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Wondering whether to upsize from mice Watch

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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I'm not sure whether to trust the cage size calculator, I posted on page one the Ferplast Jenny cage (80x50x79.5cm) which according to the calculator is supposed to hold 5 rats. Yet users said it's probably a little small for two rats. So I'm a little puzzled there, obviously bigger is better when it comes to homes. And I guess it's common sense with furnishing the cage use shatter resistant plastics and no paints that might be toxic.

    I'm not a fan of pet shops anyway, you always see the animals in them no doubt bred under factory conditions. There's a good pet shop round the corner from where I live that doesn't sell the animals themselves but always has a good stock of food, cages, and toys. I'd like to find a responsible breeder or adopt some rescue ratties ideally, although I haven't had much luck finding a breeder in the areas where I live and the rescue shelter says they're usually snapped up pretty quickly because they tame them before re-homing.

    I think I'll join the forums and bash away with a few queries
    Hi

    List of breeders - http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...orum.php?f=121

    Rehoming board - http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...fb6c317eff90e9

    Rescues - http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...orum.php?f=120

    i'm so glad you're against pet shops animals. There's a thread somewhere on fancy rats where someone actually went round a breeder who supplied pet shops and it was appalling. The mothers were bread from repeatedly, and kept in tiny plastic boxes, and picked up by their tails, and when they were no longer any good, they were killed. Another downside is that pet shop rats are much more likely to be ill and die younger, and buying them just means more rats will have to go through this terrible abuse.

    The cage calculator is not dead on, as it depends also on how much shelf space/hammocks you have. I've had a jenny, and I think a maximum of three rats, as long as you had a lot of space above the floor.
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I'm not sure whether to trust the cage size calculator, I posted on page one the Ferplast Jenny cage (80x50x79.5cm) which according to the calculator is supposed to hold 5 rats. Yet users said it's probably a little small for two rats. So I'm a little puzzled there, obviously bigger is better when it comes to homes. And I guess it's common sense with furnishing the cage use shatter resistant plastics and no paints that might be toxic.

    I'm not a fan of pet shops anyway, you always see the animals in them no doubt bred under factory conditions. There's a good pet shop round the corner from where I live that doesn't sell the animals themselves but always has a good stock of food, cages, and toys. I'd like to find a responsible breeder or adopt some rescue ratties ideally, although I haven't had much luck finding a breeder in the areas where I live and the rescue shelter says they're usually snapped up pretty quickly because they tame them before re-homing.

    I think I'll join the forums and bash away with a few queries
    I have a breeders list from the NFRS, which I can send you if you like?
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    (Original post by Little Weed)
    Hi

    List of breeders - http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...orum.php?f=121

    Rehoming board - http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...fb6c317eff90e9

    Rescues - http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/communit...orum.php?f=120

    i'm so glad you're against pet shops animals. There's a thread somewhere on fancy rats where someone actually went round a breeder who supplied pet shops and it was appalling. The mothers were bread from repeatedly, and kept in tiny plastic boxes, and picked up by their tails, and when they were no longer any good, they were killed. Another downside is that pet shop rats are much more likely to be ill and die younger, and buying them just means more rats will have to go through this terrible abuse.

    The cage calculator is not dead on, as it depends also on how much shelf space/hammocks you have. I've had a jenny, and I think a maximum of three rats, as long as you had a lot of space above the floor.
    I'm very dead set against the sale of animals in pet shops, I used to be heavily in involved with campaigns against factory farming and breeders for shops still am actually Helped out on SARC's prosecute Porter campaign which successfully managed to shut down Philip Porter's breeding operations and got a shop Furry Friends to stop selling animals http://www.sarconline.co.uk/porter/index.html

    I'm think i might get two cages and do a conversion, someone offered me a large chinchilla cage they're no longer using and I could get another and convert it into one. Plenty of space to run around and hide then
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I'm very dead set against the sale of animals in pet shops, I used to be heavily in involved with campaigns against factory farming and breeders for shops still am actually Helped out on SARC's prosecute Porter campaign which successfully managed to shut down Philip Porter's breeding operations and got a shop Furry Friends to stop selling animals http://www.sarconline.co.uk/porter/index.html

