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Rats Vs. Mice as Pets

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Two female rats.

Two female rats.

Male mouse.

Male mouse.

Which Do You Prefer?

When debating between a mouse or a rat there are several things that you should consider before making a purchase.


Naturally, rats get larger than mice and require a larger cage. Larger cages are more expensive than smaller cages. And, with a larger cage, you have to have somewhere to put it. Do you have room for a medium - large sized cage?


When it comes to diet, nothing is different. Rats and mice have the same diet. You can purchase rat/mouse food at your local petstore and feed it to either a rat or a mouse. You do want to consider the brand of food. Where Kaytee Forti-Diet maybe be great in the sense of it's for hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats, so if you already have a hamster or a gerbil, you, technically, could purchase this and feed either a mouse or a rat, too. But, with this particular food, it is high in fat, and should not be used as a staple diet. Seeded diets are not the best for rats, as they too, are fatty. You're best best is to find a rat/mouse block


Personally, I feel that mice have a stronger odor than rats do.

Female rats and mice will smell less than male rats and mice, but I have three female rats in one cage, and one male mouse in another. My one, small male mouse smells worse than my three. larger female rats.

If you clean the cage out weekly, the smell will be reduced. I have to clean, or at least rinse, everything in my mouse's cage in order to reduce the smell to near nothing.


This may be the biggest concern when deciding between a rat or a mouse.

Mice will play on you and around you, but not with you. Rats will play on you, around you, and with you, but only if socialized properly. Rats are friendlier than mice when it comes to people interaction, but that does not always mean that they will always play with you.

If you're looking for a sit on the couch and watch tv pet, neither will sit for long periods of time and hang out, but a rat would be the better option of the two.

If you're interested in more than one mouse or more than one rat, both are social towards their own kind. It's best to house two females (mice or rats), versus two males. Although, it's not impossible to have two males housed together, sometimes, it can create territorial concerns. When housing two males together, you're best bet is to bring home two males together, versus introduce one at a later time. I personally, think that you're best bet is to stick with two females of either mice or rats.

Fancy Mice

Fancy Rats

Rat Information

  • Toys for Pet Rats
    Find fun games for you and your pet rat(s).
  • Signs of Illness in Your Rat
    Make sure that you are aware of the signs of illness in your pet rat(s).
  • Rat Munchies
    Proper treats for you pet rat(s).
  • Housing Pet Rats
    Finding the perfect cage is a must for pet rats. Make sure you know what you're looking for in a cage and accessories
  • Homemade Rat Diets
    Make a healthy, homemade rat diet for your favorit pet. Find out about proper nutrition. What you can and can't feed your rats.
  • Homemade Rat Recipes
    Find out more fun and yummy recipes that you can make for your pet rat(s).
  • Homemade Rat Treats
    Make yummy homemade treats for your beloved pet rat(s).


Gracie on October 15, 2012:

Pffft, I have a whole mischief full of male rats and 2 spayed females, they are just as friendly and loving towards each other as they are with people. This isn't an isolated event either, so long as you intro properly boys tend to get along just fine once they've established a hiearchy. If anyone is aggressive you just need to take them in for a quick snip of theur manhood and it'll be fixed up :)

Rat Luver on June 05, 2012:

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Its not at all true that 2 male rats can't be out together! I have 3 males right now in one cage and they all three live together in peace goolies intact

Justin on April 13, 2012:

Great except for as an experienced rat always get at least two rats. That's only fair. And 2. I have housed over five make rats togeter at different times and they all get along fine. Don't scare people away!!!

katelyn on February 25, 2012:

can someone tell me where i can find a breeded rat .

Nokoyoko on November 13, 2011:

I've never owned mice before, although I've had some experience with them. I can say however that rats are fantastic pets, especially if they've been socialized with humans from birth.

