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Thinking about getting a rat...

This is a discussion on Thinking about getting a rat... within the Other Pets forums, part of the Life Beyond Horses category

     
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        11-12-2009, 03:30 PM
      #11
    Banned
    No one story cages. Rats like to climb and be at the top.

    And never get one. Rats are social and need friends.



    When I use bedding I use a combination of rabbit pellets, carefresh and paper shreds. It seems to work quiet well with smell and being comfy for the rats.
         
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        11-12-2009, 05:59 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    All I have mine in are one story cages. They work perfectly fine. Just place some hammocks and other ferret toy like things from the top that they can sleep in and on. Here is what I am talking about, it is similiar to the set up and cage I have(not my picture though)-
    http://www.lauraspetportraits.co.uk/...ygirlscage.jpg

    The rat condo she shows in this video would be very excellent and super easy to clean.-
    Pet Rat Cage Set Up: How to Care for Pet Rats | eHow.com

    For the bedding I use something called "Equine Litter Bedding Pellets". They work wonders and keep smell to a minimum.
         
        11-13-2009, 02:42 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    I've owned rats for 6 years now, and so far I've only owned females, both times, 2 sisters at a time. I've known people with male rats, and they really do smell a whole lot more than females. But it also depends on the bedding. You can also bathe them, as some rats like the water and to play in it....although mine don't.
    But in general, I'd recommend getting females, and of course, more than one. Two seems to be a good number.
         
        12-25-2009, 02:21 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Females are definitely less smelly than males. They do not "steep", so they are much more fresh smelling. I have 2 rats if you are still looking! They need a new home!
         
        01-01-2010, 04:12 AM
      #15
    Foal
    Females definitely smell less then an un-neutered male! Also, rats get VERY active at night and its nice when they have ramps and such to run up. I ended up just taking ramps out and leaving only platforms in because my girls only climb up the bars and never used their ramps anyway. I do not use carefresh or any type of bedding like that, I stick to fleece. Very easy, even if the rats aren't litter trained twice a week you vacuum out the cage and flip the fleece. Every two weeks you wash the fleece and put it back in, makes the cage smell great. Loose bedding just makes a big mess imo.
         
        01-05-2010, 07:14 PM
      #16
    Trained
    That's one of the reasons I don't care for wire cages, especially for ratties! I always used a large aquarium, as the glass doesn't absorb the urine smell that wire, and plastic can.

    I love gerbils and guinea pigs for indoor 'rodent' pets... I almost always get females of either, as they aren't as smelly, and tend to be more tidy with their bedding and potty areas. Both of these are also very social
         
        01-05-2010, 07:24 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    I got used to the smell!
    I do need to clean the cage every week and hose down the cages to get it all spot clean again. :)
         
        01-05-2010, 08:51 PM
      #18
    Green Broke
    Aquariums are not supposed to be used for small animals, they have really poor ventilation.

    No matter if you leave the top open or wire covered, the ammonia fumes stay in the aquarium, that is why you don't smell them as much, very unpleasant to live in for the animal IMO.

    Plus the temperature inside an aquarium is always a few degrees different than in the room surrounding it, so most of the time they are either chronically hot to the critters(got to remember that they have fur and breath out moisture that makes for a hot AND humid ammonia filled living space) or if you have the AC on, freezing cold.

    This is coming form my vet of course, and I realized it was true when I though about the small pets I have had in the past that lived in aquariums, poor guys.

    My girls don't stink, though it has a lot to do with their diet. I have a wire Martins cage for them and only used certified non toxic newspapers for bedding( I hate loose bedding, goes everywhere) and fleece pads to keep it soft. As long as I clean the cage once a week, there is no smell at all.
         
        01-06-2010, 10:23 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Personally, I hate carefresh. When I first got my rattie girls, I used that as bedding. Never again! It's dusty and it has its own odor. I use a paper pellet litter that was originally made for cats. I get the fresh scent kind (smells kind of lemon-y), and it's $10 for 25lbs - a lot cheaper than small animal bedding, especially carefresh. It works just fine for my girls, it's super absorbent, and it really helps keep the smell down.

    I also spot-clean my cage throughout the week and do one big cleaning each week, usually on weekends. I'll use windex and some clorox spray. The clorox spray (with bleach) really helps get it clean, but I use windex on the bars and to help loosen anything up first. In addition, I also use fleece on the shelves to help keep the smell and mess down. I originally did fleece in my entire critter nation, but it takes a lot of fleece to do so (especially with 2-3 changes a week) and my girls had way to much fun ripping it up.

    I would also check diets (if you decide to get more rats). I feed mine a combination of healthy dog food (with less protein and such than a lot of commerical rat food), whole grains, and veggie mix. I noticed a big difference in the smell, particularly of their feces, when I switched from commerical rat food to this blend.
         
        01-09-2010, 03:42 AM
      #20
    Trained
    I've never had any issues with aquarium cages, though; but I don't let them get dirty, either and keep them away from areas that tend to fluctuate heat, like next to a heater or window...I use straw for their bedding, and they love it, because they can form tunnels; you hardly know they are there, til you scritch at the top of the cage, and the straw starts moving...hahaha!

    I have heard varying opinions from vets on the small animals being housed in aquariums...some say it's better, because it's easier to keep clean, and doesn't retain the amonia like other cages, so you don't have to use harsh chemicals to keep them clean, hot water and an antibacterial rinse is all you need for them. Others say that because of the nature of most rodents, and liking to climb and all, that wire cages are far better.

    I'm on the fence, really, because I have had wire, plastic (do not like plastic at all btw), and glass aquariums; I like wire, because the pets can climb all they want, but unless you have a high metal skirt their bedding is everywhere...and I HATE when animal bedding is all over my house. Plus they always chewed on the wire, despite having chew toys, proper food, and minerals available... With the aquariums, I personally like that they are so much easier to keep clean, and the bedding stays IN the cage, they also tend to be a bit more portable, and especially when I had cats still, much less destructible!
         
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