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Don't keep rats as pet ! Answered

When my brother decided to travel around the country, he has been forced to leave the white rat he kept as pet ... and I've been forced to adopt this little animal.

Rats as pets quickly become cute, funny, and show a personality that make them even more endearing ... In other words, "la souris" (the mouse), as I renamed it because I was unable to remember the name my bro gave her formerly, quickly found her place in my home and my life.

So, happy end ??

No !

No, because rats pets quickly develop lot of weird diseases :
- dermatitis
- mange
- bumble feet
- cysts
- tumors
- etc
- and various infections and self-injuries because the rat scratches or bites itself because of one or several of the above diseases.

The health and the life of your rat will quickly become a nightmare, and, if like me, you tend to consider your pets like full members of your family, your rat pet will become a great source of worries ... and if you're not cruel, you'll be forced to give an end to its agony. Because that's a real slow and cruel agony.

Most people who adopt a rat as pet seems not to be aware of all the problems this little animal will have, neither how expensive it will be to look after it.
The internet is full of sites dedicated to the diseases of rats pet.

My advice : If you love pets, don't adopt or give a rat as pet !

20080225 update :
Despite what I said, if you still want to adopt a rat, then, you should better document yourself a lot before commitment.
Member Please wrote a tiny instructable about How to take care of a rat the right way. She is a breeder, so you could ask her as much questions as you need.

20080226 update :
She also wrote two other very useful articles :
avoid bad diseases for your pet rat
fun games for your pet rat

50 Replies

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RobinG112 (author)2018-03-22

I guess it could be suggested not to have any pets bc of the mere fact that "something could happen"... Well this is Lil Baby n she taught me the meaning behind what a heart Ratty is. She has changed my life forever and I will never be the same. No other pet or person has been able to do that. She was my best friend and everything. She was a God send n now she's with God and Jesus and I will see her again one day. Btw she lived to be almost 4 years old. Do research and find out what causes tumors n what you can do to prevent it. Learn how to not spread diseases to put rats bc they are very clean.

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Kiteman (author)2008-01-18

Rats make excellent pets!

The problem is, they are intelligent - they need stimulation, even if it's just a regular cuddle.

The best option is to get a pair of brothers - being both male and the same age they get on well, and there is no risk of reproduction.

We usually have rats in school - they are friendly, don't get smelly if they cleaned out weekly, and have never suffered from any illnesses other than age. Most rats live two-three years, but our last pair lasted 4 and 5 years respectively.

True, it is sad when they die, but they're only rats - they are easily replaced in both the cage and the heart.



Having said that, I don't have rats at home. I have a pond full of fish and frogs, and I also have a space set aside for a tank of hermit crabs.

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JulieS180 (author)Kiteman2016-07-09

I agree with everything you've said except for "True, it is sad when they die, but they're only rats - they are easily replaced in both the cage and the heart." They are not "just" rats, they are members of the family, loved pets and are not easily replaced especially in the heart!!

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NathanL117 (author)JulieS1802018-02-24

Yeah I didn't care for that part either.

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Kiteman (author)JulieS1802016-07-10

I guess it depends where you choose to make your emotional investements.

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JulieS180 (author)Kiteman2016-07-12

Really??!! If you don't have any intention of having emotional investments in your pets may I suggest, HIGHLY, that you refrain from having any!!

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Kiteman (author)JulieS1802016-07-12

Conversely, may I suggest you take a pause to calm down and read what I wrote? I did not say "do not care about your pets", I said "do not care as much about a small rodent as you would about an actual human being".

Not that it is any of your business, I have had many pets over the years - mice, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, stick insects, giant African land snails, a variety of fish and, yes, a pair of rats. All lived to their fullest, led happy, healthy lives, and died of old age. Yes, I missed them, but I was not heart-broken. I reserve that level of involvement for my family and friends.

We currently have a snake, Elsie, who we expect to have with us for the next 15-20 years. We have invested time, effort and money into her. Our lives are better for her being with us, but if I ever run into another burning building, it won't be to rescue the snake.

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Doctor What (author)Kiteman2008-02-22

I thought that people were against having hermit crabs as pets?

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please (author)Doctor What2008-02-25

Hermit crabs are good animals even though they hide in their shell most of the day if you want a hermit crab go get it i love animals like i said i got alot of animals even farm animals. Maybe it's because i'm a breeder and don't eat meat, but they make good animals. P.S. DON'T USE THE WORD PET OR OWNER EVER AGAIN YOU CAN'T OWN A PERSON WHY SHOULD YOU BE ABLE TO OWN A ANIMAL WERE ANIMALS TOO!!!