Rats shouldn't be kept alone. Yes it's possible they can fight, however this is usually only the case if they haven't been properly introduced or one or both of hormonally aggressive, in which case neutering will tend to sort them out, in both males and females. It is not fair to keep a rat alone because you fear it won't be as affectionate (the rat has no choice but to cling to you, and you'll never replace another rat) or because somewhere down the line they might fight. A lone rat might seem happy, but if you've ever kept a pair, a trio or a larger group you'll see how happy they are to all pile into one hammock, despite having several. They are social animals, it is cruel to keep them alone without giving them a chance.

If you observe your pets every day like you should do you'll notice warning signs if one rat is becoming aggressive, it's very unlikely a rat will just snap and kill the friends its been living with for the past 6 months if there has been no hint of aggression before hand.

When it comes to introducing rats, don't just plonk them in the same cage, introduce them on neutral territory, in a small place where they can't run off and hide (trust me, that's not a good thing), but be there to intervene. The introduction process can seem rough, but unless there is blood it's fairly normal behavior, some rats will be more aggressive towards intruders than others. But it's not black and white, there are varying degrees. Just because rats fight doesn't mean they have to be separated, they form social hierarchies and will beat each other up from time to time.

Please don't keep rats in tanks, they have very sensitive respiratory problems and they give them little opportunity to climb, it's also unlikely they'll be big enough. Something like a Freddy one cage is minimum for a pair, but you should get the largest cage you can afford, there are so many on the market that are pretty huge and not expensive, if you can't afford to spend £80+ on a cage you probably shouldn't have rats as they can rack up that amount in a single vet visit. I've had simple check ups with a small about of antibiotics come to £50.

On the case of bedding, I really wouldn't recommend any kind of wood shavings, even if they don't give off phenols like softwood they're likely to be dusty, even carefresh sets of one of my boys sneezing, hemp is good but the best and least messy are those made from 100% cardboard.

mabmiles on October 25, 2011:

This is crazy information ^^, but this is interesting.

ernie35 on October 24, 2011:

thats crazy! i've introduced old males to each other when one of them has never met another rat before! you only have to know how to do it! if you don't know what you are doing they will get killed. its not easy but it is definitely not impossible!

i love my rats! i've never owned mice before but they look like baby rats... maybe i'll give them a try although i've heard they aren't as smart and not as nice...

new ratlover on September 08, 2011:

i want to get a rat but dont know where to put it

kimmi on September 02, 2011:

iv just woke up to find my hairless dumbo mouse has eaten the head of my other mouse does anyone have any idea why?

woopery on June 09, 2011:

Good article though it is incorrect in saying female rats together are less promlematic than two (or more) male rats living together. I have been a rat breeder for many years and it was more common to see two females fighting. Though this itself has been extremely rare.

Male rats by nature are more, how can I put it... chilled, than female rats. They just love a good cuddle :D :)

Guest on May 14, 2011:

I have 2 rats and they are so sweet! My friend had a mouse that wasn't very nice. I'd say rats make better pets. Grown rats may not be as cute as grown mice, and mice may be more easy to take care of, but rats are more friendly and almost never bite. I say rats!

Scar & Rafiki on March 02, 2011:

Hey there, We are two male rats and would like to thank you for all this helpful information for our mother. She does have one thing to say though. We are both males and we are happily at home together in the same cage! Though, we are only 6 weeks old. So her info is that as long as you get us males (rats) young, Its pretty easy to house us together! She again thanks you for the helpful information about everything!! P.S. We thank you too! We LOVE Apple, and you gave our mom the idea to give it to us. THANKS!

hrlessratluva317 on February 04, 2011:

I have a pet hairless rat who i believe has a respitory illness. She has very heavy breathing that sounds like somethings in her chest and she has red residue that comes out of her nose. I have had four rats and two of my rats dies after showing these symptoms. Please tell me what is wrong with her and how I can help her. I hav done research to look for vets in my area but i can't find any. I am really worried about my little baby and I don't want anything to happen to her. Please help me if you can I am don't know what to do!

