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RattieSitting always confronts you with the unexpected:

What do I find as I clean the rattie cage? My nail file! 😮

 

One of the reasons why you must always keep your home ratproof and how pet rats force you to be neat and tidy.

It also shows that you need to empty out your rat cage carefully, you never know what you might find in the depths of the rattie den!

 

This time I’m caught by surprise that beautiful Skavin is also a #CleverRat and turns out to be a nail file thief!

#CleverRat: Skavin turns out to be a nail file thief! ;)

#CleverRat: Skavin turns out to be a nail file thief! Can you see the gnawing evidence? 😉

 

Understandably so: Rats’ teeth never stop growing, which causes them to brux and gives them the need to gnaw.

What better instrument to keep your ever growing teeth in check than a nail file!

I can imagine that simply carrying the nail file in their teeth gives every pet rat a tingle right up into their spine.

Clever little munchkins, these ratoos!

 

And while it might’ve been annoying not to have my nail file at hand, I can’t help but think that rats make great pets. 😊

 

Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Google+. 🙂

 

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I see triple: Who is who is who?

I see triple: Who is who is who?

 

As if it wasn’t enough to have Folly and Peanuts look the same, there’s of course still Folly’s sister Madness.

 

Can you tell the difference between these three?

Who is who is who?

 

Madness has dark socks, while Folly and Peanuts have white socks.

Peanuts has slightly darker ears than Folly.

 

But at first glance it’s close to impossible to tell them apart.

 

As long as they all get along, not a problem.

 

Only when it comes to going back home, it is of course paramount that we can identify the ratties properly.

 

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#RattieSitting: Folly is the spitting image of Peanuts.

#RattieSitting: Folly is the spitting image of Peanuts.

 

It does happen that I get lots of ratties at the same time for RattieSitting. Especially during holidays, the number of visiting pet rats can be quite big.

And it can happen that some ratties look really similar.

 

Even if it gets confusing when taking pictures for PortRATure, they mostly have some markings that makes it easy to distinguish them when comparing them side by side.

Not so with these two: Folly and Peanuts!

 

To let the ratties get to know each other, I often place them in the rattie garden: It’s an outdoor shelf with lots of pots for growing fresh grass for the ratties from their leftover seeds.

As this is neutral territory and a new environment, the ratties are busy enough to roam and explore, so that they make friends and huddle together.

 

Picking them up and wanting to put them back in their cages, I faced a serious dilemma with Folly and Peanuts: They are the spitting image of each other! Who is who?

 

Usually it’s quite easy to tell similarly looking ratties apart by their character. But these are guests, I also need to get to know them first.

And usually ratties prefer to hang with their own clan. But I just let them all get to know each other, so they don’t mind hanging with their new friends.

 

Luckily I’m very good with taking close-up portraits of the visiting ratties. So it was possible for me to identify Peanuts.

 

But just in case, I checked back with Folly’s owner to make sure she chooses the right rattie when it came to picking them up for taking them home again!

 

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My pet rat Milka shows me her behind.

My pet rat Milka shows me her behind.

This is my pet rat Milka, as she sits on our bar stool in our kitchen, looking down the edge of the seat, pondering.

I just love this shot.

#PortRATure

 

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Scabs in your pet rat's fur can indicate a mite infestation.

Scabs in your pet rat’s fur can indicate a mite infestation.

 

Most parasites you find in your pet’s fur are only there because of a weak immune system.

Mites for example are always around, in bedding, on skin, in hair. It is only when the natural defence mechanisms of your pet are not strong enough to fight them off that you need to step in.

A weak immune system due to illness, malnutrition or old age is an invitation for mites to multiply. Once they’re taking over, it becomes a hassle for your pet to get rid of them.

 

There is medicine you can administer that kills off all parasites in general:

Ivermectin, which mites could be resistant to however, and

Revolution, which is normally for cats.

 

I try to avoid medicine as far as possible, so here is an alternative method:

 

How to get rid of mice or lice in a natural way

 

  1. Groom your pet

The mites have taken over and your pet is struggling keeping these buggers at bay.

Help them by grooming them with a small comb. You will soon notice that you’re combing out small particles, each one of them is a relief to your pet.

 

  1. Douse the affected areas with olive oil

I use high quality extra virgin olive oil and don’t dilute it.

Whatever oil is in excess, your pet can lick off and it’s even good for them: Virgin oil has proven to have a life-extending effect in rats.

 

Depending on severity you can give a pet rat an olive oil bath.

According to this story that can end up very messy.

