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TheDarkCynder

Rats, Ferrets, Snakes, other exotic animals.

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Do not get metal wheels or anything with gaps/spaces/bars that little ratty feet or toes can go through as it can be dangerous while running in it. Mine LOVE their wheels. It's also worth it to invest if better quality ones that don't make so much noise because of how much they like to run in them, if that bothers you.

If you give them a wheel, note that its diameter must be 32+ centimeters for adult rats - else it hurts their backs in case they run in them!

((As a sidenote, never owned a rat who liked to run in a wheel... Out of 8 rats, all just ignored it, tried to chew it, or in case of one, occasionally slept in it.))

 

Similarly, no side of a cage can be less than ~35 (so that a rat could stretch itself out in either direction. I've seen "2 cubic feet per rat" cited in a few places.

 

But yeah ... feel free to throw in anything that's "natural" carboard/paper - egg rests, some small boxes, the leftover inner rolls from TP or paper towels... As mentioned: pine/evergreen bedding bad. If you want to put in wooden items, use deciduous tree material... some people have used apple branches (treated with boiling water to sanitize them).

 

It's best to keep rats in same sex pairs or small groups. Two siblings would be the safest bet (if they "play rough" and squeak, don't worry, it really is just play/testing strength and they'll probably happily sleep in a pile afterwards; real fighting is something else entirely - approaching the other sideways with all hair standing on end, hissing/puffing, kicking up bedding towards the other, trying to bite).

 

If you're contemplating over male/female - males tend to be larger and more calm sit-in-your-lap-and-be-petted-types, females smaller and more active (all mine have been male, but I know a few other rat owners). But that's a general tendency - they certainly have their own personalities. Older rats typically get calmer and more fond of being scratched etc. "Children" rats will be children. Some will wrestle with your hand, or play with a tuft on a string like a cat. My first pair, I actually taught some tricks other than just coming to their name...

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My mum used to have rats. Apparently they were lovely; she talks of them fondly. I wish I could've known them.

 

Wishful thinking though it may be, I'd like to someday have a Fennec fox as a pet. I've heard that having other foxes with a Fennec makes them aggressive, but since the only other pets me and my boyfriend were thinking of were snakes and bearded dragons, that should probably be ok xd.png

 

Speaking of my boyfriend's pets, he has a corn snake. smile.gif His name is Oak, and he's such a sweetie!

He used to have bearded dragons, but his first died of sickness and they kept the second in the same viv so it died too. sad.gif

He wants to breed milk snakes, and I agree. They're so pretty! wub.gif

 

My dad is scared of snakes, though, so I doubt he'd be visiting us if we did get snakes when we have our own house xd.png

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Thanks for the advice happy.gif

 

I've actually decided on a critter nation cage... I didn't know the cage would be so expensive o.O.. but it's worth it because I hear rats make great pets.

 

The rats I'm getting are both male, (and will of course be "done"), one is white with a black hood marking, and the other is what the breeder called a "cinnamon"

 

I'm not sure on names yet, if they were female, I would of just gone with "Sugar and Spice" but I don't think they'd fit for males xd.png

 

luckily, I'm quite good with creating stuff, so I should be able to make hammocks and things for them myself happy.gif

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The rats I'm getting are both male, (and will of course be "done"), one is white with a black hood marking, and the other is what the breeder called a "cinnamon"

"Done"? You don't castrate male rats aside of when you when you want to keep them in the same cage with females, or in the quite rare instance one of them just refuses to get along with anyone for extended periods of time and it's the last resort to try and make them more docile (so they'd be actually attacking others, teeth and blood - play-fighting may look/sound like someone gets hurt, but actual fighting looks quite different, as said). It's a much more dangerous operation than with dogs and cats, and since pet rats aren't exactly roaming freely outside in circumstances where accidental mini-rats could happen, it has pretty much none of the benefits. Normally, male rats get along just fine with one another - if anything, females tend to be a touch more territorial (I think I've only heard two cases where male rats have been castrated to curb aggression ... in one case it seemed to have helped, in the other very little changed).

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The rats that I'm getting are from rescue, they were already done, I assumed that it was normal to castrate two male rats who are kept in the same cage. They're both around 3 months old, and were left by a woman who was moving country and couldn't take them with her. Perhaps she had them done so that they weren't agressive anymore. I'm not entirely sure on that, and I probably wont' be. =P

 

But they seem friendly and healthy when I picked them out so hopefully all goes well, and if i choose to introduce new rats after a while, they'll all get along :3

 

 

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Hmm... Yeah, it definitely isn't a normal practice - only if you really want to keep them in the same cage with females, or as a last resort when a rat has severe persistent aggression issues (I know two cases where it was even tried, as mentioned - and I've owned 8 male rats and played with dozens of others' rats and read about hundreds more). 3 months seems too young to have developed aggression issues, so I suspect she might have had older females before? Or she / whatever vet did it was simply misinformed somehow...