    I'm think i might get two cages and do a conversion, someone offered me a large chinchilla cage they're no longer using and I could get another and convert it into one. Plenty of space to run around and hide then
    Oh my god, so is he banned from keeping/breeding any animal now or what? And how come he hasn't had his shop taken off him!!
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    (Original post by Little Weed)
    Oh my god, so is he banned from keeping/breeding any animal now or what? And how come he hasn't had his shop taken off him!!
    I take it from your omg you watched the video? Unfortunately he hasn't been banned from keeping animals because of an incompetent RSPCA officer who failed to document the charges, she even went so far as to say she's never visited the farm despite Porter himself saying she was on the premises and the fact that SARC have video evidence of themselves and her visiting the farm :/

    With the RSPCA not doing their jobs we acted to remove the animals ourselves unfortunately the police in all their incompetent glory arrested some of us and took the animals back to Porter. Luckily though a vet who we took some of the animals to testified of the horrific injuries some of the animals had, and at this time we also uncovered that Porter did not have a valid breeding license which allowed the RSPCA and council to order the closure of the breeding operation.

    He tried to stock Furry Friends with animals from another breeder but a group of us maintained 24 hour protests outside his shop and home address until he agreed to stop selling animals all together. We still go back and check from time to time to make sure he hasn't got any live animals for sale and to make sure he isn't trying to illegally breed any animals too. So far the news has been good for the past 3 years

    Unfortunately it's very difficult to prosecute people in this country for animal cruelty even with video evidence and expert witnesses like vets on our side. And then the police wonder why we take it upon ourselves to rescue animals from places of cruelty, if they did their jobs and upheld the law we wouldn't have to do it.

    Any way this is a bit of a sidetrack lol :p:
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I was intending to replace any exposed wire with plastic platforms and tubes when I got one like I did for my mice, and those metal wheels look like death traps if they ever misplaced a foot :/

    What are rats like with chewing, would I probably have to replace platforms frequently due to chewing? Or would wooden toys and rat ropes maybe take the urge away.
    I would assume that if they had enough things to do in their enclosure then chewing would be pretty non existant. Rats are very clever creatures and need to be given something to do to prevent boredom which will be noticable by chewing. Make sure they have something to wear their teeth down with too as they grow non stop so giving them some hard veg [like carrot/broccoli stalk] will help.
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    Just saw this thread. I would definetly recommend rats as pets; I have one right now (bought a pair originally but one died recently of a tumour in his lung) and he is extremely sweet!
    As mentioned, tumours are quite common in older rats as are upper respiratory infections. But generally they're sturdy little things, can become very close companions and seem to have big personalities. I've also been told over and over again that they're perfect for first-time pet owners as they're not too difficult to look after.
    They have long been my favourite pet to own, they're definetly worth the effort.

    Heh, has anyone seen the video on Youtube of the scientist who proves that rats laugh/giggle when they get tickled? Amazing.
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    (Original post by LDVet)
    Just saw this thread. I would definetly recommend rats as pets; I have one right now (bought a pair originally but one died recently of a tumour in his lung) and he is extremely sweet!
    As mentioned, tumours are quite common in older rats as are upper respiratory infections. But generally they're sturdy little things, can become very close companions and seem to have big personalities. I've also been told over and over again that they're perfect for first-time pet owners as they're not too difficult to look after.
    They have long been my favourite pet to own, they're definetly worth the effort.

    Heh, has anyone seen the video on Youtube of the scientist who proves that rats laugh/giggle when they get tickled? Amazing.
    I see everyone is really plugging the rat idea

    Are the vet bills particularly expensive for tumour removal and antibiotics for respiratory infections? I remember getting my mouse treated for an infection and it was £14 yet for my dog it was more like £65.

