Author Topic: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything  (Read 7715 times)

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« on: September 20, 2009, 02:58:28 PM »
For one rat (I would get two but money is tight and I'm home almost ALL day) I have a 15 gallon snake/lizard tank with a wire top, some old chewed up ropes(courtesy of my dogs), a 16 oz water bottle, a 4 pound bag of food, ASPEN bedding (we all know cedar and pine is bad for them), a fudge round box on top of another with windows, a rat harness and a chew-proof heavy bowl. Please respond telling me if I have everything.

Offline Schrute

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 03:01:20 PM »
Well, unfortunately, the company of a human is NEVER good enough to replace the company of another rat. If you cannot afford to get two, then you should not get any at all. Plus, it concerns me that you say you can't afford an extra rat... what if the rat you get becomes ill and you need to go to the vet? You'll need to have a substantial vet fund saved up before you bring any rats in to the house.

Also, aquariums cannot be used to house rats... not even with a tank topper. There is no ventilation in tanks and the temperatures can become too high.

You say a four lb bag of dog food - What kind of dog food, and are you using something to supplement that to make it a complete diet?

I'd say to wait a long while before you choose to get rats until you have everything you need - including a vet fund.

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 03:34:17 PM »
Super rat food and by I can't afford another rat I mean I can handle ONE rat's supplies and vet bills but not two in case they both get sick. Also the tank has a cooler and it's pretty cool up in the room he's staying in. All I wanted to know was if I had the supplies I didn't ask for any smart "If you can't get two don't get any" and btw she completely IGNORES all the other rats in her cage like they're not there but she loves it when people walk by and stare and pet her.

Offline DebsRats

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2009, 04:17:54 PM »
Schrute was only thinking of the rat; you shouldn't get upset. Anyone on here is going to say the same thing. An aquarium isn't a good
home for a rat.

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2009, 04:26:22 PM »
I over-react but all I wanted to know if if I have the right supplies, all I want is a yes or no. The rats the breeder has are VERY healthy and happy and live in aquariums. I think of the rats too.

Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2009, 04:31:32 PM »
That isn't a very good breeder if all of the rats live in tanks. Rats shouldn't be kept in tanks, unless it's a sicky or maternity cage. And they should definitly be kept in at least pairs. It may seem like she is ignoring them now but rats love someone to groom them and snuggle with. See video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDy3bMRuobE
It doesn't cost much more to have 2 rats.
For cages, i suggest the Rat Manor, Super Pet Exotics, or All Living Things Chew Proof Penthouse.
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Offline MattosaurusREX

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2009, 04:36:22 PM »
Schrute was only thinking of the rat; you shouldn't get upset. Anyone on here is going to say the same thing. An aquarium isn't a good
home for a rat.

Yes, but there is always an appropriate way to say things, and that was NOT the appropriate way. While the information is generally accurate, the tone is not very polite. Correct information revealed within a derogatory reply will usually be disregarded. The member leaves the forum, is left to answer his own questions--sometimes through trial and error--and the rat is worse off for it. The exact opposite of the intended effect.

That being said, a 15 gallon aquarium is a little small, and as it has been pointed out, not the most well ventilated. A wire cage large enough for one rat, or maybe two later, is cheap. Plus, I think the rat would enjoy being able to climb the cage and to access a second level inside the cage. This is something I think was missing from the original list.

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2009, 04:43:05 PM »
I have MADE a 2 story and it can climb up with ladders. All of the breeders rats are females and all are pregnant/nursing. Again, all I want is a yes or no on the SUPPLIES and you can NEVER truely tell a mood or attitude when people type. The little girl will usually be in her free-roam area or outside with me and will only sleep in her cage and hang out there when I go to Wal-Mart. Please no more comments as it is a struggle to type this calmly all I want is a yes or no answer not an expertly typed, "nice" way tp say don't get a rat because I AM responsible and I AM getting one but I want to make sure I have the proper accessories. :P

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2009, 04:47:26 PM »
Btw I'm getting a ratty to snuggle, play, walk and shower with. I will NOT breed nor show I just want a small compainion to hang out on my shoulder and to have fun with. Stop going all cop like on me it's my first ratty and she'll be fine in an aquarium  :police:. Currently she's in a 100 gallon with her mom and siblings, I want to say she's 6 weeks.

