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u/specialgreenonion · 6 pointsr/RATS

Aw that's wonderful! Congrats on getting sucked into the wonderful world of being a ratty owner - you're gonna love it!

So first things first: you ALWAYS adopt at least two rats. More is always preferable, and I personally think three is the best minimum because the difference between looking after 2 vs 3 ratties is honestly minimal, but that 1 extra furbaby makes all the difference to them. Rats are very very social and need friends to thrive and live happy lives. Even if you had all the time in the world and had 1 rat, you wouldn't be able to make up for all the things he needs to have with another rat(s).


Ratties are relatively simple to look after, although they do need a good bit of socializing, attention and stimulation. This helps them thrive and live happy lives. They're very intelligent and can learn a lot of things if you wish to do so - this stimulates them mentally and keeps their brains active, which again, makes them thrive!


I'll get the long stuff out of the way first and then give you a list of foods, bedding and cages after.


Generally, rats tend to adjust to new environments pretty well and they build bonds quickly too. It took my 3 boys about 2-3 weeks to become complete cuddlebugs and trust me. Of course, rats that come from a shop where they havent been socialized properly since a young age will be more shy and scared than rats from a breeder/accidental litters etc. There are different trust and bonding exercises you can do when you first get your ratties to help them adjust to their new home. There are generally 2 approaches that people take - slow and patient, or a bit more forceful. Both sides have their supporters and opposition. I find that a combination worked best for me. You just need to try and see which works best, all ratties are different. These are some of the things to do with new ratties:


When bringing the ratties home and setting them up in their cage, observe their behaviour. They will probably be a little shy but also curious, and the curious side generally tends to be stronger than the shy side! They will probably hide at first or stay in one place, but sit beside their cage and try not to make any sudden or fast movements. Just be there with them, let them smell you and get used to you, so they realize that you're a safe presence and youre not scary.


If your ratties are starting to walk around and explore their cage a little more, you can gently and slowly place your hand flat inside the bottom of the cage. Dont move, let the ratties come to you. They most likely wont be able to fight their curious side and will come over to sniff and maybe even have a little nibble on your nails, fingers etc. Dont move, let them do their thing.


Observe their behaviour and you'll be able to make a judgement on how they react to this approach. Put some porridge, apple sauce or pudding in your hand and let them lick it/eat it out of your hand. You want to pick something they wont be able to grab and run away with, which is why pudding/sauce type of food is a better choice. This forces them to eat near you and even lick you which teaches them that they can trust you, that they can get nice tasty treats and food off you and you wont hurt them.


They'll start becoming more comfortable and eventually they'll be climbing on you out of their cage when you place your hand inside, sleeping in your hoodie and riding on your shoulder. Let them do it at their own pace.


You should also spend time with them free roaming outside of the cage, to do some trust training and bonding. Many people choose to sit in their bathtub and let the ratties run around, explore and climb all over them. If you have a rat safe, smallish room, you can also sit down and let them explore and come to you etc. They'll have fun, they'll explore, play and they will start to include you. They'll gain confidence. Ratties tend to also playfight/wrestle with each other - this is normal and not a sign of aggression. The playfighting can look a bit scary if youre unfamiliar with ratty behaviour, but generally if theres no blood drawn and the rats still cuddle, eat and are relaxed around each other when theyre not wrestling, then everything is fine. They usually calm down with the wrestling after a couple of months.


Everything I described above is on the more slow and patient side. This worked beautifully with 2 of my ratties. One of them was a lot more shy however so I did try one forceful method with him and it worked amazingly.



If you do encounter a problem where a rat (or all of them) aren't really responding to these trust and bonding methods, then you can try the slightly more forceful approach. The idea in this approach is that since the rat is too timid/scared, you have to show them that they're safe with you. I had to do this with one of my rats and after 1 day, he changed completely. He became 100% comfortable and happy, he ran over to me when I came to the cage etc. Before that, he was in the hammock all day and didnt leave the cage, he didnt come to me at all.


I wore 2 shirts - one thin shirt underneath and a cozy big hoodie on top of that. All I did was take him out of the cage despite protests (squeaking and struggling was involved unfortunately) and I put him inside my hoodie. He was nice and warm there and at first he was a bit scared but he soon fell asleep. I walked around all day with him in my hoodie (obviously giving him water and food haha). Eventually he left the inside of my hoodie and started walking around on my shoulders, sniffing my face, nibbling on my hair, climbing up and down my arms etc.


That one day showed him that there's nothing to be scared of and he is completely safe with me. He will get food, water and shelter from me, he wont get hurt and he's completely safe. After that 1 day, he's been the most amazing sweet cuddlebug, very confident and very playful too!



So that pretty much covers the basic behavioural patterns and approaches - of course there's definitely something I missed and Im sure someone else here will bring up something I havent said, but that does pretty much cover the most fundamental basics.


As for food - ratties need a low fat, low protein diet. The best staple food to give them is lab blocks. A great brand that people swear by is Oxbow. The reason why this type of food is great, is because it's formulated perfectly to accommodate the ratties' diet essentials and the rats also cant be picky about which bits of food they do and dont like - this means they're getting ALL of their necessary nutrients. I wouldnt recommend getting any rat food mixes where all the nutrients they need are in separate foods all thrown together into a bag, because they're just gonna eat the bits they like and leave the ones they dont care for. Some people make their own mixes though and that works really well for them - it all depends on how picky your rats are. Personally, its hard for me to find Oxbow where I live and its very expensive to buy online, so I use this food. It's like a european version of oxbow, my rats love it and thrive on it. If your rats are young though, you want to give them a little more protein couple of times a week than is included in Oxbow or the food I use. Some boiled chicken two or three times a week until they're around 6 months or so (if Im wrong, please correct me on this, but Im pretty sure its 6 months).


You want to give them fresh vegetables to supplement their lab block diet. All the leafy greens are great for them, but other veggies are good too - just dont overdo it because the fibre will cause them to have runny poops. Rat poop should be like dry little pellets, with barely any odour unless you get all up close and personal. They might have diarrhea the first day or two when theyre in their new home just from stress, just keep an eye out on them. My ratties love cucumbers, kale, parsley, broccoli, tomatoes and spinach. Carrots are also a good choice. Try different things and see what they like. Here is a good list of foods your rats are NOT allowed to eat.


Fresh water should of course be available at all times. They should drink water only, nothing else unless you need some cranberry juice or something like that to mix with their medication if theyre sick.


As for cages - ratties need to climb, explore, run around and play. This is a rat cage calculator - select your units and put in the dimensions of the cage you're considering buying, it'll calculate how many rats can fit in the cage youre choosing. Of course this is a rough guideline, so use your best judgement - the cage may be big enough but if there's no shelves for them to climb onto or to place their food bowels etc. then its not suitable.


The ultimate cage everyone here recommends is Midwest Critter Nation. It's an expensive cage but it's perfect. Of course if youre only getting 2 or 3 rats, you dont need a huge cage like this. You can opt to get them the single Critter Nation rather than the double if you wish. That would be a great option for a smaller mischief of rats. The important things to look out for in a cage, is that the bar space isnt too big. This is especially important if youre looking to adopt girls since theyre smaller. The cage should also be powder coated, not galvanized and the bars ideally horizontal (this means the ratties can climb and its easier for you to hang their hammocks and other cage accessories).

u/MoriKitsune · 2 pointsr/RATS

1- Always adopt more than one!

Rats are very social animals, and to prevent undue stress and sadness, they need to have rattie friends with which to spend their time. Also, try to adopt same-sex pairs/groups to avoid accidental litters; if you must adopt rats of different genders, make sure one of them are ‘fixed’ before housing them together. It’s also a good idea to get littermates, as they’ll already be familiar with each other, and they’ll be the same age, which becomes significant as they age and pass on.

Also, I HIGHLY recommend trying to find a reputable rat rescue near you before going to a pet store or breeder. There are SO MANY loveable, beautiful rats out there that were rescued from bad conditions and need loving homes. Breeders often supply reptile owners with feeders, and many don’t keep their rats in good conditions or socialize them properly. Same with pet stores. A lot of times, female pet store rats will even end up pregnant because someone didn’t keep them away from the males. There are several Facebook groups and websites with area-specific rescue groups that can point the way for you to find your babies.

2- Make sure your cage type is right!

Rats, like humans, need their personal space. If you cram too many in too small a space, you’ll get stress and fighting. Use a cage dimension calculator like this one to make sure the cage you’re looking at buying is big enough for the number of fur babies you’re going to get (2-3 is a good starting number.) also important is the distance between the cage bars, especially if you’re going to adopt young rats. Remember, anything they can fit their head through, they can fit the rest of their body through if they really want to. Try to get a cage with no more than 1/3-1/2inch of space between the bars.

Rats are also climbers- while a single-story unit would be fine for a rabbit or guinea pig, it’s important for rats to have multiple levels and platforms on which to live and play.

DO NOT use a glass tank. Rats are prone to upper respiratory infections, and they also pee quite a lot. This wouldn’t be an issue, except rat pee is high in ammonia, which is bad for them to breathe in. Tanks just can’t get the proper level of ventilation to be a good home for rats, even with daily cleanings; they might look cute, but for your babies’ sake, stick with a cage.

Make sure your cage has smooth floors. Rats, like most other pawed animals, have little pads on their feet. They’re also quite sensitive, and prone to getting their toes caught. Make sure that any mesh or wire platforms in your cage are covered with a hard, smooth surface so that your rats can walk/run/jump around comfortably.

3- Essentials

Rats are prey animals, so their instincts drive them to hide and nest; make sure you give them lots of places to hide away, like little houses, nests, baskets, and hammocks. Places up high are a favorite among my girls.

Make sure you have an constant, ample water supply. I recommend having a couple of water bottles, or a bottle and a dish- just in case they finish one off during the day, they’ll have plenty more to make it until you get home and notice that one’s empty. I personally keep a dish with dry rat food full in the cage as well, to make sure they’re never hungry.

Fleece liners or other bedding options are also important- rats aren’t very good at regulating their body temperatures, so giving them a means to keep warm is important. Fleece covers over the trays (I use blankets cut to shape and pinned with binder clips) or bedding spread liberally over the bottom of a deeper pan is important for this.

Exercise wheels are also a good idea; get the biggest one you can- it’s not good for them to have their backs/tails bent at too far an angle. A saucer wheel is perfect, but my girls wouldn’t run on the one I gave them, so I got them this one

Also, not quite essential, but- rats are über smart, and can be litterbox trained! Giving them a litter box and training them to use it will save a lot of time and effort when it comes to cleaning their cage every week.

4- Toys and decorations

Like I said before, rats are smart! They need mental stimulation. Puzzles, toy balls, and hanging bird toys are all great ideas. There are also a ton of diy toy ideas on the Internet in places like Pinterest. A lava rock ledge or a brick in the cage will help them keep their claws trim, and provide a convenient step-up into a hide. Try to stay away from soft woods, and keep with hardwood toys and shelters.
As for decor; they’ll probably regularly chew through the fleece you give them, so it’s easy to switch up the cage aesthetic whenever you want :) you can also cut up the old fleece into bits and give it to them as bedding to nest with, too.