    I've seen the tickling video :yes: They're definately very emotional creatures. I find the ones where rats have bonded with cats rather interesting, especially the one where the cat is following the rat around and grooming it. My cat used to do that to my guinea pigs so I wonder if she'd get along with rats...
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    Yeah give rats a try. They seem to have a bad stereotype which isn't really true. My brother has rats and they're good. I walk past the cage and they do their best to try and reach to you from within the cage. The rats seem to act more like dogs, sniffing your fingers (then each other) and licking them when you put them through a cage as my brother and dad has done.
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    The tumours in my rats have always occurred at quite an old age (2.5-3 years) so it's been too risky to remove them under anaesthetic. Considering that they are small animals and therefore require less anaesthetic etc, the operation wouldn't be too costly for what you're getting (ie it would be worth the money).
    As for the antibiotics, they're not expensive at all (or at least not where I am).
    I got Baytril to give to one of my rats over the course of about a week, as well as several injections, a checkup and a mucolytic powder to clear up his cough all for around £10-15.
    I changed his bedding to wood pellets (researched into the best rat bedding, apparently the stuff I was using wasn't suitable for rats but for other small animals) and now his cough has gone and he's enjoying life. So the URIs aren't too difficult to handle in my experience.

    Oh, I should also mention that it's probably best to get the rats in pairs. They're very social animals after all. It's been mentioned a few times here but I thought I would stress it.

    Edit: Hehe I thought I would mention that my rat has taken to licking peoples' faces, much like a dog. He licks their cheeks for what seems like no reason. Very sweet personalities.
    Also, we've taken to bathing him recently and found that he love love loves the water! You can actually buy pine-scented shampoo to massage through their fur. Just a nice thing for ratties to experience.
    And lastly, I only have experience keeping male rats. All of them have been really affectionate little guys though. If you get them while they're young, they do have a few wee fights occasionally as they begin to reach sexual maturity (which would be solved by neutering them), but I've found that it doesn't last for too long and eventually they calm down again without any intervention (surgical or otherwise). No agression is displayed towards us, it's just a display of dominance between themselves really.
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    If you have the space then rats are definitely worth looking at
    at the moment I have gerbils and mice and I think these are the pets i'll continue to keep for a long time.
    obviously you know all about mice but here's my 2p on gerbils
    pros -
    don't need a huge amount of space, but will appreciate it
    very entertaining
    don't sleep all day and stay awake all night. they just wake up when they feel like it.
    they are desert animals so eat and drink very little
    toilet are can be cleaned out weekly, while other areas can be left for roughly a month before needing a clean.
    past the cost of cages, they are very cheap to keep.

    cons
    can be loud

    personally for mine's cage I have a few tanks and rotastak units all connected to each other with various beddings in the different areas, I can watch them for hours after I rearrange it because they just run around for hours moving things around. even stuff like introducing a new bedding type can lead to hours of entertainment for them.
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    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I was looking at rats on several sites, I have a friend who keeps rats and I was quite surprised at how inquisitive and friendly they are. She'd taught them to play fetch and return to the cage when they heard a clicker noise. Plus you have the added comfort when they're running around that they're quite sizeable so easier to scoop up when they run off.

    I've heard they're quite fussy when it comes to the size of cages though and especially seeing as you're supposed to keep at least two together. I'd be worried about territory space and scrapping if it was too small for them. You had three rats, what sort of size cage did you have?

    Is this big enough for two? Although I'd change it slightly and add a wheel and rat hammock.

    That's a perfectly sized cage for two rats. It's actually made to fit upto 9 rats with adequate shelving to add extra floor space, though I wouldn't neccesarily reccomend that.

    I had five rats living in one of those before, I currently have two rats in mine and they have more than enough space. I reccomend rats as pets, they're really lovely animals to have around and it's surprising how much a part of the family they become!

