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Tag Archives: #RatsMakeGreatPets

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. 😊

 

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I see double: Summer and Skavin

I see double: Summer and Skavin

 

The joys of RattieSitting:

Mixing it up with the visiting pet rats can also backfire!

Sometimes ratties look so similar, it becomes difficult to tell them apart.

Here we have beauties Summer and Skavin:

Luckily they do have distinctive marks: Summer has the cutest white belly ready for cuddly kisses while Skavin is a gorgeous black self, meaning she is black all over.

But at first glance, it’s hard to distinguish them.

Taking pictures for PortRATure for example is a challenge when these two pop up and it’s not clear who is who.

Well, it never gets boring with pet rats, that’s why rats make great pets! 😀

 

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Rats make great pets.

 

But people have the weirdest prejudices against them, reinforced by hype creating click-bait media.

One stereotype against rats is that they are messy.

 

I’ve lived for over 20 years with pet rats, and find them really well organised.

From diligently even at an old age going to the toilet to tackling obstacles in team work, I’ve seen it all.

 

Still, at a first glance rats can look messy to the untrained eye.

But there’s always a deeper purpose behind the action of a rat.

 

Here for example we have the rattie food bowl – note the handmade touch – which is covered in newspaper strips.

Pretty neat: The ratties covered up their food for safekeeping.

Pretty neat: The ratties covered up their food for safekeeping.

 

There’s a good reason for it: Beneath it the rattie food is protected, against dust and dirt, against flies and bugs, against unwanted preying eyes, or who knows what – it’s a rats! world.

Because there’s nothing else they can use, they tear apart newspaper, bring it up to the bowl and place it carefully over the food, to cover it all.

 

In rattie world this is a neatly done job.

 

I think it says a lot about rats, that they care enough about the state of their food that they make a point to cover it up for the day for safe- and freshkeeping.

So no, rats are not messy. They just make do with what they’ve got.

 

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These tomatoes were planted by our pet rat MJ.

These tomatoes were planted by our pet rat MJ.

 

Pet rats are ideal for small apartments. When we lived in a tiny bachelor flat, too small for a dog or a cat, we could still have pet rats.

 

Rats of course see it the other way round: Everything belongs to them and they generously share it with their humans.

 

Including whatever we tried to grow on the balcony: It would quickly succumb to become the rattie garden.

 

Plants our ratties didn’t like – or maybe liked too much – were soon uprooted, and no matter how much we tried to look out for the little oak tree, leaves would mysteriously disappear one by one until only a little stump was left.

 

But it’s not all destructive what rats do. Just look at this bountiful tomato plant.

This tomato plant grew out of nowhere and is even bearing fruit!

This tomato plant grew out of nowhere and is even bearing fruit!

 

While in my rattie tip I recommend growing a rattie garden for some fresh greens for your pet rats from their leftover seeds, it of course also gets shaped by the ratties themselves.

 

In this case our rattie MJ had nicked some tomato. Searching a place for safekeeping away from her clan, she decided the best way to hide it was by burying it in our barren balcony plant pot.

 

When to my amazement something started to grow in the rattie garden that I couldn’t identify, I suspected our ratties had something to do with it.

 

But I never thought it could turn into a whole tomato bush bearing fruit. And now our ratties have even more tomatoes they can steal! 😉

These tomatoes grew themselves - with a little help from our rats.

These tomatoes grew themselves – with a little help from our rats.

 

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Sisi and Dot: Watch Dot bruxing, she's so relaxed, it's eye boggling: https://youtu.be/DqhLh8iEVNQ

Sisi and Dot: Watch Dot bruxing, she’s so relaxed, it’s eye boggling: youtu.be/DqhLh8iEVNQ.

Rats’ teeth never stop growing, just like fingernails or hair.

That’s why pet rats do something called ‘bruxing‘ – they grind their teeth down. This can look funny, as their eyes boggle:

It’s a comforting feeling to ratties, so they do it when they are very relaxed and happy; or when they are stressed, to calm themselves down.

For newbies to the whole having rats as pets experience it can be a surprising action to witness. But not to worry, rats naturally boggle their eyes and brux their teeth.

You might find the rhythm of grinding their teeth like a soothing white noise and that it not just calms your pet rat, but you as well. 🙂

 

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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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