 

Granted, a lot of people have some odd misconceptions, so it's always better to point things like that out. Even many vets are not all that knowledgeable about animals who aren't dogs/cats... In Estonia I know a couple of vets who are considered competent with small pets in Tallinn/Tartu, not so sure about UK, might have to dig the old English forum up.

 

Of my 8 males, I once introduced a pair of 3-month-old brothers to a pair of 1.5-year-old brothers - I could practically have left them in the same cage the same evening (separated them for the night, just in case). Theoretically, the most difficult introduction should be introducing a single 6-8-month-old rat to other established 6-8-month-old rats, since that's when they're the most, well, young combative adults. Very young rats to very young rats (one of my pairs was obtained from different stores when they were small, and I actually just let them together into their new cage almost right away), old rats to very young rats, typically no issue (just be careful to be safe, show them to one another in a place which isn't one or other's homeground etc, especially if there are significant size differences). If they're already familiar to one another, then typically they will stay that way.

Edited by Shienvien

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Hmm... Yeah, it definitely isn't a normal practice - only if you really want to keep them in the same cage with females, or as a last resort when a rat has severe persistent aggression issues (I know two cases where it was even tried, as mentioned - and I've owned 8 male rats and played with dozens of others' rats and read about hundreds more). 3 months seems too young to have developed aggression issues, so I suspect she might have had older females before? Or she / whatever vet did it was simply misinformed somehow...

 

Granted, a lot of people have some odd misconceptions, so it's always better to point things like that out. Even many vets are not all that knowledgeable about animals who aren't dogs/cats... In Estonia I know a couple of vets who are considered competent with small pets in Tallinn/Tartu, not so sure about UK, might have to dig the old English forum up.

 

Of my 8 males, I once introduced a pair of 3-month-old brothers to a pair of 1.5-year-old brothers - I could practically have left them in the same cage the same evening (separated them for the night, just in case). Theoretically, the most difficult introduction should be introducing a single 6-8-month-old rat to other established 6-8-month-old rats, since that's when they're the most, well, young combative adults. Very young rats to very young rats (one of my pairs was obtained from different stores when they were small, and I actually just let them together into their new cage almost right away), old rats to very young rats, typically no issue (just be careful to be safe, show them to one another in a place which isn't one or other's homeground etc, especially if there are significant size differences). If they're already familiar to one another, then typically they will stay that way.

I'm not sure at all why the two rats I'm getting have been done at a young age if they weren't agressive or anyhing, so I can't be sure.

It's a shame that I don't permanently reside in Estonia anymore, because I know of a good vet in Tartu, or at least they were good with my cat I took in and rescued, =P but I'm sure the ones in UK would be fine.

 

I've decided on the names Kaneel (how imaginative) for the "cinnamon" colored one, and Pock for the one that has the darker brown/black color on its head...because it looked like it was dipped, like a Pocky stick.

i'm very imaginative. >.>

 

 

 

anyway, thanks a lot for all the advice, i'm super excited to get these two new furbabys *_*

 

 

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I would really like a snake friend, but the job I'm planning on having will probably make me unable to come home for a few days once in a while. How long can snakes stay at home on their own(provided that I make all the necessary preparations before leaving)? How much care do they need every day?

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I've noticed a lot of rescues neuter their rats. I just don't see it being worth the risk although I understand they don't want them being adopted to be bred/breeders.

 

We had a rat come into the Humane Society I worked at who had a really, really large tumor on her chest. She couldn't put her front feet onto the ground and it made it really hard for her to walk around. Our vet removed it and she managed to make it through the surgery and recovered. Unfortunately the tumor came back months later. She wasn't so lucky the second time and never recovered after the surgery. She atleast was spoiled by our resident rat lady who I called to let her know we had a geriatric rat and her cage mate was a rat with a giant tumor. She came right in to adopt them both when they were available.

 

We also had a rabbit who became paralyzed from his neutering. Quite sad to have to euthanize the poor guy because he just didn't respond well to the anesthesia and couldn't recover. Although some of us were thinking someone just didn't handle him correctly...

 

Once I settle in back home (moving) I'll probably get myself two mice again. My two girls, Tess and Zurie, just passed away back in September. Zurie developed a tumor that grew pretty quickly and passed. Then Tess followed in loneliness I think. She just wandered the cage for a few days after Zurie passed then died.

 

I still want to get a reptile of some sort. I've had a water dragon and a ribbon snake in the past.

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Right now not really anything exotic but I have 2 pet chickens, sometimes called" the falcons" by friends who watched them grow up as when they where little they looked more like that then chickens and 2 cats.

 

So my pets give me yummy eggs to eat, but not really exotic... but fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do ants count as exotic pets? We live in England, and my boyfriend caught two pregnant queens of the common black species last time they were out in their nuptial flights.

