Author Topic: Should I get male or female rats?  (Read 586 times)

Offline baxter09

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Should I get male or female rats?
« on: December 18, 2009, 11:01:19 AM »
I finally found rats that need to be rescued close to my home. There are males and non-pregnant females available.  The females are cuter ( :    One of the reasons we want rats is that we want pets we can hold (unlike gerbils, etc.)

Here's my question...Is there a significant difference in cuddle factor between males and females?

Offline Hippidy

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 11:24:04 AM »
From what I've read males are a lot more snugly than females are. I have three females and I love them to death. Females are very playful! Peanut can't get enough attention and loves playing chase. She can get on my nerves but I love her silliness. She's the only one that will let me flip her on her back n tickle her stomach. When Baby Rat his a year old she got a lot more snugly. She finds a good spot on my stomach and plops down. She's my only snugly female.

With females you can still hold them, pet them, and play with them they're just a lot more active.

Offline chelipepper

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 11:52:52 AM »
i personally think it depends on the rat - i have 10 ratties, 5 of each gender and i have cuddlers and non cuddlers in each ..so my best suggestion to u is to spend time with the ratties who u are most interested in and see how they take to being snuggled and held

in general genderwise, females tend to be smaller and less aggressive toward each other than males as they mature ..females also smell less and their fur stays softer ..on the other hand, females -mine always anyway- seem to chew more than males .. i love both genders of ratties (obviously lol ) but if i had to only have one gender in the house, it would be females for me
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Offline baxter09

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 03:49:21 PM »
Thank you so much for your posts!  It is great to hear from people with experience!
  I am so excited about our new pets...but I still have a lot to learn!  ( :

Offline evilhobbitgirl

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 04:04:32 PM »
Males will be more cuddly, but in my experience it isn't until they're a lot older. My boys got cuddly after 1 year old--or at least 2/3 did.
How about getting 2 of those cute females spayed and getting a boy too! :cheeky:

Offline gramma2jaakk

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 05:54:04 PM »
Right now I've got 5 girls, and only one of them is cuddly.  Sally will lay on our shoulder, bruxing and boggling until she goes to sleep.  Sally will run and play for about 30 to 45 minutes then settle down to go flat.  She literally is FLAT when she is really in a cuddly mood.

The other girls will run up and visit, getting pets and scritches but not staying for long.  And I've heard that males will be cuddlier than girls.  I will be getting a neutered male soon, but he is still youngish so probably won't be in the 'lie down, go flat and brux' stage yet. 

I second EvilHobbitGirl's suggestion of getting 2 of the girls spayed and getting a boy.  That would make a nice combination.

Offline The Jenn

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 06:21:11 PM »
I have baby spayed girls and baby (soon to be) neutered boys right now, two of each. They're all between two and three months and are all full of energy! If you're getting them young then you probably won't notice a huge difference between the two genders, barring individual personality.

The older you get them, it seems, the more the differences have a chance to come through. I've heard that females will stay active their whole lives whereas males will calm down after a certain point. Stereotypically, a'course.
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Offline Secor

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 10:03:57 PM »
When i had boys they stunk, where big, lazy, took longer to over come new experiances, and they marked every where. That might be becouse I got them when they where older from some poeple who where gonna us them as rat food so they where hurrased alot.

my girls that I have now. They are energetic, lazy, small, a handfull, and mark everything. I got girls becouse I didnt want to deal with the marking. Well cookie loves me and my stuff so much she just has to show it :BlueDumboSmile:. Spooks on the other hand is my scardy cat but will investigate more then cookie.

honestly i think its more the rat then the sex. I love my girls but I also loved the boys. 

Offline inod3

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 02:57:22 AM »
Males get larger, more "squishy". Eventually more calm/cuddly, in my experience at about 1 year of age (before that they're all pretty active.)

Due to their size, you have more cage options with males than females. The 1" bar spacing on most ferret cages is iffy with girls, but fine with adult males.

Aggression wise my experience is about the same with each gender. I've had one male out of about 10 that had aggression problems. I've had 1 female out of about 10 that had aggression problems. At least when males have issues you can get them neutered.

Smell wise, I cannot tell a difference.

Cost wise, females have much higher risk of mammary tumors, which I believe are the most common tumor in rats. You can reduce the risk down to what it is for males by getting females spayed by 4 months of age or so. Cost around $100-$300 depending where you live. I've usually paid about $200 per tumor removal, so a couple tumors and you save money with the spay.

Some people I know have issues with the large "torpedos" of a male grossing them out.

Offline Kritter Mom

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 11:06:05 AM »
Personally, I love girls and neutered males. Intact males tend to smell more, are more aggressive towards other rats and I find neutered males to be more snuggly. I've never owned neutered males, but have experiance with them. My next rat will be a neutered male, I currenly have 7 sweet girls. Out of the bunch, I'd say 4 are snuggle bugs, one loves attention but perfers it on her own turf and the other two are a bit like cats, don't mind love, when they want it. My mom has 3 intact boys and they are super lazy, smelly slugs. Sweet, but, not active and stink alot worse than my 7 girls.
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Offline evilhobbitgirl

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 06:54:46 PM »
My boys got cuddly after 1 year old--or at least 2/3 did.

I should add that those two are also the two that are neutered.

Offline betuana

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Re: Should I get male or female rats?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 10:58:23 PM »
I've had intact males, neutered males, intact females, and spayed females, heh. In general, as youngsters all are fairly active and want to explore. They seem to enjoy handling, but want to run around and check everything out too!

As they got older, all calmed down, but the boys calm significantly more. Most of my boys, intact or neutered, prefer me coming to them, rather than coming out of their hammock to me, LOL. They just like they idea of lounging until I give them a good reason to come out, or I go there to get them out myself. My girls generally stayed more inquisitive, and were more likely to come out and check stuff out vs. waiting for me to bring stuff to them as they got older. So it depends on if you want one that is going to remain more active and inquisitive, or one that is going to become more of a hammock-potato. That said, individual personalities vary tremendously, so some males stay super active their whole lives, and some females are total bums! The stuff above is more of a generalization.

I've not noticed a significant difference in odor levels between any of my different rats - I think alot of it depends on bedding used, caging used (how much ventilation it gets), diet, cleaning, etc. And it may again also be individual or even line differences - some genetics may predispose some rats to having more odor than others.

I think the best suggestion, which was mentioned already, is to go meet the rats that they have available to be rescued, and find one whose personality appeals most to you. And if you find yourself drawn to the females as cuter, go with that - as long as the personality fits. Any gender of rats will make a great pet!