they're only caring for their pet. I'm sure they would have found someone else to get rodents from had they not gone for ours.

Those cages look flippin' awesome btw, QT! Rats definitely seem like they'd be entertaining (& clean!) pets. If and when you do get a pair of males, would love to see photos of the little guys. 

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14 hours ago, grassfed said:

A single CN is plenty of space for a pair of males, they're pretty roomy!

I was worried at first, but knowing males are more of a sleeper and less active than females, good to know. I didn't want to get a double cuz that might be inviting an addiction to getting more. I want to keep it to 2. I used to have 3 hamsters at a time in separate cages and it got to be a bit more out of control with feeding and bedding. Rats seem to be easier in the sense they can live in the same habitat and I can wash their bedding, so less carefresh all over the damn place.

Question for you @grassfed I know they urinate for territorial purposes...is it just a few drops?

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Yeah they tend to just leave a couple drops here and there when exploring. They can be potty trained too, they usually like to go in one or two specific places. I never got around to formally potty training any of mine though

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9 hours ago, grassfed said:

Yeah they tend to just leave a couple drops here and there when exploring. They can be potty trained too, they usually like to go in one or two specific places. I never got around to formally potty training any of mine though

To add to this, rat droppings dry up really quickly and are odorless. Repeated urine markings do however stink like ammonium but you'll likely only smell that if you haven't cleaned your rat cage in a while. 

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2 hours ago, Snagged said:

To add to this, rat droppings dry up really quickly and are odorless. Repeated urine markings do however stink like ammonium but you'll likely only smell that if you haven't cleaned your rat cage in a while. 

Ok so similar to hamsters in that regard.

http://a.co/66A9H7D

So this is the list I came up with for the ratties. Let me know if I may be missing something important (other than fresh veggies since I cannot really mark those on Amazon).

I'm also going to bookmark this site.

http://www.ratropolis.com/Rat Tutorials/RatTutorials.htm

 

So I can do bedding ideas.

 

 

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20171026_205512.thumb.jpg.561d7af214168d630c6e496a799012a5.jpg

 

Dunno why it uploads upside down, but here is an update on getting a pair 

 

They are much more easier to handle than hamsters  (hamsters never stay still). The hoodie was born 9/15 and the Siamese 9/25.

 

They are in a temp cage till Saturday when I get the critter nation one in.

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Grats on the rats! I used to own a lot (like....9) and I definitely like males more. They can be a little hard to socialize if they don't know each other but also they smell like grape juice imo so there's that. 

Also gosh hooded rats are like my fave ever. I mostly had those and some pink-eyed whites I'd use food coloring on to tell apart lmao. 

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Thanks. I'm rather upset right now because I special ordered and shipped their cage for Saturday delivery and somehow Amazon and Fed Ex lost track of a 70lb box. GG.

 

The habitat I have them in isn't exactly most suitable, it was just a temporary home for a couple of days, and I may not see their cage till Tuesday, provided they don't fuck up again.

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Ugh I've had so many issues with Fedex and important packages. They literally delivered live snakes I ordered to an apartment complex 3 miles away. I didn't have a car so I walked :^) 

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My favorite is when they just knock on your door once, set a package down, and leave it.
Even though I live in an apartment complex, and my only "doorstep" is a walkway that literally anyone could come across and steal my shit from.

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Yeah they fucked up again. Still no cage. Really unbelievable service right now.

I guess in other news, getting them used to me a bit more, they are in love with Gerber Baby puffs, I got some fleece and toys for them to hopefully keep them happy till they get the big cage.

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Kind of a rattie diary now...

Pokii is the older and sweeter of the two, whereas Mevyy is the Siamese younger and more shy of me.

I had to learn about trust training which is actually for both us:  I had to learn they aren't like hamsters and less prone to biting. I got them addicted to Gerber baby puffs to get them used to me. I had eaten a sandwich earlier and had a bit of mayo so they were licking me, making me realize how extremely conscientious they were of biting me. I started using unsweetened Almond milk to get them to approach me, and later baby food so they would stay and not snatch treats from me and run away.

Pokii now will run up my shoulder when I call him, since he knows I will reward him.

Also Pokii is litter box trained. I did it by moving their poop (gross lol) to the litterbox,  and I saw Pokii going there this morning. w00t! This makes cleaning much easier.

 

I will try to post video of him learning tricks.

20171105_213223.thumb.jpg.87e2537b5cbf6efe4e14a28ba45fa12f.jpg

 

20171105_213211.thumb.jpg.b4daac6fd910fd81a890b894656f7420.jpg

 

Upside down cuz in vision is bad with mobile phone orientation 

 

...and update apparently I got a notification from UPS that another cage (the second missing one) is due tomorrow  o_O 

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