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Old 01-14-2013, 06:58 PM
GoingNowhere's Avatar
GoingNowhere GoingNowhere is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Rats - please inform me

Just what the title says. I'm a college student who will be moving into an apartment with a few pet-friendly people next year and am pondering the (unlikely, but all too appealing) idea of getting something small and fuzzy to entertain me, give me something to care for, and keep me company. Right now I am the proud owner of 5 pet houseplants which I surprisingly haven't yet managed to kill with kindness. Although my houseplants are well mannered, low maintenance, and thoroughly non-aggressive, after two years they have yet to learn to come when called and don't seem to ever want to interact with me.

I'd love to have something that's a little more interactive and I've been stalking the interwebs looking at rattie photos for the last five days!

My desires in a pocket pet:

-something friendly and inquisitive
-ability to bond with a person and enjoy interaction
-relatively low maintenance
-relatively inexpensive
-not too smelly


I used to own mice when I lived at home and really loved them, but they sure smelled. I had one PEW in particular, Mozzerella, that I called my mini dog. She was just a ham and while definitely mousey, almost acted like the descriptions that I've seen on rats. I also fostered a bunny for a period of time and while he was cuddly and cute, I don't think I'm really a rabbit person. He didn't seem to like being held. I had a friend with guinea pigs as a kid and while they would tolerate being held and played with, I never got the impression that they enjoyed it. They spent most of their days hiding in their little hut. I'm definitely not a guinea pig fan. Rats seem cool because they seem to have a lot of similarities to mice, but I've read that they're a little more trainable and bond to an owner more easily just because they're not quite so tiny.

Questions:

People say they're a bit like mini dogs. To what extent is this true?

How much do they smell? Like do you walk into the room with the cage and immediately catch a whiff? How does the smell compare to mice?

How expensive are they on a monthly basis?

In what ways are they similar to mice? In what ways are they different?

Do they seem to enjoy being handled and played with if socialized (do they come to the front of the cage or do you need to "catch" them to get them out?

Have you ever trained one to walk on a leash?

Would you recommend them?
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