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I just bought my daughter a rat!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Sometimes I really wonder how I became such a sucker! My daughter (5 and a half years old) has been begging for a hamster lately. So today I finally caved in. I bought all the hamster stuff at Petsmart and then went to Petco to get the hamster (Petsmart only had males). The lady at Petco was pretty hesitant about selling a hamster to a little kid because they tend to bite (hard!). But Amy was adimant, and I had already told her yes. So the lady went to get the hamsters out of their cages, and they were really, really hacked off! They actually hissed like cats and then tried to bite her. She was wearing a glove, thankfully. When Amy saw that, she wasn't so sure about a hamster.

So the lady said how about a rat. Amy and I are both saying "No way, no rats!" Adam of course (he's 3) thought a rat was a great idea. Eventually, she convinces us to hold a rat, and she was really sweet and didn't bite at all. So I ended up buying the rat, a tank for her to live in, and all the accessories.

I'm such a sucker. I wonder if hubby will stay married to me after he hears about this...

Amy named the rat Flower. She's very cute, white with a black head and black spots going down her back. She's only a couple months old, so she's young enough to train.

So, call me crazy...
post #2 of 22
They really are good pets and teach kids responsibiliy. We had several when I was growing up along with guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits. Ribald used to love to sleep in my catcher's mitt on my bed. My mom would freak out, but after everyone was asleep I would go and take him out of his cage and he would snuggle into the mitt at night. Good luck with Flower!
post #3 of 22
I agree with Hissy. They do teach pet resposibility without having to spend an arm and a leg. With the exception of the equipment. We used mice with our daughter and it went really well until the little furball passed away. But we turned that into a learning experience as well. So picture this, a 6 year old with a little cardboard box, decorated of course, in crayon, Dad digging a little grave by the tree, having a funeral in the rain... it was indeed an experience..

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ken, that sounds like something you'd see in a movie...

The rat was pretty cheap, but the cage and accessories are not. But that's ok because they will last. Amy really wants Flower to get out and about right away, but I thought it best to let her acclimate for a while (plus, she tried to bite me when I went to get her out, not hard though).
post #5 of 22
The rat I had was very smart and a lot of fun. I agree, they are really good first pets. I don't think I would worry about the nibble. Rats usually treat just about everything as a Mine used to sit on my shoulder and nibble my ear
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sandie. I think she's just trying to get used to her new surroundings. She just tried to nip Hubby as well, so we'll leave her until tomorrow.
post #7 of 22
I wish i had had a video camera at the time to video tape it. It was so cute. As a matter of fact, Kylee's sitter at the time found a nice flat rock and they painted his name on it, then placed it at the head of the little grave. It's still there to this day, adn everytime I start to do yard work Kylee politely reminds me that I MUST be carefull. She's such a doll...

post #8 of 22
AAHHHHH another sucker in the bunch, I have been dubbed the "Head Sucker" by friends and family. I have replaced a gerbil, that drowned when a pipe burst, with a snake, which turned into three, replaced four guinea pigs, with guinea pigs, replaced two cats with cats, one cat with two rabbits that turned in to nine and I just recently this week replaced a cat with two parakeets, so no your not a sucker in my book, your a mom.
post #9 of 22
Awww! Rats are very sweet pets. My sister kept rats when we were growing up. (Between us we've owned just about everything imaginable!) They were always so loving and snuggly! Flower sounds like a perfect name, too! How cute!
post #10 of 22
I've never had a rat, but with our glider, he sometimes nips if we put a finger in his face. Not to draw blood, just to let us know we're in the wrong place.

Also, get a hamster ball! My hamster loved it when I was a kid, and the glider loves it know. That way the rat can explore while protected from the cats, and it's a good place to put her while you clean out the cage!
post #11 of 22
I think it's great you did that for your daughter(s) - it will teach them to be responsible and respect animals - she kinda already got a lesson with the nasty little hamsters! :tounge2: I think giving a child a pet to teach them is great.... Rats are smart and you can train them!
post #12 of 22
That the kiddens don't wanna "play"
post #13 of 22
Congrats on your (Amys) new pet! A friend of mine from high school had a rat named Daisy. She was a sweety.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
We are still having problems with Princess Flower biting. She actually lunges at me when I put my hand in the cage. I called the pet store and talked to the girl who sold her to me, and she says that's not right. She wants me to bring her back in and pick a different one because rats should not bite like this. I used a glove when I tried to pick her up this morning, and she actually broke the skin on my finger. So we'll be going back to the pet store today.
post #15 of 22
Congrats on the new pet! I've always had some kind of pet growing up (mainly hampsters, gerbils, lizards and fish). Amy will have a great time!
post #16 of 22
Back to the store with him/her!
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
I really wanted another girl rat, but the only girl rats they had were the same age as the original. They had three younger rats, which would be less likely to bite, but they were all boys. I really can't handle those testicles (they're HUGE), but I decided the safety of the kiddos outweighs my adversion to those things. Plus, I'll probably get him neutered, and then I won't have to deal with that. This new guy looks pretty much like the first one, but smaller. He's 8 weeks old. They didn't even have him on display yet, they were in the back. They are just old enough to be sold. So hopefully this'll be better, although I'm kinda scared to get him out. Amy suggested I wear gloves the first time, and I'm thinking that's a great idea!
post #18 of 22
. . . nice thick canvas gardening gloves . . .

But I think if you get him from behind or at least behind his head near the shoulders, that should help too.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, things are going really well with this new rat! He's exceptionally friendly, and I've picked him up a couple times with no biting, and Amy's held him both those times. She names him Prince Eric. We went to Home Depot and got some PVC piping to make some tunnels for him. When he wakes up, he'll have some fun. I also want to get him something to climb on, but I'm not sure what. He's in a 20 gallon aquarium, and space is tight now with the piping. I'm thinking either driftwood of some sort or a ladder. This rat thing is pretty fun!

Sunlion - I wore my thick winter gloves, but thankfully I didn't need them. He's a fiendly little guy.
post #20 of 22
Dawn....I'm glad you took the first rat back, because that is not normal behaviour for a rat. (unless they are raised in the wild of course)
I have had pet rats for 18 years. My home has always had at least one pet rat in it, up until a few months ago, when my last pet rat died.

I haven't gotten another one yet, but I plan on it.

In the whole 18 years I've had rats as pets, I have never once been bitten by one. it is not in their nature to bite unless they feel threatened or have been abused or are older rats who have never been handled much.

Rats are very gentle creatures, and contrary to what alot of people think...they are also very clean.

Just make sure you keep a screen over the aqarium with a large rock or something on top of it, if it doesn't lock on, because unlike hamsters...rats will jump up and push the top of the cage off, and get out.

Since you only have one, it will need lots of attention...they get very lonely. but I have found that the ones who are kept alone, are the most friendly to me, they rely on us for their companionship, instead of the other rats. I used to have one that would get so excited when I came home from work she would jump up and down in her cage until I came and got her out and paid attention to her. She would sit on my lap while I watched TV and fall asleep there.

Just make sure your daughter gets him out and plays with him frequently, or he will get to where he won't want to be held at all.
It's a bonding process... :laughing:

Keep a close eye on him, though, since you have cats...

Merlin used to like to sit and just watch my rat! If we couldn't find merlin, I'd go look in the room with the rat cage, and there he would be. :laughing:

Good luck with your new pet, and let me know how it goes.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Debby - Amy plans on holding her rat all the time. When we're a bit more comfortable with him, we'll bring him downstairs to play. Today she had him running around on her bed with her. She didn't even freak out when he pooped on her. I think he'll be a good pet for her.
post #22 of 22
He sounds like a sweetie!
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