Author Topic: New to the site...  (Read 3420 times)

Offline RehabRalphy

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New to the site...
« on: February 19, 2005, 05:57:46 PM »
Hi everybody!! I'm new to the site, but not to rats :BlueDumboSmile:. I have one rat right now, but I had a total of 4. Just wondering what kind of cage he is suppose to be in. Hes an adult Fancy rat. I have him in a 10 gallon with a wire cage on top of it. I think its to small and im figuring out what to put him in. I have a big wired cage, but it has nasty stuff on the wires but its still usable. I dont really have anything though to put him in, but I could build something. Any help?

Thanks,
Mike

Offline brandy

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2005, 03:42:03 PM »
Yeah, a 10-gallon is way too small for rats, especially males.  The standard number is 2 cubic feet per rat.  Tanks are also not as good as wire cages b/c they have less ventilation - rats are already prone to respiratory problems, locking the urine vapor in with them doesn't help.  Plus, they can climb the sides of wire cages and you can hang things!

A lot of people here swear by Martin's Cages.  They are very reasonably priced for the size - you won't find cages this big for this cheap in any pet store.  The smallest needed for two rats is the R-670, but it's always better to get a bigger one if you can afford it, especially if there's any chance you'll submit to GGMR! (Gotta Get More Rats syndrome) Also - always get a powder or pvc-coated cage - plain galvanized metal soaks up urine and stinks.

If you can't afford a new wire cage right now, you should at least look into a larger tank.  Or some people make cages out of big rubbermaid bins, by making a lid for it out of hardware cloth or other screening.  Again, they're not as good as a wire cage, but it'd be better to have him in a bigger tank-type cage until you can afford a new wire cage. Who knows, you might be able to give the old cage a good scrub-down in the shower and get it usable!

I'm assuming he's alone b/c his friends died.  It would be a good idea, once you have a bigger cage, to get him some new buddies - rats really shouldn't be kept alone, they can develop behavioral problems.

Good luck!
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RIP: Snickers, Twizzler, Nestle, Valrhona, Cadbury, Elizabeth, Victoria, Artemis, Cassie, Lucy, and Chica.

Offline desertrat

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2005, 03:56:43 PM »
Hi Sobek! Welcome to the forum!!!  :wave:

Brandy gave you great advice. The only thing I would emphasize is the importance of getting at least one cagemate for your male rat. No matter how much love and attention a rattie parent provides, rats need each other to be truly happy.

Here is a great article I highly recommend:
http://www.ratfanclub.org/single.html

I don't know where you're located, but I would start with a rat rescue. There are several members of this forum who operate rescues throughout the United States. Also check out the adoption center on this forum.
"Be like a postage stamp -- stick to ONE THING until you get there." Josh Billings

Offline Fluff,

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2005, 04:01:29 PM »
Hey Sobek! While your waiting maybe you could get a 20 gallon, or a bigger rubbermaid. And put some wire mesh on top :) Your rat seems very sweet. Post pictures!

Offline Marybelle

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2005, 08:45:44 PM »
How big is the wire cage on top of your 10 gallon tank?  It possible he's got enough room up there.  One of my cousins has that sort of setup for her girl rats, and the cage topper gives them plenty of room.  :)  If you could post the dimensions, that would help greatly, or check out the cage calculator, and it'll tell you how much room you've got, and how many rats you can comfortably fit in that space. 

I'll second (or third or fourth, whatever number it is) getting your boy a friend or two, if you've got the space.  Most rats don't like to be alone.

Offline taku

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2005, 09:40:37 PM »
Heya Sobek!! and Welcome. This is an excellent forum with excellent people, with GREAT advice. I currently don't have a Martin's cage, I have built a NIC cage for my fattie rattie. I've looked into purchasing a couple of martin's and they're very reasonably priced for the excellent build.
  I second that you should consider rescue rats for your guy. There's way too many out there that need great homes. Good luck and welcome!!
People can be made to believe any lie, either because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it's true.-Terry Goodkind

Offline critterkeeper

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2005, 12:25:58 PM »
WELCOME!:wave: Brandy pretty much covered it all- except, GGMR is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS.......... Don't get too close!  ;D. Have fun with your ratty and decorating your new cages! I also recommend Martins- they are the GREATEST! I just ordered my first cages from them and already plan on buying more and replacing ALL of my cages with theirs.  :wave: :toothy10:
The proud trainee of 22 Rats:
Loki~Nemo~Snoopy~Paris~Dipsy~Kiwi~Mac~Otis~Coconut~
Billy~Mr. Maple~Twinkie~Montegue~Callie~and 8 new Jelly Beans!!!
3 Guinea Pigs:
Winnie~Mitzi~Hershey
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Offline RehabRalphy

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2005, 06:29:18 PM »
First of all, thanks for responding. To clear some things up; I have had a TOTAL of 4 rats (not at the same time). The first one I had was in 1999, then i had 2 females (meaner as heck) a couple of years ago, and now I have Joe (which i just got him).

