Getting Rats

By Juliette

I recently got rats, and I want to tell you all about it. I am truly enchanted by my smart little guys - Fang and Fluffy - they are such characters. I know there is no end to things I could read about rats, so I thought I would contribute to the rat world by documenting my journey!

How I Became Obsessed With Rats 

I sat down to watch some hamster videos on YouTube as I often do, and was automatically moved onto a video about rats. Laziness kept me watching, and I started to learn how smart, cute and friendly they can be. I have a friend who raved about her rats so I chatted to her and she encouraged me to go for it.  I felt that I would be an excellent rat mother, and that we had space in our home for rats alongside our gorgeous hamster Mariella.

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The next few weeks were a blur of rat-based research, discovering all the things I needed to take into account, including but not limited to:

  • A cage
  • Food
  • Toys and cage enrichment, in particular hammocks, ledges and ropes
  • Do we have enough time for rats?
  • Do we have enough money for rats, including food, bedding and particularly vet bills?
  • Is this a ridiculous decision?

After much soul searching I started purchasing, starting with a cage which I can fit in. I then had a look around for breeders and rescues, and eventually found two glorious little lads that someone was rehoming via gumtree. The advertiser agreed that we could take them, and that was it! I set up my cage and made my way to Chessington to get our lads.

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Life With The Rats 

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We brought them home in a little carrier and they quickly cosied themselves into the bedding and were happy to have their heads scritched. At one point we parked in a service station and I was chatting and stroking them, and Fang gave me the most soulful and peaceful look. I’ve always had hamsters who are adorable and lovely little pals, but they don’t necessarily seem to ‘see’ you. Rattys are very different, and the boys were happily licking my hand and trying to scout me out. When we brought them home, we went by their behaviour so when they were at the cage door we interacted with them and when they were having a look around or a snooze we let them be. We’ve now had them for five weeks and they have grown so much, putting on over 100g! And they’ve also grown in confidence - you can put your arm in the cage and say ‘all aboard’ and they’ll come up and sit on your shoulder. They love to be involved with whatever is going on and will come and have a cuddle when they are playing out the cage.

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They are wonderful little friends who give so much love and seem to gain so much from socialising. They are clearly really sociable animals so we are planning to expand our gang in the future so they have a couple more friends to play with. Rats are quite intensive pets in that they need a lot of attention and time, as well as enough money to cover their costs and any potential vet costs that may arise. However  the rewards are huge as I know we are giving our boys the security, comfort, interest and fun they deserve.

 

 

There is no limit to how much I can talk about rats, so my plan is to write a few posts and maybe even do a few videos documenting my ratty journey with my boys Fang and Fluffy. If you have any questions about rats, send them my way! 

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The author, with rat

The author, with rat

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