Rats! No really, lots of rats

I'm extremely surprised I haven't posted up about this before.

In December myself and Gaia bought my house-mate a present of a pet rat. She was cute and we instantly took a shine to her.

As the days went by, in the lead up to Christmas, she seemed to be gaining weight awfully fast. Then, she seemed to go frantic for collecting every bit of anything we put into the cage. The slow realisation, confirmed by the vet, occurred to us – we had an immaculate conception on our hands (read: the pet shop gave us a pregnant rat).

The vet was very helpful and told us that she'd look after everything, and that we should leave her well alone for about 2 weeks after the birth. She warned that we could have between 6 and 15 little rats coming into the world.

And thus it came to be that on the 21st of December (not quite the second coming birthday we had hoped for), Ratsy Cline gave birth to 9 wee rats – 4 females and 5 males.

Here's a photo of Diego, one of the most charismatic of the baby rats.

So now, all of a sudden, we had 10 rats. The intention was to bring them back to the pet shop after a couple of weeks (and before they reached mating age), however that didn't quite work out. Gaia ended up taking the 5 males to her house, with the intention of finding friends who wanted to take a rat, and we got a second cage to house them. We've ended up holding on to mother and her 4 females. Fortunately we managed to separate them before the reached sexual maturity. In fact it's crazy, the reach sexual maturity at 5-6 weeks, and they have a gestation period of 21 days. That's a new generation every 8 weeks.

Anyway.. I thought you might enjoy a video of our rats before bath time. They hang out in the bath tub before they get personally groomed in the sink – they have quite the luxurious life really.

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Comments

  • Ah, rats make wonderful pets. We've had six of them over the years, but they don't live very long and it would break my heart, so I had to stop bringing them home.My girl, Mina, used to curl up on the top of my foot and nap while I was standing at the sink washing dishes. I miss her.So cute!

  • I had heard they don't live very long. Someone mentioned 2-3 years. Is that about right?We have to be somewhat careful of our rats due to the presence of a pet cat in the house. Although he's a bit strange and I'm not sure how much of a danger he represents.

  • Yes. Females typically live 2-3 years, and males 3-4, I think. We always had females, and all of ours lived about 2.5 years.I'd keep an eye on things with the cat around, but I have seen lots of cat-rat households where everyone got along.My husband had a web page for our rats. Wait, I'll dig it up… Here <a href="http://:http://www.sushi4craig.com/life/rats/index.html…Just” target=”_blank”>:http://www.sushi4craig.com/life/rats/index.html…Just in case you ever need a little extra cuteness in your day. 😉

  • Aww! I had a pet rat when I was a teenager, he was the greatest companion I ever had. He was house-trained and would come to me when I called his name; I swear he smarter than our dog.
    I don't think I'll ever get another one, because I was heartbroken when he died. I wish they lived longer.

  • Wow. I haven't trained them like at all. I've heard they train up very well. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed by having so many of them.This last week we've had all ten back in the same house. My girlfriend has been staying with me for the last while and brought her batch of males with her.

  • Came here via the feature, and I must say, these are some cuties. I loved the video. Reminds me of how I used to bathe my hamsters occasionally, and how I'd put them in the sink or tub while I cleaned their cage.

  • rats are amazing, amazing animals. my husband and i have had several over the years. right now we just have one, a little girl named starling. she knows her name, comes when she's called, and spends most of her day sleeping under the covers in our bed.

  • so cute, and i love the name, ratsy cline!

  • I appreciate reading your rat tale. 🙂 My daughter just went out on Monday and adopted her first rat and after much research and worry for the next two days, we headed back to the store/breeder and found a litter mate for little Charlie Bucket and brought home. He was overjoyed at having his brother joining him. They are a very social critter. So we now have two little ones who won't be little for long! I rather hope you post updated photos and adventures of the little fur balls on occasion.

  • squee! Esp. like the grey and cream ones. What does the mom look like?

  • i saw this on this is good 🙂 good job!

  • I'm going to have to work on teaching them how to come to a name calling. I was reading up on the web about it, and it looks like training involves rewards of the food variety and repetition.

  • That's great. I have heard a lot about them being social creatures, so I think having 5 must be pretty cool.I'll definitely try and keep putting up occasional photos and the like. Do you have males or females?

  • Well the mom is the first photo in the post – it's kind of hard to see her right thought. She's brown and white 🙂

  • We have two males. Charlie's brother is Candy Man… Charlie Bucket (hope this isn't TOO obvious, but for those who don't know the story) was named after the title character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and now his brother is Willy Wonka, but since Kel didn't want to name him Willy, called him Candy Man instead. As soon as she gets the photos up to Flickr, I'll post one in my Vox.