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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well... we went into a pet store yesterday, and my husband fell in love with Natal Rats. We bought 3 females and 1 male, and we did a lot of research on them. We heard they are tameable, but not many people have worked on taming them around us. What is the best thing for them, to let them alone till they have babies, and just work with the babies, or should we attempt to handle the adults? And if so, what is the best way to go about that? Any info on these amazing creatures would be appreciated. So far, it seems they have all adjusted well to living with us. The male was extremely relaxed even yesterday when we initially brought them home, the females seem to be quite jumpy and skittish though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gets about the size of a gerbil, with the body of a mouse, with the head of a rat...? Hard to describe. Some of the colors of them kind of remind me of an opposum (sorry for the misspelling). From what i have heard and read, they are very nippy and skittish. It's one of the "true" diets of a ball python in the wild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are correct.... that is an alternate name for them, as is African Soft Furred Rats. Hmm... i have to say though, I was hoping if I handled them from pinks that they would be okay with being held. Guess I have to rethink that!! lol
 

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I have no personal experience with these other than having two males about a year ago. They are very nervous, skittish, animals that do not really handle well unless you put a lot of work into them. They don't smell all that bad and produce a ton of babies. They are one of the natural diets for ball pythons. I only wish I could breed them here in Virginia for my ball pythons but apparently they are illegal here.

I can tell you from what I've heard from other african soft furred rat breeders is they are very protective over their young and it is best to use thick gloves whenever going into their enclosure when they have babies.
 

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They're not illegal here Fuzz! :)

They sell them in pet stores. But they'll only sell males. Because the guy that breeds them here, doesn't want anyone else to breed them.

BUT. I have access to a bunch of females, if you ever feel interested in having a pair of them. They also get along well with mice, in the same cage! :p

But yeah. Just let me know if you want a pair sometime soon, and I'll see what I can get for you. :)
 

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The reason the places aren't allowed to sell the females, is because the only supplier around here, refuses to sell his females, so that he has a 'monopoly' on the natal rat sales.
He's a jerk, Not a good man to do buisness with. But he can do whatever he wants, I guess. :p

But yeah, I can deffinately get you a female, and probably get you a male. :)
 

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Multis/Natals are lovely! I got three girls at the start of the year to keep my fancy boy Mintola company after he had been attacked by his brother and they get on great. They are a little skittish but I find them really nosey. Two of mine will let me handle them if I have to and Cinnamon will happily walk into my hands to use me as a vantagepoint! Here are some piccies of them:



 

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sometimes you get a good batch that are very friendly, but more than often they are quite nippy, lovely animals really, breed like wildfire and are very social, if reared together from young they can bond with mice, rats and even gerbils :)

They are escape artists and the most prolific chewers, a glass tank with secure wire mesh lid is advisable, any wooded or plastic enclosures they will chew through and escape, and they will also chew through weak wire meshing. Litters average about 14 babies per litter.

They have more characteristics of a rat than any other rodent and grow to about the size of a syrian hamster.

They can often turn and attack eachother, usually the females will kill and eat the male and sometimes a group may turn on the weakest or oldest female, this usually happens if food or water supply becomes low but sometimes they just do it for no apparent reason.

I bred these for 2 years until my colonies stopped breeding, i am currently awaiting 2 new breeding colonies!

Heres some pics of my old ones...













 

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Thats what they do when you clean them out, find Multi's are very funny with clean substrate, they don't like it, so when you clean them out they either hang from the lid or they all pile on something that smells familiar ei. food/water bowl, toys, wheels, beds etc. Quite amusing as walk around like they're on broken glass :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We learned the hard way about them being escape artists. :lol: in our first group of 4, 3 escaped, one was nice enough to stay with us. We caught the male, and unfortunately, he chewed out AGAIN! We bought another group of four, and still had the female from the first group. Then my husband caught 2 more, however, the first male is still missing, and we still try to catch him, but have had no luck. They are now kept in a 20 gallon long glass tank, and we haven't had any problems with escape this time.
 

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I discovered that they are houdini's too - I have bought a fish net to catch them as they seem to be really nosey and I can catch them when they come out to investigate that way :lol: I really love that last photo!! Has anyone else noticed how odd they look running in a wheel? I think they look really funny because they look like they are trying to run on tippy toes :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
:lol: :lol: :lol:

I love watching them on the wheel. We put them on our stand beside the sofa, just so can watch them. They are so entertaining. Our male is huge compared to some of our girls, and he will get on and walk the wheel, while the girl beside him is trying to run. Needless to say, she gets flipped multiple times. I love the little critters, even though they are nasty! I can't wait till they have babies!! :D
 
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