Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’

When Live Gives you lemons…hug a rat.02.13.11

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Traveling with Your Rat Part One: A Carry Cage08.13.09

It is unavoidable for any pet owner.  Sooner or later you’re going to have to go somewhere, and for some reason you’re going to have to take your beloved fur-baby with you.  This is true for owners of cats and dogs, and its true of small pet owners as well.

With some small pets, such as dwarf hamsters and mice are usually kept in cages small enough that if you have to travel with them you can just grab up the whole cage and go. An example of a basic cage might be:

However, when you have something like a bunny, a guinea pig, or a pair of wonderful ratties (or three) then you are going to have a much larger cage, and its not so easy to toss it in the car and go.

An example of a basic rat cage might be:

You might be wondering, why would I need to take my rats anywhere to begin with?

Well, for one thing, they have to go to the vet sometimes.  And, if you are like me and your normal pet sitter is disgusted and freaked out by your ratties and refuses to feed them they’ll have to go with you if you’re gone more than a day or two.  (You can give them enough food and water to last a day or two, but no longer)  Or, worse yet, there could be some emergancy, like a house fire, and you need to get your little ones out okay.

A lot of places that people commonly get pet rats will give them a sturdy “live animal” box to take them home in.  That might work for a couple of trips to the vet, but in the long run it will become icky with poop and pee, and is not good.

So, I do recommend buying a sturdy travel cage for your little ones.  One large enough for them to move around in, and to hold a small water bottle and food bowl for them as well.

A good example would be the cage that I was given to bring Francis home in:

It is small enough to be carried easily, but big enough for her to move around.  If she were to spend a few days in there I could hang a water bottle for her, there is room for a hide box for her to sleep in, and a food bowl for her.

For a SHORT period of time I could even have her and one of her sisters in here (but no more than 2 rats).  The more rats you have, the more travel cages you need to have on hand!

Here are a few things from that you can use as travel cages for you rats:

Or even a small cat or dog carrier can work.

Whatever you choose to use to carry your beloved ones, keep in mind that they can chew out of cardboard easily, and even out of hard plastic cages given enough time and effort.

So, I do recommend all metal cages, like the two I now have for my own girls.

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Rattie Robots?06.17.09

The future of robots is rat-shaped

Psikharpax — named after a cunning king of the , according to a tale attributed to Homer — is the brainchild of European researchers who believe it may push back a frontier in .

Read the whole article HERE.

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No Happy Rat Noises05.24.09

Sorry I’ve not updated in so very long.

I’ve actually had a very very VERY hard time adjusting to the passing of Ezri.  I’m still not used to her not being in their cage, running up to me and making happy rat noises when I walk in the room.

Nibbitz and One are both lovely girls, and sweet, but they don’t make happy rat noises when they see me.  Or when I play with them.  Only once or twice have I heard one of the brux, and that when when I had One of Two out on the book shelf taking pictures of her.

I miss my super loving happy rat.


One of Two


Rat Chick Rat Rescue and Advocacy Group are pleased to host the Seventh Annual Fab Rat & Animal Friends Festival.

This family-friendly event will take place from 12 pm to 4 pm on Saturday June 6, 2009 at The South Philadelphia Older Adult Center located at 1430 East Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147.

The theme for the Fab Rat festival this year is “The Rat Pack Is Back!”

The event will showcase domestic companion rats including rat information and displays, funny rat videos, a rat art show, rat adoptions, rat raffle, a light hearted rat beauty pageant and the A-Rat-Emmy Awards.

There will also be booths for other great animal welfare, rescue and adoption groups. You can learn about other animals in need and what you can do to help them or find that special animal friend you have been looking for. We will have adoptions of cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and birds, all of which are rescues.

There will be live entertainment, food, and crafts for sale.

Our goal is to dispels the false beliefs and educate the public about these misunderstood creatures. Come meet a companion rat and watch our happy rat videos and find out how lovable rats really are.

The event is indoors in the main hall at the center. There is parking on site and ample parking nearby.

The event is open to the general public and admission is free.

Contact the Rat Chick at 215-467-5206 to be part of this event.

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Diddnt help very much sorry03.08.09

I logged on to my gmail today to see that one of my answers at Yahoo! Answers had been chosen as best answer.