Offline arumberg

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2009, 04:57:54 PM »
Correct cages and cagemates, IMO, are supplies for adequate care of rats. Right now, you do not have a proper cage for your rat, as tanks are not proper cages. A proper cage will be open-air, or made out of metal wiring. Even though you want to get a cage topper that is open-air, the tank is still not. Because it still includes the tank, it would not be considered a proper cage. If I were looking into getting a rat from a breeder, I would be very concerned that the breeder was keeping their rats in tanks. A responsible, ethical breeder would know that rats need open-air cages and not tanks for maintaining good health. (FYI: Tanks do not cause issues only with over-heating. Because there is a lack of ventilation, the pee causes an ammonia build-up which can cause very serious respiratory issues. I kept my very first rat in a tank, and nearly lost him to pneumonia) Remember, any person can put a male and a female anything together and call themselves a breeder. A lot of research into genetics and family backgrounds is required to produce healthy animals. It doesn't sound like your breeder has done their share of research into the proper care of rats.

Also, if this was an ethical, responsible breeder, they would tell you that rats are best kept in pairs and would not consider adopting to you if they knew you were planning on keeping it as a single rat. Even though you say you can provide enough stimulation to substitute yourself for a cagemate, I know that this not possible. Rats are most active at night when you are sleeping so there is 8 hours that you are not spending time with him that could be filled by another rat. You spend 8 hours at high school (EDIT: or work. I was accidentally thinking of another post I read when writing this, and looked back at your original post to see that you never mentioned you were in high school. Still, I will assume that you have a full-time job, which would equate to 8 hours a day being away from home), which turns into 16 hours of alone time for the rat, which only leaves 8 hours of stimulation. If the rat had a cagemate, they would have a full 24 hours of stimulation by another animal, instead of the 8 that you would be able to provide for it. Rats are very intelligent, so 8 hours just isn't enough for them. Think of it this way: Would you want to live alone and only have interaction with another person for only 8 hours a day every day for the rest of your life. Sounds pretty lonely, huh? Lone rats can get very depressed which has shown to cause them to get sicker more easily. There is a very good Youtube video explaining why it is important for the rat to have a cagemate. I will try to find it and post it here for you. EDIT: ThaRatChick was able to find it for me. Please watch it and understand its message.

As for your other supplies, you have the extreme basics, but there are other things that your rat will need. Even with a cagemate, your rat will need other types of stimulation. Chew blocks are a good idea. You state that you have dog ropes. They may or may not be a good idea, because of the numerous threads that could end up wrapping around a limb and cutting off circulation. Maybe someone else could chime in on this issue. Some people on here use bird toys for stimulation. When you get a wire cage, you will probably want to decorate it, so hammocks are a good diea. You can get them at the pet store (made for ferrets) but many  people sell them on this forum that are of better quality and cheaper than what you can find in a store.

As was mentioned before, the dog food can or can't be a good thing. It really depends on what brand it is. I tried once to feed all dog food to my rats, and they wouldn't touch it. It depends on the brand and the ingredients if it is suitable for your rats. Many members on here who also run rat rescues sell a very good brand of rat food called Harlan Tekland for about the same price you would pay for dog food in the store. Petsmart carries the brand "Mazuri" which many feel is a good rat block. Some disagree, but it is one of the best in-store options for people who cannot order online or have it shipped. Sometimes you can find the food called Oxbow in stores. That is also a good food, but some rats refuse to eat it (I have one who does). Oxbow can be a hit or miss food. You can order all of these foods online. You can also stick with the dog food, but it should really be supplemented with what is called "Suebee's Mix" which you can find by Google. It is a dietary supplement for dog or rat food for a more complete diet.

Please understand that the people here are only thinking of the rats' best interest and are not trying to be mean to you just because you are new. We really want to help you to have the best set-up for your rats, and a tank and being single isn't the best set-up at all.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 05:43:48 PM by arumberg »

Offline Schrute

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 05:01:58 PM »
I think I did answer your question, yes? No, you do not have the appropriate supplies...

Offline Schrute

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2009, 05:03:48 PM »
Yes, but there is always an appropriate way to say things, and that was NOT the appropriate way. While the information is generally accurate, the tone is not very polite.

I cannot help if you chose to add a tone to that post... read it for what it is, and don't add a tone, because it's not really fair of you to assume that there is a tone behind it.

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2009, 05:25:25 PM »
I add no tone to my posts and your pic dosn't exactly help with your tone. I am NOT listening to ANY posts writen by members saying aqarium cages are in-appropriate because where I like it is quite cold and a wire cage would possibly be too low. And I would rather live in a 2 degree too high cage than a tiny wire cage that pet stores carry. If I had a million dollars to spend, sure get it a wire cage with high tech heating but alas I don't. Goodbye Schrute you are officially being ignored and I pray for your ratties if you ever treat them like the way you treat me.

