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Discussion Starter #1
Ok...so I'm in Northern Manitoba, Canada.....

-I'm planning on adding 3 female rats to my family of Furr Children.... If anyone has any advice on good places to get cages (that arn't terribly expensive..i'v been looking online but shipping and handling are quite a killer esp. since most are in the states), .... I'd like to get a quite large one with many levels and all that jazz.


- The rats i'll probably get in Winnipeg from a large pet store on our way back from our summer travels (the end of August).... tho this is simply due to not knowing of any other place to get Rats..as of yet..so also if you have ideas/sugestions on this i'd be happy to hear 'em!

thanks for you time! :) thats all.
 

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Try to find a vet who will spay them. Otherwise they almost always develop mammary tumors at 18 months of age, when they go through menopause. Once they develop the tumors they can die within a month to a year.
 

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Spaying can cost as much as spaying a cat/dog,believe it or not.But it does depend on the vet.Make sure if you are getting your rats spayed,that you find a knowlagable RAT vet.

I have had rats well over 10 years now and NEVER spay/neuter them,because the risk is abit more high with small animals.Are you getting females or males?

Tumors are common in female rats.They are not so common in males.I never had a male rat with a tumor,but that don't mean it cannot happen.My eldest female lately was just about 3 when she passed on a couple weeks ago and she didn't have tumors.

Having a tumor removed costs alot too and depending on the kind of tumor,it may just come back after surgery.

As for cages,I live in Canada too...I am in Newfoundland,so were farther then you.I like getting Martin's Cages.Check them out.They are reasonably priced and shipping isn't that bad! Martin's are good cages.Or you can try and find a "ferret nation" cage.Maybe your pet store has them?

Do not use pine or cedar! These can cause respitory illness in small animals.I use aspen mixed with Yesterday's News and never have a problem.Carefresh,hemp and other paper based litters are safe too.I also wouldn't use corncob,as it gets moldy fast and I had one of my boys ate some and died from it.

Vet bills can be pricey,but the love you get is worth it!

Oh...and can you check if there are any rescues or reputable breeders in your area? Pet store rats are often sick and unsocial.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
um..wow..ok so i know that rats are different than most rodent pets( like mice/hamsters) but i still don't get spending all that much money on vet care for an animal that only lives for 2-3 years maximum anyhow.... also i live a 4 hour drive from any vet at all.

ya i was looking at Martin's cages- they looked pretty good..tho the one i was looking at..the shipping was going cost me as much as the cage. And i was also looking into the critter nation too.

(ah well..with the possibly buying a house now it looks like my plans for rats may get postponned yet again...)
 

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I have raised rats for many years- I have only had 3 that had mammary issues... if they are kept seperate, male/female I see no reason to spay your rats... they are very social, so I'm glad to hear you plan on getting a few.

as far as cages- I found two cage types that work well, I have one in a smaller -2 level, ferret cage- it was given to me when I adopted my ferret, but I had a 4 story cage for them-

one is a larger bird cage- wires close together, made levels and it gives space for tunnels, hammocks, things like that.
 

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I have raised rats and bred rats for awhile. (SOme of my rats have been in movies;)). For the females I just used one of those cages with the tubes. They loved traveling in those things. FOr the males I just used a milk crate flipped over. Males get really big, and they like to chew on everything.

My females would run around my room, and go back to their cage to poop. I never locked them up, and they never left my room. They are very, very smart.
 

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Yup...rats are really smart! I have a room just for the rats.They get to run around there and in the bathroom alot.But they stay in cages when I am not around.Rats definatly need at least an hour OUT of cage a day...more is better.

Males are more lazy then females tho and some of my males rather just cuddle or lie around then explore and play! :p
 

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Not every rat gets tumors. I had to put my Russian Blue Dumbo, Peanut to sleep about 2 years ago and she was 5 years of age and she never got a tumor, the last week of her life she developed a small bump about the size of a pea, but it wasn't life threatening.
 

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One rat rescue I looked up said that spaying really doesn't reduce the incidence of tumors in female rats......if she doesn't get reproductive tumors, she'll get some other kind :( . I love ratties, they just don't live long enough. Someday I'll have them again.
 
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