This is my girls’ cage after it was mostly-clean yesterday (I did the top level later on.) I know the image is potato-quality, but you’ll probably be able to see the water bottles, hammocks, hides, and wheel :) their food dish is stashed behind the purple ramp next to the wheel haha

You might also notice the boxes in the top level; cardboard boxes are a great thing to put in their cages; it’s a chew toy and a hide all in one! You’ll need to replace them regularly, of course, but things like soda boxes and tissue boxes are great cage additions.

5- Cleanliness

It’s important to clean your rats’ cage weekly, at least, and twice weekly if they’re hairless (hairless are more prone to uri’s.) Personally, I wipe down the bars with baby wipes (or soap and water if they really need it) and clean the pans with soap and water. As for all of the hammocks and fleece, I toss it in the washing machine with my own clothes (no fabric softener or dryer sheets) and also make sure to beat them out (like a rug) so they’re as clean as possible before putting them in the laundry. I also wash all of their plastic toys, dishes, and wheels with soap and water, making sure to rinse them well so there’s no residue.

It’s rare, but sometimes your rats will need some help getting clean. When my girls were younger, there came a point where they smelled like pee and they had porphyrin all over their fur from their own cleanings; at that point, I prepared a thick towel and some warm water, and washed each of them with oatmeal baby soap, making sure to avoid their faces and ears (as you would with a dog or other pet) and immediately afterward cuddled them in the towel until they were dry enough that I felt like they wouldn’t be too cold in their cage. My SO was a big help with that stage.

6- Nutrition

Rats need a varied diet. Depending on where you look, you get different percentages, but personally what I do is leave a bowl full of dry food in their cage and top it off as needed, and every night (or, being real, every other night) when I get home and make my dinner, I make a plate for them and load it up with a bed of kale, sliced or canned vegetables, berries, a sprinkle of oats or nuts (I have some petite babies and I’m trying to help them gain weight) and some chicken or turkey baby food; sometimes I’ll even put some fruit baby food on there as well- they absolutely love it. For protein I’ll also sometimes do scrambled eggs or chicken that I’ve shredded up post-cooking, instead of poultry baby food (baby food is just the easiest thing for me to do) :) these guys give a comprehensive list of foods that are safe for rats, and when in doubt, google it before feeding it to them. Male rats generally have more dietary rules than females, so watch out for that with them.

7- Playtime!

Every single day, your rats will need at least an hour of playtime with you. Just like we were told as kids “get out and play an hour a day” this is really important for their mental and physical health. This could be anything from a free-roam in a rat-proof room, or just running around on the bed while you watch a movie. This is also a great time for you to teach them some tricks (there are plenty of tutorials on the web for how to train them 😊) or set up a little play area for them complete with toy houses and things to explore and treat-laden puzzles for them to solve. For treats, my girls love yogies, nuts, and dried fruit :)

u/-Nuu- · 2 pointsr/RATS

I get all my fleece from JoAnn stores. They often have fleece at 50% off per yard, so you can buy it in bulk and use it as needed. Any large fabric store will have lots of fleece in stock (I just prefer JoAnn because that's the best one I have in the area I live in). I'm sure you know this already, but just in case, please don't use cedar or pine chips as bedding for your rats; it's harmful to them. You can use fleece or aspen chip bedding (but freeze the aspen for 48 hours prior to use to make sure it's free of parasites).

I buy many rat toys on Amazon, and make some myself. If you're buying any kind of wooden rat toy, do be aware that many of them are made from soft woods like pine and cedar, which are super bad for rat respiratory systems. Hardwood toys are usually safe—just make sure it's not a combination wood that also has pine or cedar in it along with the hardwood. I personally do not buy wood toys on amazon, because the products often don't list what kind of wood they're made of. The only wood product I buy on Amazon is bags of untreated apple branch chewing sticks. I'll link you to some rat-safe toys and accessories I buy on amazon below! :)

Kaytee Lava Ledge
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00176F466/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

15" Chin Spin - Small Animal Exercise Wheel - Handmade in USA (Expensive, but it's the very best and safest wheel for rats.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GJ6SDBQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory Toy (Great for hanging things up in the cage.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ABZGU2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&th=1

Small Animal Activity Toy Cotton Rope Net For Rat and Ferret Pet Bed for Parrot and Hamster Parrot
https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Activity-Cotton-Ferret-Hamster/dp/B0777NWKT9/ref=sr_1_2?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1519011945&sr=1-2&keywords=rat+rope+net

Kaytee Igloo Hideout, Large
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068K132/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

ACCO Binder Clips, Medium, 2 Boxes, 12/Box (A7072050) (If using fleece as the bedding/liner in your cage, this helps to secure fleece to the Critter Nation pans.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TQ8FDB8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap - Baby Unscented, 32oz. (I don't use any scented products with my rats since rat respiratory systems are so fragile, so this is the non-scented liquid soap I use to wash my hands and their non-fabric toys.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DAI76TC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Pawliss Teeth Grinding Lava Block for Hamster Chinchilla Rabbit
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HGHA6VW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Aspen/Booda Corporation BBX56134 Byrdy Cable Cross Bird Toy, Medium
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WRHTG6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

200g(7oz) Apple Sticks Pet Snacks Chew Toys for Guinea Pigs Chinchilla Squirrel Rabbits Hamster(About 50-70 Sticks) by MAIYUAN (The only wood product I buy on Amazon.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06WLL641Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Ware Manufacturing Fun Tunnels Play Tube for Small Pets (Medium.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LUMU9M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Ware Manufacturing Plastic Scatterless Lock-N-Litter Small Pet Pan- Colors May Vary (Regular size, not jumbo.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003SLICDA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

JW Comfy Perch for Birds (Large, 36".)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002AR754/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Lixit Critter Space Pod 2 Large (You can hand these on the ceiling of the Critter Nation. My boys LOVE these!)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002X2NBNQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Lixit Lbg-16 Glass Small Animal Bottle 16 Oz (16oz is always best for rats because of the bigger water spout. I've found that smaller bottles are a struggle for my boys to get water out of, so I only use the small ones for rat carriers/transporter cages. Tip: filtered water is best for rats, so if you can, get a Britta water filter.)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002WYCFK0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Yummy Time Tiny Small Stoneware Pet/Dog Bowl
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAUMYDC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I buy Harlan Teklad (Envigo) food blocks for my rats, which is one of the top two for rats (the other is Oxbow Regal Rat). Harland Teklad is hard to find though, so I buy mine through this animal rescue:
http://weecompanions.org/healthy-food

If you get these blocks, freeze them to extend their shelf life, and take them out from the freezer as needed to fill your ratties' bowls. Harlan Teklad is great because they have several formulas for rats based on their age, which is super helpful for their health. Young rats up to 8 months usually eat Harlan Teklad 2016 (16% protein), and after 8 months they eat Harlan Teklad 2014 (14% protein).

Also, I don't have a link for this, but the best laundry detergents to use to wash your rats' cloth toys or bedding with is one that's non-scented and is sensitive on skins.

Um, if I think of anything else, I'll add it. But for now, it's already a ton. :P Enjoy!

(And feel free to message me if you have any questions!)

u/CorbinDallasMyMan · 1 pointr/RATS

Handling: You can do things to get them used to you in their cage (treats, petting, etc) but I do most of my socializing outside of the cage. I reach in, pick them up, bring them close to my chest, carry them to their play area, then set them down. The more quickly and confidently I do this, the better they seem to take it. Some rats dislike getting picked up more than others but they learn to trust you the more exposure they have. I usually start picking my rats up to bring them out of the cage within the first few days of owning them. I think it's as important for me to get comfortable and confident in picking rats up as it is for them to get used to getting picked up. IsamuRats and ShadowTheRat have both done short youtube series on socializing or taming rats. I'd recommend taking a look to get ideas.

Cleaning: Rats are messy and they poop and pee everywhere. Cleaning is sort of just a never ending process. I do a little every day. I'll usually spot clean once or twice a day, moving stray poops from the floors or hammocks to the litter boxes and throwing out soiled nesting materials. Every two or three days I'll swap out the litter and change the fleece/uhaul mats on the platforms as well as swap out all of the fabric hammocks. My boys tend to pee where they sleep so the hammocks only last a few days before they have to be changed. If I don't change them often enough, my boys will start to stink. If I keep their beds and bedding clean, they stay clean. Once a week I'll do a full cage cleaning that involves swapping out and washing everything. I'll also shake out the past week's worth of hammocks/liners and wash them all at the same time, it's usually a full load. If you have to hand-wash, I'd pre-soak with some vinegar in the water, then hand-wash with a fragrance-free soap.

Toys and Enrichment: A full cage that encourages climbing and exploring is good. I like scatter feeding so my boys can spend hours searching out their food rather than just having it all in a bowl. You could also have their main food in a bowl and then just scatter a bit of a supplemental dry mix for variety. Rats love climbing, digging, destroying stuff, and finding treats. Anything you can give them that encourages any of these behaviors will be great for them.

Health: RatGuide has a great basic and advanced health checklist to help you figure out what to look out for. Respiratory issues are pretty common for rats. Keeping a clean cage is one of the best things you can do to reduce health risks. Ammonia build-up is pretty toxic. Keeping their environment as low-dust, fragrance/scent-free, and smoke-free as possible is also good. HEPA air purifiers are great for air quality and a carbon filter would also help with odors. The more comfortable your rats become with being handled, the better. If you handle your rats often and check their bodies for lumps, check their teeth, etc., the quicker you'll become aware of potential issues. Rats don't necessarily need chew-toys because they can keep their teeth in check by grinding them but stuff to chew on may fall under the enrichment category. Regularly weighing your rats can also give you early warning of potential illness if they start losing weight rapidly.

For 4 girls, I'd probably recommend either the Rat Skyscraper from Martin's Cages or the single unit or double unit Critter Nation cages. These are two very different style cages and which one works better for you will depend on your circumstances and preferences.

Miscellaneous: Some rats open up right away, others take more work. Some may be very affectionate (if not in their own ways), and others may not be. Rats all have such distinctive and individual personalities. Sometimes you gotta check your expectations at the door and learn to love them for what they are. A couple things that are good to know going into owning rats are that they live sadly short lives and losing them can be very difficult. I think a lot of people don't continue keeping rats because it can be so hard losing them so soon. You can also get trapped into a cycle of owning rats because you want to avoid keeping solo rats. The biggest thing you may find out is that you might go rat crazy and want to buy all the rats. Go slow, though, or you'll find yourself with more rats than you can afford to properly take care of. Four is a really good, manageable number.

u/bruxbuddies · 6 pointsr/RATS

For me the biggest things I learned were how much attention they need (a lot) and how much time I would spend cleaning (a lot!).

