Author Topic: Rats in a Hamster cage..  (Read 797 times)

Offline melandrew

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Rats in a Hamster cage..
« on: April 23, 2010, 07:40:01 AM »
Okay, so i recently got 2 little girls. I'm in Germany so i ordered the cage online, i ordered it about 2 or 3 weeks before i got my girls. It was The rat manor on petco.com (i already read everyones opinion on this cage, by the time i did it was already ordered, if i don't like it i have no problem paying for something different) Anyhow, so as i'm sure you heard there was a volcano erupsion, which is preventing any military mail from getting here, so i don't know when i will get my cage in. So my question is how long will they be okay in this hamster cage, as i said they are almost 5 weeks old so they are still little. I just don't want them to be unhappy. Also for bedding, i can't remember what i have exactly, but it seems most people don't even use bedding, they just use fleece or towels, is that better then bedding?? Don't they like to dig in the bedding and such?

Also the bigger of the two rats, likes to chase the other and almost like "hump" it, is this normal??
Proud Mommy of Zerk and Molly. Love my ratties :)

Offline The Jenn

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 08:51:19 AM »
Honestly, if they're so teeny and you have a cage on the way, I don't see a problem with them continuing to live in the small cage until it arrives so long as you get them out for a lot of playtime and free-range stimulation. The situation is way beyond your control and they'll be able to tough it out until the nicer digs arrive.

As to bedding, it depends on (a) whether or not you have chewers, and (b) what type of bottom pan your cage has. Shallow pans like in the Critter Nation don't allow many bedding options, so most CN owners either have to use fleece/towels or buy a BASS pan to use bedding. Martin's cages come with a deeper pan and offer their owners more options right off the bat. I'm not familiar with the Rat manor, so I don't know how deep the pan is.

I have chewers and I've been using fleece and towels, but it just got to the point where it annoyed me to pull out fabric swiss cheese every week so I broke down and ordered the BASS pan. I'll be using bedding in a few weeks, after it arrives, is painted, and has time to cure.

Acceptable beddings are another hotly contested point, but so long as you don't use cedar or pine shavings then you're usually in the clear. Aspen, Yesterday's News, Carefresh, untreated wood stove pellets, Softsorbent, etc. are all considered good rat beddings.

The humping is most likely part play and part dominance/pecking order establishment. ;)
Current are Alexander, Vanellope, Taffyta
R.I.P. Ondo, Jeremy, Iggy, Dai, Doze, Julie, Audrey, Stitch, Johanna, Lucy, Alphonse, Miriam, April, Monty

Offline Stacy M

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 12:31:03 PM »
So sorry to hear about your situation :(  Does anybody have an estimate of when they'll be able to?

My only concern about keeping them in a hamster cage right now is what kind of hamster cage?  Is it the ones with the tubes?  If so, be absolutely positively sure there is no chance of them getting stuck.  Baby rats grow quickly.

Also, have you looked into the possibility of buying used off of (do you have craigslist in germany ???)?  I'm sure you could get a more suitable cage for cheap if there is something like that in Germany-and as a bonus, it can later be used as a hospital/temp/qt cage!

ETA:
I wish you the best of luck, and if you cant find another cage, don't worry, they'll be okay for a little while.  Just give them a lot of time out like the jenn said-she was very helpful.

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 12:34:46 PM »
I know bout the volcano. Nobody can really know when the ash and glass will settle down. They'll be ok in a hamster cage for a little while. I often keep teeny babies in a large hamster cage until they can go in the 1/2" baby cage.


Offline melandrew

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 01:13:34 PM »
Well we got some packages in today, not the cage though :( Hopefully the cage will get here soon, despite the ash still coming they are trying to get as many planes through as they can. So hopefully it won't be much longer. The cage i have them in has no tubes or anything. They seem happy. Luckily we have a hallway that can be completely shut off, so today i put some boxes and such in there and let them play in the hallway for over an hour. There cage was in there too so they were able to go in there. I really do no want to buy another temporary cage, b/c the hamster cage i have now i just bought brand new as a temp cage. I think they will be okay. I will let them out a few times each day in the hallway that should help.

Miss Zerk sat on my shoulder for almost an hour today, she kept trying to chew at my bra strap, it was cute though!

Never thought i would be so in love with little ratties  :heart:
Proud Mommy of Zerk and Molly. Love my ratties :)

Offline The Jenn

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2010, 01:27:11 PM »
That hallway sounds like the perfect sort of free-range run for some girls. :) I'm glad to hear that some of the mail is coming through! Hopefully the cage won't be too badly delayed with the natural disaster mucking things about. It sounds like you're keeping them entertained, though, which is awesome.
Current are Alexander, Vanellope, Taffyta
R.I.P. Ondo, Jeremy, Iggy, Dai, Doze, Julie, Audrey, Stitch, Johanna, Lucy, Alphonse, Miriam, April, Monty

Offline Eternal Dream

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2010, 12:16:22 AM »
I kept my female in a friend's hamster cage until a) the rat grew up a bit and b) I got off my lazy bum. She did fine in a smaller cage for a few weeks. Like someone said before, I wouldn't trust the babies with tubes or anything, but a cage is a cage until yours comes in.

As for the fleece, you can start litter training now. I never used it until recently. I mean, it's really up to you. I switch up between carefresh and yesterday's news cat litter. It's totally your call.

Offline Little_Vixen

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2010, 08:33:27 AM »
Female rats go into heat roughly every 5-7 days for about 12 hrs. If they are 'humping' each other, that probably means that the humper was in heat. It's nothing to worry about, just hormones. There are also some other signs of heat that I just forgot that will give you an idea if they are in heat

Offline Eternal Dream

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2010, 12:44:08 PM »
It could be them just playing or trying to show who's dominate. Just as dogs do the same to other dogs, and cats tackle each other. If they are that young it's probably just play. Even my older girls will jump on their cagemate's backs to get them all riled up to play with them.

Offline melandrew

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Re: Rats in a Hamster cage..
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2010, 12:57:55 PM »
Yeah it seems like just play, and theres no squeals or anything so i'm sure there fine.

Hallway idea was a bust today, Here in germany all the houses have radiators, so the babies figured out how to get in it, i went in there to check on them and coudln't find them anywhere. Was thinking how in the world could they have escaped!!! Then i saw two little tails hanging out the bottom of the radiator. Thank goodness it wasn't turned on. Molly ended up coming down on her own and i had to pour water on poor zerks head to get her out, but she came out! Then they were going crazy cleaning themselves from all the dust  :yelcutelaugh: Guess that will teach them lol!

So now i gotta figure out a way to block that, they barely fit so once they get a little bigger i doubt they will even be able to squeeze up there!
Proud Mommy of Zerk and Molly. Love my ratties :)