My first boys, tips?

Discussion in 'General Rat Chat & Photos' started by ratgamer16, Jul 13, 2019.

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  1. Jul 13, 2019 #1

    ratgamer16

    ratgamer16

    ratgamer16

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    I have always gotten girls before but I decided I wanted a mellower pair and I was tired of dealing with mammary tumors. Any tips on diet, behavior, health, etc? I am under the impression boys are supposed to be less active and more lap rats. I assume because of this they are more likely to be obese, am I correct? Are there any common illnesses boys get that girls don't?
     
  2. Jul 15, 2019 #2

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

    ViciousCurse

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    I've only ever had male rats. My first three got me hooked and I do like my relaxed, lazy boys.

    Depending on the age of the rats you brought home, they can either be bouncing off the walls, or happily sleeping on your chest. Young rats, especially under a year old, tend to be a little more active and playful than rats over a year of age. I heard that male rats have coarser coats compared to female rats. I've only ever had one rat considered fat, and I wouldn't even call him obese. Regular exercise and monitoring how much food they get has so far given me healthy and lean rats. Again, I'e only had males, so I can't see if they're more tolerant than females or anything, but my boys do let me pick them up and kiss them. Of course, like every rat, they do beg for their attention. I had one boy who would kiss unprovoked.

    Be prepared for large and muscular rats! My largest is easily 1.5 pounds and he's just a large rat and is very muscular.

    Male rats are more likely to get hormonal and may seem aggressive, so they may need a neuter eventually. I haven't really experienced aggressive rats, aside from my rat, Owen. Knock on wood, none of my male rats (so far) have experienced testicular cancer. I do check the penis regularly to make sure there is no blockage and that my male rats clean it properly. Of course, typical health issues seen in females (aside from mammary tumors) pop up in male rats. When I first started having rats, one of my rats had a blockage in his penis (I believe it was a kidney stone due to improper diet) and I stayed home from college to help him pass it. I haven't had an issue ever since that day.

    My rats, especially when they're getting close to their second birthdays, slow WAAAY down and just sleep all day, only stirring when I call their names or they hear their food being made. At any given moment, I expect to see every rat other than my three oldest (which all just "celebrated" their second birthdays). I've found introductions with elderly rats are way easier because none of my boys care enough to really bother babies or new, younger rats when they're nearing their second birthdays. Only problem is, the babies harass the elderly rats since the babies are getting ready to take over the top roles.

    At least for Gideon (my heart rat) and for his "successor", Grumpy, both became/become extra clingy near the end. Grumpy's still alive, but he does have a PT. He eats and acts normally, but he definitely is technically ill. If anything, I'd say these two are my most clingy. Gideon was happy to spend his entire day sleeping on my chest or just riding my shoulder everywhere.

    Fun fact! Male rats do not have nipples!
     
  3. Jul 15, 2019 #3

    SQ

    SQ

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    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    Welcome to the forum! :)

    In general male rats are more cuddly but they are also very active, curious, and explorers like their sisters.
    They will become larger then their sisters and need to stay active so they do not become over weight.
    Boys are less likely to develop mammary tumours, but have more allergen in their urine then their sisters (or neutered males). Intact boys also get a hormonal secretion called "buck grease" - some more then others, and they do not go into heat. Sometimes boys may develop hormonal aggression after they become teens - (rats are babies until after 12 weeks of age) and if so a neuter will fix the problem. When boys become elderly, they will need to be checked for penis plugs.

    There is really little difference in care - both sexes need a solid wheel at least 12 inches in diameter and a large interesting environment.
    I find that differences in rats are usually due to their individual personality, not their sex

    The Reference Thread contains a lot of useful information https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/
     

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