Overall:

  1. Their personalities are pretty set. You can definitely tame a shy or skittish rat to be tame and affectionate, but it will always be quicker and easier to tame a rat that is just naturally confident and brave. I don't think that getting them at a young age or even breeder vs "feeder rat" really makes that much of a difference - I had a rat that I got at 6 weeks old who was very timid, and he never got to the cuddly point that my other boy did, who was 3 months old when I got him. It's just his personality to be more on the go and not want to sit and cuddle. So for a new owner I would say go out of your way to pick the rat that comes up to you curiously, or seems generally more outgoing. It will make things a lot easier!
  2. It can take 2 weeks to a month to get them tame to the point of enjoying being held, coming when they're called, easy to pick up and carry around, etc. I worked with mine once or twice a day in the play pen for about 2 weeks before they let me pick up and hold them quietly, and then it took a couple more weeks to really tame down.
  3. If you never take them out of the cage, and/or if you never try to hold and pet them, they will never enjoy coming out and being held/petted! You have to get them out into a playpen, feed lots and lots of treats (think 12 tiny treats per session) and actually hold them a little at a time, many times in a session, even if it seems like they hate it. They will get used to it!
  4. They need a LOT of attention. I think rats are an awesome pet for someone who has about an hour to two hours of free time per day, every day, no matter what! They will be "OK" for an evening if you go out or something, but they really come to expect attention at certain times and know your routine, and will really guilt you if you don't get them out to play!
  5. Same idea, there is a lot of cleaning involved, and it takes time. I would say about 30 minutes of cleaning every other day (like changing out fleece or any sleeping blankets they've peed on, and changing out litter boxes), and then about an hour of a full cleaning once a week (water/vinegar and hot soapy water for anything plastic, changing bedding or fleece, washing cloth). It doesn't seem to matter fleece vs bedding - it's just a lot. That is on top of the hour or so you should spend playing with them. Rats themselves are clean BUT they really make a mess of their cage, haha.
  6. It costs a lot. I know there are ways of saving money but I just end up spending a lot on them with things like their playpen, different toys, bedding, etc. The cage alone will be $100, then there might be vet bills.
  7. They will really, really love you! The more time you spend with them, the more they bond with you. Even if your rats are on the go types that don't sit and cuddle, they still really show affection in their own way and truly love you like you're another rat. It's way more than hamsters or mice. Owning rats is as much work and also reward as a dog or cat.

    If you have the time and energy for them, they are really fabulous, sweet, and hilarious pets. I would say go visit someone who has them, and see what it's like (and also make sure you're not allergic!).
u/Floonet · 3 pointsr/RATS

I want to say thank you for being receptive to rattit's collective knowledge.

Definitely agree with all that was said by /u/durshka

To add to what has been said:

I'm not sure what country you are in, but in the US there are some great rat feeds. It's crucial you give them this, because rats will pick through seeds and take the carb/sugar loaded things over the protein vitamin stuff. (they are like people)

Oxbow is pretty standard and they look like this you do not want to get stuff like this as their main feed. They will pick through all the good bits (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, dried peas) and leave the fiber which they need. I do have a bag of this and use it as treats!

PLENTY OF FRESH VEG! also remember to wash the veg and fruit off well if you are going non-organic. Pesticides are truly harmful especially to rats which in comparison to us are TINY!

Give them a bit of chicken or tuna etc from time to time. I usually share what I'm eating with them if it's healthy.

Another good treat (and a good way to administer medicine if ever needed) is baby food. Mine love the sweet potato, squash, peas one!

When picking out a cage try and get one with at least 2 floors. Meaning they can climb and have different areas. Rats are super smart, and need space to keep it interesting. Also make sure the flooring of the shelves and ramps is not wired steel, and that it has plating. The bottom can be as long as you have enough bedding on the bottom. Rats can get bumblefoot from wired flooring.

A CAGE LIKE THIS IS IDEAL it's tall rather than wide, which they love!

u/ThatPurpleDrank · 3 pointsr/RATS

This would be a much more suitable cage for three rats as it's made of metal but the base is easy to remove for cleaning as is the shelf. http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Critter-Nation-Animal-Habitat/dp/B001NJ0DAY It's actually the cage I have for my 3 boys and they enjoy it. Eventually I'd recommend maybe expanding it to include the top cage as well so they have even more room to move around if possible. Also, the bonus of this cage is that there is a shelf below it where you can store things. Just make sure that you aren't storing food down there because they will eat it. My husband also made a little ramp out of a piece of wood he covered in felt so that when we let our boys out they can come and go out of their cage as they please. Also, we use felt rather than fluff for their cage (mainly because one of our rats is allergic to most fluff) because it's so much easier to change. We change the felt and do a full wipe down of the cage with soap and water/disinfecting wipes every 3 or 4 weeks but with cleaning up/picking up poops/emptying their poop pan every couple of days. We use a shallow and small brownie pan for a poop pan and stick it to the floor with magnets. That way it's easy for us to remove but they can't push it around or flip it over.


You can get a bowl and water bottle at petco. They're not expensive. Make sure that you get food blocks for them rather than a food mix. With a food mix they can pick and choose what they want to eat (such as just the seeds) whereas with food blocks they will get complete nutrition in one place. We keep the food blocks in our freezer to avoid any tiny bugs that may come join the bag (which happened in the past when we ordered a large 50 lb bag and kept it in a plastic container...big waste of money).


Most rats will not use that flying saucer. Also, they can be dangerous and ratties can hurt themselves on them. I would not recommend getting one.


If they fight I would just let them be unless they're really getting loud and squeaking a whole lot. Then break it up. Usually a "hey!" is enough to get them to stop. But if not then you can always poke them with your finger. Not hard. Just enough to take their attention off of each other. Fighting isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes ratties just do it for fun and it's more like wrestling even though it might look like fighting. It's also a way to establish pecking order/the alpha role.


You don't need to give them specific vitamins but there are several foods that you should never give to rats. There's actually quite a long list so make sure that you google it or use the links at the side of this subreddit. They will help you learn what is okay and what's not okay for them to eat. They will get all of their vitamins in the food blocks but rats do get bored easily so you need to make sure that you supplement with veggies and fruit. Also, yogies (yogurt drops) are a wonderful treat for rats. They LOVE them. You can find them at petco next to the rat food.


You should let them out daily or at the very least every couple of days to explore and run around. We let our rats out for a few hours a day. But please make sure that you have a specific area for them to explore and that there isn't anything around that can hurt them or that they can get into that they shouldn't. We like to let our rats run around our living room. We block off our kitchen door and our hallway door and let them run around and explore. Rats love to chew so try to keep an eye on them. Chewing is a natural thing though. They do it to keep their teeth at the right length. A good way to combat chewing is by making sure that they have enough toys and things to play with in and outside of their cage. That link to that little toy you put up is a great and fun thing for rats! They will destroy it in no time at all but they will immensely enjoy it. See the links at the side for more toy ideas or google some.


Rats do need bathes every now and again. It can be difficult though as most hate water. If you want to introduce your rats to water then use lukewarm water in your bathtub and put just enough in that part of the floor is covered but that there's still a dry area for them to go if they hate it. They may try to climb up your arms and claw the shit out of you like mine do and they may poop a bunch but don't be alarmed. Those are fear poops. Just scoop them out and continue on. Use just a dab of animal safe shampoo and wash them. Do not get their heads super wet. I usually just avoid their heads all together. It's going to be difficult to wash them if they hate the water but sometimes a full bath is really needed. Other times you can just use a warm, wet washcloth and wipe them down. If they hated the bath tub then there's a good chance they will hate the wet washcloth as well. We bathe our boys when they start to smell or just if it's been a while. So probably every 2-3 months. They are really not fans of water so we try to only bath tub bathe them if a wet washcloth won't do the trick. Just make sure that you have a fluffy dry towel to wrap them in once they are done so they can be nice and warm!


If you need any other advice please feel free to ask. Just make sure that you check out those links to the side and really really study up about how to properly care for a rat. Rats are amazing little creatures and are such fun pets but like any pet they do require care and love. So get as familiar as you can with proper care before you bring them home.

u/Muffikins · 1 pointr/RATS

Honestly, it's better when you move out and can afford the best cage, food, stuff to make toys with, time to devote to cleaning and money for vet care, etc. You can have your own apartment and everything just the way you want it.

My mother grew up on a farm, and will never ever see "fancy" rats as they truly are. She's been open minded about some things, but the rat thing, I never tried to push at all while I lived at home. It wasn't worth rocking the boat, because I honestly didn't have the most stable childhood, and that's not great for pets either.

I live in a nice place now, I'm cozy and comfortable and have an awesome supportive partner. He's a great rat friend too. I've got a double unit Critter Nation, which is the best cage ever and I only wish I had TWO, but I have 6 rats and this cage is a mansion to them. They adore it, and have several hammocks, different boxes, paper bags, toys, tunnels, etc., which I switch up every few days to keep things clean. I use unprinted newsprint; the big pads you can get at art supply stores, since I always have extra around and it's great. The rats love it.

I have lots of cute ratty pictures on my Instagram/Imgur, and my mother and father see them all the time. They respect that I have them but they do not like them and I don't think they ever will. It's sad, but all I can do is give the rats the best lives with as much attention and love and brain stimulation as possible.

They've started to learn the floor is not lava. It's a full time job babysitting them since they want to explore, and the cats are terrified of them! Yet intrigued.

Tellin ya, I had pets as an adolescent and it was never right with my parents. I'm glad I waited.

u/kidneysforsale · 4 pointsr/RATS
  1. Do they NEED it? Eh, maybe not. Will they probably want it at some point, I wouldn't be surprised! You're fine for now, but in the long term, I'd recommend if you can, 1) the sputnick/space pod - fairly inexpensive and beloved by rats EVERYWHERE; and 2) making some more hammocks. It sounds like you're planning on using fleece, and it's really easy to make no-sew hammocks. Since the bra-mock is gonna get peed (they will all get peed on), you'll probably want a few more so that you can rotate them in and out.

  2. Rats are pretty good about monitoring their own eating habits. They also like to stash it away, so it can be difficult always to tell exactly how much they've eaten vs hidden. My 2 girls get a ~full bowl (which is a heaping 1/4 cup scoop that I use for their food) between the two of them daily. Some days they finish it all, some days theres a bit left. Often I'll dump some food out when I empty their box (cause they like to eat where they poop). Also, its too many treats if they either start to gain weight or if they eat less of their food because they are full/to accustomed to treats and thus loose nutrition. Overall, you want to use moderation. Some treats you can be more free with than others; baby puffs are popular as training treats because I guess they are low-calorie (and presumably low in sugar) so you can give a fair amount of them. I've never used them, but I've read it several times.

  3. Binder clips are popular across the board, but the answer to this question will depend a bit on what kind of cage you're using.

  4. I would say, regardless of the amount of time that has passed, follow their lead. If on day 1, they seem interested in you and will sniff your hand or even climb onto it, full steam ahead! And if you have a convenient place to let them run where you can be sure they won't get away, go for it. But if say on day 4, they're still don't seem to want to take a treat from you, just keep at it and you can look up some stuff about trust training timid rats, and spend a lot of time around them/their cage regardless. Since they are coming from the breeder as you said, they are probably going to be a bit more similar to the first example than the second. Either way, go slow, use food to get to their hearts, and don't be discouraged.

  5. As long as they get their out time and have toys/things to explore and play with wherever they get it, they should be fine without free run of a room. I would mainly say that whatever room they are in, you'll want "rat proofed" to the degree that in the event someone escapes from the bed (or wherever), there isn't anywhere they could get to that would be an instance emergency (like an open door to the rest of the apartment or a hole in the floor to a crawl space, etc).

  6. Well, for starters, they likely wouldn't forget you any more from being handled by another individual in your absence than they would without the handling. That being said, they also won't forget you over that time span regardless of being handled or not. Overall, they will be much happier the more they are handled so that is the goal! That's always the goal.

