Pet Mice Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Weve been considering getting a pair of rats just lately. Of course the mousery keeps us busy...but we do miss having more interaction with a more responsive animal sometimes, and the playfulness and sociable nature of rats appeals to us

We have a few questions though I was hoping some ratty people here could help answer. It seems our only reservations are about space, smell and biting

Im a complete wimp and if something as big as a rat bit me Id freak out. I know rats rarely bite if handled from babies, but should I even be considering it if Im not willing to get bitten? Do even good natured rats tend to bite if theyre feeling hormonal or whatever?

Smellwise, Im guessing they pong stronger than mice (which we actually dont smell much anyway) Do the males smell more than the girls, and is the smell really bad?

Spacewise, are the cages generally sold as rat cages in shops suitable for a pair, and what would you guys recommend?

Thanks :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
Rats are very stinky when you have a few, but a pair of ladies wouldn't smell too bad. The males can have a tendancy to 'marinate' - that is pee all over each other in their nest and squish up together until they are a warm, sticky, yellow mess :)

The smallest cage for a pair of does would be one the size of a Ferplast Mary as rats need a lot of stimulation.

Rats love to play, and very very rarely bite. I bred rats for 8 years and took in a lot of waifs, and I've only ever been bitten by 2 rats which were very special rescue cases. Your best bet is to get one from a decent breeder. It's a lot of palava with paperwork and all that, but good breeders love their rats and it really shows in the temperament of the babies. Pet shop rats are renowned for having terrible health, and they are usually much smaller and more timid than well-bred ones.

Sarah xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info Sarah!

Yes wed definitely get from a good breeder of course, we have contacted a local rat person so hopefully well hear back soon :D

Not liking the sound of the boy wee thing! hehe. We were leaning more towards a pair of girls anyway...and thats reassuring to hear about the biting. I think that was my main putoff personally as were both completely wimpy

Thanks :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,063 Posts
I am looking into getting some rats too at the moment, I'm really excited about it as I've never had rats beofre and alsways wanted some. I'm having trouble finding a breeder which isnt helped by not being able to decide what varieties im interested in!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Hi i breed rats, and including babies i have around 40 at the moment and a heavily pregnant female, only 9 of the rats are mine though the rest (babies) are for sale.

If you get a good couple of rats they aren't too difficult to litter train, this makes it so much easier, you just clean it out everyday adn theres hardly any smell, like with any animal i suppose, keep them clean and you hardly know they are there! :)

you need to keep them as clean as possible anyway as the amonia from the urine is what causes respitory infections in rats, also dusty substrate.

I highly recommend them as pets, i have not once been bitten by a rat and thats saying something from someone whose kept so many! that includes some individuals that have hardly been handled, sometimes they nibble your finger if you put your hand in the tank as they think your giving them treats.

Some rats will bite if you put your hand through cage bars, they are not being aggressive, they just seem to have this habit with cage bars sometimes.

I don't find that my males smell anymore than my females, and i also find my males tend to be a lot cleaner in the urine department when it comes to peeing on eachother!

If you introduce them to water at a young age they grow to love it which can also help with cleanliness, or give them a spray with a water bottle on wamer days and this will encourage them to groom and clean themselves :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im really excited too now!
The dumbos have really grown on me...originally I thought the side ears just looked too weird, but now I think it just adds to the cuteness. Id love to have a hairless too!

The breeder weve contacted is in Cheltenham ian so maybe some use to you next time youre travelling through if it comes to it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Velvet_Meece said:
Hi i breed rats, and including babies i have around 40 at the moment and a heavily pregnant female, only 9 of the rats are mine though the rest (babies) are for sale.

If you get a good couple of rats they aren't too difficult to litter train, this makes it so much easier, you just clean it out everyday adn theres hardly any smell, like with any animal i suppose, keep them clean and you hardly know they are there! :)

you need to keep them as clean as possible anyway as the amonia from the urine is what causes respitory infections in rats, also dusty substrate.

I highly recommend them as pets, i have not once been bitten by a rat and thats saying something from someone whose kept so many! that includes some individuals that have hardly been handled, sometimes they nibble your finger if you put your hand in the tank as they think your giving them treats.

Some rats will bite if you put your hand through cage bars, they are not being aggressive, they just seem to have this habit with cage bars sometimes.

I don't find that my males smell anymore than my females, and i also find my males tend to be a lot cleaner in the urine department when it comes to peeing on eachother!

If you introduce them to water at a young age they grow to love it which can also help with cleanliness, or give them a spray with a water bottle on wamer days and this will encourage them to groom and clean themselves :)
Thanks lots for this :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I got two male rats 3 weeks ago. I've never had rats before and I must say they are great pets. They were quite smelly in the first week but after they settled in and finished marking their territory,no more smellyness :D
The boys are really friendly, no biting, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Hello everyone

I've been breeding and showing rats since 1986, my NFRS studname is Halcyon :)

Rats smell alot less than mice and my males definitely dont marinate themselves :)

You can place a litter tray in the cage and they will poo in this, most people put cat litter in the litter tray.

I keep my rats on Bedmax or chopped card and this keeps the smell down too.

Well socialised babies will not bite. Rats are similar to dogs in the way that they will only bite through fear or if they are allowed to become too dominant as they live in very similar social structures to dogs and have a definite hierarchy to their groups. You need to be boss :)

Ian sadly there won't be any rats at May Enfield due to the outbreak of SDAV, but if you come to June Enfield show there should be a fairly wide selection of rat varieties for you to look at :)

If you log on to www.nfrs.org and click on Varieties from the site map the photo's can give you some idea.

If you email [email protected] you can request to be emailed a register of rat breeders throughout the UK, it lists where they are and what varieties they breed.

Good luck with finding your rats and if you ever have any ratty questions please feel free to PM me

Lisa
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,106 Posts
Halcyon said:
Rats smell alot less than mice
Mine certainly didn't! Honestly, everyone agreed that my rats (2 bucks) smelt, and definitely more than the mice. They were well looked after with a large cage, so that wasn't the problem, it was just a natural smell that to me was horrible! I think it depends on different people as I don't mind the smell of mice at all but don't like the smell of rats (not just mine, but also several breeders I have visited). Some people hate the smell of mice - each to their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
I was surprised when I got my first recent mice as I remembered them being much smellier, especially buck mice, they have that real musty smell & I had prepared myself for having a shed that smelt of mice! but actually it doesnt it just smells of bedmax :)

I do think that rats that have hammocks definitely marinate themselves and get smelly. I don't use them as I think they get too dirty too quickly and and I'm too lazy to wash hammocks from 18 cages on a weekly basis ;)

Lisa
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top