I got two rats tonight!

They’re both boys, brothers, about 5 weeks old. These are my first rats.

One is about 2/3rds white with a big irregular shapped grey patch on his face and back. The other is mostly grey and black with some white patches.

One of them seems pretty shy and skitish. He explored around the cage a bit, ate some food, and then curled up in the corner.

The other explored the whole room, even going behind the book case before I could stop him. Eventually he went back into the cage, ate a little, and wrestled with his brother a bit.

Neither of them seemed to want any affection from me. The more outgoing one let me pet him a bit, but didn’t want me to hold him. I’m hoping that will change once they get used to me and their new surroundings.

I had planned on naming them Hemmingway and Steinbeck, but now I want to hold off naming them. I want to learn their personalities and give them appropriate names. My 2nd choice of names might be more appropriate. The shy black one could be Java and the light colored inquisitive one could be Pascal. I also like Ada, but that’s a girl’s name (yes, I’m a programmer).

Are there many rat owners out there in dopeland? From everything I’ve heard they’re the best pets.

T.J. Black

And I thought this was going to be a thread that I could discuss the skunks under our house and how so far we’ve killed 5 plus one opossum. :o

I have pet rats! Milo and Rodney, little hooded rat guys (like the first rat you describe) who have turned out to be really good pets. They do have their own distinct personalities, too. Milo is inquisitive, friendly, and smart enough to throw food at the cats to distract them. Rodney is lazy, a little more timid, and falls down the ramp on a regular basis.

I posted here asking for info before I got them, and lots of Dopers helped me out. Lemme go see if I can dig up that thread.

Found it!


I have no idea how to turn that into a link… but that’s where I got a lot of good advice.

Aw, lucky you. I get my ratty fix by working with Jingo, my lab rat, every week. The Skinner Box is “gamebox” in which he “plays” for “foods.” Watching him learn is such a treat.

Sometimes I think that I would like to adopt him and take him away from all this, but playing in gamebox is the highlight of his week. If he lived with me, his little brain would never be challenged. At least I can rest easy leaving him a career lab rat, since my school is so everything-rights that he would never be cruelly treated.

Topic? Oh, yeah. Rats are very sweet and great pets. I’m glad your family has grown!

I have two rats… little sisters. Grey and white little things with black eyes and adorable little faces. I call them Jezebel and Delilah.

Rats are great pets. They are so affectionate and gentle. And they are so cute!

I’ve had lots of rats and I love them all. My favorite was Skippy the Wonder Dog. He would get so excited when I’d open his cage (the door was in the top, not on the sides–I made the cage) and he’d shake his little butt back and forth, then BOINGG!! jump onto my hand. ahhhh the memories

I guess nobody wants to hear about my former pet boa constrictor, huh? :slight_smile:

Have fun with your rats! I’ve known a lot of people who loved their rats. Were it not for the snake, a few years ago I might have gotten a rat. And right now, I fear for a rat should it get out of my room and anywhere the dogs can see it. The dogs are harmless to humans, but I’m not sure about rodents. They’d certainly want to PLAY! with it at the least and probably traumatize the poor thing for life.

I only have one rat right now. Her name is Gertrude. I’d rather have two, but I can’t afford to get her a friend right now and would prefer them to be close in age anyway.

Recent pic

Rats are wonderful, and they do eventually get used to being handled.

Fat Boy (Gertie’s predecessor) was a lap rat. He’d roam around my computer desk and then finally curl up on my legs where I could pet him.

Junior (Fat Boy’s predecessor) was a shoulder (or “shelf”) rat. He loved to sit on your shoulder (or on my bosoms), stick his pointy little nose in your ear and sneeze.

When I turned the light on this morning, the inquisitive one came out to greet me. When I opened the cage he came out and I was able to hold him and pet him while he sniffed me out. When I made my breakfast, I gave them some banana in a bowl. The one munched on it a little bit. The shy one wouldn’t come out of his box, so I put a piece of banana right by the opening. When I checked back later, one of them had taken a dump on it. sigh

They had done a bit of remodeling over night. I was wondering what all that commotion was about at 3am!

I think I’m going with the names Java and Pascal. They seem to suit their personalities.

I like the names you’ve chosen, tj. Definitely keep handling them, they get used to it pretty quickly and will soon be begging for some attention. They’ve always reminded me of a cross between a hamster (cute and fuzzy) and a dog (friendly and often exasperating).
On top of that, rats are very clever, and I’ve known a handful of people who’ve kept them as pets for years at a time. My only suggestion is to be sure to provide them with plenty of wood or heavy cardboard chewies, because otherwise their front teeth can get really out of control. And when they bite, they can bite hard.
I had a couple myself (Melvin and Chickenhead) five or six years back, but they were actually just “surplus” from a feeding for my snake. I kept them in a cage for the next round, and ended up getting attached to them. When it came time to feed Cleo, I felt horribly guilty about it. :frowning: I wouldn’t have done it, but I was a poor college student at the time and couldn’t really afford to a) keep them, or b) buy yet more rats for the snake. I still feel like an evil bitch when I think about it. Such is life, I guess.

Oh you are lucky!
I had a pet rat a few years ago, her name was Socrate. She was a great pet and would love climbing up my leg and roam around me desk when I was studying. She was sweet but had a temper…
My hubby doesn’t get it and doesn’t me to get one now… but it was a great experience!
“Handle” them a lot so they get use to it.

The shy one let me hold and pet him for a little bit tonight.

I’m starting to really like the name Pixel for the outgoing one. I need a complementary name for the other (shy, dark colored) one. I guess Java would still work. Any suggestions?

I’m incredibly jealous! I love rats and would love to keep a couple as pets, but my cats would eat them:(. Still, I’ve heard that they’re incredibly social animals and great pets. I love the names as well, and they’ll make it known soon enough which they prefer. Enjoy your new babies!


I have a new little puppy as well as my two rats, and they seem to get along fine. However, I would never leave them alone together because I think little Gizmo might end up “playing” a bit rough with them.

My rats are in a cage in the laundry, and my puppy sleeps in the spare back room. The rats will sniff and nip at his nose through the bars of the cage when Gizmo puts his face close, and when I take the rats out he is very shy of them.

Just two? I got seven last night. One was with a one-handed no-look shot with the .22 rifle.

Man I’m good!

They’re starting to warm up to me a little more. However, when I let them out last night, one of them went behind the bookcase and wouldn’t come out. I had to use the broom to coax him out. After I put him back in the cage, he sulked in the corner for quite a while. Definitely a setback in human-rat relations. My fault for letting them roam the apartment; in the future I’ll know to only let them roam in a controlled area.

Are they good eatin’? :smiley:

I have rats. Didn’t mean to… they just showed up. In fact, when I saw the title of this thread, I thought my cat had set up his own profile and started this thread (I’m sure he uses my computer when I’m at work. I keep finding all these “kitty porn” downloads on my hard drive…) Just a couple weeks ago, he found a rat and killed it. Dog brought out the trophy to show me. I’m not completely opposed to living with rodents, especially since my vet told me this very morning that rats and mice are the perfect food for cats. I’m sure gotmilk? agrees. I’ll be sure to keep my deadly cats away from your beloved pets, though… not to worry.

I’ve had some cats that were pretty good hunters myself.

From what I’ve read, rats and cats can learn to get along, but all the same I don’t think I’d ever leave a cat alone with them.