  7. Play it by ear. I've never had boys, only girls, who still pee everywhere but not quite as much. If it seems smelly, try cleaning it off and if it still seems smelly, toss it. It's possible they just won't ever pee on it, or its possible it will be their favorite thing to pee on and have to be replaced constantly.

  8. For the same reason you are asking about changing out the wooden toys, I would avoid having a permanent wooden fixture of any kind in the cage. At least not one that you aren't okay with tossing after some period of time. For something in the cage, I'd recommend sticking with a plastic container or cardboard that will get thrown away when the cage gets cleaned. It's not too uncommon for people to make dig boxes with shredded paper or cardboard or fleece for their rats, which is basically what this sounds like. If you like the wooden box you are planning on using, I'd say save it for out time and do that same thing. Or fill it with like... misc wooden blocks or whicker balls or some people use pingpong balls (but they get chewed up), and have a little ball pit thing.

    Sorry for the length! I get a bit wordy with my answers!
u/Swtcherrypie · 2 pointsr/RATS

Just gonna copy/paste a comment I recently made on a similar subject, with unnecessary parts edited out and a few things added:

I would suggest getting at least one friend for her but preferably 2. And you'll want to get rats of the same gender, unless you want lots of babies. Having 3 rats is very helpful if something happens and you lose a rat. It helps the remaining rats if they can cope with the loss of a buddy together and may lessen the chances of them getting overly depressed. And in most situations, the more rats you have, the happier they will be. They're highly social and tend to like having a bigger family.

If you're getting food at the store, stay away from seed mix type foods such as this. It's not healthy for them, and the dried corn in it can cause liver cancer. I'd recommend a block/kibble type rat food such as Oxbow. You can even buy the adult formula of Oxbow and just supplement with extra protein once or twice a week until around 6 months old; and, in general, most rats don't seem to like the Garden Select or the young rat variety, so keep that in mind too. You'll want to give them fresh veggies regularly and fruits as a treat (as too much fruit can cause runny poops.) I like referring to this guide when introducing new foods as some foods are very dangerous for rats, and some are only dangerous for a specific gender.

When getting a cage (NOT an aquarium) make sure you get 1/2" bar spacing to avoid escapes. And you can use this handy cage calculator to make sure your cage will be big enough. Some cages sold as rat cages are not actually big enough for adults to comfortably live and stretch out in. If you use a loose substrate bedding, stay away from cedar or pine (unless it's kiln dried pine) though kiln dried aspen tends to be the most recommended wood shaving bedding. Some people use recycled paper bedding, though it isn't as good at absorbing smells as the aspen or pine. If you use fleece, you'll need to change it more frequently than a loose substrate but it's much less messy, though terrible for controlling odor. I personally do a mix of both, loose bedding in the bottom of the cage and fleece lining the rest of the shelves.

You'll also want to consider getting a litter pan to litter train them, and use a different type of litter in the pan so they associate it with a bathroom area. I personally like using critter litter by Kaytee. Also, find a smooth flat rock to keep in the litter pan. For some reason rats like peeing on rocks.

You'll want to make sure to have enough hides, hammocks, etc for each rat to have their own if they aren't feeling like being cuddled up or just need a break from the other rats. Space pods are highly loved by most rats. I have 2 in my cage, one on each level. Cardboard boxes are a big hit as well. I buy cheap boxes of Kleenex and just shove the whole thing in the cage (after removing the plastic stuff around the opening.) They love "decorating" their cage with it, and they can use the box as another hide when they're done. PVC is also a big hit with a lot of rats. You can make little tunnels for them to hide or play in and some people even drill holes in them (for ventilation and) to suspend them from the roof of the cage to help change it up a little.

Also, you'll want to spot clean/pick up stray poops throughout the week until cage cleaning day comes. After the cage is clean (leaving 1-2 "dirty" things in their cage to prevent over cleaning, thus leading to over marking after you spent all that time cleaning) I suggest completely rearranging their cage each time. It keeps their minds stimulated and makes them highly interested in exploring their "new" home week after week. It's especially fun for them if you hide treats throughout the cage for them to find. For a cleaner, I use a vinegar/water (25% vinegar, 75% water) solution as it disinfects and deodorizes very well and the rats aren't sensitive to it like some cage cleaners. I also put about half a cup in with their laundry when I wash it. You'll want to use free and clear detergent (no dyes/perfumes) like this. I don't use fabric softeners or dryer sheets either.

Lastly, you'll want to keep an emergency vet budget set aside. Rats don't need routine visits like a dog necessarily, but there is a high chance your rats will need to go to the vet at some point during their lives. They have a very delicate immune system and URIs are very common, as well as myco flareups, as almost all rats carry myco. You can read the article linked in the sidebar for more info on that. And in my experience, it tends to be emergency/short notice needs for the vet. Rats are prey animals and will hide an illness until they are no longer capable of hiding it, and by then they are usually pretty sick. Prices vary from area to area, but where I am, I expect to spend around $60-90 for a visit, including medications; from what I've read on here though, I'm on the lower end of the price range and some people easily spend double that.

Sorry this got a lot longer than I had expected it to, and if you read it all, thank you. If you have any questions, this sub is a great place and has a lot of great and very helpful people here. Good luck with your future babies.

u/dottieblue · 3 pointsr/RATS

Hi there. Congratulations on your new boys! I love Rex rats! I've been a ratty mom for over 12 years. I currently have 3 males, all dumbos, one of which is a Rex. The best advice I can give is to make sure to socialize your new babies and let them get used to you, your environment, as well as each other. (I'm glad to hear you got more than one!) Pouches are a great start for that, so you are definitely on the right track. I love playing around and interacting with my boys, but I also make sure to sit back and let them explore on their own, too.

Having a good cage is crucial. I recently got space pods and they love them! Having it be plastic instead of fabric cuts down on smell, too. I always make sure they have a bunch of things to chew on and play with. Make sure they have good bedding as well. I use recycled newspaper and crinkle paper.

Diet plays a big role. I feed my guys mostly Mazuri blocks and Oxbow with some vegetables (they love broccoli and frozen peas). I try to stay cognizant of treats, since they're mostly sugar and fat. (Males are prone to weight gain, so you gotta watch out.) Fruits work really well as a treat for training.

If you have any questions as you guys get adjusted, feel free to PM me.

(Also, sorry all the hyperlinks are to Amazon haha. It's what Google pulls up.)

Congratulations again :)

u/tostada · 1 pointr/RATS

Your house is probably already full of rat toys galore!
Wood chews are really popular and help with dental care. You can get them in the small animal and/or bird section. I bought some beads at Amazon for $3 and my girls love to chew them up. They sell them in fun shapes and sizes--stuff like letter blocks or vegetables. So cute to see a rat running around with a wood chew in her mouth, especially when it's shaped like a stalk of broccoli. Give your girl(s) at least a couple of places to hide and nap! Check the pet store for plastic igloos (get the medium-sized one, or if you get a bigger cage, get the guinea pig one) or even a space pod to hang from the cage ceiling. You can also make fabric hammocks for them to lie in. It's adorable!!!

In addition to lab blocks for feeding (the Kaytee is in my opinion not good; I'd feed until it runs out, then switch to Oxbow), be sure to supplement your girl's diet with fresh veggies! Here is a good list of safe foods. Give fatty foods like nuts in moderation. Dark, leafy greens are a must! At first, your little one will be wary of new stuff, so be persistent in presenting it to her. She'll soon be eating everything in sight. :) Oh! Rarely, as in maaaybe once a month, you can give your rats a cooked chicken bone. (Assuming you eat meat; sorry for assuming!) They love it and it is good for their little teeth.

Was your girl alone in the cage at the pet store, or did she have some siblings with her? If you decide to bring another girl home, have another cage ready. The one you have is pretty small! If you're going to upgrade, this one is a good starter house for two rats. While you're going through the introductions for the new girl and the old girl, keep them separate. You can keep your little cage as a hospital cage once the girls are integrated, or use it as a travel cage for vet visits. If you have a bigger budget and space for a bigger cage, you can look for Critter Nation (if you're in the U.S.) or Savic Suite (outside U.S.) Martin's cages are great too. I got my Critter Nation from Craigslist for very cheap, so look out for deals secondhand. Just sterilize the cages you buy secondhand with a bleach/water solution and rinse it thoroughly, and you should be good. :)

Phew! Sorry if that's a lot of information! To answer your question, you got a fancy rat. Her coloring is called "black hooded." She's beautiful! Get her a sister and you'll have two beautiful little brats to spoil. Good luck. :D

u/Virixiss · 1 pointr/RATS

Howdy! First off, let me thank you for doing research before you pick up your rodent friend.

First off let me get the disclaimers out of the way: If you were looking for a cheap pet, you have chosen the wrong animal. Rats have a fairly high upfront cost that begins to taper down after the first 3 months or so once the major growth period is over with. Almost any attempt to cut costs on things I'll bring up as essentials is most likely going to end up as a bad move in terms of your pet's health. There are lots of places to save some money, but what I'll lay out here is not the place. Rats are also a very short lived pet. They will live for a reasonable maximum of 3 years, so there will be heartbreak down the road.

Still interested? Good. Let's get a list going then:

  1. Rats must be kept in a group. A pair is the minimum, three or more is better. Rats are VERY social animals, and need near constant interaction for other rats to stay healthy. This isn't just about mental health either; a lone rat is more prone to infections, tumors, and mental disabilities including aggression. Keeping multiple rats is no more expensive than keeping a single rat.

  2. When looking for a cage, aim for 2 sq. feet per rat. Use this cage calculator to see if your cage is big enough. Watch your bar spacing! Rats are master escape artists, so make sure that the bars won't bend, and that you have 1/2" inch bar spacing or less. Popular starter cages include the Critter Nation Single or the Prevue Hendryx Rat/Chinchilla Cage. The Critter Nation is the most popular rat cage by far, but I can vouch for the Prevue Hendryx as easy to clean and set up.

  3. Food can get pretty complicated for a first time owner, so I'll just offer easy suggestions. Feed Mazuri , Native Earth , or Oxbow. Oxbow is the most popular and most balanced, but tends to be the most expensive in smaller bags. In bulk, (20+ pound bags) the price is all about the same. I buy large bags because it's cheaper per pound and I never worry about running out. Then again I have 5 rats, so my situation is different than yours!

  4. Lots of toys and hiding places! This is where you can save money by getting creative. Store bought rat toys can get expensive, but cardboard tubes and boxes are often free! Have one hiding place per rat plus one, preferably on different levels of the cage. Hammocks are a favorite hide for rats, as are boxes, bags, and tubes. If you want to get some store bought stuff, see if you have a bird shop in your area. Almost every toy in there that is safe for birds is going to be a blast for your rats.

  5. Find a vet that is comfortable with rats. Rats don't need shots or regular flea treatments, so finding a vet can seem odd. But eventually, something will go wrong, or one of your babies will fall ill. Having a vet who's experienced with rats or at the very least willing to learn is a godsend. I'm very lucky to have a vet that is familiar with and loves rats. Because of their size and common problems, rat visits are usually very cheap when compared to a dog or a cat. I spend no more than $45 when Juniper or Sugar have a myco flareup.

