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Home Squeak Home / Re: best light weight cage?
« Last post by BigBen on March 20, 2017, 03:46:32 PM »
I am afraid that if you go with the Rat Manor, you will come to regret it.  I was given a Rat Manor by a rescue, to hold rats I was fostering for them (it was the best they could come up with at the time, and I had no room in my main cage).  In the long run it proved really inadequate; firstly, because the overall size is small for two grown rats--babies should be fine, but the cage was crowded for even the two smallest girls I fostered--the two big Canadian boys were really cramped..  Furthermore, the current animal-care standard is 2.5 cubic feet per rat (minimum of 5.0 cubic feet for one rat), and the Rat Manor barely qualifies.  Second, the Rat Manor is organized vertically instead of horizontally.  This makes it hard to decorate, since there is not much floor space.  Nor do the access doors make decorating any easier.

I wouldn't go so far as to call the Rat Manor inhumane, but I do believe it is possible to do much better.  For anyone wanting a lightweight yet sturdy cage, Martin's is the way to go.  You can get a much larger Martin's that is lighter and easier to manage than the Rat Manor.  For my first mischief I bought an elegant black powder-coated R-285.  It was a bit crowded for four rats (which the cage standard of the day allowed), but I liked it.  It was reasonably easy to decorate, and the top hinged open, so when I was home I always had it open to give the ratties a sense of real roominess (though the fact that the top opens makes hanging hammocks a bit tricky!).  It was also very easy to clean.  I wish I had followed people's advice and put it together with cable ties instead of the metal rings Martin's supplies--it would have been much easier to take apart for shipping when I finally gave that cage away.

I wish now that I had kept it--I have a boy who doesn't get along well with the others, and that would have been a perfect cage for him to run around in.  I have him in a SuperPets thing with three small plastic levels that someone gave me--adequate because he's the only occupant, and because I happen to be in a position right now to compensate by giving him lots and lots of out time.  (He's helping me type this, in fact!)  But I do miss that R-285.
Home Squeak Home / Re: best light weight cage?
« Last post by Michael C on March 20, 2017, 01:51:53 AM »
I didnt care for the Martins cages, they are kind of ugly and expensive.

The pictures on the Martin's website are terribly ugly. I can't understand why the Martin's people don't update their site with good images. If you want to see what Martin's cages really look like, check out this Martin's cage pic thread.

The Rat Manor is a cheaper cage, though (for good reason). If this is the cage you want, just make sure you purchase it online and not from the store. For whatever reason, they charge much more at the store.
Home Squeak Home / Re: best light weight cage?
« Last post by Vonda Z on March 19, 2017, 10:13:01 PM »
Congratulations on your new additions!

I would encourage you to take another look at a Martin's cage before making your final decision. When they are powder coated, I believe they are much nicer looking than the rat manor. They are definitely more durable and well constructed and, more importantly, they have larger doors than the rat manor, making it much easier to clean and to accessorize and to handle rats inside it. Since you are looking for easy to clean, you should think twice, because the rat manor is not one of the easier cages to maintain, and its construction is much more flimsy than a Martins. I honestly believe that you will be much happier long term with the Martin's cage and, while it may be pricier than a rat manor, it will last you much longer, making it worth the extra money. Martins cages also tend to have decent resale value, so if you decide you don't want to stick with rats after these, then you will likely be able to get some of your investment back selling the cage used. Also, the fact that it has a larger footprint is a big plus to me as it gives the rats more running room - especially appreciated by females who tend to be more active.

I only say this because when people opt for less expensive options with regard to the rat cage, they usually end up regretting that decision fairly quickly and end up buying a better cage in short order either because they one they started with didn't hold up or because they got sick of dealing with it. They end up wasting more money by trying to save money.

That said, if the rat manor is really the cage that you love, it is the one pet store cage that can make an acceptable home for a pair of rats, so if you are firmly sold on it, there is nothing wrong with going that route and I am sure your girls will be very happy.

Good luck with your girls. Keep an eye on the one that is sneezing. Sneezing is not unusual in new rats as they adjust to the new environment. However, if the sneezing doesn't improve in a week or two or if other symptoms develop, you may want to get her checked out just in case.
Home Squeak Home / Re: best light weight cage?
« Last post by joann on March 19, 2017, 07:43:01 PM »
Thanks, I actually got a male a month ago and he died the next day so that was wierd, Ive never had a young rat die for no reason like that. I never even got to hold him except when I first put him in the cage.

Any way I got two females last weekend.I still havent named them because Im afraid to. The one is a dumbo tan and the other is a normal dark hooded. the dumbo is very skittish and sneezes alot, the dark hooded is getting curious and will take cheerios from me. Right now they are in a 20 gallon tank with fleece..I am going to get a rat manor, I didnt care for the Martins cages, they are kind of ugly and expensive.
Rat Care Corner / Re: Pasquale has a bump!!!!!!!!
« Last post by MinervaThonosi on March 17, 2017, 08:22:51 AM »
Thanks for all the good thoughts!
Rat Care Corner / Re: Pasquale has a bump!!!!!!!!
« Last post by Kitsch Slapped on March 16, 2017, 01:59:15 PM »
Glad to hear. Hopefully no cracked teeth! :heart:
Rat Care Corner / Re: Weight loss questions
« Last post by BigBen on March 16, 2017, 11:48:34 AM »
That's ratties for ya!  Always surprising.  Glad to hear all is well.   :thumbsup2:
Rat Care Corner / Re: Weight loss questions
« Last post by RooRat on March 14, 2017, 11:39:52 AM »
Update: apparently he's gained weight :yelcutelaugh: In January, he weighed 1.75 pounds. Now he weighs 1.81 pounds. So all my worry was for nothing! Looks like we're going back on restricted yogies.
Rat Care Corner / Re: Weight loss questions
« Last post by RooRat on March 14, 2017, 09:40:27 AM »
Thank you for the reassurance! I'll skip the vet visit for now (we're going in for a nail trim but that's it) and document his weight every day for a while. If it drops dramatically, we'll go in.

He's still eating like a pig ::)
Rat Care Corner / Re: Weight loss questions
« Last post by BigBen on March 13, 2017, 06:46:14 PM »
A certain amount of weight loss is normal as a rat begins to age.  As long as the decline is slow and Pyp remains alert and active, I wouldn't worry about it too much.  Rapid weight loss, however, would indicate a vet-worthy problem.  At this point, it is probably safe to start him on treats to help him keep the weight on.  (At Pyp's age, a little extra weight can provide a reserve in time of need.  I tell myself that, too--every time I get off the scale, lol!)

My three Connecticut brothers, who all reached the ends of their lives in the period from September to November last year, started feeling a bit bony not long after their second birthdays.  Peter went first from PT, whereas the other two remained quite active till within about a month of their deaths.  Peter's littermate John went next, developing CHF and wasting to the point where I had him put to sleep.  James, who was from a later litter, lasted a month longer, but grief apparently hastened his decline.  He died naturally while I was away on an overnight visit to my mother.  Although they started getting bonier after turning two, the boys nearly made it to their third birthdays, the longest-lived rats I've had so far.

So even if Pyp seems a bit thinner, don't worry just yet.  He could still last a nice long time.  Please keep us posted.
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