Thinking about getting a rat...
I've owned rats before, I had 2 males I purchased as babies and had for almost a year. I had them in a 3 story bird cage but dear lord I could not get over the stench. They would pee outside the cage and although I wiped down the cage daily, bleached it completely weekly, used Carefresh bedding I still could not get rid of the stench. Even after they were gone it took weeks before my room smelled normal again.
I do miss them though, not the reeking pee smell, but how friendly they were.
I REALLY love the little dumbo rats.
Are females any better with the smell or do they all stink as badly as those 2?
Any other options besides rats that maybe don't stink as bad?
OMG, yes, the females stink just as bad. Try a sugar glider. Or if you like reptiles/ lizards. Look for a pair of Butterfly Agamas. (These do better in pairs or groups)
Was just checking your other post, love the color on your OBT. We had one, and 4 H-Max, but with my kids, just didn't trust them in the house. We still have 6 T's. Some Mex. Redknees. A Versicolor & I forget what else.
How often did you clean the cage? What type of bedding did you use? Rats do have a bit of a scent, but they shouldn't smell that bad (I've owned up to 24 rodents at a time, in the same room)
rats are terrific, sweet, fun pets, but they require care. I hate the idea that if it's in a cage it's less work. They should get free time, regular cage cleaning and (big expense) vet care when they get sick. IMO, they are completely worth it.
Anyway, to get back on subject; the females, in my experience, smelled just as bad and are just as messy. You could get some clear plastic, cut it, and make a guard around the bottom to keep things a little cleaner. Sometimes I would just put mine rats' cages in those plastic boxes that role under beds to capture some of the food/poop/etc.
As for bedding, there is really nothing I've found that works except changing it often and fluffing it between changes.
Thanks, they had care fresh bedding, were in a powder coated bird cage, and had a 4" plexiglass cover around the bottom (mainly to keep the bedding it) it didn't help much when they were at the top of the cage peeing out LOL.
I wiped down the cages daily and bleached the whole thing weekly.
I'll look into sugar gliders. They arn't stinky? Dont' they require a lot of space? How cuddly are they?
Oh I know about vet expenses...I bought 2 for $5 as babie2. One suddenly died in the night so I rushed the other one over to a vets in Orlando. Cost $300 for a check up, lice treatment and meds for myco.
I don't chince when it comes to my animals.
I find carefresh to be very stinky, I like a mixture of aspen and shredded newspaper. That said, if you find then stinky there are less messy pets out there :-)
I breed rats and I can tell you the females are much less stinky. Plus they are easy to litter box train and keep clean. Sugar Gliders have just as much stink to them and they are a lot more work and money. I own two females of them and I personally prefer my rats over the gliders.
As for Sugar Gliders, I just got done doing a speech over them so my facts are pretty straight-
*They have a distinct smell, stays mild if you clean the cage weekly.
*Costly critters. It cost a lot to buy them, their cage, their food, and other maintenance.
*2'x2'x3' cage is as small as I would ever think about going for a cage. They love to glide around the high parts of it and so the taller and bigger the cage the better.
*They have a sharp bite and bite often. Sometimes it's just a little nip but they do get cranky.
*Their sounds are awful. Not cute in the least bit. It really scares my friends when they crab and can keep you up at night so it's best not to house them in your bedroom. They are nocturnal and must sleep in a pouch during daylight hours. Their eyes are sensitive to the light.
*They will throw food and feces out the sides of their cage and down the bars. A reptarium and a suggie "kitchen" can reduce this a bit.
*On the upside you can stick them in your bra or a bonding pouch(or anything like that) and they will sleep there and go everywhere with you. I take mine to the store with me secretly and no one ever notices.
*They take a lot of time, patience, and money.
Oh, and if you are looking for a good place to find expert and other owners advice or to ask questions about sugar gliders just go to Glider Central. It will do wonders for anyone in need.
I have only ever had females so I can not tell you if they smell less.
I bed in fabric (litter trained) and simply pull out the pee smell fabrics a couple of times per week and flop down new fabrics.
Rats make great pets but no, they are not cheap to own. It is frustrating that people assume that because a pet is cheap to get it is not worth taking to the vet.
you should get a one story cage with the bars close together so they cant get out, and it should be plenty big, if you go to a petstore ask for one thats "rabbit" sized so they have enough room.
its so much easiler to clean a cage thats one story and just a pan than multi story cages.
Carefresh is a great bedding, but if it doesnt take care of the smell enough, try Carefresh Ultra. its white, and works better than the normal carefresh. Aspen wood shavings work great also
rats make amazing pets, i used to have one. she was awesome!
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