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  #11  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:50 PM
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GoingNowhere GoingNowhere is online now
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More than one

haha two then!
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:52 PM
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haha two then!
They should be in groups so two is good
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  #13  
Old 01-14-2013, 10:43 PM
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Southpaw Southpaw is offline
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People say they're a bit like mini dogs. To what extent is this true?
It's true to the extent that they can be pretty trainable and enjoy interacting with you. I had hamsters before I discovered rats, and the hamsters never bonded with me or could actually be played with. They just ate the food I provided them. My rats like to come over and say hi when I open the cage, they like to use me as a jungle gym and chase my hand across the floor. They're just more interactive than most other caged pets.

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?
There's some variables here. Depends on the bedding you use, the kind of cage you have, their diet, their gender... I have 3 boys and I don't really think they smell. I mean yeah, if you walk into my bedroom a couple days after I've cleaned the cage, you can tell I have animals in here. But it doesn't smack you in the face and it's not like a gross urine smell or anything. I like to keep up on keeping their bedding fresh, and scrubbing everything with diluted bleach every few weeks to cut down on odor. My mom doesn't really enjoy the rats and is very vocal when she thinks they stink... but in the 7ish months I've had these guys, I think she's only said to me once "hey, clean the rat cage, I can smell them."

I know that, when I was in school, our mouse cages were attached to their own ventilation system because they stink. The rats did not need such a fancy set up.

How expensive are they on a monthly basis?
Not bad. I don't even buy things monthly. I bought a giant bag of aspen bedding from Petco for $11, 3 months ago, and I still have a little less than half the bag remaining. A batch of food is maaaaybe $20-$25ish and lasts a couple months. I do Solid Gold Holistique dog food, and then mix in Cheerios, dried fruit, rolled oats, wild bird seed, other random stuff that I can't think of... but yeah their day to day care is pretty cheap, it's the vet bills that can get expensive.

In what ways are they similar to mice? In what ways are they different?
I've never had mice. I just know they are 100% different from hamsters. Because rats are actually friendly, and more fun. And entertaining.

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?
Oh yes! They love it. Young rats like to play "catch me if you can", even if they're socialized, but most of the adults I've handled have been good with being handled and picked up.

Have you ever trained one to walk on a leash?
Haha noo haven't done that.

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Their cage + playpen setup
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2013, 09:55 AM
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I want rats so bad. I will have them someday. My dad doesn't want them though, and we can't have small animals in the house with Violet, so unfortunately it will be years before I can have them.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:07 AM
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Ally, my girls are totally jealous of that playpen setup!! Also, you don't post enough pictures!

Most everything that I would want to say has been covered.

I do want to say that I started out using fleece bedding, because it looked better, cleaner, it was recommended etc etc. OMG they smelled terrible. It was BAAAD. I now use 2nd Nature Dog litter pellets, the difference is insane. My girls have two areas where they generally focus all of their dumps on, lol, so I just scoop out that area of the cage with a dust pan twice a week and bam, good to go! Now I never notice the smell and they don't seem to mind the litter at all.

As far as being social, absolutely. My original trio used me as a jungle gym and any time outside was awesome. The younger ones (siblings to Southpaw's boys) are more skittish, but I think that's mainly just due to me not handling them as much as I should. Peony, one of my babies, I'm pretty sure is blind or at least worse sight than normal rats, so she really gets scared when I try to handle her, but I still can. She's never tried to bite me or anything.

They're really really cool little animals, and when Ryan and I have a house of our own I will absolutely always have a group of them. Right now I have 4 and I won't get any more after these 4 are gone since we aren't really allowed to have rats in my apartment :/ I've already decided that as soon as the last one passes away I will be donating the cage to a local rat rescue before I can even THINK about bringing more home!
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