Here we have added common questions that we receive regularly. Please feel free to contact us and ask us if you don't see it here. I am sure this page will always be gradually growing as we update it over time.
Q: I would like to adopt a pet rat, can I get only one? A: No, rats are community animals that have a complex social structure, and should only be kept with other rats. It is preferable to keep at least 3 together. They groom each other, play, eat, and sleep together. They form a strong bond with their "family". It is very cruel to keep a lone rat, they often form anxiety, bad habits like chewing or destroying, and if left alone long enough, they may never accept a companion and they turn mean, even killing another rat if you try to introduce them.
Q: How much is the adoption fee? A: The adoption fees start at 20.00 and go up with rarity/different varieties. Sometimes we do specials on groups of 3 or more.
Q: I want to have a litter of rats, can you help me with this? A: No, we work very hard on our lineage, our rats are pedigreed and we keep stringent records. We breed towards show standards, and perfecting temperament. Backyard breeding is becoming a real problem.
Q: What kind of cage should I have? A: Rats are terrestrial meaning they like to stay low, dig, and tunnel. Floor space is more important than shelving and height. Sure, they will enjoy hammocks, and climbing bars, but make sure that have lots of floor space and hides. Bin cages are gaining in popularity, are used by most breeders, are easy to make and keep clean, and offer lots of floor space. We can easily guide you in making one.
Q: What kind of bedding should I use? A: We will always recommend pine shavings or pine equine pellets. There has been a lot of misinformation spread across the web that pine shavings are bad or have oils in them that can harm rats respiratory systems. In the US this is simply not true. All pine shavings are kiln dried which is very safe for rats, as it eliminates any harmful oils. There are many studies that debunk pine as bad. Please, do not use Carefresh, paper of any kind, fleece, or cedar!!! They do not absorb urine (ammonia), and the build up will cause your rats to develop upper respiratory infections which can be very costly to treat, and cedar is very toxic.
Q: What kind of food should I feed? A: We recommend using Oxbow food for pet rats. Never Kaytee or any of the stuff from Walmart/Kroger with seeds in it. Those are not a complete diet and your rat will not be healthy. You can also give them fresh veggies, uncooked pasta, and small amounts of fruit for treats. We do have lists of safe/ unsafe foods for rats that you can take with your adoption.
Q: Can rats really learn tricks? A: Yep! Rats are very smart creatures and enjoy learning new things! Get some puffs from the baby section at Kroger, and you have a yummy and healthy reward! You can look up videos on Youtube for inspiration!
Q: Do rats make good pets? A: Sure do! They are inquisitive, bright, and happy animals. They will learn the sound of your voice, and will enjoy their time out of the cage. Try making an obstacle course, or a shallow bath with frozen peas. They tend to hold their potty, or if able to, will return to their cage to potty, then come on back out for more fun!
Q: Can you litter train rats? A: It can be done! Rats will back up their rump to corners of the cage to do their business. A corner litter pan with some shavings and a "pee rock" will usually coerce the rat to potty there. A pee rock is any rock from a driveway, or outside that's small enough to sit in the corner, is smooth, and around 2" to 3" in diameter. Rats like to pee on rocks. This method has been successful for many people.
Q: How long do rats live? A: On average rats can live from 1.5 to 3 years old, with the average age being around 2. For us, they are only with us for a short time in our life, but for them, we are their entire life. Take care of your rats responsibly and give them the absolute best you can.
Q: Do rats bite? A: A well bred rat should never bite, be skittish, be aggressive, or squeak loudly when you are trying to hold them. DO NOT adopt a rat that is showing signs of fear, or trying to bite you. It is normal for a rat to move around and try to explore when you are holding them, but to be trying to escape in fear is a huge no no.
Q: Why adopt from a breeder? Can't I just go to the pet store? Why are your prices so much higher than the pet store? A: I wrapped these 3 questions into one answer because they all go to together. There are a number of reasons why you should go through a breeder and not adopt from a pet store. True breeders do what they do to better the rat, they have goals in health, temperament, and in some cases show standards. They keep strict records of births, lineage, health, and much more. We are a recognized Rattery by the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association. The rats you get from pet stores are meant to be sold as feeders or pets. They are purchased from someone who did not breed them with any goals in mind, and they are mass produced. They do not care if you are buying them for a pet or to feed a snake. There is no history about health (tumors and cancer kill a large percentage of rats as they age), and you will have no idea how their temperament will turn out. In fact, due to Rat Bite Fever, a 13 yr old boy was killed a few years ago after being bitten by a pet store rat in California. Due to this incident, it is illegal to sell pet rats in stores in Ohio and many other states. To get around this they sell them as feeders. We try very hard to produce awesome pets for your family. Our prices reflect the time, paperwork, quality food, supplies, and love we put into each and every pet.
Q: Which make better pets, males or females? A: There isn't one sex that makes a better pet, they both bring different qualities to the table. Males are known for being calmer and more laid back, while females are known to be smaller and more active. While this is usually true, it is not always the case! Dwarf males are very active, and most standard size males don't become potatoes until they are over 6 months old. Some females chill out rather soon, while some hold onto their youth a while longer. Each rat is different and has a unique personality.
We will be adding more Q&A's as I think of them, or they are asked.