New rat dad to Thor and Loki

odinson

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Hey, new rat dad here (they/them) patiently awaiting my boys to arrive this Friday! I've been nesting and preparing for their arrival -- I live on my own and have no one around to say "ew rats" but unfortunately my family is not on board with the whole idea of adopting rats right now. My dad claims Covid-19 is not his main concern, it's more the risk of any of us getting sick and having to go to a hospital during these quarantine-ish times, especially since they're in my bubble.

A little background: I adopted Thor and Loki (3-month old half-wild brothers) from a rescue in Toronto and they're being transported to me in Ottawa. I gave my family plenty of notice as I was originally planning to make the trip with my mum to pick them up (I don't drive). My mum decided she didn't want to make the trip and I had to arrange another plan with the foster family. Then my dad finally tells me they don't think I should go ahead with it -- right after I confirmed that I'd paid the adoption fee and also bought a cage and toys.

I know this is the intro forum but I wanted to reach out and see if any other first-timers have had difficulty convincing their families that rats are not only cute and cuddly but also that it's rare to actually catch anything from them. It's understandable, the idea of owning rats is very novel to them, but it seems like they've done little research and decided it's not safe. I've been looking into rats for years and despite the warnings about SDA, Seoul, etc. from multiple sources, I've yet to see anyone speak of being hospitalized for catching something from their rats. At this point I don't think I can convince them otherwise, but since then I've gone a little wild double-checking to make sure I know my s*it. Hoping someone can put my anxious mind at ease; I know there are things to look out for but I'm fully committed to keeping my space and my boys' space clean and safe! Thanks x
 

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Dena

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Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
345
Location
Texas
Not sure about in Canada, but it's EXTREMELY RARE to hear of anyone getting sick from pet rats. People can and sometimes do, have mild allergies to them. That can be worked around very easily (usually). My family was pretty resistant to rats at first. We've had some not so good encounters with wild rats that freaked everyone out about rats. So at first it was me and the rats and then my family. Rats are so fun, smart, and affectionate, that we have managed to turn MOST of the more resistant family members into at least accepting. Rats aren't for everyone, and once you learn to accept that, it gets a little easier to deal with the non-lovers. LMAO

But seriously, get your rats comfortable with you, and THEN try to introduce others and show them how awesome rats can be. I've even now got my husband checking adoption sites, and Craigslist, and we go into pet stores (I know eek, but people often dump their pets there) to see if rats need homes. He was one of the main ones against the rat keeping. Good luck! Just enjoy your babies, and love them, and people will often follow.
 

odinson

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Thanks a lot Dena, this is super helpful! I definitely have few expectations of them but it would be great if they eventually came around, maybe once the pandemic panic dies down...I plan to take lots of photos & video of my boys so maybe I can start off by showing my fam their cute faces!
 

odinson

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ottawa, Canada
The boys arrived about 90m ago and they are currently snuggled in their favourite PVC tube they traveled with. I'm easing them into getting used to me with sniffs and some singing so they can get used to my scent and voice -- even keeping it at their pace, I got in a few little head pats!

I had quite the SNAFU today, realizing I bought and assembled the Critter Nation ADD ON instead of the single unit cage :rolleyes: Always double-check the labels folks! Anyway, I had to run around and coordinate with someone at the Ottawa Pet Rat Rescue who thankfully had some spare cage parts available, and was able to pick them up and secure the cage juuust as the boys arrived (much later than we'd planned, which was a blessing in disguise!).

Right now I have two middle panels attached to the bottom and top of the add-on, and used twist ties and a couple zip ties to secure my extra attachments (pictured, not quite finished). One of them, probably Thor ventured out and even started climbing the cage bars before I had the top secured, so I'm wondering if I should maybe use something else to weigh down the top part? Largest and heaviest thing I have is a record player. Still, the twist ties seem to work well. I might consider getting a new cage altogether but would also like to avoid stressing them out with another move if I can. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
 

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