first rat! can't wait!

All other topics relating to rat care which have not been covered above
Post Reply
midnight
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:42 pm

first rat! can't wait!

Post by midnight » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:13 pm

Well I'm getting my first rat next week, a jumper. I've never had rats before but I have had mice, hamsters and gerbils but never rats. The mom is a feeder rat that's not really tame and is quite mean the dad is a super gorgeous fancy rat that's the sweetest little cutesypie under the sun. I'm not sure what the babykins temperament will be like, he bought the dad from a breeder but the mom came from a pets shop. I got a nice big cage with narrow bars and a good strong latch have a water bottle, perfect bedding, little hidey hole igloo, a food bowl that hooks to the side of the cage so his food doesn't get wasted too much, crawling pipes and a wheel to run in. I'm quite excited to get her but I'm kinda freaked out that she can bite me. Would it be a good idea to get a rabies vaccine before getting the rat? Does enyone have any tips on how to get it used to me and treats she might like. I'm pretty nervous but excited too. I've always wanted a pet rat. Any advice is super welcome 8-D

User avatar
cyber ratty
Fancy Rats Team
Posts: 6058
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Location: South Cambridgeshire
Contact:

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by cyber ratty » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:06 pm

Rats need the companionship of other rats, so you should get two or three rather than just one. Could you get some from a breeder instead?

If the rats you get aren't tame, then leave their cage layout very open, don't put hidey holes in, fill it with flat hammocks and ropes and an open basket as a bed. You can begin taming them by putting them inside your clothing (wear a loose top or dressing gown) and either walk around or sit down with them for at least 20 minutes at a time. Let them get used to your smell and the fact that you are a safe place, and gently stroke them or just leave your hand nestled next to them at first. They will gradually come round. :luck:

I'm guessing you're not in the UK, so I'm afraid I have no idea about the need for a rabies vaccination.

midnight
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:42 pm

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by midnight » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:43 pm

Thanks. That was pretty helpful. It was sort of a last minute decision lol he had gotten homes for all the others and wanted to give this little girl to my cousin, who wanted to score a free meal for his snakes. Just couldn't bare the thought of her getting the life squeezed out of her and being swallowed whole, it just zonked me out so I offered to buy her. She's the cutest thing on this planet lol. Suppose I could get her a friend from a breeder or if they don't have maybe swing by the pet store. See if they have a little girl that is more or less the same age. How does one introduce two jumpers to each other? The cage is large enough for about rats so guess 2 girls should be pretty happy.

Feline
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:31 pm

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by Feline » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:38 pm

If you get them young enough they should be freaked out enough to bond in a new scared environment- just be sure they are both female :lol:

User avatar
Stovokor
Posts: 1116
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by Stovokor » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:00 am

What are jumpers exactly?

midnight
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:42 pm

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by midnight » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:16 pm

I suppose you could call it a stage of growth. When a rat is born its a pinky, when its eyes open and it has a fine baby coat its a fuzzy. Then when its weaned and independant of the mother but still too young to be called an adult they are jumpers. Its this stage of life that most of them seem to fancy themselves acrobats and randomly see how high or far they can leap hence the term jumpers. Most mice and rats are sold to petshops when they are jumpers. Well atleast here in south africa they are.

User avatar
Squirrel
Posts: 2709
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:03 am
Location: London

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by Squirrel » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:07 am

Rats in the US don't need a rabies vaccine. Since they are caged animals, they are not at risk of being bitten by a rabies carrier wild animal. Any road, my hubby never had his rats in the US vaccinated. I'm not sure if there is even a rabies dose for pet rats.

When you get the other girl, try a 'bonding pouch' which you wear around your neck. Put both girls in and they should get used to being around you, your smell etc. I'm sure you can get them on eBay and Amazon.

Make sure you use a litter that isn't sawdust-based, like CareFresh, as this doesn't irritate the rats' delicate respiratory systems. You can also then 'scatter-feed' by sprinkling the rat food in amongst the litter to recreate natural foraging behaviour.

User avatar
Stovokor
Posts: 1116
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by Stovokor » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:24 pm

Squirrel wrote: Make sure you use a litter that isn't sawdust-based, like CareFresh, as this doesn't irritate the rats' delicate respiratory systems. You can also then 'scatter-feed' by sprinkling the rat food in amongst the litter to recreate natural foraging behaviour.
Carefresh is virgin wood pulp, not sawdust.

User avatar
Squirrel
Posts: 2709
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:03 am
Location: London

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by Squirrel » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:48 pm

Stovokor wrote:
Squirrel wrote: Make sure you use a litter that isn't sawdust-based, like CareFresh, as this doesn't irritate the rats' delicate respiratory systems. You can also then 'scatter-feed' by sprinkling the rat food in amongst the litter to recreate natural foraging behaviour.
Carefresh is virgin wood pulp, not sawdust.
I was quoting an example of a litter that isn't sawdust that you can use, hence the comma before the word 'like.' Sorry if that wasn't clear.

We usually use Biocalolet but I don't know if you can get that in the USA, but you can definitely get Carefresh.

User avatar
Jem Q
Posts: 1685
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:04 pm
Location: Bedford
Contact:

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by Jem Q » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:10 am

OP is in South Africa, not USA?

User avatar
cyber ratty
Fancy Rats Team
Posts: 6058
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am
Location: South Cambridgeshire
Contact:

Re: first rat! can't wait!

Post by cyber ratty » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:35 pm

...also, carefresh is an irritant for some rats anyway.

Midnight - look for a good quality substrate that is marketed for horse, as it's usually dust extracted. Here in the UK, we can get shredded/chopped cardboard beddings which are good for most rats/owners.

btw - if you pop South Africa in your profile location then that will make it easier for people to give you appropriate advice. ;)

midnight wrote:How does one introduce two jumpers to each other?
Young rats (under 3 months) will be fine together, just pop them in a carrier for a couple of hours, then put them into their new cage.

Post Reply

Return to “Other care”