anyone here with a pet rat?

anyone here with a pet rat?

Author
Discussion

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Monday 28th December 2020
quotequote all
I've tried saying that she won't see them but she wasn't keen ha.

I might just do it and not tell her...her eyesight isn't the best anyway ha.

Bree has settled in very well. (Named after the cheese ha). No fights or anything. They are now in the main cage with everything in.

She doesn't like being handled at all. But we can work on that over time. We will start her diet fully once she has settled in fully smile.

davhill

5,056 posts

151 months

Thursday 31st December 2020
quotequote all
At primary school we had a class pet hamster that was exceptionally greedy.
It managed to nick a Cadbury's chocolate finger one day and got it wedged across
both pouches. It looked like a kite.

Teech grabbed it, stuck her finger down its throat and broke the biscuit in two.
The hamster could then regurgiate both halves...then it grabbed one andf put it in its pouch.


Limpet

4,768 posts

128 months

Thursday 7th January
quotequote all
We lost the last of our two rats at the end of 2019, and decided to have a little break before going on the wait list with a local breeder. The original rats came from a major pet chain, and although they became tame enough with work, they always seemed to have a slight wariness of us that we never managed to completely eradicate. Pet shop rats are bred in volume in huge rodent farms, and the first human interaction they tend to have is when they get to the pet shop, by which point they are 7-8 weeks old and it's a big thing for them.

This time we decided to use a breeder who not only breeds in small numbers, and carefully to avoid lines with disease or health issues, but also handles the babies pretty much from birth, and gets them used to being around people. Unfortunately, Covid turned a wait of a couple of months into a year, but it was well worth it. The difference is remarkable. These three have been with me now for just over a week, and will come on to my hand as soon as I open the cage (or sit at the door begging to come out), and are happy to climb over us without being remotely jumpy or nervous. Managed to build trust very quickly, to the point where one of them will happily snooze in the hammock while his ears are scratched (not sure who owns who).

Rats make incredible pets. They are clean, intelligent, genuinely bond with, and enjoy the company of humans in the same way a cat or dog does, and being both food motivated and smart, can be trained very easily. Unlike most other small rodents, they have great bite inhibition. A rat can nibble and "test" a fingertip for food, without so much as marking the skin, and will not bite unless they feel very threatened or are being abused. Male rats (my preference) also tend to slow down as they approach middle age, and go from crazy to lazy. Both of my old rats in their later years would happily sprawl on my lap of an evening in the same way a dog would, and enjoy a scratch behind the ears.

This was my old rat Lenny at 2 1/2 years old. This was pretty typical of an evening.



And here are the new arrivals: Johnny, Joe and Forrest (named after characters in three of our favourite films).



Edited by Limpet on Thursday 7th January 18:07

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Monday 11th January
quotequote all
Very sweet photos!

Ours are from Pets at Home which when we get some more we won’t be doing again. We’ve had Ivy and Holly for a year and Holly is still nervous around us. Ivy is always the first out though.

We’ve made progress with Bree as well. She now allows me to stroke her and comes to us at the cage entrance. Getting there with her weight loss as well! She doesn’t want to be handled fully though. She seems to piss herself when held.

Limpet

4,768 posts

128 months

Tuesday 12th January
quotequote all
LosingGrip said:
Very sweet photos!

Ours are from Pets at Home which when we get some more we won’t be doing again. We’ve had Ivy and Holly for a year and Holly is still nervous around us. Ivy is always the first out though.

We’ve made progress with Bree as well. She now allows me to stroke her and comes to us at the cage entrance. Getting there with her weight loss as well! She doesn’t want to be handled fully though. She seems to piss herself when held.
It sounds like you're getting there with Bree. If she's happy to be stroked, that's a big step. The peeing thing is something that rats tend to do a lot of, particularly boys. As with any animal it's just about perseverance. Sounds like you're doing all the right stuff. smile

My previous two came from Pets at Home. They were good natured, never bit, and were happy to be picked up, but they never seemed to lose that slight wariness or nervousness. The three from the breeder are completely different. They're not quite 9 weeks old, but will charge to the cage door whenever you approach, and will descend en masse on your hand when you put it in the cage. They just have no fear of people at all. That extends to the rapid, co-ordinated escape attempts when you open the door smile

The other thing with a good breeder is that they only breed lines which are free from disease or other problems, meaning in theory you should have healthier and longer lived rats. As part of the adoption (as they call it) agreement, they want to know if the rats ever get sick, so they can log it and perhaps decide whether to continue with a particular line. Sounds a bit cold, but one of the worst things about keeping rats is their short lifespan.