Now for you Marybelle,

I understand that rats do better in groups, but I have had bad experiences with that. My first rat was really loving, so I decided to get him a new friend (another male). So I brought another male home and separated them for awhile so they can get use to eachother. So a few days pass and I put them together, that was a big no no. My rat started to attach the new one. So I took the new one back to the store.

Now a few years ago, I had 2 females. One was nice and the other was mean. I got bit on the figure to the bone, and to this day, I still have nerve damage. They would always fight with each other for some odd reason.

I just might try getting another male and trying it again with my new rat. Will it make a difference on the age of my rat right now and the one I'm getting? Can I get some pointers on this please? Thanks!!

I'm uploading pictures now!!!

Mike

Offline RehabRalphy

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2005, 06:41:18 PM »
HERES JOE!!!!



AND JOES CAGE.....





And the inside....




BOO!!!!!

My beardie


Offline Suebee

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2005, 08:59:57 AM »
Sobek - sounds like you have had a rough time... I'm just guessing... did you get your rats from a pet shop? This sounds similar to my pet shop experiences... once I switched to reputable breeders, I have had no issues with agression, rats not getting along, and getting bitten.

Here's a really good article on rat introductions:

http://www.ratfanclub.org/newrat.html

Offline SunWolf

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2005, 11:25:58 AM »
OOOOO...Joe got a new house!!!!  Way cool.  Much better than a ten gallon tank ( Tanks are for fishies  :D )  He's a cute boy, too.
I'm not shy, I'm just studying my prey...

Offline kmw

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2005, 11:50:57 AM »
What a sweet set-up Joe's got!  He looks like he's an adult.  Adult males can be very difficult to introduce.  Your best bet is to try introducing a male baby (like 6 weeks old) to Joe.  It's very important to follow proper introduction procedures, and to not rush things along.  Be warned, it can be a giant pain in the patoot.  Rats DO do best in groups, but there are times when intros turn so ugly and hair pullingly frustrating, that it seems to be better off having a lone male.  I've had blazingly simple adult male to baby intros, and blazingly hard to downright failing intros.  So, there's a lot more to it than just "go get thee another rat."  I'm in the process of one intro that I think is going to take a neuter or two before it's solved.  For a lot of people, that is not worth it.
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Offline critterkeeper

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2005, 12:08:46 PM »
Hey, there! Joe is SO cute! The only true success I've had with introducing adult ratties is because (I think, it may just be luck) the older one was the younger ones father!!! Maybe your best bet would be with a SPAYED female! Good luck, and your new cage looks great- put it in the "Cage Decorating" picture thread when you can for others to see! Have fun!
The proud trainee of 22 Rats:
Loki~Nemo~Snoopy~Paris~Dipsy~Kiwi~Mac~Otis~Coconut~
Billy~Mr. Maple~Twinkie~Montegue~Callie~and 8 new Jelly Beans!!!
3 Guinea Pigs:
Winnie~Mitzi~Hershey
1 Cat
~Sami~

Offline nimue_draganawolf

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Re: New to the site...
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2005, 01:58:04 PM »
Sometimes it can take a very long time for rats to get along well enough so they can live together.  There will be some scuffling, and thats normal, they're just sorting out who's the boss.  It also depends on the personality of the rat too.  Just have lots of patience, and be sure to have gloves or a spray bottle full of water in case they get into a real fight (you'll know when its an actual fight).  You might also try finding a breeder near you, as oftentimes the rats have much better temperaments.  Don't get me wrong, you can get a total sweetheart from a pet store (my Beta is one and my Alpha turned into one with a LOT of work).  But, you may have better luck with a breeder rat.  Or you can go with a spayed female, as there would probably be NO issues with introducing her to him.
Nim
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