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Old 03-15-2010, 02:17 PM
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Taqroy Taqroy is offline
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Default Rat questions

Soooo...I didn't want to hijack bogarts thread in the Fire Hydrant but I do really want some more information on rats as pets. And I thought this might be the more logical place to ask for it - lol.

So here's the deal. Matt and I are thinking about getting some type of small pet. We're mainly considering rats and ferrets. I've been doing some research on rats and they seem to fit our criteria pretty well and I think they'd be a good fit for us. I'm not entirely sold on ferrets because I know that they need lots and lots of interaction. I know rats are that way too but I was under the impression that they don't need as much (is that true?). Really I'm just hoping you guys can give me some guidance and maybe a heads up on what to look for and be aware of before we actually go out and buy anything.

We're mainly looking at tailless rats - the tails creep me out and I may get over that but I may not. We'll most likely go through a breeder or a rescue so if anyone has tips on that or knows of someone good in the Colorado Springs area that would be awesome.

ETA: We're not ruling out ferrets completely - they do seem really fun and like great pets so if someone wants to sway me that direction I'm not opposed. Lol.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:41 PM
JessLough JessLough is online now
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Originally Posted by Taqroy View Post
ETA: We're not ruling out ferrets completely - they do seem really fun and like great pets so if someone wants to sway me that direction I'm not opposed. Lol.
So I think Chaz needs more ferrets

Yes, they can be needy little fellas, but if you were to get 2, they do not need nearly as much interaction with their people. Personally - I have done both. I started off with a singleton, then went to singleton with playmates on the weekend, then adopted 2 more.

Now, when I just had the 1, I would let him run around for 4+ hours a day. Then when AllieMackie got 2, and my singleton had playmates on the weekend, he would be allowed out about 3 hours a day, and then on the weekends they would get about 30 mins play time out of cage. Other than that, they entertained each other in the cage. Now that I have 3 in my house, they get let out about 1 1/2 - 2 hours a day and then I try to get walks in every day for about 30 minutes. Honestly, I go overload with out of cage time. If you were to get 2, you could play with them for 30 minutes a day, and as long as the cage has room for them to play, they would be happy entertaining each other in the cage.

Honestly, ferrets are awesome. They each have their own personality and that time that you spend with them outside of their cage, will fly by. At the end of the 30 minutes or however long you meant to keep them out, you will not be done with them and have them out for much longer.

I find ferrets to be the best of both cats and dogs. Takes the awesome personalities of dogs, the awesome personalities of cats, and you get a ferret. They are very dog like in the fact that they are dependent upon you and they love to be out just with you and wanting to please you, but are very cat like in their play style.

As much as I will try to never be without a dog in my life, I know for sure that I will NEVER be living without a ferret now. They are just awesome, and really cheer me up when I am feeling down
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:53 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Rats are WAY easier. Ferrets are som'where between a cat and a dog for care IMO. They are also expensive upkeep. My two ferrets cost me more monthy than my two cats.


Quote:
We're mainly looking at tailless rats - the tails creep me out and I may get over that but I may not.
I have bred rats for a decade now, and am good friends with a large scale breeder. Her understanding is that "tailless" is a fatal gene and is linked to very bad spinal problems...ocasionally mother rats will injure babies and you can get a "docked" tail this way...but genetically tailless does not exist.


They are very social and do best with a friend
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:25 PM
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Rats are WAY easier. Ferrets are som'where between a cat and a dog for care IMO. They are also expensive upkeep. My two ferrets cost me more monthy than my two cats.
See I thought that was true. The money isn't so much of a problem (knock on wood), I'm mainly worried that they would get bored or not get enough out of cage time but given what JessLough said I don't think that would be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
I have bred rats for a decade now, and am good friends with a large scale breeder. Her understanding is that "tailless" is a fatal gene and is linked to very bad spinal problems...ocasionally mother rats will injure babies and you can get a "docked" tail this way...but genetically tailless does not exist.


They are very social and do best with a friend
Yeah that was my understanding too. I did some more research after posting this. Can you suggest a way for me to get over my aversion to tails? Lol. And yeah whatever we get we're getting two. Everyone needs a friend! Lol.