The question had been:

Can mites from a hamster go onto a human?
I have two hamsters (ruswsian dwarf) that both hgave mites (as i was told by the vet) can they spread to me. Please leave pics an info :D

My answer was:

Yes, they can. I’ve had mites on my rats before. The small red ones. They also got into my clothes, and bit me mostly around the waistband of my jeans and in my socks.

Treat the mites for the sake of your pets!

Ask your vet how to treat the mites on your rodents. I’ve gotten rid of mites on my rats before by giving them a series of baths with warm water and baby shampoo, but the vet might have a medication as well.

Then clean their cage very well, soaking it in a bleach/water solution including their toys and food dishes and water bowl. Wipe down all surfaces near and around the surface with a bleach/water solution. If there is any carpet in the area vacuum it thorougly every day until you’re sure the mites are gone.

Find out where they came from. Sometimes mites can come in on their bedding or in their food! If they came from either of those sources then FREEZE THE SOURCE. The intense cold should kill off any remaining mites and keep them from coming back.

I was voted best answer, mainly because the only other answer was:

a bomb those things, they are bad news bears

What really got me was that while I was chosen best answer I was given one star and the comment that:

Diddnt help very much sorry

My god!  What else could I have said?

Granted, they asked for pictures, but I couldn’t find a good picture of rodent mites, or particularly rodent mites on human skin.  But I thought I answered their query of “can they spread to me”.  It doesn’t get much more clear than my first sentence, YES THEY CAN!

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Cheap/Free Rat Enrichment01.29.09

One great thing about rats, their “toys” don’t have to be expensive.

I may have blogged about this before, and probably will again. 

While ownling pet rats can be less expensive than owner a dog or cat, owning pet rats is not “cheap.”  They have expenses like making sure they have a large enough home, and proper bedding, and proper food.

They need toys too, and here is where pet rats have a benefit….it doesn’t take much to create enrichment for them.

Like today, I have an empty Pringles can, a handful of junk mail and old sales fliers and voila….an enrichment toy is born.

Shred the papers and old junk mail, stuff the shreds into the can.  Maybe pop in a yummy treat or two (a broken up dog biscut in this case).

In this instance you have triple threat enrichment toy.  They’ll have fun figuring out how to get the lid of the can and pulling the wadded up paper OUT of the can, get treats for having fun AND they will end up using the shredded paper for nesting material.

Not to mention you’re “recycling” what most people consider useless junk.

Another “recycled” and cheap/free toy for your pet rats would be…..empty pie pans or empty tv dinner trays.

Fill them with water for the rats to splash in, or fill them with potting soil (WITHOUT fertilzer in it) and sprinkle it with some millet seed (or and bird seed).  When the seeds sprout and grow, put it in for them do dig up and nibble on.

Old clothes or towels you are about to toss out?  Toss it in there with your ratties who will burrow, tunnle and gnaw a little more usefulness out of it.

Did you have corn on the cob with dinner?  Toss the gnawed on cob int here with them, for a little extra treat for them.

Got pine cones?  Pick up one or two, put them in a baggie and freeze them (to rid them of any unwanted mites or bugs that might be living on them).  Cover them with something sticky adn sweet and sprinkle sunflower seeds or other treats on them.  Make sure you get down into the crevasses.  Hang in their habitat where they have to stand on their hind legs to reach it, and watch them have fun.

Then there is you.  Playing with your rats, petting them, talking to them, that is enrichment too!

What do YOU use for enrichment for your rat (or mouse, or hamster, or gerbil)?  Leave it in a comment or email it to

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Bad Rat Owners01.14.09

Remember me thinking about adopting a biting rat from a friend?

Well, it turns out there was a very good reason she got all bitey.  She was pregnant.

Turns out the womans son had gotten a total of 4 rats.  One of which was a boy.  She said he told her he didn’t KNOW it was a boy.  I find that hard to beleive considering that 1) the son is nearly a grown man and 2) boy rats have big balls.

Anyway, I was recenly informed that the rat had babies.  I said I’d like to adopt a pair when they got older.  Yesterday I was told that all the babies had been killed.

They left the mom and babies in with the other 3 rats, including the male which has STILL not been seperated from the others.

Now a second litter has been born.  I BEGGED the woman to move the mom and babies into a private cage and to GET THE MALE HIS OWN CAGE!

I tried Scare tatics.  I told her, “Did you know that it is possible for a female rat to have a litter of around 11 babies about every 14 days.  They can get pregnant again almost as soon as their litter is born.  That’s a lot of rats you know!”

