So I have always been an animal lover, since a youngster I have had my fair share of rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, lizards, snakes and even tarantulas. I have grown up round dogs, and have never known a life without dogs or some kind of pet living with us.
Currently we have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 8 rats, 1 tortoise and 2 guinea pigs. We also have 2 lizards living with us temporarily. All animals have completely different requirements and even though I did my research before taking on any of the animals, most of the time you learn as you go. Facebook pages dedicated to individual animals are a great place for some advice.
Each blog I'm going to talk about my different experiences with each species, the first blog will be about the rats:
So firstly the 8 rats, were once two, but unfortunately the person I got them off had sexed them wrong and so two become 14! Daddy rat (Basil) was split from mummy rat (Sybil), while she did an excellent job of raising her babies, they were all handled daily and have grown up to be very playful/cheeky rats. The boys now live with daddy rat and are often found snuggling, playing or grooming each other.
One of the 12 babies didn't make it, the other 11 grew up well and healthy. 5 of them went to homes, with people I know very well and I kept the rest. So I have 3 girls: Sybil, Agnes and Merida
I also have 5 boys: Basil, Fagan, Norman, Ziggy and Hoggle.
People are often disgusted by rats, however I have found them to be so much fun, they are very fast learners and love having cuddles. They have a reputation (like many animals) that they don't deserve, they really are lovely little creatures and each of my 8 rats has their own individual personality, likes, habits and dislikes.
They are generally pretty clean animals, they will use litter trays, but often like to urinate on anything plastic. Their cages are filled with plenty of places to hide, lots of things to chew and many other things to keep them busy. I'm often found cutting up old clothing to make hammocks, and fabric tubes (out of sleeves) to keep their set up interesting, yes I think it's safe to say I'm a nutty rat lady! haha
So they don't get bored, they get regular free time, this means they get to have a run around the room (anything they aren't supposed to get, like wires, are kept out of reach). During this time, I will play with them and giving them lots of handling sessions.
Rats make fantastic pets, they are playful, affectionate, clean, and sociable, their cages aren't cheap and you can easily spend a fortune on them (toys, treats etc) they do like a lot of attention, and need to be living with companions as they can get lonely and stressed.
Overall rats truly are awesome and I enjoy finding new ways to keep them entertained and giving them plenty of cuddles!