ETA: Would a rescue or shelter let us adopt a ferret? We have two dogs and neither of them have been around small fluffies other than squirrels (which they chase - eek). I would think that would be a problem (we would manage that though, i have a plan involving crate and rotates). I'd rather not buy from a pet store but I also can't find any breeders.....
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:34 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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lol...just fall in love with the rat...once your in love, you can overlook the "flaws" LOL 6-8 week old babies are easy to love


Males will be bigger (generally) and will have anywhere from slightly to alot more odor than girls... they tend to have gentler personalities tho.


I had alot of trouble keeping the ferts entertained. They could not be left unsupervised without changing the entire room to suit them. With the rats, as a kid we'd build elaborate "rat forts" out of boxes and whatnot on a table for them that they enjoyed.
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:11 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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I would say if you're not 100% sold on the ferrets by now, I wouldn't get one just yet. Honestly. I'd start with a pair of rats. That's what I did after I moved out of my parents house. And once I had them for awhile and realized I did have the time (and $$) for ferts I did tons more research and got the supplies and stuff

Rats are easier to feed, cheaper to vet, and not to mention they're almost like tiny dogs lol My Korben (rip) came to his name, could stand up on cue, and looved to shoulder ride. The ferts? Come when they feel like it - similar to a cat in that aspect Good food is harder to find, raw is best, and their vet care can be expensive. Its recomended they get 4hrs out of their cage - and the cage - the bigger the better!! Great sense of humor, and I think they're easier to little train, personally. My biggest problem with my rats is chewing fabric-like-items.

But the tail - you really do get used to it. Actually, i thought it was sort of gross at first, but now, if I can get the girls to shoulder ride () I've caught myself petting the tail, almost like I'm twirling my hair Its kindof soft and actually kind of cute. They can be very attentitive and affectionate. I actually got Korben to fetch a mini-tennis ball, that was awesome!!

Rats definitly don't deserve their bad rep!!!!
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:32 PM
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FoxyWench FoxyWench is offline
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my advice on getting over the tail...
PLAY with some!

A Colorado Rat Breeder-Hidden Haven Rattery - H2R - Home
ive heard great things about these guys...
and many ratty breeders, if you tell them your looking into rats but still not sure are more than happy to let you meet some of theres
honestly simply interacting with some is the best way to fall madly in love with the little fuzzys lol

and honestly

how is that face not absolutly adorable...


now dont get me wrong, i LOVE ferrets but there a totally different beast
they live much longer, and tend to have much larger vet bills..
ive also personally never met a ferret that loves to snuggle like a big "fat" male rat does lol.

my boys used to let themselves out of their cage in the middle of the night and id wake up in the morning with 2 rats curled up on my pillow as close to my head as possible...loki would then wake me up by licking the tip of my nose in a morning lol.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:28 PM
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Ok at this point we're leaning heavily towards rats. Hopefully someday we'll do ferrets but I think rats would work better for us right now. I emailed the people from that link Foxy - their website looks awesome!! I'm hopeful that we can meet some of her rats sometime this week. I'm super excited! What do you guys think of this cage? Link 'Cept for the wire wheel....and it might be a little big. Lol. So far I like it the best of the ones I've looked at though.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:36 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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LOVE the pic foxy. Cuuute!



That's the exact same cage I have for my girls. They *love* the wheel lol, it's very squeaky though.
I like the cage, but I've found it hard to clean. The doors are small and you have to stretch to reach corners. Also, the levels have dips in them that holds dirt, leftover food/grime/whatever. I love critter nations and ferret nations, but they can be pricey. It's worth it (to me). I got that cage on sale, and the rats like it and that's what matters (for now lol)
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:18 PM
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Punkygirl0101 Punkygirl0101 is offline
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I have both, and love both and after getting my first pair of ferrets over a month ago I am im love! They are just the funniest creatures, and a lot more interactive than rats are. I love my rats, but they have certaim health problems I would rather not deal with again once my boys are gone. URIs are very common, especially with rats with unknown backgrounds, and can be brought on by stress. My rats have cost me thousands of dollars on vet bills ( but I did do small time rescue a couple years ago and had over 30 at one time). I will definitely have ferrets! Plus with male rats, I have continued to struggle with litterbox training them making their cage always dirty!
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