Monday, March 9, 2015


For Natalie's birthday we decided we would buy her a pet.  She is such an animal lover (not sure where she gets that) but Noah is allergic to cats (so is Brian) and somewhat to dogs (nor do I like dogs) so we had to get a small pet.  We decided against reptiles, fish and amphibians because they aren't exciting plus they need a lot of special equipment.  That left small mammals.  After Brian did a lot of research it seemed that rats are the best small mammals to have.  They are the friendliest, most hygienic and trainable pets.  They can tolerate a lot of handling without biting which can't be said for other rodents.  I had a hard time trying to decide if I could have rats in my house but they actually are really cute!  I ignore their tails :)

We gave Natalie the cage on the day of her birthday party and then went that evening to get rats.  We ended up having to go to 2 pet stores because we were not going to get white rats with red eyes.  We ended up with 2 rats since they are very social.  They are both hooded rats, one with a gray hood and one with a tan hood.  The gray one is named Trixie and is a small rat.  The tan one is named Golden and is a medium rat.  We wanted 2 small rats but the store only had 3-one white with red eyes and the other one had an injured foot.  Natalie named her rats after cereals.  It took a long time for her to pick names.  I haven't gotten good pictures yet because they don't come out of their cage.
They have been very shy since we got them.  They don't like being out of their cage and exploring.  Natalie thinks she got nipped (which Brian and I don't think she did-we think Golden turned to smell her and Natalie yanked her hand back and scraped it on the cage) so she is very hesitant to touch them anymore.  But she LOVES to watch them.  Brian has done all of the handling.  They try to get the rats out in the bathroom but the rats don't like to get out.  We have tried to get them out on the dining room table (don't worry, we sanitize the table afterwards) because they can't get off the table but they don't want to get out-the scurry back to their cage (at least we know now that they want to be in their cage).  Brian has been able to hold them.  Hopefully they warm up soon.  We have not been successful in training them yet but since they are still shy around us, it may take us more time.  Generally rats like people but most likely these rats weren't handled at all before us.

We had an adventure with Trixie a couple nights after we got the rats.  Natalie wanted to get them out and she took out their tube (their home) and dumped Trixie out on the floor.  This was in the middle of the living room.  Trixie immediately took off for under the couch.  She stayed under there exploring under the couch and was too afraid to come out.  She had her trapped under the couch but somehow she got behind our bookcase and then behind the TV stand.  We just could not trap her!  She managed to escape us and we lost her for a few minutes but then found her under our recliner.  Finally we got the chair out of the way, dragged the cage over to where she was and hoped she would go in.  Nope, she tried to escape via the magazine rack, got stuck in there and then Brian was able to dump her back in the cage.  Our house was a disaster area!  It took us an hour and 35 minutes to get her back in the cage.  Needless to say we haven't tried to get them out in the living room again!

1 comment:

  1. What happened to the name Cheerio? My girls have been telling everyone that Natalie has a rat named Cheerio. That one picture is very cute, but I don't think I would like their tails either.