IceFeather on January 13, 2011:

I love mice. I've had over 25 in my teen life. Right now I have a buck living alone and he's perfectly healthy and active (nocturnal though). I've really been considering getting a rat. Do they poop as much as mice? I can't hold mine without him pooping all over me every few minutes. Although, all the local pet stores have sick, infected mice and rats. I went once and some of the mice were BLOODY. And very lethargic. Ew. No one takes me seriously when I ask about a breeder. I'm afraid to breed my male, because he could get sick from the female. Any female I buy will probably be inbred and diseased.

Rattatat on January 09, 2011:

Thanks so much for posting a warning about not always being able to house multiple male rats together. Online, I always see people demanding that males *must* be kept together. I've seen several friends now with multiple males, where the rats did fine together...until months or years later when one of them suddenly ended up injured or dead. Some of the blogs I've seen for people who insist that males be always kept in pairs or groups then later post pictures from surgeries a male had to go through for fight injuries...but go right on with their mantra. Also, whereas females will often barber themselves and develop others signs of stress from living alone, I've not yet seen personally seen this happen in a singly housed male rat (though if it did, I'd hope the owner would find them a cagemate). It's certainly not impossible to find compatible males, but to completely ignore the possible danger seems misleading at best. I'm very glad to see balanced and good advice on rodent care being offered here.

Also, I know you mentioned it in your comments, but I was wondering if you considered editing the caging section to specifically mention the value of open-air/wire cages vs. closed aquarium type caging for rats? It is still very common to buy ten gallon tanks for rats it seems, and even many of the pet stores still do this.

Jamie on December 16, 2010:

I just bought a rat earlier today, and I've been doing lots of research. He's a male, and the man at the petstore said he's about 10 weeks old. I could only get one of them, so I do plan to give him (his name is Dave) lots of attention. His cage is fairly big, it used to be a rabbit cage for a large rabbit. But I have noticed he sneezes, a lot. And I know this could most likely be a URI, so should I take him to the vet? Will it be expensive? And is there a good chance that he'll live a long life?

chocolatebunny on October 26, 2010:

i absolutly love rats, im going to get one and i can't wait! My hamster, Poco, died so im looking for a friend and a rat fits the place perfectly.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 06, 2010:

Sometimes they may fight, but two females can be better than two males in some cases.

Madison aarogonas on October 05, 2010:

Hey im getting my first rats. they call them fancy rats at petsmart. i plain on naming them Kazoo and Reese cute huh! well is it okay to room 2 girls together or do they also get "violent"! thx god bless yall taking an amazing interest in a wonderful creator! =)

Emmie on August 12, 2010:

wow you people really know a lot about rats, so do have any pointers about when you adopt your first rats????? :)

Courtney on August 02, 2010:

I have three hooded males rats; Henley, Topher, and Jagger. They are just about 3 months old. I absolutely love them. I've had quite a few hamsters, but rats are so much smarter. They each have their own adorable personalities.

ChunkyMonkey on July 29, 2010:

I got my rat, Moleskine, about 6 months ago and since then we've bonded. He sleeps with sometimes, and he grooms me, we play games, he always comes when he hears my voice. I spend a total of about 6 awake hours with him during the day every day. I've tried pairing him up, but he seems far happier on his own. He doesn't seem unhappy or lonly. I'm just not really sure how to deal with the situation. Like, right now, he's never locked up because he never runs and that's created a kind of freedoma nd trust between us. If I lock him in a cage with another rat is that going to cause problems in our relationship?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 16, 2010:

A mouse

Jaazz on July 15, 2010:

I want to get only one rodent, either mouse or rat. But i only want one of them. Which one would be better off by itself?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 12, 2010:

I have never heard of leaving a tumor for longer life. Typically, by removing a tumor, the animal will have a greater chance of survival. It may depend on the type of tumor.