  6. Don't stop researching. Subscribe to this sub. Check the side bar. Ask questions. (Feel free to PM me, I'll help you as much as I can..) Watch videos on YouTube, like The Rat Guru. Rats are a very "addictive" pet, and it's easy to fall into an obsession with the cute little boogers.

  7. Post pictures when you get them.
u/Beaglescout15 · 4 pointsr/RATS

A really helpful resource is a rat cage calculator like this one

Second, if you're really on a budget, I highly recommend looking into cages for other animals like ferrets, chinchillas, sugar gliders, or birds. For some reason, I've found that rat cages seem to charge a premium. Use the rat cage calculator to check for size.

One option is this small animal cage on Amazon for $47.95 that can hold 2 rats (not any more).

Keep an eye on Craigslist and local buy/sell/trade Facebook groups and you can sometimes find a good deal on a secondhanP cage.

A big consideration is bar spacing. If your rats are full grown males they can probably not get through 1" spaces, but any younger or smaller rats need no more than 1/2" spacing. The cage I linked above has 3/8" which is fine. If you do find an inexpensive cage with large wire bar spacing, you can solve that by wrapping the cage in hardware cloth. For example, this hardware cloth from Home Depot it's only like $9 a roll and would work just fine. It's not the prettiest or most elegant solution but certainly gets the job done. If you find a super cheap secondhand cage, that can really save you a lot of money.

Finally, don't forget that rats should not be walking on bare wire shelves or ladders, or they can get sores on their feet called bumblefoot. You will need to cover the wire in some way. Many people use fleece, but it's best to place an absorbent layer underneath the fleece such as a packing blanket. Plan to change the fleece frequently, as it doesn't absorb urine and the ammonia can build up quickly and irritate your rat's respiratory system even if you can't smell it yourself. Fleece should be changed at least every 3 days.

Personally I ditched all the ramps in my rat's cages and bought rope dog chew toys from the dollar store for them to climb on. They like the challenge much better than the ramps anyway. Also at the dollar store you can get little baskets and containers for your rats to hide and sleep in. No need to spend a lot on rat-specific items. Get a dollar store package of zip ties to attach everything. Speaking of hanging things, I use these shower hooks from Amazon to hang everything and at 50 rings for like $6 they're a great deal, plus the points get covered when you close them.

Okay, that was long but good luck! Also I'd avoid Wish, they charge a fortune for shipping. Have fun!!

u/owlrecluse · 8 pointsr/RATS

Do you have a rough budget? also im sorry for the novel
The typical and most suggested cage is a critter nation (a single can work for 2 or 3). You can sometimes find them or similar cages on craigslist, or find them cheaper on other sites.
You can also use several Martin brands, here's a breakdown of all of the versions you can get.. I've heard that they can be a bit annoying to clean, since most of them only have one door that opens, as compared to the critter nation with its double doors, but they're a reliable cage.
You could probably even use a Petco or Petsmart brand one, such as the Rat Manor, but that only holds 2 rats. So if you wanted to expand your mischief, you'd need an upgrade.
The most important thing at the moment is that they cant escape.
This is a good cage in general but the bar spacing is good for younger rats, and its a bit bigger than a single critter nation.
Here's a general listing of good cages for rats as well. but make sure to do your own research on them, as they suggest the aquarium topper which isnt a good one. The bar spacing needs to be at least 1/2" for babies.

  • The most suggested food is oxbow if youre in the USA. you're also going to have to feed them a small portion of fresh fruits and veggie every other day or so (but you can also give cheerios and stuff as treats, they can eat almost anything tbh).

  • they're going to need hides, hammocks, toys etc. you can usually make them yourself with fleece, some sewing, or cardboard boxes. Many bird toys and small animal advertised toys and stuff are fine.

  • decide what kind of bedding youre going to use. If youre going to use loose bedding like this, consider getting a cage with a deep pan. If you're going to use fleece, consider if you're going to litter train them or not, or sew absorbent liners. Most people recommend fleece.

  • rats need to chew because their teeth grow forever. so theyre going to need wood toys or lava ledges.

    Here are some good cages.. Just to give you an idea.
    They will need to see the vet at least a few times in its life. So be prepared to find an exotics vet and start saving. Imo, you dont need to take them like you would a dog, once a year or whatever, but if they start breathing funny or get hurt it's difficult to treat that kind of stuff by yourself.
    uuuuuuuuuuuu its usually cheaper to buy food and stuff in store so find a pet supplies plus, or a petco/smart. You're also going to need to clean the cage about once a week or so. You can use a small animal cage cleaner such as Nature's Miracle, or use a dilute mix of vinegar and water.
    And yes, you're going to need a friend if you decide to keep them.
    I think that's a good basic rundown of what you're gonna need eventually. If you dont deck them out like immediately they'll live, so theres no huge rush.
    Oh, and keep an eye on their health. make sure their breathing is fine and that they dont have lice or fleas (they'll have a lot of scabs on their ears and shoulders and tail). Rats are very prone to respiratory infections.
u/nthny · 4 pointsr/RATS

Rats are wonderful little companions, and fairly easy to care for. Keep them happy and healthy, and they'll repay you by loving you like crazy.

This is a good guide that will help you understand what your rats are doing and why, and explains some of the ways rats communicate with each other and with you.

Here's a list of foods that are safe to give to your rats. Enriching your rats' diet with fresh fruits and vegetables is important to their health, and they love it. If you buy packaged treats from the store, make sure you get one that doesn't contain dried corn, as that can be harmful.

For their food, I recommend Oxbow brand. It's very good nutritionally, and my girls love the taste. For two rats, one bag will usually last several weeks.

For their cage, you'll want something that gives them plenty of space to go about their business. Generally, the rule is 2 cubic feet per rat. So for two, try to find something that's at least 4 cubic feet. Use paper bedding as opposed to wood shavings, as wood shavings can cause respiratory problems.

You should also get some accessories for the cage to keep them entertained, such as a house, a hammock, things to climb, and some toys. All can be found at most pet stores and is pretty inexpensive.

If you decide to go for it, I think you'll be very happy with rats. And if you do, be sure to share a picture of your new babies with us here!

u/darkayden · 2 pointsr/RATS

When I boarded my girl rats at Andy's all four of them fit fine in that cage. Some stuff I'd recommend are get tons of Lava ledges so they can have different heights in the cage. They have Big ones and Small ones. The small ones are only available online now I think. My girls love to hop from one to another plus it will help file down their nails and teeth. I currently have 10 big ones and 8 small ones in my 2 cages. A hammock is great but you can also put a space pod in there too as another place to sleep or chill. I just got one for my girls but I'm waiting for a hammock to be chewed down before putting it in there. I also got The Bandit Bridge and my girls love that too. I mainly use it as a safety net in case they fall off one of the ledges. I'd rather have them land on a soft thing than the igloo or hard cage bottom. Basically I'm cutting the fall in half.


Also if you still want to get another cage I recommend The Rat Manor I have it and my girls LOVE it! It's big enough for 4 rats so 3 would fit perfectly plus it has a metal bottom so they can't chew holes in it. Other than that you seem to be on the right track. Just spend a lot of time with them and get them used to you kinda like a re-introduction to humans and they should turn out fine. They may have been scared of the kids and all the noise but it sounds like they should perk up to you in no time after they get used to their new surroundings. Good luck and keep us posted!

u/jlaray · 2 pointsr/RATS

Personally, I wouldn't get a rat from a pet store. As others mentioned, they tend to have more health/behavioral problems. They live in glass tanks, after all. I've gotten all but 1 of my rats from craigslist, usually somebody has an "oops" litter and sells the babies. (yes, they "sell" them because people looking for snake food can often find feeder rats for free). I got Hercules from a pet store because he was like, returned to them and they were trying to adopt him out. I couldn't stand seeing him in a 10-gallon tank, watching everyone walk by him and dealing with kids banging on the glass. He was very young and adorable so I had to have him. :3

As for products, I recommend a plastic igloo or 2 because you can wash and re-use them. My rats don't chew on them but I can't speak for every one. I make most of their toys and hammocks, though. You can go to stores like Jo-Ann Fabrics and they have a "remnants" section with rolls of fleece for 50% off!!

I also buy their food from pet stores. I use Kaytee Healthy Support Diet (nutritional lab blocks) and pick the green things out because it gives them diarrhea. I wouldn't recommend the seed mixes you see at pet stores, they're very fattening and don't have a lot of nutrition. Wood chews and stuff are fine but my rats never touch them. They prefer toilet paper tubes, etc.

Right off the bat, I would say SPLURGE ON A BIG CAGE. You will thank me later. I bought a shitty $30 cage on craigslist for my first rats and it was a living hell to clean. Best choice is a Critter Nation cage. Huge doors that open the whole cage are amazing.

Most people cover the shelves in fleece and potty train their rats to use a little litter box in the corner. I never had the patience, so I replaced the bottom shelf with a concrete mixing bin and fill it with paper bedding, and the top shelf is wrapped in fleece.

This was way longer than I expected but good luck! Make sure if you get more than one that they're all boys or all girls. (duh :p)

u/sssmorgann · 1 pointr/RATS

As other people have said, ferret cages might have spaced big enough for smaller rats to escape.

I would definitely advise getting a Critter Nation cage: http://www.dog.com/item/critter-nation-small-animal-cage-single-unit/650231/?srccode=GPDOG&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&scid=scplp9000136&gclid=CjwKEAjwu6a5BRC53sW0w9677RcSJABoFn4sXRfeqmFuLS7H4CZT3h2S5W9aCENq2GcHJ_-XIfSsxhoCNhbw_wcB
Google it and go to shopping results. That's how I got mine for the low low price of $112, and that was including shipping! It's a great investment.

Pretty much anything you need for your boys you can get online: lab blocks, hammocks, chews, toys, litter boxes, etc.

I have three boys. They're not that smelly, honestly. They smell a little sweet sometimes, like cheerios and faint pee.

They're litter box trained, but occasionally miss or whiz outside their box. These are the boxes I have: https://jet.com/product/detail/fa77c55e49b84b21ad3482352a86bba8?jcmp=pla:ggl:gen_animals_pet_supplies_a3:pet_supplies_cat_supplies_cat_litter_boxes_a3_other:na:na:na:na:na:2&code=PLA15&ds_c=gen_animals_pet_supplies_a3&ds_cid&ds_ag=pet_supplies_cat_supplies_cat_litter_boxes_a3_other&product_id=fa77c55e49b84b21ad3482352a86bba8&product_partition_id=161833679820&gclid=CjwKEAjwu6a5BRC53sW0w9677RcSJABoFn4snBzuFx8FUS2MnG0nvpNFwX7W3F7WqPO-I91Zrx3ygBoC62Pw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
The messiest things they do are leaving lab block crumbs everywhere, missing the litter box, or chewing up a towel or napkin they got a hold of. Occasionally poops/litter fall out of the cage, especially when you clean it.

I have my cage floor covered in an old towel, with fleece on top. A couple of times a week I sweep out crumbs/chewed up mess/ stray poops with a mini broom and dustpan. If you're lazy, use a vacuum cleaner.

