RE-EDIT: What's the cost to care for a rat 1 week?

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by RatsDrawBlood, Jun 10, 2018.

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  1. Jun 10, 2018 #1

    RatsDrawBlood

    RatsDrawBlood

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    EDIT:
    This question isn't about rats who might eat such a large amount of nesting material that they're not hungry for the nutritious stuff they need. I'm not asking what nesting materials don't give deficiencies upon being a significant part of the diet. I just mean, what will digest fast enough, that the rat won't die of blockage (upon eating it once), if there is such a nesting material? Also part of this is, if a nesting material would be dangerous to eat yet isn't the kind of thing a rat would want to eat, that nesting material's fine too. I wanted to get the below because it looks too fluffy to eat? Whereas rats have been known to consume paper-type products. By the way, their substrate is EcoEarth.
    https://www.kaytee.com/all-products/small-animal/kaytee-bamboo-nesting-material
    Kaytee Bamboo Nesting Material
    Provide your pet with the Natural Nesting Alternative using Kaytee's Bamboo Nesting Material. The fluffy dye-free material will satisfy your pet's natural burrowing instincts and give them material to build a secure nesting spot.
    • Made from natural 100% Rayon derived from Bamboo dye-free material
    • Encourages natural burrowing and nesting instincts
    • Made from a sustainable resource and is recyclable
    • Includes: 25-grams of nesting material
    • For Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits and other small animals
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  2. Jun 10, 2018 #2

    RatsDrawBlood

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    I just now found the below which is mainly reverse from what I'd thought. Does anyone know a source with dependable quality for hay?
    http://www.petwebsite.com/rats/rat_bedding.asp
    "A rat will appreciate some bedding material with which to build a 'nest'. Bedding material can be bought in pet shops but any fluffy cotton wool type bedding should be avoided as this can cause harm if eaten by the rat and the fine fibres can become caught around the rat's limb causing injury. Do not give your rat pieces of material or wool, etc for bedding material as this will also cause problems if eaten by the rat as it will not dissolve in the stomach and may cause a blockage. If in doubt as to whether any bedding material is safe for your rat - do not use it.

    Soft paper bedding is best as this causes no harm if eaten and is easily broken down. It is not necessary to buy bedding as this can be provided much cheaper simply by taking undyed and unscented toilet paper or paper towel and tearing it into strips for your rat.

    Hay can also be used but it should be clean and not mouldy or dusty. Straw should not be used as the sharp edges can injure a rat."
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  3. Jun 11, 2018 #3

    RatsDrawBlood

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    I just now was given hay from a bale. Do I freeze it to kill bugs?
     
  4. Jun 11, 2018 #4

    RatsDrawBlood

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    I'll be a hundred before I stop thinking of more things I need for my rats:
    Realized I forgot the Critter Nation shelf needs to be covered, I think to protect them from bumblefoot, although I think they might not pee there. Lost the mat it came with, which wasn't good enough anyway.
    They probably move in the day after tomorrow.
    The below instructions take time, sewing & a weird extra material I don't have. Just now I dressed the shelf in a sleeveless sweatshirt that covers most of it. Will this be safe (till I can rig full coverage, secure it so they don't go under, & find out if the reason for using U-haul pads is in case it smells otherwise)?
    http://ratropolis.blogspot.com/2013/10/liner-instructions-for-critter-nations.html
     
  5. Jun 11, 2018 #5

    RatsDrawBlood

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    In March I thought "The cage is the only nonedible I ever have to buy, because it comes with water bottle, dish and exercise wheel. I'll line it with newspaper (& she can play with, chew, hide and sleep in other stuff from my recycle bin)." Ha ... ha ... ha .... I just counted that I've bought her over forty things so far. (Besides food.)
     
  6. Jun 12, 2018 #6

    RatsDrawBlood

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    How much do you guys pay per week for just the "lodging" of a rat (her share of the bedding/chews/food/water)?
     
  7. Jun 13, 2018 #7

    SQ

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    Impossible for me to guess ... but if you are eating a healthy diet then you would likely give them some of the variety of daily vegs and greens you buy for yourself
     
  8. Jun 13, 2018 #8

    SqueakingJellybean

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    We've never worked it out to a weekly amount, let alone a weekly amount per rat. So much depends on how many you have, whether everyone is healthy, how old they are (and thus what kind of food they need), what sort of bedding, things like that.

    Our fuzzies have cloth bedding. The floor underlayer is flannel sheeting; we cover that with a layer of Dollar Store fleece pet blanket. Their laundry is done once a week using scent-free detergent and no fabric softener. The Harlan-Teklad lab blocks run about $15 for 10lbs., but do you include shipping in that maintenance cost? As far as fresh fruits and veggies go, they get what we get, for the most part, though I'll sometimes pick up some watermelon or another treat just for them.

    Critter Nation floors are solid plastic. They shouldn't be at risk of bumblefoot from something that has no bare bars as flooring. Do you have ramp covers?

    Have at least $300 set aside for emergency vet expenses.

    If you don't mind my asking, how long have you been a rat person? I'm not trying to sound snarky or holier-than-thou, but frankly, your posts are confusing me a little. Sometimes you post as if you've been living with rats for more than a decade and are telling people here how to rat properly, and other times it sounds like you've never had them and are unsure what's required.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  9. Jun 13, 2018 #9

    SqueakingJellybean

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    We've also never had problems with rats eating their bedding. Chewing, yes, but not eating. I have no idea how common that is, but it sounds like something that would only come up if there was something terribly wrong with the rat already. So long as there's adequate healthy food, plenty of water, play time, and stuff to keep them busy, they should be okay. (If anyone has experience to the contrary, please feel free to correct me on the frequency of this issue.)