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Goodhart (author)please2008-02-25

Some "cultures" refer to their spouse as "pet" :-) And in the USA a student referred to as a teacher's pet, means they get preferential treatment.

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please (author)Goodhart2008-02-27

yeah, yeah, but i'm not talking about a teachers pet now am i if you were from france that be different because their meaning to pet and owner are different from ours.

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Goodhart (author)please2008-02-27

I do not mean to upset you in any way, I was just pointing out that forbidding the use of the "word" pet, is not logical, it has several meanings, even for "pet owners". Own: to possess, have in one's possession. Exmpl: possession is 90% of the law, that is, ownership. Just making an attempt at expanding the event horizon of perception ;-)

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please (author)Goodhart2008-02-27

sure but my animals all 141 of them are my family you didn't upset me it just i don't like the words pet or owner i like animals so much i haven't eaten meat my whole life.

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chooseausername (author)please2008-02-27

You said : i like animals so much i haven't eaten meat my whole life.
Are you 100% vegetarian or vegan ?
Do you eat some fish and some sea-food like crustacean ?

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please (author)chooseausername2008-02-27

Yes completely 100% vegetarian

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lipstic (author)please2013-06-13

and what about those poor plants you're hurting? Plants are what sustain the world. No I'm not being facetious, I'm serious how do you defend hurting plants?

I btw am an omnivore.

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chooseausername (author)please2008-02-29

Does it exclude eggs, milks and honey ?

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please (author)chooseausername2008-03-12

well i get my eggs from my hens and my milk from my friends farm she has cows and no honey i don't eat honey

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chooseausername (author)please2008-03-12

I have a question about cow and milk. Some people told me that if cows don't make a baby at least once a year, they stop to produce milk. Is this true ? Or are they like women (ie, they can make only one baby and produce milk for several years) ?

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Goodhart (author)chooseausername2009-03-31

Cows and other female Mammalia will continue to produce milk as long as there is a need for it (as long is it is used).

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Mirime (author)Goodhart2010-12-10

That is somewhat true. Properly a cow should give birth every year after a dry spell of not getting milked. Think about this a cow needs more food to produce milk than a dry cow, but as she gets milked for more than 6 months her production goes down but she still eats the same amount of food. So, many farmers dry her off and let her put her energy towards making a calf and gaining weight.

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Goodhart (author)Mirime2010-12-10

Thank you for clarifying for me :-)

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please (author)chooseausername2008-03-12

no fish. i think fish are to beautiful to eat nor any sea food on that manner.

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Goodhart (author)please2009-03-31

all 4 of our Cavies are like our children (that only live 3-7 years).

In a very spiritual way, humans own each other, but not so much like property, but more in the area of responsibility.

If I define love as my wanting to do the most and the best things for my wife as possible, and she likewise to me, we own the responsibility towards each other.

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Goodhart (author)please2008-02-27

Well, maybe this will help: if you are married, then you have a husband (have is a possessive word). He is "your" husband (again possessive), not anyone else's. Children are "yours", and are part of "your" family. All of this is possessive. You even wrote of the animals in your possession as "my" animals. It is not bad to think of others as "belonging to" your family (possessed by you), it is only wrong to think they are "objects only" possessed by you are others. Possession then is how you look at it. :-)

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please (author)Goodhart2008-02-27

not getting my point well fine i get my and pet but give me an answer for owner you can't say i own my kids, i own my husband you can't say that. P.S. i am not married

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Goodhart (author)please2008-02-27

I do understand your point. My point is that the language we are using indicates "possession" or ownership in a certain capacity (using words like my, mine, ours, etc are all possessive. In a marriage, the ownership is mutual, i.e. they belong to each other. Still, I really do understand, it is just that it is not the words we use so much as the intent of those words (shown by context, etc). Example: I can just as easily speak of "my Mom" as I can "my car" (or I can call my cavy my Pet, as well as calling my wife "Pet"). So it is not good to just eliminate the word "my" or "pet". So, my only point is that we should be careful "how" we use our words, so we impart the proper information.

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ilovedobermans (author)Goodhart2008-06-08

I agree that it would be nice to not be an owner, but in our society, we do. It points out our responsibility. Its just the way a majority of people know and respond to. I think if we took a poll, (not just here) even those people who have pets would say they are "owners". When I worked for my Dad, a Veterinarian, when clients first came in they filled out a form, and on this form we asked if the the pets where "family members" "just a pet" or .... hmm, I can't remember what the 3rd one was, its been over 10 years. Point is, different people feel differently about their pets. i know people from farming communities and if the dog or cat doesn't have a job, they don't have them. like a border collie has a job herding, and the cats are mousers. They rarely if ever enter the house. I don't feel this way, but they do, and look at me askance when I tell them that my K9 feline kids are allowed in the house, let alone in the bedrooms! Different strokes for different folks. "Whoever says money can't buy love have never had their own sweet, cuddly, loving dobie next to them!

