Why and how did you start keeping rats?

Discussion in 'General Rat Chat & Photos' started by SQ, Jul 23, 2019.

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  1. Jul 23, 2019 #1

    SQ

    SQ

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    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    There was a similar post in 2008 and I thought having a new one would be a great idea :)
     
  2. Sep 4, 2019 #2

    Crosscutter

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    My daughter wanted pet rats but her mom said "sure as long as they are not here". Well that didnt fly with me so i said she could keep them at my house. We started in Nov 2018 with 3 pew girls. Obviously they ended up being my ratties as she couldnt see them unless she was here with me. Our rattie has grown quite a bit since then.
     
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  3. Sep 4, 2019 #3

    RoyalDragons

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    Oddly enough I had been looking up Ferret care videos -as I really wanted some; still do- and in the recommended list was one about Rats so I decided to click on it. Until that point I'd never really thought of Rats as pets, didn't see them as pests either though, so I found it interesting. I watched more Rat videos then decided I wanted a pair. Eventually, it slowly slipped my mind till I came back to both Ferrets and Rats before finally getting my first trio about a year(?) later. Very glad I did, these crazy monkeys are some of my favourite creatures :D
     
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  4. Sep 13, 2019 #4

    jorats

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    Back in 2001, I wanted something different as a pet. I wanted a small critter in a cage but definitely not hamsters. I did some research for about a year and finally on my birthday in January of 2002, I had my first two boys. For the next 15 years, I rescued, fostered, transported hundreds of rats. But it had to come to an end, my vet fund was depleted but one day, I'll have them again. I miss them so much.
     
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  5. Sep 27, 2019 #5

    TheFatRatGirl

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    When I was 11 my syrian, Princess, passed away and, a few months later, I asked if I could get another hamster. My dad responded with, 'why don't you get rats this time? Your uncle had two and they were really great pets'. I distinctly remember saying 'eeeewwww, daaad. RATS have slimy tails, I don't want rats!'. He must have talked me around because we watched some Youtube videos together (this was back in 2007, I think we watched every rat video that had been uploaded at that point!). I was obviously persuaded, because we started looking into their care and then found some babies for sale about an hour away. I remember it was a really lovely lady who had a bunch of rescue animals and she'd taken in a pregnant rat and the cage she was keeping her in was a converted bird cage that seemed humongous at the time! It was the corner type that went almost from the floor to the ceiling. I also remember she told my little brother she had a monkey in the kitchen and we believed her! The babies were out on the arm of the sofa and I picked two from the three (one of them was staying as a friend for the mumma). I called them Maisy and Miley and that was the start of it. After 19 rats I had to take a break from getting anymore so i could go to Uni, but now i have two girls again which is how it all started last time. God knows I'll have ten of them by the end of the year if no one stops me! :')
     
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  6. Sep 27, 2019 #6

    jorats

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    I really like that your dad convinced you. Such a nice story. :)
     
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  7. Sep 29, 2019 #7

    FemineaDea

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    My first two who lived to be little grannies, I got from the wildlife rescue I use to work at. Someone wanted to get rid of them, and figured we could use them as food They were the sweetest girls in the world, especially Ophelia, she instantly became my heart rat, my little soul mate. Miss her everyday. These girls led to more rescues , only this time it was three boys. One was a nudie whom we lovingly named Professor Franklin VonWrinkleston
     