    Some of ours have been gleeful chewers of just about everything (including brand new drapes that got too close to the DCN), while others have stuck to cardboard and wood gnaws. We've used cloth bedding for the better part of sixteen years, and nobody has eaten fabric yet.
     
  10. Jun 13, 2018 #10

    jorats

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    lol I remember when I first got rats, I would constantly be thinking about them and what else I can get them.
     
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  11. Jul 4, 2018 #11

    allie

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    :p That sentence cracked me up! You used "rat" as a verb and it struck me as hilarious and a great way to describe caring for rats :D
     
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  12. Jul 4, 2018 #12

    RatsDrawBlood

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    1. Hi I remember a few people had a similar user photo to mine, I'm the one who was seeing if I'd find here the answers to my questions & be able to provide for the baby rat. Whether I'd pull it off didn't depend on what response I'd get to this post you replied to. Or if it meant you were asking me if I can help with what you were saying you're confused about, no, not knowing how to rat was my reason for coming to this site recently to ask if things I've been reading on the Internet are true. If there was someone who said they know anything about how to rat, it was someone else, but yeah the experts here that give advice would never tell anyone to do anything, they help people who need info on what to do. I don't know if I want to become a rat person someday, since I've no experience with ratting. The people I've read stuff by (who say what's required) don't agree with each other, so I believe whichever of the opinions that I saw was written the most often (e.g., about bars not being what causes bumblefoot - but I keep the ramp's cover on it just in case). And no I'm sure no one thought you're holier or snarkyish. You're good, ask away! :)
     
  13. Jul 4, 2018 #13

    allie

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    [QUOTE="RatsDrawBlood, post: 495050, member: 5893"
    The people I've read stuff by (who say what's required) don't agree with each other, so I believe whichever of the opinions that I saw was written the most often (e.g., about bars not being what causes bumblefoot - but I keep the ramp's cover on it just in case).
    [/QUOTE]

    That is so true. I have tried my darndest to do as much researching as humanly possible and I have found an unbelievable amount of conflicting information, to the point where I became even more unsure of how to rat (my new favorite expression) than I was before I even started trying to learn!

    Some say only use Carefresh type bedding, some say definitely don't, use pine instead, then no because pine is bad too. Some say slow trust training is the right way to tame, some say you just have to pick them up quick and force them to be near you and that trust training is too stressful...and it goes on and on into every aspect imaginable from cage stuff to health and behavior stuff and everything in between. Its exhausting!
     
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  14. Jul 5, 2018 #14

    SQ

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    True but don't believe whatever is repeated the most often ….. I have heard some really incorrect and dangerous info repeated on rat owners sites/groups by the majority of people. Sometimes it is old info that people shared for years but more recent info showed that it is incorrect or actually harms rats etc. Also, people have preferences and have different ways of doing things …. no way of doing things is perfect.

    Sometimes people decide to do things that are easy or makes sense to them because they don't know better; because the rat doesn't die, they think it is good and share it with others.
    For example many people feed rats unhealthy treats that contain added sugar, etc - sugar feeds cancer ….. and the popular yogis are pretty much all sugar ….. most processed food sold for people is full of sugar or artificial sweeteners that are even worse health wise. Research shows that rats need low protien, and it is best if it comes from plant sources yet most people on the internet seem to feed their rats the opposite of this.

    When I was new to rats I researched, read books, and found a site that had quite a few members that were experienced and knowledgeable about rats (that site no longer exists but many of the members joined this group after one of the very experienced and knowledgeable members - Jorats - started the ratshack). Experience, unfortunately, can also be a good teacher. When I got 3 baby rats, I thought I was well informed and prepared. I soon found out how wrong I was and fortunately had experienced rat owners on that site to help, and provide useful suggestions. approx. 14 years later and I am still learning ….. I think that is really important, to be open to learning new things.

    Ratguide.com is a vet approved site for rat owners so it is an important resource imo

    As for bedding, some people use carefresh, some don't. Some people have reported that it is too dusty, some people have reported that some types/colours are less dusty then others. Softwood shavings (pine, cedar, etc) are not safe. They contain chemicals that react with urine and will cause lung damage and organ damage over time. Some people say that pine shavings are safe if they were kiln dried. Many people use an unscented (scent can cause illness) pelleted paper in their litter boxes - for example, many people use unscented yesterdays news. Many people use material to cover the bottom of their cages … imo the most important thing is to not use items (like towels) that they can get their toes caught in. BTW corn cob bedding can cause health issues if used when the air is dry, such as in the winter - there are also several other concerns about using it.
    The ratguide discusses bedding and you might want to see what it has to say http://ratguide.com/care/environment/cage_bedding_litter.php

    I hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  15. Jul 5, 2018 #15

    SQ

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    Solid floors do not need to be covered but they are easier to keep clean if they are
    People were making or buying fleece floor covers for their cages but found they get quite smelly and fleece is not as great for this as people had hoped ….. so more recently people have started making floor and balcony covers out of liners consisting of a U-haul pad with fleece sewn over it …. I believe that the idea is that urine will pass through the fleece and be absorbed by the u-haul liner
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  16. Jul 5, 2018 #16

    allie

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    Thanks SQ I haven't heard of that website, I'm a fan of JoinRats.com, thats where I learn the most besides here and now I will check out RatGuide as well.

    On the note of fleece bedding not being absorbent enough, I have seen some people on YouTube that sew fleece and a towel together, with the towel being on the underside when it's in the cage, so the pee would go through the fleece and absorb into the towel below. In your opinion is this too risky because the rats could chew through into the towel and then get caught in the strings?
     
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