These people are not bad pet owners, they have well cared for cats and dogs, but I have concluded that they DO NOT need to own rats because they simply will not do what they need to do to take proper care of them.

The were putting pine straw and grass clippings as the poor things bedding.  They were feeding them a diet of nothign but dog food! “But its a GOOD dog food,” she defended herself.  “Its the kind with vegetables in it.”

I told her that if she and her son were not willing to take proper care of those rats the needed to just find new homes for them.

“They freak me out,” she said.  “They got so big.  I keep telling him to take them back to the pet store.”

I would offer to take them in, but I cannot risk taking in a pregnant female becuase I KNOW I don’t have the time or room to take care of a whole litter of babies that I might not be able to find new homes for.

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New Cagemates11.24.08

Thanks everyone for the condolences on our loss of Luka.  We knew it was coming, but even the knowing doesn’t always prepare you for a loss.

Meanwhile, Ezri has been a little depressed.  I’ve hardly seen her leave her box since we took Luka out of the cage.

I moved the two young girls in with Ezri so she’d not be alone.

There was some dominance fighting between Ezri and One of Two.  Ezri came out on top.  It was kind of funny to watch her hiss and hop aroudn sideways, pushing her big tush at One to back her down.

On the flip side, Nibbitz challenged Ezri twice, and both time had the larger rat over on her back.  Still, Nibs doesn’t seem like she WANTS to be the alpha rat, she was just telling Ezri that she refused to be pushed around.

Since they already knew each other they settled in rather quickly and were living in harmony in a matter of hours.

I hope Ezri perks up again soon with the new little ones for company, but it is so obvious she misses her sister.

funny pictures of cats with captions

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Not Always Right - Rats11.17.08

I’m a reader of a site called Not Always Right which shares employee/customer dialog.

I had to share the following entry, taken from Not Always Right:

Is That A Tumor In Your Pocket…

Pet Store | Canada

(A customer is looking in our pet store’s front window at our display of hamsters, rats and mice.)

Customer: “I want to make a complaint.”

Me: “Sure, would you like me to get the store manager?”

Customer: “Yes, right this minute.”

(I get the manager.)

Manager: “Yes, ma’am, what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “I can’t believe you would actually have
sick rats on display in the front window! I am going to call the humane
society and have this store shut down! I am sickened that would
actually have poor rats that have CANCER in the storefront window!”

Manager: “… cancer?”

Customer:  â€ YES! Just look at the size of those TUMORS on the poor backsides of all those rats in that cage!”

Manager: “Um, ma’am… those are their testicles. They are full grown male rats.”

Customer:  *blushes* “… oh. Sorry.”


Yep, boy rats have big boy parts, as demonstrated below:

When they are relaxed, you can clearly see their testicles.  When they are feeling protective they can pull them up and sort of hide them.

When I worked at a pet store we often had similar complaints, and I often had to explain that those were not tumors or growths of any kind, but were their, you know, parts.

Sometimes they didn’t believe me and we would shortly thereafter have a visit from the department of ag. because of our “sick” rats.

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2 More awards!10.30.08

In the past couple of days I’ve been given a couple more blog awards!

First Colby and Cheddar of The Cheezits, awarded me with this one:

I got that one because, “because they has the bestest (and possibly the only) Rat blog around!

Patty of Two Greyhound Town awarded me with:

I want to pass both of them along to

Feather Pluckers - Becuase poor bald Tweak needs some love (and a birdie toupe)
My Cat Goma - For the cute Kitty Comics
Rosey Cat - For NOT eating her gerbil friends. Even when they were thisclose!
And last, but not least For So Many Turtles as well as All Things Crabby, both for having blogs devoted to animals different from the normal dog/cat blogs out there.  (Not that we dislike dog/cat blogs, but we love seeing blogs for unusual pets like ourselves)

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    Rats are not just vermin anymore. For hundreds of
    people around the world they are family members, just like the cats, dogs and hamsters of the world.

    Rattitude hopes to help get rid of rattieism in the world and show just how great rats can be.

    Thanks for taking time to stop and read and I hope I spread some rat goodwill.

    *NOTE* Rattitude DOES NOT SUPPORT the use of GLUE TRAPS or RAT POISON despite what my ads may say.