Offline krazycatlady

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2009, 05:29:13 PM »
If you're not going to take anyones advice, then why post asking for it?

Your question was answered and instead of taking the advice to heart you choose to say that they dont know what they're talking about and you know better than them.

If you know better, then don't post asking for advice.  :doh:
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Offline Corpseflower

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2009, 05:43:54 PM »
Aquariums are not only no fun for rats, but suck for people too!  Think of how much you'd have to clean, to keep the amonia smell from hurting your rat!  It'd be at least every other day, with spot cleaning on the days you don't clean.  I would just go ahead and get a cage.  In fact, I have one you could have if you'd like.  I'm in east TN if you're interested. :)

Another things is, you probably shouldn't shower with your rat.  They generally only need baths if they are old and can't properly groom themselves, or get into something particularly dirty.  It takes the natural oils off their skin and can hurt them in the long run.

I also would like to add, it doesn't cost much more to own two rats as opposed to one [the exclusion being the vet bills].  Plus it would make your rat super happy to have a rat friend!  Try as we might, we simply can't recreate the company of another rat.

While you may think it's okay for her to just have you, it'll probably make her pretty sad.  Just remember, when we get pets we have to do what's best for them, if you can't give them the things they need then don't get them.  Not saying you can't give her what she needs, but you're just not ready quite yet. :)

Good luck with your new little one, I hope you make the proper decisions for your rats health and happiness!


Offline arumberg

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2009, 05:54:38 PM »
I would rather live in a 2 degree too high cage than a tiny wire cage that pet stores carry. If I had a million dollars to spend, sure get it a wire cage with high tech heating but alas I don't.

I know you were trying to be sarcastic here, but no one here has high-tech heating for their wire cages. However, they do have heating systems. Hammocks are great for snuggling into when it gets a bit cold. I always find my rats hiding in a pocket style hammock when I wake up on a cold morning. Like I mentioned before, hammocks are not very expensive if you buy them from members of this board and not from a pet store. Also, the video that ThaRatChick provided shows that cagemates are ideal for snuggling with. This means that they can get warmth from their cagemate if they become too cold. Rats can survive in a wide range of temperatures, so I doubt that your preferable room temperature would affect them. Like I mentioned before, my biggest concern with a tank is not the temperature issue, but the ventilation issue in terms of ammonia build-up from urine and feces.

If you are concerned about the cost of a new cage at a pet store, you can try looking in your local newspaper or on Craigslist for cheap used options. Many times you can find very good deals there. I once found a cage that runs for over $70 plus shipping from an online only company for only $10. Corpseflower was very generous to offer you a suitable rat cage if you are in her area or are able to meet her somewhere for it (or if she is willing to ship it to you). You should try to take her up on that offer.

Offline Schrute

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2009, 06:26:00 PM »
I add no tone to my posts and your pic dosn't exactly help with your tone. I am NOT listening to ANY posts writen by members saying aqarium cages are in-appropriate because where I like it is quite cold and a wire cage would possibly be too low. And I would rather live in a 2 degree too high cage than a tiny wire cage that pet stores carry. If I had a million dollars to spend, sure get it a wire cage with high tech heating but alas I don't. Goodbye Schrute you are officially being ignored and I pray for your ratties if you ever treat them like the way you treat me.

The problem is that rats can't thrive in aquariums. I could sit here and name all of the reasons why aquariums are bad, but it's not going to do any good coming from me... what I recommend you do is do a Google search on why aquariums are bad and you'll find tons of information from people who aren't me. There isn't going to be ONE reliable source which says aquariums are okay - I promise you this.

Offline PureMuttz

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2009, 06:39:11 PM »
I am NOT listening to ANY posts writen by members saying aqarium cages are in-appropriate.....Goodbye Schrute you are officially being ignored and I pray for your ratties if you ever treat them like the way you treat me.

So basically, you want to know if your supplies are appropriate, yet when Schrute tells you the facts that the caging is not....she gets ignored?
What's the point of asking this question if you are going to object to the answers? Just because this ''breeder'' keeps her rats in tanks, doesn't make it acceptable. Just makes a red flag for the breeder (along with the fact you mention that all her females are pregnant or nursing.) Just sounds like your source for a rat is less than desirable.

Doesn't change the fact that keeping a single rat....in a tank....is not the suitable situation.

