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Hah, yes I do talk about them a lot I guess... Morgawse Send a noteboard - 16/02/2012 03:10:23 PM
How long do they usually live?

Two to three years, on average.

heh, I'm in the same place, I think. I am anti-petshop/breeder, but I know that choosing traits can be nice too. And I'm sure not all deserve the bad rap.

I think it depends a bit on the species. Rat-wise, I am not at all anti breeder. I'm somewhat involved in the fancy rat world, and I know a lot of breeders. I think you have to make your own decision on what is and isn't compatible with your ethics. There are breeders I would not home rats from because I don't agree with how they do things. I once took two babies from a breeder and swore, once I got them out of the house, that I'd never go back there - I wish I'd known about her setup before I went because I would have gone elsewhere; there was no way I was wlaking out without the babies though, I'm not that strong :(

On the other hand, I also know a number of breeders who have done an immense amount for the health of the fancy rat. Even in the 8 years I've been involved I've seen certain lines and varieties improve in health and longevity, which I think can only be a good thing. I know a breeder in Newcastle who knows more about rat nutrition than anyone else I've ever met - again, surely a good thing. The main reason people tend to choose breeder babies over rescue is if they want to be absolutely sure that their rats have had the best possible start in life. Rat respiratory systems are very sensitive things, and poor substrate as babies can really affect their health as adults, as can poor nutrition as babies. Coupled with the naturally short lifespan of a rat, I couldn't possibly judge anyone for making that choice - rescue rats are wonderful and I wouldn't miss them for the world, but losing pets every 2-3 years is awful and so is seeing them unwell. I can't blame people for trying to stave it off as much as they can with babies from ethical, well informed breeders. Most people I know involved in the fancy rat world have a mix of rescues and breeder rats anyway, and most breeders are involved in rescue; they take in and rehome unwanted rats.
The boys (neutered, there will be no gazillions of tiny rat babies here...) are Stanley and Bailey. Their ladyfriend (who mostly uses them for pillows, and as food delivery devices - they fetch it, she steals it) is called Willow. I didn't name them, those are the names they had when we adopted them.

Not bad names though.

No, when we got Stanley and Bailey we considered renaming them, but it just seemed to suit them. I'd not have chosen Willow for this particular rat, but only because we had another rat called Willow a few years ago and using the same name twice seems odd, however nice! It's the name my friend gave her though so I don't want to change it.
They are very good pets. They are completely tame, affectionate, and smart. They want your attention, and they love to come out of the cage to play. In 8 years of rat keeping, I've only been bitten once, and that was mostly my own fault.

I have to admit that I'm not so sure about rats. :P I couldn't have one anyway, because John's cat would spend the rest of his life trying to eat it.

Hehehe, you might be surprised, I have a friend whose cat was terrified of her rats. On the day she got the rats the cat wandered over to the cage to investigate and her tail trailed through the bars. THe inevitable happened, cat got her tail bitten, never went near them again....

Mornings are still not for me.
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