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Saturday 16th January
quotequote all
Progress with Bree has been good. She’s now happy to climb over me during free roam. Had a bit of a fight with her with the malt paste. She won and I swear she was smiling as she trotted off with the tube in her mouth. tt.

Girlfriend has given in to going bioactive! Means we need a new cage...got some OT tonight to pay for it. Will look at ordering it come payday.

Bree and Ivy



Ivy and her malt paste.


Turn7

20,201 posts

188 months

Saturday 16th January
quotequote all
Whats the malt paste about ?

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Monday 18th January
quotequote all
Turn7 said:
Whats the malt paste about ?
It’s something that they go fking metal over. It’s also called ‘rat crack’.

It’s a good way to train them or get used to you smile.

Limpet

4,768 posts

128 months

Tuesday 19th January
quotequote all
LosingGrip said:
It’s something that they go fking metal over. It’s also called ‘rat crack’.

It’s a good way to train them or get used to you smile.
Will have to try that. biggrin

Our training treat of choice so far when they are free-roaming is the humble Rice Krispie. Johnny will now come from the other side of the room when you call his name, as long as there's a Rice Krispie in it for him.

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Tuesday 19th January
quotequote all
Ours go bonkers for dried pasta! Hear the packet go and they are running around the cage waiting.

Downside is the pasta sounds like a lot of other packets we have around the flat!

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Saturday 23rd January
quotequote all
We’ve possibly found a lump on Bree. It’s tricky as she doesn’t like being held.



Tomorrow will probably end up with blood from us as we try and get a decent look and feel!

She has lost weight since we got her (on a diet so not unexpected) so possible it could be baggy skin.

If not it’s a trip to the vets!

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Thursday 13th May
quotequote all
We had a trip to the vets today for Bree. Her tumour has got bigger.

Vets have said that it’s high risk to operate. We have decided to not go for the op and keep her comfortable. We need to keep an eye on her weight and feed her up a bit more.

Make sure that the tumour doesn’t rub across the floor and become infected. When it does it will be time for her to be PTS.

So lots of treats and attention are coming her way!

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
It’s time to take Bree back to the vets.

It’s starting to become sore. She’s struggling to get around the cage. As they are prey animals they are good at hiding the pain. She doesn’t come out of her hammock often anymore.

Appointment booked for the morning.

Actually feel really st about it, despite knowing it’s the right thing to do. To lots of people she’s just a rat, but to us she’s a part of the family.



Taken just now.

so called

8,250 posts

176 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
Sorry to hear about Bee.
Many years ago my daughter had a rat as a pet.
it was really sweet and would be with here 24/7 if it could have.

Sad day for you but if it's suffering now......

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
so called said:
Sorry to hear about Bee.
Many years ago my daughter had a rat as a pet.
it was really sweet and would be with here 24/7 if it could have.

Sad day for you but if it's suffering now......
Completely the right thing to do with her. It was the same vet as last time. We take comfort in knowing that it’s better too soon than a day too late.

She allowed us to give her some strokes before she went off (we weren’t allowed in the room). She didn’t normally allow that.

Was a bit strange when we held her after and her foot starts twitching. Apparently it’s just body spasms, but I didn’t think she was coming back for one last bite ha.

Girlfriend has said that she doesn’t want anymore as the short life is st. I agree but also want some more as they are such cool animals.

so called

8,250 posts

176 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
LosingGrip said:
Completely the right thing to do with her. It was the same vet as last time. We take comfort in knowing that it’s better too soon than a day too late.

She allowed us to give her some strokes before she went off (we weren’t allowed in the room). She didn’t normally allow that.

Was a bit strange when we held her after and her foot starts twitching. Apparently it’s just body spasms, but I didn’t think she was coming back for one last bite ha.

Girlfriend has said that she doesn’t want anymore as the short life is st. I agree but also want some more as they are such cool animals.
Yes, same with my 19 year old cat last year.
Decision had to be made.

After my daughter rat had gone, she got a Ferret.
It was an awesome little beast and was a great comfort to my daughter when she was going through a tough time.
Very sad day when that little guy left us.

Edited by so called on Thursday 10th June 14:53

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Thursday 17th June
quotequote all


Well this was unexpected from the vets and not going to lie brought a tear to my eyes!

garythesign

1,252 posts

55 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
What a lovely compassionate letter to write.

Sorry about the loss of Brie

LosingGrip

6,186 posts

126 months

Sunday 20th June
quotequote all
We’ve made some enquires about getting a couple more to join Holly and Ivy smile. Does mean we’ll need a bigger cage in the near future.

Local NFSR breeder down the road from us which I’m hoping don’t have a massive waiting list for some.