Three new rats!

Well, I have three new friends living with me in my apartment now! Last weekend, I adopted Chloe, Amy, and Isabella from the SPCA of Texas. They join my two resident rats, Georgie and Lucy, bringing the rat count up to 5!

Many people think of dogs and cats in shelters, but don’t realize that many rats, bunnies, and other small animals end up in shelters too. All three of these very sweet rats were surrendered by their owners to the shelter. I couldn’t believe that sweet Chloe had been at the shelter for 80+ days.

Many people don’t realize the amount of time, energy, and even money that is needed to take care of a small animal. Or, some people buy a small animal for themselves or their child and then get bored of the animal. Then, the animal ends up in a shelter. If you are thinking about adding a small critter to your household, please check your local shelter and also the the small and furry section on Petfinder before you buy from a pet store.

I’m keeping the new girls separate right now, to give them time to settle in and to make sure they are 100% healthy, before I start introducing them to Georgie and Lucy. They are in a smallish cage right now, which they are a little grumpy about. However, they are getting plenty of playtime to romp about. I’m starting to learn their personalities–Amy is all about adventure, she is always exploring and trying to get into trouble. Isabella is a bit shy, but loves to chew and shred things up. Chloe seems to be the ringleader so far, but she loves to snuggle up with Isabella for naps. They came from the shelter with their current names, which I will probably keep.

In the top photo below, Chloe (brown and white) is on the left, Isabella (rose grey and white) is in the middle, and Amy (black and white) is on the right. I have lots of fun training plans for these girls, so check back soon! Once they get settled in and introduced to Georgie and Lucy, the training will begin. 🙂

The first night I let the three new girls play in the bathtub a bit. Amy is definitely a puzzle solver and quickly figured out how to climb onto a paper sack to get a bit higher so that she could jump out of the tub. After that, she would not stay in the tub! I think she’ll get along great with my rat Georgie, who also loves to explore and is always on the go. Amy is in the rat in the two photos below.

My rats came home from the SPCA in a Hide-Perch-and-Go box. If you’re not familiar with these boxes, you can check out their website. Many shelters use these boxes for cats. The box definitely didn’t make a good rat carrier, as my new rats started chewing their way out of it on the way home. However, the box makes a GREAT addition to their play area! They love crawling through it and climbing up on top of it. I can get some better pictures, but you can see it in the photos below. It’s the box that says Petco and Petfinder on it. (In the picture below, Chloe is on the left and Isabella is on the right.)

I’ll keep you updated on my three new ratties! Once I’m sure everyone is healthy, introductions will begin, which hopefully will go well. (Usually it is not too difficult to introduce female rats to each other). Right now, I’ve been letting the new rats run around their play area in the mornings and evenings when I’m at home. They have been a hoot to watch so far. All three are very active girls and they love racing around and climbing on all of the boxes and containers in the play area.

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  • Nuttycrew

    Beautiful girls! Post videos of the training! I would love to see that!

    • Thanks for the comment on my blog!

      I will try to post some new training videos soon. We have a few new tricks we are working on.

      I do have some videos on youtube of a few of the tricks I taught her last fall. Here are two of my favorite videos:
      Going through a tunnel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

      Going over a jump: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

      cheers,

      Mary

  • Hello, this weekend is pleasant for me, as this time i am reading this wonderful informative piece of writing here at my house.

  • Hertha James

    Love your rats, Mary :-).  I had rats for many years.  Kept them in my classroom when I was teaching Biology.  Got the babies well handled by getting the kids to weight them regularly and graph the results.

    I imagine they are a super animal to hone ones clicker training skills, being so quick and such able learners.  Never had time when teaching to delve into this.  I'm sure the students would have loved it.

    • Hi Hertha,

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      That's awesome that you had rats in your classroom. What a great way for kids to get experience with hands on science, by getting to weight the rats and graph the results. I bet the students had a lot of fun doing it!

      My rat Georgie has been so much fun to clicker train. She is so smart and a super fast learner. She has definitely helped me refine my shaping skills and has helped me improve my timing and mechanical skills. We have a few new tricks we are working on right now, I really should post some videos of them. We're working on going back and forth over a small jump and also on walking backwards.

      cheers,

      Mary