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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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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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Say Cheese! 😀

Say Cheese: Ratties Milka and Cinnamonkey smile for the camera, just little April doesn't get it. ;)

Say Cheese: Ratties Milka and Cinnamonkey smile for the camera, just little April doesn’t get it. 😉

The ratties smile for the camera, but not everyone gets it. 🙂

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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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