For full cleans, I vacuum the floor fleece, all their hideouts and hammocks, and their scraps of loose fleece they use for blankets to clean up loose mess. Then pick up the towels and fleece, shake em out like a rug outside if they're still dirty, and throw em in the washer. Wipe down the cage surfaces with baby wipes or pet cleaner. Lay down another towel-fleece later for another week or week and a half, and repeat.

Be sure to supply plenty of hideaways, hammocks, boxes, space pods (http://www.amazon.com/Lixit-Critter-Space-Pod-Large/dp/B002X2NBNQ)
etc. for them to sleep/cuddle/hide in.

Good treats are (most) fruits, non-sugary cereals like cheerios, nuts, pasta, pretty much anything you'd consider "healthy and natural". Occasional FrootLoops or dollops of ice cream won't hurt them either. I pretty much always share whatever I'm eating with those cute little faces.

As mentioned before, lab blocks are what you should feed ideally. They're specially formulated to have the perfect percentage of each amino acid and the right amount of fiber, etc. Plus lab blocks make their poops almost odorless! I use Harlan Teklad (also known as Native Earth, apparently) 2016 formula, which I get from "The Crafty Rat" online store: https://www.thecraftyrat.com
It's pretty cheap since you can buy in bulk, and each 5 lb bag lasts a month or more.

Of course always have water in bottles available. I get the big 30 Oz critter sipper bottles from Walmart. Make sure to hang up a couple in their cage in case one leaks all out or gets clogged.

Lab blocks should keep their teeth worn down, but you can give them cardboard, wooden bird toys, lava ledges, or even deer antler to chew on. Mine pretty much never chew anything, but they love this and literally chew it to pieces: http://www.petswarehouse.com/8-in-1-wild-harvest-chewable-log-small/?gclid=CjwKEAjwu6a5BRC53sW0w9677RcSJABoFn4sQZZwP2wwvkg7wnxX5FVDadNP4EDvK9dXv3l505RAuRoC5cjw_wcB

u/JPersnicket · 2 pointsr/RATS

I think a lot of things are kind of up to your rat's preference. I wouldn't bother buying a wheel unless you knew they loved it because most rats don't care about running on wheels. I'd invest in a Sputnik because it's universally loved by rats. https://www.amazon.com/Lixit-Critter-Space-Pod-Large/dp/B002X2NBNQ You'll need some sort of bedding. I've put fleece covers down and litter box trained my rats. I tried all sorts of bedding but I really ended up liking Aspen shavings (which is the only safe wood for rats because the others give off scents that irritate their breathing). PVC pipe joints are good for them to run through and hide. http://www.allrightmachinery.com/pvc/pipe-fitting2.jpg My rats like Lava ledges to climb on and this helps wear down their claw without clipping. https://www.amazon.com/Kaytee-Lava-Ledge-Assorted-Colors/dp/B00176F466 Also put some bricks near their water/food bowl to help whittle their nails down too. Binder clips and safety pins are your friends for hanging things. A ton of my stuff is from the dollar store so I can just throw it away when it gets really disgusting/torn up. And plenty of soft fleece pieces/fabric scraps for them to snuggle and nest in. Save any cardboard boxes you can because they love playing in them.

u/urbanmutt · 3 pointsr/RATS

Common cages you’ll see recommended are the Critter Nation and Martin’s cages. For a good quality, new cage you can probably expect to pay around $110 to $250. Most people on this forum are huge CN fans - it’s a HUGE cage, with wide/accessible doors, and is basically a sturdy free-standing piece of furniture. You can get a single unit now, and if you end up getting more rats (which you very well might!) you can get an add-on unit! Potential downsides to the CN are the lack of deep pans (you basically have to use fleece, or create/buy deep pans). It’s extremely heavy, and takes up a lot of floor space. Even though the wide doors make it easy to reach inside, it is filled with hollow parts that trap water and easily rust. In order to deep clean it, you’ll have to take it apart, clean, and dry each component - you shouldn’t just hose it down.

I currently have a Martin’s Cage, and I do love it. You should get an R-680 or larger and get the powder coated version. I love the deep pan for bedding, how light/transportable it is, the fact it doesn’t take up my limited floor space, and especially that I easily rinse it in my shower and don’t worry about rust. I don’t have a washing machine so using fleece would end up being pretty pricey.

​

If you are thinking of using fleece, don't really need to frequently transport the cage, or will likely get many rats, then CN might be the best way to go for you! For my situation the Martin's Cage is working wonderfully :)

u/beargrowlz · 5 pointsr/RATS

I know a lot of these have been mentioned, but:

  • You shouldn't keep rats alone. They're likely to become very depressed, even if you spend lots of time with them.
  • The bars are too wide on that cage. Rats can squeeze through tiny openings. Bar spacing should be no more than about half an inch.
  • The cage is way too small. Check out the rat calculator to see what size cage you should be looking for. In particular, look for something with plenty of height, as rats really like to climb.
  • I can't be sure but that looks like galvanized metal, which tends to absorb moisture and smells. You should pick a cage with coated metal – I don’t know where you are but I have the Furet Plus for my two rats, which is a very good option. I’m sure everybody here could recommend you a good cage on a budget.
  • I would remove that wheel straight away, and replace it with something like this, which has a solid surface for the rats to run on.

    Looking at your post history, it seems like this new friend is a bit of an impulse decision for you. I am all for people owning rats, but I don’t think you’re going about this the right way. Picking up a sickly bargain bin pet store rat as your first one is a terrible idea, and here’s why:

  • Even if the store tells you the rat has recovered, rats tend to live with upper respiratory complications throughout their lives, and it can be very expensive to have rats treated.
  • Rats should be kept in groups of at least two, which means you’ll also need to be responsible for introducing your rat to a new friend. This process can take weeks or even months, and requires you to stock and manage an extra cage until they’re used to each other enough to live together.
  • Rats from pet stores aren’t bred for health or personality, they’re bred for quantity. There are more health and behavioural issues to contend with and this will make life difficult for you as a first-time rat owner.
  • I and most of this sub would encourage you to use a reputable breeder rather than a pet store to adopt your animals, as pet stores have a terrible reputation for animal cruelty, and the animals tend to be very poorly socialised.

    Please really think this through. I know it’s difficult when you’ve already set your heart on a certain rat, but based on this post and your last one in this sub you don’t appear to have done a lot of research on the basics of rat care, and you need to seriously consider whether you are capable of handling a potentially very complicated pet.
u/coffeekittie · 6 pointsr/RATS

Most of the Ferplast cages are a good option [just look on Amazon.uk]. This cage is about as small as you want to go. Bigger is always better. The Ferplast Furet Tower is very awesome, though it is a bit large for just 2 females. Also look on Ebay, sometimes they've got good deals on brand cages. Look for cages around 30" x 24", but remember they need vertical space just as much as they need horizontal space. Levels are good but you don't want a grid in the base. It doesn't help anything and gets really gross. Make sure the wire is powder coated. Most cages are, but plain silver wire is not, and galvanized metal just absorbs urine and there is no getting that smell out. You need the bar spacing to be around 1/2", females can get out of 1" bar spacing. They will grow out of that hamster cage within two weeks, tops, so go ahead and order your new cage now.

The main differences are what you've already stated. Rats are also much cleaner, in my opinion. They're a lot sweeter than hamsters, and they'll learn fast. They also need a better, more balanced diet with a premium rat food and fresh veg/fruit. Seed mixes are not good. This is a good list of what you can and can't feed a rat.

They just need to time to adjust. Keep giving them healthy treats so they associate you with the good stuff. Talk to them often, softly like you would talk to a kid or scared puppy. How long it takes varies from rat to rat and situation to situation. Most of my rats start to come out of their shells within a couple of weeks, but I deal with rescues who have been neglected or abused. It can take a pet store rats months to become trusting, while others only take a few days. Read their cues and follow their lead. Don't force them into anything if you don't have to. If you have an old tote/bag that you can pop them in, it makes moving them around much easier and they won't get as frightened at being handled.

u/Durshka · 7 pointsr/RATS

Okay, lessee.. note: info overload coming..

Good bedding types are 100% recycled cat litter, there are only a few which don't contain harmful phenols, those are back2nature, yesterday's news and carefresh. Carefresh should be frozen beforehand to kill any possible mites. Don't use wood shavings/chippings, most are made from pine and that's harmful to the babes.

Don't use shampoo with them, if you must, get pet shampoo that doesn't contain phenols. I haven't actually washed mine and I've had them 7 months. Girls don't get very smelly and groom themselves. I occasionally add a small drop of pure olive oil to their food which keeps their fur shiney. You can add a drop directly to their fur, rub it in and they'll groom it out. The best way to keep them clean, is to teach them to go pea-fishing :D Start off with a small container with a small bit of water and build up from there. Always let them approach the water themselves and entice them with peas.

Don't feed them too many naughty treats, they're actually really easy to treat, my girls will do anything for a bit of chicken and they love peas.

Their diet.. now this is a tricky one. Lots of fresh veg, a small bit of fruit and a small bit of protein and lots of cereal. There's any number of commercial feeds you can get, others can advise which are best, we don't get the good ones in my country. The pet shop you got them from.. eh... know nothing, sorry. Bird food and moist dog food are a horrible diet for rats! The seeds have no nutrients and the dog food has too much fat and protein (you might find they have runny poo because of it). The best bet is to make up your own. I feed my brats a version of the Shunamite diet. The Rat Lady's and Suebee's also come highly recommended.

Random other things you can feed them, any meats or fatty foods should be given sparingly: hard boiled egg (crack the shell to get it started, then watch the mayhem), cooked chicken bones, cooked plain chicken, fresh veg, tinned tuna, porridge made from water, mealworms, yoggies. Things to avoid: apple seeds, citrus fruits, uncooked sweet potato, soda, milk. This is not a definitive list. If I'm giving my babes something new I will generally google it first, which recently stopped me from giving them asparagus (apparently it makes their pee stink!).

Okay, what else.. TOYS! You don't need a wheel, but if you get one, go for a closed wheel with no gaps, ie: something like this. If you get the normal metal one their tails could get trapped. My girls get a lot of homemade toys, they love the inner rolls of toilet paper. If you give them some with the tissue still attached, they can use it as bedding. They love hammocks, there's so many ways to make them.

From your pics, they look a bit startled and are hiding in the corners, it might be an idea to give them some sort of shelter (a cardboard box) until they get used to their surroundings. This is a great guide in how to socialise them, basically, yoghurt on a metal spoon.

Oh, and did you know, rats can't vomit. So.. when you give them something new, they'll nibble a tiny bit, then go away and wait, if it doesn't make them sick, they'll come back and eat it. So, if your babes don't seem to be trying anything new, give them some time, that's just their natural instincts coming through!

Lastly, did you know you can litter train rats. Look for some youtube vids, but basically, use a different bedding to their cage, find their preferred corner, move their pellets in there and they'll pick it up. It'll never work for their pee though :/

You should aim to give them about an hour "free-roam" per day, this can be in a barricaded area. Remember, rats can jump quite high and they love chewing things, as some of my cables found out :/ Also, you won't be doing this for the first couple of days, let them settle in first.

Oh, and the first thing you should teach them is to come when called, use treats to get this (my girls will race for bits of bran flakes), it's a lifesaver when they get lost/stubborn!

