Pet rat questions!!! Rat Owners Please Answer?

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Question by : Pet rat questions!!! Rat Owners Please Answer?
Hai, I have 3 female rats. And here are some questions, I Just got them today. Please answer, and I have a HUGE Ferret cage that my ferret doesn’t use, I will pass them over to it if they grow but will the ladders be to big?

I heard that Care-Fresh is the best bedding for rats, That’s what i have, is this correct?

I got Premium rat food (The Blocks) as their “Main course” Is this healthy?

I also Mixed, 2 tiny cubes of apple (About the size of your Thumb nail), A bit of watermelon (Really small), and Multi Grain Crackers, is this okay? (The fruit is just a “Get used to” Thing so we know what they like…)

What should i mix with the Blocks?

One of them has been sniffling a bit, do you think with the new bedding she will get better?

They are feeder rats, as i think it’s better to save them from being food so they were not treated as well as the Pet rats do you think they will still be healthy?

They are kind of dirty, can I get a baby wipes and take it off? (I think it’s rat poopie)
I got them as ‘Medium’ sized rats, will they stay the same or grow?
One of them has Runny poop, can this be a virus or just a bad diet, and motion sickness from the car?
What should we feed her to stop the runny poo?
I plan to make them more social, do i start handling them immediately or let them be for a week or so in the cage?
When do i start Litter Box Training?
Can I put foam in the cage?
How much is it to have them Spayed?
What is a list of foods they can and Cannot eat?
If they are so dirty that they need a actual bath will I be able to give them one?
Thanks! If you can ad a little more advice that would be AWESOME 🙂
Okay Now i’m really worried about The sniffling rat, she’s making squeaky noises and she’s sleeping allot. This isn’t Natural for a female rat 🙁 What do i do?! We are not going to spend 200$ On a rat we bought a couple hours ago!

Best answer:

Answer by Gina
-The ladders in your ferret cage shouldn’t be too big for them when they are adults, but you could always buy new ones or hook hammocks in instead.
-I definitely prefer Carefresh.
-Most rats wont eat the blocks once they’ve had other food. I think its probably just really boring for an animal that would be eating all sorts of things in the wild. That said, its great from a nutritional point of view. I would just make sure you give lots of fresh food as well.
-That sounds fine. Just make sure you feed some greens as well. The darker in color the better. Because rats have fairly small stomachs, its important to feed things that are very high-nutrient.
-You could mix in some parrot food or dog food for added protein. This is usually good for growing rats.
-Respiratory infections are pretty common in rats, especially in pet stores. If she has a healthy immune system, it will go away on its own.
-Here’s the deal: feeder rats are not a different species, but they are treated very differently. They are bred without concern for genetics or inbreeding, which leads to less healthy animals. They are also taken away from their mother’s far sooner and nurse less, leading to smaller animals with weaker immune systems who are often emotionally stunted and fearful. They are also often raised in non-ideal conditions. Just watch out for them and take them to a vet if they look sick. Other than that, the damage is done.
-In my experience (had rats for many years, breeding for 18 months) a dirty rat is almost never a healthy rat. Rats are normally almost obsessive about hygiene, and if your rat is dirty there might be something wrong. You can wipe them with a wet cloth or brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush wet down. I would not suggest using shampoo, soap, or baby wipes, which can have various negative effects.
There is only one size of rat (excepting very rare dwarfism). They are likely just not full grown. That said, females do not get as large as males in general.
-It could be viral or from a change in diet. This is harder on some rats than others. Just watch it. If it doesn’t get better she should be separated from the others and taken to a vet if possible.
-I would give them a few days, then start handling them each daily for about 20 minutes at a time, multiple times per day if possible. This limits stress but still builds trust.
-You can start litter box training now. Some rats take to it and some don’t. Good luck!
-Spaying cost depends on the vet. Honestly, unless you want to get males in the future, I wouldn’t recommend it. Rats don’t have obvious heats or bleed, so unless you want a male it doesn’t matter. Spaying in rats is far riskier than in other animals. Its almost never worth it. If you really want males, neutering is actually far safer.
-I don’t know what kind of foam you’re talking about. Styrofoam? No. Bath Foam? No. If you wouldn’t want them to eat it, don’t put it in the cage. No plastic, no foil, nothing you don’t want ruined.
-They shouldn’t have anything high in sugar or highly processed. No Lucky Charms, Poptarts, etc. Stick with whole grains, fruits, veggies, etc. Avoid anything with lots of salt, coloring, or unnatural flavors.
-I’ve literally never needed to bathe a rat, but you can. Wipe them with a wet cloth first. That is almost always enough. If necessary, bath in a stopped sink or small bowl with only an inch or so of luke-warm water, then dry gently. Do not use soap.
-You are likely to see them bite, pin each other, and box (stand up and hit with paws). This is normal. As long as they aren’t actually hurting each other let them be. they are establishing their social order.

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One comment on “Pet rat questions!!! Rat Owners Please Answer?

  1. 1) The ladders will be fine. I keep my boys in a ferret cage and they love it. I use solid ladders, though – if yours have rungs and seem too large, you can easily replace them.

    2) Carefresh is alright, but I personally think it is hideously expensive. I actually use lino.

    3) Fruit and vegetables, mainly, with the occasional treat like meat and fish. Bread and crackers add a bit of variety.

    4) It’s nice of you to save feeders, but do be prepared for the fact that they will not necessarily be as healthy as they aren’t bred well. They will incur vet expenses. Your sniffley rat may just have new cage sneezes, but keep an eye on her.

    5) You can indeed. Wet tissues or a soft cloth with also do the job. They won’t enjoy it, but they need to learn to keep themselves clean.

    6) Can you find out from the shop how old they are? They probably won’t grow a whole lot. Females stay on the small side.

    7) Don’t worry about runny poo at the moment. It is probably the result of a poor diet in the shop. All rats get the occasional runny poo.

    8) I have handled all of my rats from day one, but if they weren’t handled in the shop, give them a day or so to adjust to the new surroundings. http://www.dapper.com.au/articles.htm#fuzzletworld This is a great way to get them used to you.

    9) Start litter training right away. It’s never too soon. 🙂

    10) What type of foam? Many rats beds are stiffened by the use of foam, so it isn’t bad for them, but they do enjoy destroying it and it does smell bad after a while. Plus it’s a pain to clean up.

    11) It depends on the vet. It does carry an inherent risk (it’s invasive surgery and there’s a chance they will die under the anasthetic) so do talk to your vet before making any decisions there.

    12) http://www.freewebs.com/dumbotree/ratinformation.htm Refer to this page for their diet. 🙂 It also has great facts on illness.

    13) You can, but they shouldn’t get that dirty as they should clean themselves. Rats generally don’t enjoy baths and too many will dry out their skin, so don’t do it too often.

    14) If your rat is lethargic and sniffling you need to get her to a vet, now. Those are very serious symptoms and there is a good chance that she will die without treatment. Rats do not recover from URIs (Upper Respiratory Infections) on their own and need antibiotics. When you bought her, you took on the responsibility of caring for her, vet bills and all. Surely her life is worth $ 200?

    The best advice I can give is research like crazy. Know your ratty illnesses and their symptoms, learn the good and bad foods. Spend as much time as possible playing and bonding with your new girls and they will make the most amazing pets you could imagine. 🙂

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