Pet Rats

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  • asha 6 Jan 2013 20:22:07 1,991 posts
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    I've just gotten some pet rats for the first time and I'm looking for advice from experienced rat owners.

    I've gotten 3 males, they're the kind with the elongated heads and small ears.

    I'm open to pretty much any advice, but in particular, I'm looking for:
    Cage layout advice (How do you have your cage set up? Photos would be terrific.)
    Suitable bedding material. (The woman in the pet shop said cat litter is good?)
    General hygiene and odour control advice.
    Training advice. (I've heard rats can learn tricks?!)
    Diet advice. (I've bought some Pets At Home branded nuggets, are these good?)
    Suitable toys and treats advice.

    Thank you!

    ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡)

  • jamievilla 6 Jan 2013 20:26:39 535 posts
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    Possess them for new routes round your house..



    (Sorry just started playing Dishonored and am a little bit obsessed.
  • heyyo 6 Jan 2013 20:39:17 14,373 posts
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    asha wrote:
    Training advice. (I've heard rats can learn tricks?!)
    Watch the rat, when it does a behaviour (eg. stands up) you want immediately say "stand" then reward it with a treat.

    Repeat for a while eventually the rat will stand up when you say "stand" - you want to reward it randomly when it does stand so it'll keep on doing it.
  • ResidentKnievel 6 Jan 2013 20:43:09 6,195 posts
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    Get them miniature teddy bears

    [code]Armoured_Bear wrote:
    Unlike yourself, I don't have a weird obsession with any platform.[/code]

  • elvenscroll 6 Jan 2013 21:07:45 1,398 posts
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    The wooden/paper based cat litter is the best kind. We keep our two ladies on the same. However, I'd be cautious about 3 males together as they'll likely fight.

    Fresh fruit and veg is the best treat you can go for. Much better for them than any shop bought 'chewy sticks'.

    Make sure they have plenty of stuff to climb on, ours have branches to piss about on.

    Can't help with the tricks. :)

    NNID/PSN - Chipworm

  • drhcnip 6 Jan 2013 21:08:59 2,499 posts
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    rats are brilliant pets - had a few and taught them a few tricks...pippin used to box our hands and enjoy riding around in a shirt pocket

    this is all about 12 yrs or so ago, though, so can't remember any of the practical stuff...
  • Ged42 6 Jan 2013 22:07:47 7,727 posts
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    Rats can gnaw through a lot of materials, so if you've got a cage with a plastic base watch out for holes and reinforce if necessary. Also make sure they have some sort of gnawing stick, to keep there teeth in good health.

    They pet shop rat food will be okay, though any fruit and veg you can give them will be great for them, watching them eat grapes is fun.
  • ILoveThrashMetal 6 Jan 2013 22:11:40 721 posts
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    No brainer,but keep them clean,they piss up to 80 times a day!!

    Arsechickens

  • asha 6 Jan 2013 22:56:50 1,991 posts
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    elvenscroll wrote:
    The wooden/paper based cat litter is the best kind. We keep our two ladies on the same.
    Thank you for the tip! How often do you change it?

    However, I'd be cautious about 3 males together as they'll likely fight.
    I've heard that male rats may fight over a female rat, or if they're strangers to each other. But as they've been together from a very young age, and there's no lady rats about, I'm hoping that they won't fight.

    Ged42 wrote:
    Rats can gnaw through a lot of materials, so if you've got a cage with a plastic base watch out for holes and reinforce if necessary. Also make sure they have some sort of gnawing stick, to keep there teeth in good health.

    They pet shop rat food will be okay, though any fruit and veg you can give them will be great for them, watching them eat grapes is fun.
    Thank you for the great advice! I've got a completely metal cage, so the rats gnawing through it shouldn't be a problem. I'll definitely get them lots of wood to gnaw on though.

    (Other than grapes) Do you know what specific fruit and veg is safe for them to eat? And would you happen to know if they can eat any nuts?

    ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡)

  • elvenscroll 7 Jan 2013 00:00:05 1,398 posts
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    We change the litter completely every couple of weeks but spot clean daily.

    Ours tend to prefer kale, cucumber, carrot and apple but would likely eat pretty much anything offered.

    NNID/PSN - Chipworm

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