Rats communicate in many different ways and one is with their teeth. Our skin is very sensitive and not protected by fur like a rats, and it is easy to misunderstand what our rats mean when they use their teeth on us.
So what is your rat trying to tell you with its teeth?
Choosing rat cage accessories can be as important as picking the right rat cage. Rats are complex little creatures and they need a living space that can meet their varied needs. Offer them a choice of surroundings and give them somewhere to be alone if that is they want. Think of your rats cage as a house, it will help you create different rooms for your rat to live in.
Following on from How to Care for Young Rats, here is a guide to caring for your rats as they mature.
As your pet rats grow they will begin to change, in both shape and temperament. Here are some simple things to be aware of as your rats’ age:
Caring for a sick pet rat can be a big responsibility and sometimes it is made harder by your rat not cooperating in taking its medicine. Here in the UK Baytril is one of the first and most effective antibiotic medicines that vets will give your rats. Baytril comes in liquid form and is often administered orally. Unfortunately you cannot tell your rat to eat up its medicine to make it all better and they will often turn their noses up at it if offered it to lick up. You can try syringing it straight into their mouths, but if your rat is particularly wriggly, or just too poorly to be manhandled then this is not going to work.
Rats are intelligent, loyal, inquisitive and fun loving little animals. Once a few basic needs are met they do not take much looking after. The more time and attention you give your rats the more confident and rewarding they will be.
So, here are some simple tips to set you on your way to having a rewarding relationship with your rats.
With rat care the question often arises as to whether it is better to get boy or girl rats and what are the differences between them.
In the world of rats it is generally the case that males are larger and become more cuddly as they mature, than females who tend to remain more active throughout their lives. Though there are always exceptions to every rule and while I have never had a particularly large female rat, I have had some small and active male rats.
Even with the general differences between the two sexes there is no change in the amount of affection they will show you.
There is an increasingly wide range of cages in all shapes and sizes available in pet shops and on line, but only a few of them are suitable for rats. The cage you choose is going to be your rats home for the next 2 - 3 years and it is important that they are safe in it and that they feel comfortable. In our own homes we have several rooms; somewhere to eat, our bedroom, the lounge and it is important to consider how and if you’ll be able to create separate environments for your rats in one cage.
Why Not to Use Aquariums
Rats Like Socialising
Rats are by nature social animals, living in colonies in the wild. Though it is a common mistake, particularly of first time rat owners, myself included, getting a solitary rat isn’t a good thing to do if you want a happy, healthy and well adjusted animal.
Things have changed so much over the years that most reputable pet shops will not sell lone rats.
Rats are wonderful and intelligent creatures and sharing your home with them can be an amazing experience, but as a new rat owner it may be a daunting one. When my first rat joined my family 15 years ago I was ill prepared for the responsibility and I made mistakes in his care including keeping him as a lone rat. There was little advice available for a first time rat parent and the rat books I managed to find back then were hard to relate to as a new rat owner. They were addressed in a factual manner and didn’t explain or encourage me to think about my rats needs and behavior.