Let me know if I forgot anything! :D

u/NatashaWright · 1 pointr/RATS

I understand where you are coming from, up to three weeks ago we had a very small flat too (2 1/2) and our cages where taking more than half the living room/kitchen. We currently have (and had in that flat) two Double Critter Nation (http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Critter-Nation-Animal-Habitat/dp/B001NJ0DAY).

One good way of going out of the problem of small space in maybe to make your own cage bigger. Here is a link to my old cage I ''doubled'' myself'' by using two Rat Resort cages and making a hole in the bottom of the upper tray and cutting the wire of the top of the bottom cage: http://imgur.com/a/hTJra (sorry for the mess, the cage was in the basement and that flat is on the way to be emptied, so not very clean haha)!

It was pretty easy to do and gave a lot more space. The cages where quite small by themselves but it gave a lot of rattie space like that while not using too much of the house. It's probably smaller than buying a bigger cage and it was quite cost effective because I bought the second one used (look often on websites like Gumtree or Kijiji), it did the job perfectly until I could afford my 2 Double Critter Nation and had the place for it :)!

If you have any more question on how to do it, contact me, it will be a pleasure to talk about the tools needed and stuff like that!

u/Silliwench · 3 pointsr/RATS

Our house isn't rat-proofable in any practical way, so we set up a playpen for them to play in and change it up every day so they don't get bored.
After a lot of looking around I chose this type of setup. I used the zip ties that came with the set (and at first when they were little reinforced the panels with gorilla tape in case they wanted to try to squeeze between them) and we fold the whole thing up and store it in the box when we are done with free play time.

We have a small litter pan that we keep in the pen when they are out playing. Most of the time they don't need it, but they have used it. We also have an 8x8in metal baking pan that we fill about halfway with water for them to drink or just play in. Sometimes I toss in peas or blueberries for them to go after. Often they just like knocking each other into the water if they are sitting on the edge. :)

Mine don't seem to be cable chewers but two of the three put holes in fabric in seconds. When they aren't in the playpen I will take one out at a time and plunk down with them on the couch. I just have to watch carefully they don't get down inside it or chew it.

Read a lot before you get rats. There is a lot to learn, but they aren't difficult once you understand what you are getting into. This reddit has a lot of helpful info and I found a lot of good resources online as well.

u/cobaltgnawl · 2 pointsr/RATS

yeah its actually this cage here - at one point in the description it read it was for rats as well but has since been taken down :d - I got this about a month ago and the spacing between the bars is only like a 16th of an inch wider on the very outside bars and she knows that and I guess its just enough to let her through lol - so now im gonna have to get some smaller mesh stuff and wire over the whole cage I guess :/ I chose this cage because If I wanted to add another level to it later, it would be super easy - still a nice cage, maybe if I can fatten em up a little more she wont be able to make it through :)

u/kaathari · 1 pointr/RATS

I agree, if they're well socialized and you start them young, it shouldn't be an issue and could be quite easy. None of mine ever had a freak out from travelling. We were set to go on vacation, and had a bad upper resp. flare up with three of our four ratties. We loaded them up in a smaller cage that fit in our car and they went with us from Texas to Virginia to Tennessee and back to Texas so we could monitor them and make sure they were properly medicated. I didn't have anybody else I could trust to handle them properly. That being said, 15 minutes should be a breeze. I recommend getting a really good carrier. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B006JVPL8A?cache=ea43584bbb2f620d1f825971a1ad0132&pi=SY200_QL40&qid=1414116143&sr=8-1#ref=mp_s_a_1_1
I have two of these and three regular sized rats fit comfortably in each. Plus, they're easy to clean and my rats can't get a good grip on any part of it to chew a hole in.

u/Brichals · 2 pointsr/RATS

Yeah mine take quite a while to accept something new then they like it. A fabric tunnel with a hole in the middle or hammocks mostly rats like them.

Mine also like sputniks.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Savic-Sputnik-Hanging-House-26X19cm/dp/B0037XQ8X0

It's funny though, it depends where they are in the cage.

My hammocks I sew a square of fleece on teh top to make a roof. They like that. I think for a quick cheap thing though cardboard boxes are fun for rats.

u/Ghostwoif123 · 1 pointr/RATS

Im not sure if I can see or not but I would like to suggest hammocks! Rats looove to be bundled up in a small space like in a hammock or a hangy thing.. Kinda like this http://www.amazon.com/Lixit-Critter-Space-Pod-Large/dp/B002X2NBNQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394481573&sr=8-2&keywords=rat+hammock they seem to love those space pod things xD. Seriously awesome cage though! I'm jealous!!

u/Snowsepps · 2 pointsr/RATS

It's a Kaytee my first home cage for exotic pets, I got it off Amazon actually! They sell it at petco too though if you have any of those in your area!

Here's a link to the amazon page


Edit: forgot to mention, I love this cage so far, it's perfectly sized for my girls to have plenty of room, and fits my tiny apartment well! I'd recommend it for sure.

u/bubblerj · 2 pointsr/RATS

This is already great, thank you! I’m adopting two, is that not enough? I notice you are getting a few more so I’m wondering :)

Great suggestion about the fleece blankets! Also would this cage be a good option?

Kaytee My First Home Deluxe Multi-Level Pet Home with Casters https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CMHWZC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_V0diAb0X0CR0K

u/kittybiceps · 3 pointsr/RATS

One of our girls is going to be 2 years old in a few months, and even though she loves to cuddle with us, she still darts away and hides when she's on the floor. Even our most brazen of ratties will hide sometimes. It's just in their nature to be cautious, especially in wide open spaces.

You haven't had him all that long, and if he is willing to be pet and eat fron your hands then it sounds like you guys are doing great with him. It will take him some time to understand that he's safe roaming around, but even so I'm sure he will still hide sometimes.

As for keeping him out of places he shouldn't be, we bought this playpen and not only is it awesome for constructing a play area, but the panels are great for blocking off doorways or areas the rats don't need to get into.

u/C22JE · 2 pointsr/RATS

yeah that is a big concern! Wire can cause fractured/broke feet and toes! I would recommend http://www.amazon.com/Super-Pet-Chinchilla-12-Inch-Exercise/dp/B0006IK0PQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372998518&sr=8-1&keywords=silent+spinner that one. Are you getting girls or boys? OH! and if you want a lot of people cover the shelves with fleece for easy clean up/soft cuddle spots. I personally don't with that cage since the shelves are smaller. Just something to consider!
And another thing my rats like are http://www.amazon.com/Lava-Ledge-Attachment-Chinchilla-Habitat/dp/B00176F466/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_2 I like to put one up and then a hanging toy above it. It just adds another little thing for them to use.

u/CrmdZillaDeeKilla · 3 pointsr/RATS

I share my morning oatmeal with him and he loves almonds but I can not get him to eat any fruit... He absolute favorite treat is kale though. This is the food he eats https://www.amazon.com/Oxbow-Regal-Rat-Food-3-Pound/dp/B000GABM1K is it good?

u/420shadesofgreen · 3 pointsr/RATS

One of my rats is weirdly picky about the stuff she chews on. Have you tried different types of chews? If you don't have any Lava Ledges, you can try one of those. They can help grind down those sharp rat claws AND teeth! There are pumice blocks and stuff specifically marketed for chewing out there but I like lava ledges for the multitasking ;)

Rats have an instinctive need to grind down their teeth so there's bound to be some type of material they're into.

e: Something you can try: A Kong dog toy (possibly two, to keep the peace). This was the first thing I got my picky rat to chew on. I stuff chopped carrots inside it (which are also good for teeth), and they also have fun figuring out how to get the treats!

u/Sykirobme · 6 pointsr/RATS

Dollar store desk accessories and organizer bins are great.

I had an exercise ball zip-tied up in one corner of my cage, which my boys loved, but it wasn't the easiest thing to get inside and clean. I got one of these to replace it, and it's much easier to keep clean.

u/K8af48sTK · 4 pointsr/RATS

As /u/Sykirobme mentioned, I would suggest using a prepared food as a base diet and adding a supplemental vegetables on top of that.

I haven't had a lot of experience getting rats to change diets, but we adopted an older male a couple of years ago who had no real problem with the switch.

Us: Oh yeah, all of ours love Cheerios as a treat!

Previous Owner: No, all he eats is Cheerios.

Us: Oh ...

Even though he had been fed only plain Cheerios for over a year, it only took a few days to convince him to try triangles (Oxbow Regal Rat Food). After he realized that other foods existed, he even started turning down Cheerios in favor of fruit and vegetable treats. (The other rats thought he was insane and were happy to take the extra Cheerios.)

u/PamelaBeasley · 1 pointr/RATS

That's a great cage. If you want something that may be a bit easier to clean, we have our girls in this one. I wipe it down/clean up poop every day. We change the bedding (exclusively aspen chips - their respiratory performance has been excellent) and give it a good wash-down weekly.

The girls have a spot for hanging hammocks and one of them build an extra nest/sleeping spot on the bottom of the cage each week. She goes there for alone time. They don't really like wooden chews - they much prefer paper/cardboard to chew on and keep them busy. I can't recommend this cage enough as the deep tray in the bottom allows them some privacy. And it's quite attractive.

u/Eulaliaaa · 3 pointsr/RATS

The critter nation single unit is pretty cheap on amazon, and free shipping if you have prime. Only a little more than your budget, but worth it I'd say! Great quality and lasts forever.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001NJ0DAE?pc_redir=1413116983&robot_redir=1#

Sometimes ferret.com has it for around 100, the price goes up and down randomly.

u/Panamoose · 2 pointsr/RATS

I am so bummed no one answered this. Here's my extremely DIY suggestion that I do not have the opportunity to test myself.

Get this dog playpen.

Tie them together with zip-ties (I think they come with zip-ties now). Set it up, put some hides in, and cover the whole thing with some sort of fine netting. The netting should be loose enough that you fit under it, but it should stop your rats from getting out/ wild animals from getting in. I'm not sure what the best way to secure the netting would be, but you should be able to close the whole thing from the inside. I recommend a rat or cat carrier for transport in between, so you can let them out when the playpen is fully secured.

Let me know if you try it.

u/LaTortugaConQueso · 3 pointsr/RATS

One thing I do for my rats is give them empty pop cases. They absolutely love nesting in them and it costs me nothing. I change it out probably once a week. Another thing you could get is a space pod. Most rats love them and they're versatile, you can hang them upside down if you want. I also give my rats children's wooden blocks and popsicle sticks to chew on. And I've done things like filling penny rolls with treats and closing them up and giving that to them, or the sock pinata method where you hang an old sock somewhere they can barely reach it, and fill it with treats. Also it doesn't look like you have anything for them to nest with, getting a yard of fleece from the craft store and cutting it up will do wonders, or giving them tissue paper to tear up and nest with.

u/zackeaterofsouls · 1 pointr/RATS

I posted asking the same thing not long ago. If you're willing to spend 100+ (the first two are both over that) then you might as well get a Critter Nation cage, they look really well put together. Here's the one I was interested in

If you want to save money, someone told me the last one works well too (It's what I've decided to get in the near future) But you have to cover the wire flooring with fleece or something to protect their feet, cause walking on bars hurts rats' feet. Just be aware that quite a few people have complained about it being hard to put together/coming bent.