Raul on July 12, 2010:

I have 2 pet mice and 2 pet rats. All of them are females. My pet mice are much more friendly and like to play on my bed. My pet rats dont bite me often but have before and they also dont like playing with me. My mice never bite me and dont get sick often. One of my rats has a tumor and my vet says it will live longer if it was not removed. Its only a year and a half and im attached to it. I dont know if my vet is lying and does not want to perform surgery (or cant perform surgery) or if this is true. What should I do?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 08, 2010:

Because there was some separation, there may be some complications, but being that they are young, you may be ok.

lizzy108 on July 08, 2010:

i have one male rat and i have had him for 5 days nows his 2 months old i got him from the pet shop and i was going to get him a friend from the same pet shop so it would be his brother would this make it easier to introduce them?would my rat still remember him?or do you think id have problems?

rebecca on July 03, 2010:

I'm going to be moving across the country in a few months, and I need to know how I can keep my 2 male mice calm on the very long car ride. Any tips?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 24, 2010:

You can check out the below link for housing info. It had different types of cages and size:

It's not ideal to tote your pet around with you. It can severely stress out the pet. Plus, most stores and such won't allow animals in the store.

It is good to have all your ducks in a row.

Alana on May 24, 2010:

Hey Whitney,

Ive just read through all of the posts on this (whew!) and still im curiouse about a few things. Ive recently lost a hamster and hae been in denial about getting any other pets, but i found out about pet rats from a book i just read and now im considering getting one. My parents are both saying no at the moment but i still want to know everything about them before i try again.

So, what is the right size cage for a male rat? and what kind of rat would you suggest to a novice owner? Is it ok to carry pet rats around with you in public places? At the moment those are the only questions i need answered, thanks.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 08, 2010:

Neither rats or mice should be kept in an aquarium.I wouldn't suggest either unless you're willing to get appropriate caging.

Marcus on March 07, 2010:

I'm not sure wether to get mice or rats. I don't have a particularly big aquarium but I feel from what I have read that mice are quite boring as pets. What would you recommend?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 09, 2010:

No one said that you can't put two males together. It's just harder with two males than with two females, especially if purchased at different times. That doesn't mean that it's still impossible. It really all depends on the rats.

Rocky on February 09, 2010:

Thats not true that you can't keep two male rats together, I have two male rats that I bought at completely different times, they just have to be introduced properly.. They fought at first, but now it's as if there brothers, you just have to know what you're doing..

DaniellaWood from England on October 30, 2009:

Hiah Whitney,

I agree with everything you said in your hub - mice do smell more etc. but I think mice are equally as friendly as rats when it comes to socialibility; my mice used to sit quite happily on my shoulder while I watched TV, and loved to meet other people - they were my best friends! :) Whereas all my cousin's rats seemed interested in was chewing my flip-flops! haha

dooshie on October 23, 2009:

I have two mice they just had babies the people at the pet shop said they where both girls!!!

I love my mice

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 25, 2009:

Thank you Chris. I only hope to help. And, yes research should always be done prior to getting a new pet, but continuous research after as well is always beneficial, as there are potentially going to be changes to proper care and nutrition.

Chris on June 25, 2009:

hi whitney

i just wanted to thank you for helping out these people and their pets. its really nice of you, and im sure the animals appreciate the improved care. i wish people would do the research befoooore getting pets but its never too late i guess.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 19, 2009:

If you've had the rat for a little bit, it may be hardto integrate another male into the cage. Sometimes male rats get along perfect but not all the time. You could try it out, but if they don't get along after careful quarantine and slow inroductions, you'd need two cages. Typically, rats are better in pairs though.

munkii on June 19, 2009:

hey whitney, i have a male rat named skitz (skittlez) i was wonderin if u believe its better for a male rat to be housed alone or paired up , please reply asap thanks kiera

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 21, 2009:

Ok. Sounds good.