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  8. Sep 29, 2019 #8

    Rocket99

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    Had a GF who wanted a pet for companionship, but pet store insisted she get 2, rather than 1 rats, and rightfully so. 1 suffocated from a syringe dosing in her arms, and the other, who took to me more, lived to old age but got chronic URI and was gasping before she finally let me PTS. Not long after that initial introduction to the wonders of pet rats, a woman on Facebook who I had met through a rat group needed to re-home her 4 pet rats. When I saw them in a tiny 1' x 2' x 1' cage I just couldn't say no. I found them I giant cage built for a McCaw, and made a shelf for them. They won me over in short time, with Opie stealing my heart. After all 4 had passed I got 2 babies, 1 of which changed my life forever. Soon after I decided to take in fosters from a rescue, but I almost exclusively only accept hospice or behavioral cases. Basically, all the fosters I receive are at their forever home, and are treated on a case by case basis considering several factors, but as it pertains to life threatening situations, they are all given the best and fairest treatment, with only current overall health and age playing a deciding role in the course of action. Ok, well, I have anywhere from 4 to 12 rats at any given time, which doesn't seem to be a lot, but when virtually ALL of them are in some sort of adverse situation, mainly health or behavioral, it becomes quite overbearing at times, especially when they are all on many different meds. But I love them all dearly and spend many nights up all night with one who is probably counting down his days. I give them everything vi can. I always will. Lord knows they missed out on a lot of the good things prior to being rescued. So they deserve everything I can do for them, especially in their final days.
     
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  9. Sep 30, 2019 #9

    YukieNakama

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    I worked as a researcher. I understood the difference between what was needed for cancer research but I really loved the little guys. After completing college, I always wanted pet rats of my own. I went to pick up pet food at a pet store and saw them and decided to pick up two babies. Originally we bought a small wire cage that was for hamsters/gerbils. About 4 months later, we converted a 2 story ferret cage into a home. I found that my babies liked the little plastic trays you get from organizational drawers so I would put protectors in them. We only recently (within the last month or so), got a few hammocks for them.
    Rat ages: 1 is 2.5 years old, 3 are 2 years old, 2 are 1 years old, 1 8mths, and 2 that are 7 weeks old. I had two others (they were closer to 2-3) but they died. I bought all but 4 of my rats at pet stores/breeders for reptiles. 2 of my rats are rescues and 2 I recently got from someone nearby who breeds rats. I picked up my first 2 rats about 3 years ago.
     
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  10. Oct 2, 2019 #10

    Sabz

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    Heard they were good pets in 2008, gave it a try... Started with 2 and now have 25 with 3 double Critter nations IMG_20190930_204940.jpg IMG_20190923_194503.jpg
     

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  11. Oct 2, 2019 #11

    Rocket99

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    Wow, I have 2 Triple Critter Nations and I thought I had no space. Lol
     
  12. Oct 2, 2019 #12

    RatsRule

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    I got rats when I turned twelve. I was convincing my mom to get a dog and she talked it down to a mouse. (I was sooo excited because she had said we were never getting pets ever again since my dog died) it had been 5 years since my dog and my mom regrets her saying yes hahaaa. I've had 4 rats in the past and now have 1. She's great, her name in Pine needle. She can't have cagemates because she tries to attack them all. works out for my mom who said she didn't want more than one. (we convinced her otherwise lol) Anywho, Pine is living her best life, chew toys, hideyholes, food and waters, wheel, a ball, blankets, litter box and all. we love her and she loves eating stuff!
     
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  13. Oct 3, 2019 #13

    ViciousCurse

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    Growing up, I'd heard the expected "rats are gross and nasty" sort of things. I took those sentiments to heart at first, saying I'd never get rats, never want any, etc. However, I had always thought mice were super cute and I had hamsters ever since I was 7.

    Fast forward to my senior year of high school. I've realized my passion in life is animals, whether furred, feathered, scaled, or otherwise. I've chosen my career as a Biology major. I have and have had a ton of pets at that point. Lizards, a snake, a bird, etc.

    One day, I'm on Google for fun, for whatever reason. Not quite sure what. I stumble across a picture of a pet rat and immediately fall in love. My "dislike" for rats as a child melted away. I wanted a rat. Well, after about six hours of reading up on pet rats, watching videos, I was convinced. I wanted rats.

    I then spent the next six months convincing my grandparents (lived with my grandma and grandpa) to let me get rats. I wrote a paper, showed them videos, etc. I was rather shameless lol. Still am. They finally said yes after a while lol.

    I found a breeder and took home my first three in April of 2016. Amun, Gideon, and Maddox. I thought for sure I'd never meet my heart rat, but Gideon was quick to squash that assumption. Helped Amun get over his shyness and made sure to shower Maddox in love the rare moments he wanted my attention.