But it seems drenching your pet rat in olive oil really does the trick, as this comment confirms.

 

Pouring pure olive oil on the affected areas should suffocate the mites and at the same time heal the scabs. Together with an immune-boosting diet, your pet should be able to fend off the invaders.

 

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Yoshi and Sybil are bosom buddies.

Yoshi and Sybil are bosom buddies.

 

This friendship forged already long before the #RattieSitting:

 

Apparently these two met at work!

Yes, some are lucky enough to take their pets to work, even when the pet turns out to be a rat. 😉

 

Obviously Yoshi was totally smitten by gorgeous Sybil and because they get along so well, they got to meet for playdates at work.

 

While #RatSitting they got 2 weeks of that, just play play play, adventure and mischief and all: Because it was these two who’d go roaming about.

 

If you let your pet rats roam freely it’s important you ratproof your home. But you can only do so much, best is to keep your ratties in an enclosed and safe space.

 

So while all the other ratoots were mostly content hanging about rat city alone, making me feel at ease managing 17 ratties, here we have two adolescents who venture further. That calls for trouble!

 

And of course Sybil managed to chomp a piece out of our monitor cable – just a tiny bit, nothing to worry about; but she did give it a try.

And of course Yoshi was already on the top of the stairs – greeting me friendly, what a lovely welcome; but he did go quite far.

 

Still the cuteness of these two is just heart melting, and it is so lovely to see how they care about each other.

Rats are so gentle, they have so much love to give.

And so much entertainment to offer, it never gets boring with these critters, because one thing is sure:

Rats make great pets! 🙂

 

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The dynamics of rat clans are very sophisticated and quite impressive. Impressive because if even little rodent animals like rats can learn to live together in unity, why can’t we.

 

When new recruits arrive, the previously settled roles within the rattie bunch are shaken up and maybe even up for grabs, so might some of the more opportunistic pet rats think.

 

Luckily, my ratties have gotten so used to visitors, they are super relaxed about sharing their territory. Somehow that makes their home a neutral zone: It is often their cage everybody flocks to and shares a meal or some cuddles.

 

But the visiting ratties are coming in their own cage, with their own smells, so they indeed have a home away from home.
Rats are super sensitive to smells, and they mark each other and everything in between to reconfirm belonging to one clan. I think it’s important for rats to be able to go back to their familiar home and not be completely uprooted when going for RattieSitting.

 

But of course that makes their cage equivalent to their territory.

 

My observation is that if there are many ratties, like for example Camilla’s 8, they are pretty relaxed about their space, as they are used to ratoots coming and going.
But if it’s only 2 pet rats, like Fendi and Cher, and they’re new to the whole ‘let’s meet other rats’ idea, they can turn a bit possessive over their space.

 

So when Mulan and Harley, two black hooded cutsie sisters, visited their lookalike Cher, she was not so impressed.

Mulan says hi to Cher, who however reacted in a territorial manner to these advances.

Mulan says hi to Cher, who however reacted in a territorial manner to these advances.

 

Whenever they encountered each other, there was some huffing and puffing going on, a rat’s way to indicate they are ready to fight for their right. The right for what is not always that clear, so I just kept on separating them when they came to close for comfort.

 

Rats can be very persistent, and Mulan and Harley kept on going back to Cher, but yet again, it wouldn’t go well.
I sometimes had to lock Mulan and Harley in one of the other cages, because they wouldn’t leave Cher alone.
They even managed to sneak into Cher and Fendi’s cage every now and then, and that was really a no-go zone for them, also Fendi agreed on that one.

 

However, outside of this specific Fendi and Cher cage area, everything was totally fine. They could eat, sleep and cuddle together, no problem.

 

So maybe there was hope that they could transfer the friendship’s locale.

 

And indeed: On the very last day of the RattieSitting Cher and Harley were one heart and one soul in Fendi and Cher’s travel cage.
Where they had stood upright, confronting each other, swaying in the attempt to dominate, they now sat side by side like good old pals. Some stretching, and then some more relaxing.

I couldn't believe my eyes: Cher and Harley in harmony side by side in Cher's travel cage. Forgotten are all territorial disputes.

I couldn’t believe my eyes: Cher and Harley in harmony side by side in Cher’s travel cage. Forgotten are all territorial disputes.

 

Even with 17 ratties from 4 different clans, they manage to achieve harmony eventually.

 

To me, this is the bliss of RattieSitting. I love watching these clever little munchkins, it’s better entertainment than TV.

 

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