Alyssa on May 21, 2009:

Ok, thank you. I'll let you know how things are going when she has the babies.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 21, 2009:

That's probably a good idea. Just make sure there's enough ventilation and air. Aspen should be fine. The brocoli should be fine. The cardboard box won't last long with mice; even if you set them up in a neutral territory it'll need to be short term, take away, put them back together for a little longer, take them away. You can't monitor whether the male will get along with the boys long-term by just a 20 minute neutral territory trial. I would definitely consider the separate cage, as I highly doubt that it will work leaving the father with the boys long-term. The same thing can fall into place with the boys not getting along, even though they're brothers. Mice can be very territorial and cannibalistic- both males and females.

Alyssa on May 21, 2009:

Ok, I've decided to put the male in the drawer thing until I can get another cage that he can't escape, so I'm watching him closely to see if he can get out, and if he does then I'll try putting the female in there. I have them on aspen shavings, and in the female's cage I put a little igloo thing and gave her a little toilet paper and shes already made a nest inside the igloo so I'm guessing that she's getting close to delivery. I have some fresh broccoli, would that be ok? And as far as the putting the sons in with the adult male, I was going to wait until they are 5 weeks old, and introduce them in neutral territory such as a cardboard box, in case they don't get along I'll keep the wire cage for the sons.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 21, 2009:

Wow ... Ok... the mice should be kept with the mom for at least 4-6 weeks and immediate sexed then, which can be rather hard to do since they're so small. The adult male mouse will probably bully, if not kill the babies if you put them in there with him. Mice can be very territorial, especially males. You'll want to separate the male mouse from the mom before she has the babies, as she can get pregnant fairly quickly after giving birth. Make sure to use a bedding that cannot suffocate the babies (carefresh and most recycled beddings can easily suffocate them). There's really not a supplement that you could provide, but offer a carrot piece, slice of celery, or some fresh produce as extra nutrients.

Alyssa on May 21, 2009:

I got 2 mice from someone who fed live to their snake and the mice killed the snake. there's a male and a female and the female is already verrry pregnant, and I know this doesn't really have much to do with post thing, but I thought maybe you could help me. Right now I have them together in a 30 gallon tank until I can find something that the male can't escape out of because i put him in a wire cage, and I'm not sure how he did it, but somehow he got out and the cage is brand new so there aren't any holes or anything. I would put the female in there, but I know that her babies might be able to get out of it, so I was thinking of putting her in a drawer from one of the storage things until she has her babies, then putting her in the wire cage with her daughters (if she has any) and putting the sons(if she has any) in with the male mouse. I've had plenty of pet rats before, though all of them were female, so I never had to deal with a pregnant rat, so I just want to make sure that I keep her as happy and healthy as I can so nothing goes wrong with the delivery, and to get to the point of this is there any certain type of food I should be feeding her or anything I should supplement to keep her healthy?

Jennifer on May 19, 2009:

Hmm I LOVE rats, Mice suck and so do hamsters, they are more likely to bite than a rat and they stink. My females i have owned are always to active and curious to sit with me or even play with me and one of them loved marking me while all others NEVER urinated or defecated on me. Unfortunately i lost both females to tumors. I now have a male, he is so sweet and loves to play tickle games. All my rats have always been housed alone and spent time together during out side play time. I once housed 3 males and 1 female mice together and they males got along with the female unfortuneately even though all were purchased together the smallest male ended up being the most violent and i had to return the larger males to the store due to serious injuries. All in All I have owned mice and rats my whole life and I will always say rats are better pets and Males are better for those who want a pet rat that will be affectionate and focus more on u then exploring everything around it. I have never been bitten by a rat but i have been bitten MANY times by mice and hamsters. (Hamster are moody creatures) LOL Another problem I have always had is EVERY single time i have purchased a rat from a pet store such as petsmart and petco They ALWAYS have URI and have to be returned for treatment the very next day...Luckily petsmart and petco will either replace or treat for free.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 12, 2009:

Sounds like upper respiratory condition that a vet needs to check out.

ilovetwilight! on May 12, 2009:

hi, i just bougth a rat at a local petstore and he is very small( he was the runt) and i noticed that he has the reddish brown stuff around his nose and sneezes a lot....but other then that he loves being held and sleeping by me he also eats a lot and i give him fresh fruit all the time like apples and he loves them! im not sure what's wrong with him though do you have any idea? hope you can help! thanks.