 

My brother wants to raise a colony; we have a queen for him, but where's a good place to get cheapish, good housing equipment for them?

Edited by Zeditha

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Oh ants are cool. If you do some searches on the net you will find some cool products... everything from the old school sand ones, cool gel ones and some really neat designs. There are lots of cool products and if I remember right a guy on you tube that collects ants and has all sorts of tips.

 

 

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After my close friend let me pat his baby snake (called monty....) i dont have much of a fear of snakes anymore. IM CURED!! HUZAH!

Edited by zorua9

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I'm seeing some posts about neutering rats. I worked at an exotic animal hospital for 7 months. Male rats were neutered to help prevent certain types of tumours and cancers from forming, as well as to solve aggression issues.

 

Castration may prolong life by eliminating the life-reducing effects of testosterone. For example, testosterone may induce tumors, so castration tends to reduce the incidence of tumors. In Drori and Folman (1976), 10.4% of intact males developed tumors, compared with 8.7% of castrated males -- a small decrease. Castration may also prolong life by by lowering the metabolic rate, which may delay death in the event of a terminal illness.

 

Source: http://www.ratbehavior.org/Neutering.htm

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I think I may have posted in this thread ages ago...but I still have cockatiels <3 Used to have betta fish and crested geckos and panther geckos, but not anymore. sad.gif I would really love to get some geckos, but I'm moving soon and wouldn't be able to take them (I'm having to leave my birds with my family, but that's good because my family would miss them anyway AND it would stress them, I would think, to move them away from the only home they've known). I hope to get another tiel when I settle in, and maybe see what kinds of geckos I might be able to acquire in Australia. smile.gif

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I have two axolotls, they are amazing, little water dragons, they grow really fast though, I am starting to look for a bigger tank now.

Yeah, Lucian and Lucy, lovely fellows, really interesting creatures.

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I don't like wild exotic pets.

But I'd really love to have some rats or ferrets someday.

Rats are darling little fuzzies, and I love how ferrets are weird noodle cats.

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I've been a rat owner for several years now, and right now I have two dear rat brothers I named Dante and Vergil. Dante's mink, Vergil's black, with little white patterns on their bellies and white 'socks' on all paws. Dante's especially notable for his scarred face <3

 

I guess they're the most 'exotic' pets I have, but I do care for other uncommon choices. Common black window spiders (I get crazy attached to them, so it's usually a case of one moving into a window corner and boom it lives there with a name and a carer), praying mantises harvested from the garden, and dermestid beetles. Yeah I raise those guys for work, but damn if I don't devote a little too much to them.

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I think I may have posted in this thread ages ago...but I still have cockatiels <3 Used to have betta fish and crested geckos and panther geckos, but not anymore. sad.gif I would really love to get some geckos, but I'm moving soon and wouldn't be able to take them (I'm having to leave my birds with my family, but that's good because my family would miss them anyway AND it would stress them, I would think, to move them away from the only home they've known). I hope to get another tiel when I settle in, and maybe see what kinds of geckos I might be able to acquire in Australia. smile.gif

As an australian, many species of geckos available in the US is illegal to keep in australia... And the "natives" that are allowed to be kept as pets, require licences. smile.gif Which I know doesn't interest many!

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I own a guinea pig named Pascal! He used to have a cagemate, Blaze, but they would get into a scuffle every now and then so I put a divider in their cage. Unfortunately, Blaze passed away last October. But, Pascal is a happy pig and we show in 4-H together! (We've gotten Grand Champion twice out of three years!)

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I have a black capped conure which I feel is pretty exotic! I'd also really like a rat! Sadly it doesn't seem like I'll be getting one any time soon.

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I love wonderful amazing cute rattie babies <3 By far my favorite kind of pet I've had so far. I don't have any right now, but I love them so much <3 I recently got a new girl but had to rehome her because, unlike my previous girls, I was highly allergic to her. Dx I also desperately want a ferret who I will name Syd because puns

 

(My favorite band is Pink Floyd)

Edited by DovahInAhrkZoriik

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I had a ferret about 10 years ago...last year I had 2 rats (I was looking after them for a friend of mine) and now I have a guinea pig (named Spike), a freshwater turtle and 15 stick insects. Oh, and my dog, Luna, I love her!

I love animals! All animals, from insects to cats and dogs (maybe the only animal I don't like at all is the human being)

I'm a biologist and I love our planet <3

Edited by devil.92

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I had an adorable rat named Topaz about 7-8 years ago now? She was such a funny and smart little rat. She was also incredibly social too and never bit anyone except me one time for some reason

 

I had an aquatic frog too I won in the second grade. Funny enough nobody expected me to take good care of her and she would pass in a week

 

I had her for over 8 years biggrin.gif

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