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Goodhart (author)ilovedobermans2008-06-08

yes it is all in perspective, because I know of farmers that straddle the point. They have their cows for milking, but the ole graying and overweight golden retriever still inhabits the front yard, for his job is companionship (he couldn't scare a squirrel away anymore) and etc. But, as you said, he doesn't enter the house. The cats get a little squirt of milk during feeding time...to keep them around, but they serve as a combination of pets and mousers. I just wanted to point out that our language implies ownership, even with partnership, but it really mean "responsibility" rather then the idea of ownership like owning a car.

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lipstic (author)please2013-06-13

actually you do OWN them, just as you OWN your kids. It means that you pay for them, you care for them and you raise them. It has nothing to do with eating meat.

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Kiteman (author)Doctor What2008-02-23

I haven't actually gotten them yet - why shouldn't I?

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Doctor What (author)Kiteman2008-02-23

I don't know, actually, I don't know why I thought that. At all. I'm lost. Hit me please.

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Kiteman (author)Doctor What2008-02-24
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Mattrox (author)Kiteman2008-03-07

Your absolutely right kiteman

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2008-02-22

they're only rats

Hmm, but for those that invest 6-7 years into them emotionally, they become almost like family. I know our cavies do. Shadow just passed away yesterday from old age. He was nearly 7. He was getting a little short sighted, and had some bladder problems (stones mostly). He was always the first to call for me when I got home each evening with his famous Weep weeeeeep, awaiting his treat of a piece of orange.
He will be missed....

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please (author)Goodhart2008-02-25

an orange a rat can't have a orange citrus fruit in that matter it causes bladder problems such as stones and it also causes cancer.

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Goodhart (author)please2008-02-25

The Cavy I am speaking of is not a rat ;-)

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please (author)Goodhart2008-02-27
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Goodhart (author)please2008-02-27

NP, I didn't specify (my only hint was that he made a weee, weeep, sound when calling for treats). Being vegetarians, cavies are actually harder sometimes to keep. Especially since, like humans, they do not create their own Vit. C, but need it supplemented in their diet.

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please (author)Goodhart2008-02-27

opps i think of rats when someone does that well i do have 141 animal family members wait no i just got seven more my rat just had her litter more animals well i'm the one who chose to breed rodents.

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Goodhart (author)please2008-02-27

The thing I like about Cavy babies is that they are born fully furred, eyes open, little "chips of the ole block". They are really mini- versions of the parents, and we had one (out of a litter of four) that ate solid food less than an hour after birth. Daddy's Little Girl; followed him around like a shadow :-)

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Doctor What (author)Goodhart2008-02-22

Sorry for your loss Goodhart.

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Goodhart (author)Doctor What2008-02-22

Thanks. We now have to rearrange the rest of the gang, since they do best in groups, but Shadow's cage partner (Elvis) does not get along with the only other male we have, and he can't go in with the females without a $100, um, operation to "fix" him. But he is kind of moping around right now...we have to do something. And I don't really want to get another Cavy just now.

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Doctor What (author)Goodhart2008-02-22

You could put him in with the females and make lots of Cavies!

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please (author)Doctor What2008-02-25

OH MY GOD NO! don't do that unless you want 660 babies a year. Trust me i'm a breeder for lots of kind of animals and rodents breed like crazy! But it's my job.

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Goodhart (author)Doctor What2008-02-22

Once years ago, we had one perish on us suddenly, so we went to get a pair. They were rather young (Cavies, as you may already know, are born fully haired and toothed, and eyes wide open), and at that age hard to "sex". We THOUGHT we had two females. A month and a half later, after getting back from vacation, my wife asked her Dad if they had been feeding them more then they should, because the one was really fat. Ooops. My wife quickly changed "Eden's" name to MR. Eden. and we ended up with 4 very beautiful little ones. Anyways, we have 5 adults now, we don't need 7 to 9 :-)

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Doctor What (author)Goodhart2008-02-23

AWWW, why not. They are so cute!

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Goodhart (author)Doctor What2008-02-24

It gets expensive after awhile. :-)

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Doctor What (author)Goodhart2008-02-24

Why? Isn't it the same (or around) of other rodents?

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