Eternal Evolution from kentucky on April 26, 2009:

Over the past 22 years of my life i have owned many pets, including mice and now rats. I have enjoyed my rats more than my mice, they are smarter and seem to have more personality. But this is just my opinion.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on April 23, 2009:

Hope I was able to help.

annonomus on April 23, 2009:

oh, ok.

I'll try to get 2 :)


Whitney (author) from Georgia on April 23, 2009:

They can be kept alone, but just typically do better in pairs or small groups so that when you can't play with them and interact, they always have a buddy for mental stimulation and play.

annomomus on April 23, 2009:

hi, I might be getting a rat soon, but my parents said I could only get it OK to keep them alone? (if it helps, I'm going to try and get a male) some people say it's perfectly fine to keep them alone, but others say they are social to there own kind... (?)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on April 17, 2009:

Yes, those are my rats. I'm glad that you joined HP; have fun writing.

nicko guzman from Los Angeles,CA on April 16, 2009:

Whitney,I was looking at the hubs you wrote and I noticed this hub.Did you know this is the hub that got me started on hubpages.See,I even still have my post from when I still have not joined.Mice do sometimes make good pets.I never noticed that.I still prefer rats and I still do not like mice though.Thanks for writing this.Without it,I would not have known about hubpages.Are those your rats?They are adorable.Still have them?

GeneriqueMedia from Earth on March 27, 2009:

I agree with a couple people here, Whitney. From my personal experience I've found male rats to actually be more tame and "lazy," a better companion for a lap rat experience.

Also, I've four rats now (two in each cage) and while they are apt to play and wrestle, they are seldom violent towards each other. I've heard and read also of conflicting reports on this issue. Many will see female rats are actually harder to house, but I think in general all rats love each other. =)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2009:

It is ultimately your decision to make. What is the average lifespan leaving the tumor? And what is the average statistical lifespan removing the tumor?

Brianna on March 25, 2009:

I took my rat to the vet because she had a tumor. She is 17 months old and is healthy except for her tumor. Her type of tumor is a benign mammary tumor. They said they could try to remove the tumor, even though it is very large. They said surgery on rats can be risky due to anthesia and she might chew her stiches out. The vet told me to think it over because sometimes it can do more harm than good. I'm trying to decide whether to let her live her life with her tumor or risk surgery. Can you give me some advice?

nicko guzman from Los Angeles,CA on March 23, 2009:

I guess everyone agrees that rats rule and mice stink(literally and figu(rat)ively.Just remember that rats spelled backwards is "star".

nicko guzman on March 05, 2009:

Rats make better pets than any dumb old mice.They stink less(less amonia in their urine) and are more social towards humans. Males do make better lap pets than the more active females(not to say male rats are better) I would just feed the dumb mice to my snakes(like I do every 4 days).However I would never feed my dozens of (all taken good care of) intelligent rats to my gorgeous pythons(I feed rabbits to larger ones.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 18, 2009:

The price of the rat will vary on size, as most rats sold at petstores are sold as feeders. Breeders are typically about 10-20. You must remember that the actual pet will be much cheaper than the cage, bedding, food, water bowl, and other caging accessories. Plus the ongoing expense of beddingi food, and potential vet bills.

ratlover? on February 17, 2009:

How much does a rat cost? My mom said I should get a pet and i can't choose. I want a Hamster, Rabbit, Mouse, or Rat. It would be very nice for some help but i need it soon. Thanks a lot

Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 31, 2009:

One rat is fine but you must give it plenty of attention. Two rats are better because they can give each other constant attention. One rat will love you, but two rats will show you more attention as they will fight for your attention. (Not literally fight, but they will both try harder.)

eevee on January 31, 2009:

hi! i have to rats. they are hooded, i think. i love them a lot. but i heard that it is ok to have only 1 rat. i heard that if you only have 1, it will love you more and if you have 2, they wiil love each other more. do you think that is true?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 23, 2008:

Have you called around or checked the internet for specialty vets in your area. If it is a tumor, a vet will need to look at the mouse to determine the prognosis and any treatment. A vet is also the only person who can properly diagnose the lump.