No one here is trying to be rude towards you. We are just answering your question, but you are the one who is getting defensive. If you didn't want to be told "No, you don't have the proper supplies", then you probably shouldn't have posted this question. On a forum, you're going to get opinions, and some times, they may not be the same as your own. It's a learning concept here. Be open to learning the right ways of rat ownership!

We just want the best for the rats. That's the bottom line.
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Offline Pumpkinseed

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2009, 06:45:32 PM »
You know, there have been alot of negative  posts lately by members (not so much recently but in the past) People jumping at newbies etc.

NO ONE IS JUMPING AT YOU.
most of the people here are very experienced with rats and there are PLENTY of recources on this sight if you dont believe SHRUTE. She is one of the people that knows a little bit about them.

You asked for peoples opinions.. Obviously you wanted good opinions and good advice or you wouldnt have come to Goosemoose. Quit ignoring people that are telling you that some of the things that you have arent in your pets best interest.
People arent pulling this stuff out of their hiney.. It's all been proven.

Honestly, Take a look at the resources page if you dont believe anyone.
and if you arent going to take anyones advice, I highly suggest you dont ask. No one is here to tell you that something is bad if it really isnt.. How is that going to benifit them?? seriously?

Good luck with your rats in the future and I hope you make the right decisions.
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Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2009, 07:38:42 PM »
Thx alot Corpse it's people like you who make the world go round but unfortunatly I live in southern indiana :( all the local pet stores and websites who ship to my area for a decent amount have smaller wire cages than the aquarium for $25-35. By small I mean like 6x8x10

Offline arumberg

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2009, 07:44:53 PM »
People from all over the US use craigslist, so I'm sure you can find someone in your area selling a cage. Or if you work with Corpseflower, I'm sure you two can work something out for shipping, again provided that she is able to ship the cage. Even if you have to pay for the shipping, you would still pay a lot less than a new cage. Also, some of the bigger retail online stores offer fee shipping on larger orders. I was able to order a very large, heavy cage from one of these places and I received free shipping. You'll have to do a bit of research, but I'm sure someone somewhere that sells cages offer free shipping.

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2009, 07:47:07 PM »
True um how big is it Corpse?

Offline Kari Safari

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2009, 07:58:00 PM »
If you post an ad asking for a spare cage in your area on this site (Pack Rat Swap Meet) and explain your situation, anyone on this site in that location with one available would gladly help you. Honestly, no one is trying to jump at you. You asked a question and that means that you DO care. If any of us come across like we're being preachy, please don't be offended. We don't mean it! We just want to make sure that you and your ratty are as happy as can be. Also, the cage that a Goosemooser would give you would definitely be big enough to house two rats, and I know you're pretty set on one, but I would really, really consider getting two. Moving to a new place can be really scary for a rat and the rat would benefit from a friend and support system.

I wish you luck and I hope someone is able to give you a cage! Wire is so much more beneficial for a rat. :) They can climb, and you can interact with them through the bars ... it's really awesome. And remember, rats are typically prey whose predators come at them from above. It'll make them much more comfortable to have a cage that opens from the side and where they can be more aware of you in general. If I were near you, I'd be the first to offer, but I'm in PA. I've seen members here ship at their own expense, though, so it doesn't rule it out. Again, luck!

Offline Kari Safari

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2009, 07:58:14 PM »
If you post an ad asking for a spare cage in your area on this site (Pack Rat Swap Meet) and explain your situation, anyone on this site in that location with one available would gladly help you. Honestly, no one is trying to jump at you. You asked a question and that means that you DO care. If any of us come across like we're being preachy, please don't be offended. We don't mean it! We just want to make sure that you and your ratty are as happy as can be. Also, the cage that a Goosemooser would give you would definitely be big enough to house two rats, and I know you're pretty set on one, but I would really, really consider getting two. Moving to a new place can be really scary for a rat and the rat would benefit from a friend and support system.

I wish you luck and I hope someone is able to give you a cage! Wire is so much more beneficial for a rat. :) They can climb, and you can interact with them through the bars ... it's really awesome. And remember, rats are typically prey whose predators come at them from above. It'll make them much more comfortable to have a cage that opens from the side and where they can be more aware of you in general. If I were near you, I'd be the first to offer, but I'm in PA. I've seen members here ship at their own expense, though, so it doesn't rule it out. Again, luck!

Offline HalloweenRatLover

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Re: I'm getting a rattie and wondering if I have everything
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2009, 08:01:32 PM »
I'll try but w/ expected vet bills for her I can't spend too much :/