    Of course, I got a few more lol. Started with three, currently at seven, and I don't plan on stopping, even with my first three now quietly sitting in an urn beside my dog (who passed away in October of 2016).

    Grandma totally regrets saying yes, lol. Until she sees how they happy they make me.
     
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  14. Oct 4, 2019 #14

    Zesana

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    Wow. Let me think back that far. My first pet was a gerbil and I loved it and did really well with it, I was pretty young. And wanted something bigger, but didn't really know what or much of anything since I was a kid and this was before internet was big or easy to access and use. Anyways one day my mom brought home this big boy rat named Dusty from a local lab that did non chemical type testing (I can't remember what kind of testing they did since it was super long ago). But that was my first, he was already about 2 years old I think, maybe 1.5 years old and looked like a furry black and white pear and I just loved him. I didn't know then that they should be kept in pairs, but he spent about 90% of his time when I was at home out of his cage with me, only time he was in the cage was bedtime and when I was at school.
    He eventually passed away, and I ended up picking up a pair of girls next that I named peaches and cream, and they were less cuddly but had so much spunk, they would wrong around on the floor and chase ping pong balls. Those two and Dusty were what really got me hooked. After they passed I went a while without and then in 2006 I again got 2 little girls, named Noodle and Meeka... so yea.... I've been in love with rats since I was a kid, I'm hoping to bring home 2 or 3 boys in a few weeks if all goes according to plan.
     
  15. Oct 18, 2019 #15

    Evermore

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    My husband and I looked into getting ferrets instead, though lived in an apartment and decided the smell in the small space may be unwise. We would revisit this idea when we bought a house. But... I didn't last that long. As I was researching ferrets, I stumbled onto tons of info on rats. When my sister's guinea pigs passed, she was debating another rodent but couldn't decide. I started bombarding her with all the rat stuff I recently learned, and she was sold.

    Then I met her rats, and my husband met her rats, and he was like "Yeah, let's do this."

    Less than 2 weeks later I had a Double CN, supplies, and we were on our way to get our first pair of rats from PetSmart. Those girls lived from May 2017 to August and October 2019 respectively. Now I have one of my sister's first rats (born late 2016), since her cage-mate died of a pituitary tumor and she was all alone (decided she could live with our girls). Obviously I didn't want her to be alone again (she has now lost 3 cage-mates), so we contacted the Ottawa Rat Rescue and adopted two babies just a couple of weeks ago.

    Never looking back. Going to keep adopting/getting our rats via rescue. Love 'em so dang much.
     
  16. Oct 19, 2019 #16

    schpier

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    I am on a mission of caring for rats as a result of my precocious childhood. Since about 4 yrs old, I wanted to become a surgeon. My father encouraged that, and I ( with his help) started to do surgical procedures on rats. They all received anaesthesia which I developed and they all survived. They were always kept on as pets. Some included open heart surgery.

    While in medical school, I performed numerous adrenalectomy surgeries on rats as part of a research project.
    Now, I recognize the behaviour as being unnecessarily cruel and I have made it my responsibility to make amends by dedicating my life to helping them. I am also a vegetarian and am very anti any form of animal- based research.
     
  17. Oct 20, 2019 #17

    DanielZielwolf

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    My brother who was living with me got a female rat from a shop for $5.00 back in 2001, a very sweet albino. None of us knew anything about rats & he kept her in his room in a cage that was much too small, by herself and he was a smoker too. The poor thing was self harming after a few weeks, scratching herself till she was bleeding out of frustration and boredom. I expressed my deep concern and he basically handed her over to me. I moved her cage to the kitchen but when I tried to place her in it she started squealing like crazy. So I just let her be. She took up a spot on the couch in the living room and lived there for the rest of her life, just went to her cage to eat. We bonded incredibly. Unfortunately it was the very early days of Google and I just didn't know rats must have company of their own kind and have health issues with mycoplasmosis. She still lived for about 2 years though and got heaps of attention from us. One day I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up she was on my chest, passed away. I cried for a week. Didn't get more rats until 2016 when I got a pair of boys. Since then I've been adopting and fostering from a local rat rescue organisation. This is the current mischief.
    IMG20191016001717.jpg
     

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