    ETA; A few things to note with rats, make sure you use paper-based beddings as wood-based ones can cause nasty respiratory problems (I found this out through experience, not nice) and also don't give citrus fruits to male rats as for some reason it's really not good for them.
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    rats make lovely pets
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    That cage isn't suitable because of the wire flooring- they'll get bumblefoot if you aren't careful.

    http://www.petcentreonline.co.uk/eco...oduct~1053.htm

    Something like that is more suitable but obviously try to find something cheaper!
    Also try to get plastic ramps as opposed to the wire ramps just to avoid bumblefoot again. It's better to be on the safe side
    Please would you stop spreading lies about a subject you obviously have little knowledge in. The cage is more than big enough for two rats and bumblefoot is not caused by wire flooring, it's been disproved before.
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    (Original post by Fawn)
    Please would you stop spreading lies about a subject you obviously have little knowledge in. The cage is more than big enough for two rats and bumblefoot is not caused by wire flooring, it's been disproved before.
    Wow. Ok. I'd be willing to say that if you had to walk around on wire for the whole of your life then you would suffer from foot problems of some kind- it's definitely inhumane even if there isn't a name for the foot problems.
    Why limit the size of the cage? If you can get a bigger one then surely you should.
    Have you got a link for this disproval of bumblefoot caused by wire cages?
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    Wow. Ok. I'd be willing to say that if you had to walk around on wire for the whole of your life then you would suffer from foot problems of some kind- it's definitely inhumane even if there isn't a name for the foot problems.
    Why limit the size of the cage? If you can get a bigger one then surely you should.
    Have you got a link for this disproval of bumblefoot caused by wire cages?
    Bumblefoot is caused by soiled bedding, aging, obesity and genetics. I can't find a link at this moment in time but it's a common myth that rats get it from wired flooring. Rats run on their tip toes and bumblefoot is effects the heels of their feet. I'm certain in the wild the poor little rats feet won't have little shoes to protect them :rolleyes:

    Bumblefoot can be reduced by cleaning the cage thoroughly & properly. Certainly a softer flooring would be good if the rat already suffers from bumblefoot.

    There is limiting and then there is giving out false truths. That cage is perfectly acceptable for up to 4 or 5 rats, stating that it's too small for 2 is ridiculous. Larger cages incur large costs, let alone having to modify chinchilla cages with extra floors to prevent injuries from large falls.

    On the subject of wheels; make sure it is a plastic one (wired ones can trap the tail) also note that a lot of rats will just ignore it and never use it for anything more than a bed.

    Please, do not bring humanity into the subject of rats. Yes, I love the little blighters, but they're rats afterall and giving them human qualities can only lead to the madness that will restrict their lives. They are hardy little creatures.
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    (Original post by LDVet)
    Just saw this thread. I would definetly recommend rats as pets; I have one right now (bought a pair originally but one died recently of a tumour in his lung) and he is extremely sweet!
    have you considered getting a mate for your lone rat, as it really is best to not house them alone? maybe a rescue of the same age?

    (Original post by Antifazian)
    ETA; A few things to note with rats, make sure you use paper-based beddings as wood-based ones can cause nasty respiratory problems (I found this out through experience, not nice) and also don't give citrus fruits to male rats as for some reason it's really not good for them.
    The D-limonene in citrus fruits and mangoes causes cancer in males.
    And for bedding completely paper is best, as 'paper based' often is made up with dusty products such a clay. Beddings which are popular with rat owners are Ecopetbed (my personal choice), Finacard, and Hemcore.
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    (Original post by Little Weed)
    have you considered getting a mate for your lone rat, as it really is best to not house them alone? maybe a rescue of the same age?
    Yes, I have definetly considered it because I know that they are social animals. There are a few issues with the other members of my family being allergic to the rat (so they probably wouldn't tolerate me getting another one) and I'm not sure how he would react to me adding another strange rat to the cage. He does seem quite laid back and happy at the moment, and I do spend a lot of time with him but I know that my company can't compensate for the lack of interaction with other rats.
    I'm researching into it though; hopefully it will work out. :yep:
 
 
 
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