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I probably would skip the silica cat litter (isnt that whats in those oxygen absorber packets that come in shoes and purses (etc) that they warn you not to eat? Maybe its different?). We used it for our cats at one point and I hated it. It didnt soak up pee at all. It stunk. I would just keep the clay litter and limit the area where the rats go (making sure its swept before hand). Although I have cats and rats and never even thought about stray bits of litter... I dont think they'd even nibble on it to be honest but a good sweep should eliminate any potentials. I think Im pretty much trying to say what BigBen already said ^ So +1 to BigBens post :)
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Rat Care Corner / Re: Weird Round Bald Spot
« Last post by Kitsch Slapped on Yesterday at 09:48:44 PM »
Might be mites? Have you treated him recently? Hair loss around the neck area makes me think of mites. Usually theres scabbing with it, but maybe he hasnt gotten that bad off yet and only has some hair loss?
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How likely a rat would be to eat cat litter is a good question, and I hope one of our more-expert members will wander by and comment.  What I do know is that rats are pretty sensible.  I always thought the warning against using clumping cat litter was against using it in the cage (as bedding or as litter), and more because of the chemicals that make it clump than because they would eat it.

On the other hand, there is a disease called pica, which involves the eating of non-food substances, and rats can develop it.  But I've only encountered it in the context of a rat after surgery, when the opioid, buprenorphine, that they normally give to help control during and immediately after the operation has pica as a known side effect.  Since my first rat opened up a tumor incision the night after surgery, I've been careful to keep an eye on the rat till the buprenorphine wears off, and I've never found it all that difficult to distract the rat from the chewing behavior.

This is a long-winded way of saying that if you can keep the litter confined pretty much to one section of the house, and if you can keep an eye on the rats while they're out, it will probably be okay.  Can you manage supervised out time and possibly restrict their range while out--just for the duration of your kitty's convalescence?  Even if they don't get as much out time for a while, they'll be fine--just give them lots of love in the cage!  And treats--my rats are reminding me to tell you that ratties need their treats, lol!
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Hey guys my cat ( who normally lives in the air conditioned sunroom with an attached outdoor kennel) has been in the hospital for bladder stones and will need to live in the main house for awhile under observation while he recuperates.

Normally, our three rats have free-time access to the entire main house. ( they stay in their cage upstairs at night but we let them out for a few hours each day to run around the house)

I am worried about having the cat litter box ( and possible tracked litter peices) where the rats might find some of the litter.
I do not expect them to have free access to the litter box since I probably won't let them free range as much with all the cat smell around which will probably make them nervous, but if the litter gets tracked around the house and then LATER the rats find bits of it how dangerous would that be for them? And what kind of litter would be safest to use for the cat assuming that the rats might find small pieces later?

I know clumping clay litter can be bad because it can clump and block the digestive tract.
All- natural paper litters are probably out because they don't control smell well and the box will be right by my mothers bedroom and she will complain horribly over the slightest smell.

Would a silica litter be an ok compromise? What would happen if a rat were to 'try' or eat say a single grain of this kind of litter?
Again, the rats will not be around this litter in large quantities, in just worried about stray pieces that might get lost under furniture and later found by the rats.
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Rat Care Corner / Re: Weird Round Bald Spot
« Last post by MinervaThonosi on Yesterday at 01:37:33 PM »
And now he's starting to get the same bald spot on the left side of his neck. After looking at some pictures I'd have to say that the location would be about where his thyroid gland is.
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Adoption Center / Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
« Last post by BigBen on July 19, 2017, 02:14:24 PM »
I know from shows on Animal Planet that especially for some breeds of dog a home interview is essential, so if that's where they're coming from, it does make a bit more sense.  But still.  Sheesh!

ETA:  Kind of makes me wonder if they know how to take care of rats, actually . . . .
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Adoption Center / Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
« Last post by Michael C on July 18, 2017, 10:20:53 PM »
Thanks, BigBen =)

I just don't think they have any experience with small animals. They were applying their cat/dog application process to the adoption of rats (the application had required questions about the size of my backyard and whether or not it was fenced).

I was expecting a fairly in-depth application (it was) but I was shocked that I wasn't asked a single question about keeping rats. I was rejected before they asked me a single question. They require a home inspection for all adoptions, apparently, no exceptions.

They were extremely rigid in their process outright dismissive of me when I voiced discomfort over some of the aspects that I felt to be overly intrusive so I probably won't be reaching out to them to help them see how rat rescues operate.

In my last communication with them, I expressed my concern that they actually may be acting as a barrier to their rats potential futures rather than as a conduit for proper care. I'm guessing it fell on deaf ears. Oh well. I truly hope they're able to find good homes for Moe and the other ladies in their care.

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Adoption Center / Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
« Last post by BigBen on July 18, 2017, 08:49:59 PM »
I've adopted many rats from MRR and they have yet to do a home inspection, although they reserve the right to do so.  But I did get pretty thoroughly quizzed, in a friendly way, about my preparations for my first rats.  It was much more casual after that, partly I think because some of the people were checking GM regularly, and I've been pretty active here right from the beginning.

I think someone at the rescue misunderstood some advice they got.  The quizzing MRR does is aimed at rectifying any misunderstandings you might have, not rejecting you as an adopter.  Send them around to me, and I'll  set 'em straight!

P.S.--You might try e-mailing them a copy of the  adopter's questionnaire from the MRR Web site, to show them how to go about it.
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Adoption Center / Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
« Last post by Michael C on July 18, 2017, 12:10:23 AM »
*Update*

Upon getting home from work, in an effort to assuage any concerns they may have, I spent a half hour composing an email detailing how I care for my rats and included images of my cage and play area. I repeated my reservations about allowing a stranger into my home for an inspection.

I received a reply encouraging me to reapply if I ever become comfortable with their adoption process.

Oh well. I hope they find homes for the rats.

...thanks purple rat. Oliver Reynolds started out a total pill. He would whine and squeak anytime anything came near him. It got so bad at times that it appeared that the other boys were walking around on eggshells with him. He turned into such a sweet and affectionate little man, however. He was such a cuddler and dear friend to his cagemate, Peter Martin.  Now Peter Martin has no choice but to snuggle with the ever-annoying Samuel Hollingsworth. Half the time I swear I can see Peter Martin's eyes rolling.
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Adoption Center / Re: Is a home visit too thorough?
« Last post by purple rat on July 17, 2017, 09:54:22 PM »
+1 to what Erbusbee says. 
I agree that under these circumstances it's too much to ask.  I've adopted from Mainely Rat Rescue, which is a very reputable and thorough organization, and they didn't require a home visit or request overly invasive information.
Sorry for your loss of Oliver Reynolds
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