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Rats Care Sheets
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Mice and Rats or other Rodents Forums and Discussion DISCLAIMER - PLEASE READ More Mice and Rats or other Rodents Care Sheets

Care Sheet for Mice and Rats or other Rodents

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.44    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 12/03/2005

Main Category:

Misc

Sub Category:

Mice and Rats or other Rodents

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Scarfie

Years Experience:

5 to 10 Years

Species:

Rats

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

N/A

Sexing and Characteristics:

Males have prominent testicles, and the females have two rows of nipples. Males tend to be more laid back lap rats and females tend to always want to move around but it also depends on the individual.

Mostly Active During:

Both

Substrate and Water Needs:

Avoid Cedar and Pine these can cause resperitory problems, Aspen is ok if you want to go with wood chips, I prefer Carefresh and there are many other types of bedding available such as Hemp, Yesterdays news, Soft-Sorbant and many others.

Water bottles are recomended over water dishes because rats will spill the dishes or dirty them so quickly. They need to have fresh water available at all times, and bottled water is best because it dosent have all of the chlorines and chemicals added that tap water does.

Lighting and UVB:

None required other than regular household lighting.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Room temperature is fine. Avoid direct sunlight and drafts. Avoid quick temperature changes. No specific humidity is required.

Heating and Equipment:

Heating is not required as long as your house stays at room temperature

Equipment needed:
Cage-at least 2 square feet per rat
Bedding-No cedar no pine
Water bottle
Food dish-preferably ceramic (something heavy that they cant chew)
Food
Toys-lots of toys
Hammocks
Chew sticks
hides

Caging Provided:

My three rats are in a 47"x20"x37" ferretrail ferret cage, although with this cage you have to constantly watch the tubes for signs of chewing.

Diet:

Omnivorous

Description of Diet:

Lab blocks are the best main diet for rats they include everything they need in one pellet so they cant pick through and eat only what they like, which can cause deficiencies. Rats should also be supplied with small amounts of veggies daily Kale, peppers, carrots and peas are good choices

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Supplements should not be given unless reccomended by a vet, rats should be getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need from the food they are eating, if they are fed supplements in addition to this it can throw off thier balance of vitamins and nutrients and actually cause problems in their ability to absorb other vitamins and nutrients.

Maintenance:

Cages should be cleaned twice a week, the larger the cage (at least two square feet per rat) the less it will need to be cleaned (no matter how large you still want to clean at least once a week) When the cage is cleaned all water bottles, toys, hides etc should be cleaned as well. It is also a good idea to rotate toys so the rats do not get bored. I rotate mine everytime I clean my cage (about twice a week) You can make your own toys or buy hanging bird toys or ferret toys for your rats, mine love rope perches and the bird toys where they have to figure out how to remove a treat. Also remember that rats are very social and do best in at least pairs, even if you were to give your rat 6 hours of time with you every night that would mean he would be alone 18 hours a day. Please consider getting a friend for your rat, two are not much more difficult to care for then one. Rats need regular checkups with a vet specializing in exotics at least once every six months, its also a good idea to set up a vet fund because rats are very prone to tumors and resperitory problems such as myco flareups and you never want to have to decide between your rent and your pets life.

Some Words on this Species:

Rats are excellent pets that are very affectionate. You can train them to do almost anything you can train a dog to do with patience. They are very intelligent and very social.
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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