Also, make sure you get at least two rats, they're pretty social and need a buddy to interact with when you're not around/sleeping.

u/tjhart85 · 1 pointr/RATS

Amazing how rats love to cram themselves into tiny spaces.

We have three rats and they all cram themselves into these pods, I really don't see how they could possibly be comfortable!

u/Rairix · 2 pointsr/RATS

https://www.amazon.com/Prevue-Chinchilla-495-Earthtone-Dusted/dp/B001W8MDKO/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=prevue+rat+cage&qid=1567958075&s=gateway&sr=8-1

I got this for my guys. It's about the size of a single Critter Nation, but it's cheaper. I found mine on sale with free shipping, so you might be able to shop around a few sites. It ships to Canada though.
Only downsides of the cage are - it has just the door, not the opening front of the CN, so it's not as easy to reach some parts of the cage, and the bars are vertical rather than horizontal so it gives you less options of how/where to hang things. Other than that it has been a great cage.

u/caffeinatedecologist · 4 pointsr/RATS

spiral bird rope

bendy bird rope

wooden bridge

Sputnik/space pod

foraging toy

wooden climbing platforms

2-pack lava ledges

foraging wheel

Also a good idea might be to look up some rat safe treat recipes and make a little ratty goodie bag for them (banana chips, oats, dried pasta, certain seeds, etc.)

u/TerdLagoon · 1 pointr/RATS

Here is the cage I bought. A bit over your budget at $80 but great value. My only complaint is that I wish the doors were bigger. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CETSHN2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Heres a pic all decked out with hammocks and everything. https://imgur.com/a/bRlvAkk

u/LadyZanthia · 2 pointsr/RATS

Kaytee My First Home Multi-Level Habitat for Exotics, 30.5” x 18” x 30” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CETSHN2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_PDz5BbPER32QC

This cage is fantastic and very affordable. My 4 rats fit in one happily though I bought a second one that I’m going to modify to connect them together.

u/piobrando · 2 pointsr/RATS

It's from Living World! Pretty nice carrier on the cheap side.

And thanks!

u/Bootrats · 1 pointr/RATS

I really like Critter Nations. They're huge and the doors open all the way allowing you to clean it easily. https://www.amazon.com/MidWest-Critter-161-Leak-Proof-Measures/dp/B001NJ0DAE?th=1&psc=1

u/thisishowiinternet · 1 pointr/RATS

How much?

I have this for my three girls

They either love sleeping on the top in their hammocks or on the bottom in the igloo, that one looks like you can throw more hammocks and hanging things in there vs mine

u/AnnaAnjo · 2 pointsr/RATS

http://www.amazon.com/Kaytee-12-Inch-Silent-Spinner-Exercise/dp/B0006IK0PQ <-- I got something like this, it is not so silent though, but something like this size is good

u/ropodog · 2 pointsr/RATS

Hey there! Here is the link to my exact litter tray! Thank you for the set up compliments :) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003SLICDA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

u/heartchkra · 2 pointsr/RATS

You can use plastic play pens like these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FQ411ZH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_RdsLDbSZEYX5G or
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XTG94TH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_besLDbY5Z9CB5
so it’s harder for them to climb or chew and you can build them however you like. Just make sure you have enough toys and stimulation for them and always supervise them.

u/grey-green-eyes · 3 pointsr/RATS

Did you get your pen off of Amazon? Is it this one? Can you tell me if it’s any good? :)

u/Lagomorphilic · 3 pointsr/RATS

Haha, if you end up getting males, I guarantee you will get used to the scrotums, don't worry! I personally feel males are better since females should be spayed for health reasons, while males only need to be neutered if they become aggressive. But that is just me.

I did a brief looksie into craigslist for St. Louis, and found a few contenders if you are willing to drive a little ways (all it looks like are under an hour assuming google maps isn't lying to me. These two seem like they would be good starter rats. Come with a decent cage (though it needs more decking out) and they are both very young.

This one is for a litter of babies. Sounds like it could have been an oops litter, but double check with them. You wouldn't want to support a backyard breeder.

Not sure about the circumstances regarding these rats.

It says this one appears to be the closest (20 minutes). 2 male rats.

There are other posts, but these stuck out to me. If none on craigslist speak to you, check out hoobly and bookoo as well.

u/JunoDiana92 · 6 pointsr/RATS
  • I use fleece bedding and a towel underlay (to absorb urine). I buy cheap towels from Wal-mart or the dollar stores, along with the cheapest yardage of fleece fabric. I'll cut both to the sizes of the floors, and fix them onto the plastic floor sheeting using safety pins. The fleece goes over the towels, and both are taken out for washing every 2-3 days or so. I've made ~3 sets for each floor of my Critter Nation, so I'll always have one ready to go once their current set gets dirty.

  • Two of these water bottles are more than enough for our 6 rats. We fill them up every other day or so, and clean them out weekly. I have a stone soap dish resting below the mouths of the bottle, so the bedding doesn't get soaked

  • These litterboxes are a favorite of ours. They have a grate to prevent rats from kicking up litter, and fasteners to ensure the box itself isn't pushed around

  • We've bought quite a few quality fleece hammocks and the like from this vendor. You'd be hard pressed to find a cheaper vendor that makes this high a quality.

  • You'll be tempted to buy a lot of neat toys and baubles online and from pet stores. It's not entirely necessary. Rats have just as much fun playing around with a homemade cardboard fort as they would with an expensive store-bought toy. Here's some inspiration for DIY toys. My personal favorite is the toilet paper tube stuffed with paper and a small tasty treat


    Etc:

  • If the cage is up against a wall, it would be a good idea to cover the wall with vinyl covering or a sheet of paper. If they start making porphyrin sneezes when they're ill, it's going to make noticeable stains

  • Try and save up for a 2-story attachment if you can; the upkeep is about the same, and almost entirely eliminates the need for outdoor play-time.

  • Once your rats get bonded to you, they'll wait by the door when you approach the cage. Be careful not to close the door on their tiny paws or tails.

  • Don't try to make the cage look neat or organized; rats do not care for the human idea of cleanliness, and will rearrange the cage around to suit themselves.

  • Avoid using any litter that uses baking soda or would produce any kind of dust or particulates in the air; that would be a big respiratory risk

  • Don't clean the cages with most commercial cleaners (ex: wet wipes, clorox wipes, etc.), esp. those that have phenol type chemicals; it's incredibly unhealthy for the rats and has long term hepatotoxicity risks. I stick exclusively to Vinegar, water, hydrogen peroxide, and plain Dawn Dish soap.

  • You've probably heard this before, but absolutely NO PINE AND NO CEDAR anywhere!
u/Lunaiz4 · 1 pointr/RATS

My boys have a "lava ledge." I got mine from the pet store, but you can buy yours here: https://www.amazon.com/Kaytee-100079157-Lava-Ledge/dp/B00176F466/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505518972&sr=8-2&keywords=lava+ledge

It isn't so much THEIR favorite toy as mine. They seem to enjoy sitting on it, and it keeps their little claws worn down. Other than that, I would say their favorite toy is probably dirty laundry, especially jeans. Or weird-shaped boxes from Aldi.

u/sam_x · 1 pointr/RATS

Thanks. It says that it would be fine for 3 rats IF it were about 2 inches wider :/ Though I am guessing that by "depth" they mean width? I am not good with measurements.

I have two girls who are pretty small and are temporarily living in this cage:
http://www.amazon.com/Ware-Manufacturing-Proof-4-Story-Hamster/dp/B003SZSZM4/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1332317228&sr=1-1-catcorr

The first home I had for them broke and I was able to get this for $11. I'm saving up for a new cage but not sure what would be good to set as my goal for them. Someone in my area is selling the cage I linked to & I would be able to buy it now and I do live in the dorms so I cannot have a huge cage (I have to sneak them in and out every couple of weekends and have a small room). They get a lot of free time too but I don't want to invest in a bigger cage if it isn't worth it for them.

u/tpr0218 · 3 pointsr/RATS

Even if you cant afford a critter nation, petsmart has something like this that my fiance and I were looking at and amazon has this. I would highly recommend you lay down some fleece blankets as a form of bedding if you get a wire cage like that. They can get their little rattie toes stuck or sprain something and that could be really painful for one of your little guys.




My fiance and I are planning on getting our girls a new cage within the next couple weeks, if you'd like I can keep you posted, since we are certainly working with a budget.

u/Richara9 · 1 pointr/RATS

Yup! This is the exact cage we have:
http://www.amazon.com/Super-Pet-Deluxe-Multi-Level-Casters/dp/B000CMHWZC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324010884&sr=8-1
it is great for them to jump around in. I have since added more hammocks and play toys.

u/AgitatedParfait · 1 pointr/RATS

No, definitely not. I have this cage as my travel cage and my boys get VERY complainy when I put them in there. If you want the Kaytee, I would recommend you get the next size up (https://smile.amazon.com/Kaytee-First-Multi-Level-Habitat-Exotics/dp/B00CETSHN2;I have this as their boarding cage and it works well). That said, if you can, I'd suggest going for the Midwest Critter Nation cage (you could do the single layer as long as you let them out for free roam). It's so much easier to clean and move them in/out of the cage. Also, the ramps on the Kaytee are not super good quality.

u/poisonxcherry · 1 pointr/RATS

i was looking at this cage online. this one would work but i do like this option a little bit more than the others. i’m just afraid of getting the second one and it be smaller or i won’t be able to fit their wheel in it.

u/NotASeaOtter · 1 pointr/RATS

I use this litter pan for my two boys: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003SLICDA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_j0DlzbJ3W8E5A

And for water bottle I use one from Walmart, don't remember the brand. It has an adorable print all over it, haha. I had trouble with water bottles not working but this one has been really good!

u/Killicillin · 1 pointr/RATS

I bought this one: Ware Manufacturing Plastic Lock-N-Litter Pan for Small Pets, Colors May Vary https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HG96EI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_M3WzDb0CN4M61 but I might get a smaller one since it takes up soo much space. I take off the entire wired cage part and put the litter box in on the bottom (the metal part) after cleaning then put the wire cage back on top if that makes sense? I just use the top shelf for their food and water since like you said it is too tiny for anything else.

u/backdoorintruder · 1 pointr/RATS

Do you think my cage is big enough? This is the cage we ordered but i feel like it wont be big enough for two rats, maybe now because they're small but idk if we'd have to get another to facilitate two rats, im on board for getting another but my gf isnt too keen, im sure i could convince her

u/gilactic · 1 pointr/RATS

Yeah, my rats love their Space Pod, too. Space Pod on Amazon

u/StargateGuy · 1 pointr/RATS

No, No, sort of. The first two have too large of bar spacing at 1in and .8in. On the first, rats could chew through the pan since they have direct access to it. The second's wire floor could be covered with some tiles or towels, but there's a review that details a rat chewing their way out.

The third is a little small, but would be alright for a pair of girls. Its shelves are small, and you'd need to cover the wiring for their feet, but it doesn't seem like a bad cage for 50 bucks. Might be better for a quarantine or pregnant rat isolation cage, I'm thinking.

Another option, though more expensive, is the MidWest Critter Nation single level. Amazon carries it for 127, but its been cheaper on some other sites occasionally. Its a fairly popular cage for rats and you can always buy the addon level later to double the size.