Caring for Your New Pet Rat II
The inside scoop from Aqualand on Rattus norwegicus

 

Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 

Cat-N-Around Cat Club
Cat-N-Around Cat Club 2007 Annual Show
Hawkeye Cat Club 2004
Hawkeye Cat Club 2005
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Orange Bee
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Spider, Black Widow
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Walking Stick
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9
Misc Lizards 10


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Spiny

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Dandelions
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Anacharis
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Fern I
Java Fern II
Java Fern III
Java Fern IV
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

Different Watersprite

LA Pic
You may not want to pick up extremely pregnant female rats by their tails.

LA Pic
Her new baby pinkie rats 24 hours later.

Very Friendliest Rodent.  Rats are one of the very few critters you can pick up by the tail and still expect them to respond in a civilized manner.  After being so rudely hoisted, they still calmly sit on your arm -- directly out of their cage -- without a formal introduction.  Nearly all other small animals take off like Speedy Gonzalez when picked up by strangers.  Most pet rats have never met a stranger.  They like people.

LA Pic
Rats make excellent mothers.  Part of her prior litter on the right.

LA Pic
If one of her babies dies, female rats re-cycle the protein.

LA Pic
Mama rat takes excellent care of her babies.  Moms will share babies with other moms.

LA Pic
Newborn baby rats are called pinkies for some strange reason.

 

Unlikely Biters.  Rats are the least likely to bite you of any animal.  However, it’s never a good idea to stick your finger in any animal’s mouth.  And leave mama rats with babies alone.

LA Pic
Young rats really latch on to the faucets.

LA Pic
Underside view of lactating female rat in cage with other nursing females.

Best Class Pet.  If teachers need a warm, furry critter that will not eat their students, they can’t beat a pet rat.  Rats seem to enjoy being handled by kids.

LA Pic
Rat pups under a week old -- often called pinkies for some reason

Cage Litter.  Avoid cedar chips.  Exposure to these chips seems to trigger respiratory and neurological problems in rats.  Better choices include pine shavings, ground corn cobs, aspen pellets, and rabbit pellets (yes, the food pellets).  Pellets look less appealing but have some great odor controlling capabilities that make us love them.  You can also use newspapers for temporary litter.  Unfortunately, over the long haul, newspapers can discolor your rats.  We’ve seen warnings for years about the ink used on newspapers harming rodents.  Don’t worry.  Most rodents can’t read.  Actually, most papers use soy-based inks -- at least here in Iowa.

LA
Recycle that rat litter.

Recycle Litter.  If you have a garden, don't throw away your used rat litter.  It makes great mulch in your garden.  Rat litter mulch helps reduce your weeding work, helps keep you soil moister and cooler, eliminates muddy walkways between the rows, and fertilizes your vegetables.  When mixed into your soil, it also improve your soil's tilth.  Your garden gets easier to work every year.

LA Pic
Same rat pups a week later.  Fuzzies get their color and wiggle around a lot.  Eyes still closed.

LA Pic
Baby rats eat nothing but mama's milk.

Best Foods.  Most rats will eat anything you’ll eat.  But the best foods for them are the rat pellets manufactured to meet their exact nutritional needs.  Rats will also eagerly snack on any of the small animal “treat sticks.”  And you can feed them most gerbil and hamster foods if you can’t find rat food.  (Forget rabbit and guinea pig foods for your rats.)

 

Constant Gnawers.  Rats gnaw all the time.  Their teeth will outgrow their mouths unless they have access to hard foods or “chew toys.”  We’ve never seen an actual case of overgrown teeth in rats -- ever.  We see overgrown teeth mostly in rabbits and less often in hamsters.  That’s because rats never stop gnawing.  This gnawing habit makes them incredibly destructive if they escape from their cages.   (Oddly enough, escaped rats love to chew tiny slits in airline tubing.)

Very Smart.  If your rats can possibly escape, they will.  Rats are great escape artists.  Happily, rats are usually easy to recapture, because they’re not afraid of you.  They like you.  They’ll crawl right up on the couch, sit on your lap, and watch TV with you -- especially Animal Planet.

LA Pic
Several litters of baby rats being shared by several females.

LA Pic
Left and right halves of a 10-gallon tank rat breeder cage.  Six litters shared by all.

Social Animals.  Most rats enjoy the company of other rats.  Mature males, however, can get into severe arguments at breeding time.  Several males in a cage without females get along okay.  Two males in a cage with females will occasionally fight.

Breeding Tips.  You can breed rats in a fairly small area – as small as a 10-gallon aquarium.  Most rat ranchers recommend a 12x30 floor area in the breeding container with one male and multiple females.  The females will share feeding the babies.  Males basically ignore the babies.  They walk all over them.  No harm done.  Use a soft litter so the moms can make a nest for the babies.

LA Pic
Rat laboratories use these non-chewable rat cages.  Expensive but easy to use.

Longevity.  Rats have the potential to live four or five years.  Most live two to three years.  Cedar shavings shorten their lives.  Use the aspen or corn cobs, if you want more years from these friendly, little mammals.

LA Pic
Once you get to know them, everybody likes pet rats.

Last Word.  The re-make of Willard came out in 2003.  Watch it on VHS or DVD.  You rat fans will love it (or hate it).  Non-rat fans wont even go there.   LA.

LA
Hard-working mama rat.

LA

LA

 

Go to Rats I

Go to Hairless Rats

For Negative Comments go to Rats III

© 1997, © 2003, © 2004, © 2006  LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

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Livebearer  
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Exodon paradoxus
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Wrest Half-Beak
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Misc Odd II
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Misc Odd  IV

Misc Odd V

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Black
Bull
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Pond Info 
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