Rats are truly such amazing pets! Listed below are some suggested products and care for these great animals!
Which bedding is best for rats is a very controversial topic. After much research and personal use I believe soft wood based bedding are best. This includes kiln dried pine and aspen in flake or pellet form. It does not only keep the smell down, it also is not nearly as dusty as the big name paper beddings such as Carefresh and Katyee. Fleece can be used if used correctly. Fleece needs to be changes 2-3 times weekly depending on if your rats are potty trained. Even when potty trained rats will mark their territory often. I do not suggest using fleece on your whole cage, just on the levels and bedding in the base.
Diet is so important for your rat to live a health happy life, I can't stress it enough! On the market currently there are three decent food brands for rats. These food brands are: Oxbow Adult Rat, Mazuri F6, and Science Selective Rat Food. Try to avoid mixes for rat and mouse, as mice have different nutrition needs than rats. Along with traditional lab block you should include some extra protein ( especially up until 6 months of age) such as mealworms, unsalted pumpkin seeds, peanuts, cashews, and almonds. Along with fresh vegies and non citrus fruits.
When it comes to pet rat cages, the larger the better. Aim for a minimum of 2 cubic feet of space per rat. The best rat cage on the market is the Midwest Critter Nation. This is what I use for my rats and I absolutely suggest this cage for all rat owners. This cage provides the option for several add ons. This cage has 1/2 inch bar spacing to ensure no escapees and it is also very easy to clean! In my opinion this cage is expensive but worth it. Even if you don't ho with the CN make sure you are looking for something big enough that is a Ferret style type cage with 1/2 inch bar spacing!
Making your cage interactive for your rats is important to keep them busy and happy. The cage pictured is currently my females cage. As you can see it is filled with lots of baskets, hammocks, and ropes. Below I will list some good items to use in your set up:
Below I will link an Amazon shopping list with some items!
When you first bring home your rats put them in their new cage to adjust to their new surroundings. The first few days let them come to you, sit in front of the cage with their door open. Let them sniff you on their own terms, don't be afraid as it is rare for them to bit without cause. Let your rats get use to you and you being around their cage over time. You can also try treats in the palm of your hand to get them to trust you, avoid feeding through the bars as that can cause future issues. Depending on where got your rats from usually has to do with how long it takes your rats to bond to you. When you get yours at a pet store versus a reputable breeder, it may take longer than usual for your rats to bond. In pet stores rats don't get nearly as much human interaction as they would coming from a breeder.
NEW HOME SNIFFLES
Upon bring your new rats home they may experience some sneezing here and there for up to 2 weeks after they are brought home. Rats have some allergies just as humans do, this is nothing to worry about.
WHAT THEY NEED FROM YOU
As I have stated many times rats are amazing pets. But rats aren't a pet you put in a cage and forget about. Rats need human interaction and free roam for at least an hour a day. I know to some people letting your rats roam free sounds crazy. "What if they run away?" "What if I can't find them?". I promise it not like that, rats are so different than any other small animals. They create a bond with their human and love to be pet and played with. Once you make a safe place for your rats to free roam you can train them to come for treats. Some rats even know their names!
Any questions? don't hesitate to e-mail me!
Below I will link a popular Youtuber in the rat community.
Check her out!