Anyone Have Pet Rats? Where Did You Get Them?

Updated on June 10, 2008
J.P. asks from Palo Alto, CA
4 answers

After years of stalling, we are planning to get 2 female baby rats this summer. I've spent a lot of time online searching for breeders or rescue organizations, and have sort of come up empty. Any rat owners out there with advice about where to get them?

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

there is a local rat rescue in Palo Alto. Called Ratty Ratz. Contact J. at [email protected]____.com for rats she has available.

I do not recommend purchasing rats at Petco. These rats are not bred for "pet" rats. They are feeder rats. Therefore they are not cared for in the same fashion. I purchased two rats from there. Both were very sick and ended up having to put down my main rat and one of the two I purchased from there because they got my rat sick. It was really sad...I say resuce before going there.

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D.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J..

I also took a couple of years before giving in to my boys' plea for pet rats. When I looked I came across the same lack of info you have. So I went to PetSmart and talked to the people there. They can actually take your name and call you when their babies are ready for adoption. Even though I heard you should never get a rat from a pet store, we have had great success.

Our first girl was a little older - a "teenager" and it took about 5 days and lots of attention for her to get used to us, but we just kept loving her and she is now the sweetest, most loving little fat girl. We then got a baby and she was loving from the start. If I did it again I would get the two babies together. There was a brief time of the older one showing the baby who is boss, but they are best friends today. I'm not sure where you live, but we got our from the PetSmart in Campbell. Hope this helps.

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I.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I had pet rats as a little girl (also guinea pigs, dogs, rabbits etc...) and they're very social and very clean (like cats clean themselves). I'm going to be sexist here though... the male rats are pretty stinky... we had girl rats and had little problem with smell unless the cage needed cleaning. Enjoy the experience of having a rat in the house!

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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J., (YES TO THE PET RATS)

We had a pet rat when my son was about 9 or 10. He really wanted one for a long time and his schoolmate had a mom rat with a new litter. They start out very small. My son picked his rat out and we named him Ben. (It was a big name back then because of Michael Jackson). Ben grew to be a very big, gray boy with a long rat-tail. He pretty much grossed my family out when they would visit, but my son Paul loved him and I actually grew to love that rat as well.

Ben lived longer then most rats, but that probably had something to do with the money I spent at the vet, (yes rats are seen at the vet) and the vaporizer I bought him when he got a cold. PS.the vaporizer ruined my bathroom paint job, but it was OK, because Ben was a great pet and we were sad when he went to rat heaven.

As long as your child keeps the cage clean and makes sure there is fresh water and food (daily), a rat can be a good pet. Not dirty like most people may think. The pet store has special wood chips for the cage, but if you can’t afford it, shredded newspaper works just as well and they like to play in it.

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