Riley on December 23, 2008:

hi, I have like a bunch of pet mice, and one of them has a tumor...or at least I think it's a tumor, I've just noticed it today, when I was feeding them. I've tryed to take them to every vet I know, but none of them have experience with mice. I'm not sure what to do...can you help me?

Walsh19 on December 16, 2008:

Sorry to bring up an old argument but i have 2 male rats and they were bought from the same shop (brothers) one was at the start growing much quicker then the other and so fights broke out. The large rat (saitan) and the smaller rat (pysco) fought for domince not to kill saitan quickley became dominate. Then pysco began to grow too and they fought again during one of these fights my mother intervened and got bitten by saitan. SHe made the decision to have them de-sexed. Once their balls had gone they didn't pee everywhere and the fighting stopped.

So male rats are fine as long as you can put up with fighting until their old enough to be de-sexed

Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 09, 2008:

The rat is probably scratching itself, which could be attributed to an allergy or mites.

Lampant on December 09, 2008:

My rat has scars on his back, especially his upper back. There are no other animals that he associates with. I wonder if he gets these from scratching or from a skin condition. What could it be?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 09, 2008:

Typically, males smell worse than females. Cleaning is the only way to reduce the smell. I used to use vinegar and peroxide to clean the cage before adding fresh litter, and that helped, but throughout the week, they will start to smell again.

Smeagoll on December 09, 2008:

Hi Whitney,

I have previously owned mice but never rats and was thinking this time of trying rats. However, I have heard male rats smell more than females? My last female mouse smelt really bad (even though I cleaned her cage at least once a week). I love having rodents as pets but not so keen on the smell. Is there anyway to reduce the smell other than the obvious cleaning? :)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 02, 2008:

It shouldn't affect your health. Just keep the wound cleaned.

Classified on December 01, 2008:

My mouse bit me, til I bled...will it affect my health in anyway? (She bit the tip of my finger)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on November 29, 2008:

That's good his battle wounds are healing. As for the ones on the neck, they are caused by him scratching, which could be an allergy, mites, or fleas. Since they hve been separated a while, there could have been something in the bedding that you last bought. I'm not sure. You may want to consider a vet for antibiotics..

Amber on November 28, 2008:

This is Amber again, I have a new problem with my male mouse. (It the the only male I have left, and is the older brother) He has a 10 gallon tank to himself now, and we've noticed his "battle scars" on his runp have healed quite nicely, but new scars are appearing on his neck, and upper shoulders...He has been scrathing a lot. So much near his ears that they are bleeding. Do you have an idea of what this might be? my worst geuss would be like a mange, or flea problem, but out of all the females and him (housed in different cages, as I've mention earlier) he is the only one with this problem, and I was also wondering why? if you have any information please help...

Whitney (author) from Georgia on November 28, 2008:

I would consult a vet to verify that it is a tumor. If it is a young rat, you may be able to have the tumor removed so that your rat will live a healthy life. Otherwise, how long your rat will life with the tumor will vary on your rats age, how long it's had the tumor, what kind of tumor it is, how big the tumor is, and your rat's overall health.

Brianna on November 27, 2008:

Hi I have a rat that has just grown a tumor. It hasn't become a problem yet. She is still healthy and active, but I'm starting to worry about how long she will be able to survive with it. Do you know how long she can live with it or do you have any comments of what I can do to help her.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on November 26, 2008:

Samantha, you shouldn't use pine in a small animal's cage. Switch to aspen if you want to use a wood bedding. Pine can cause respiratory concerns.

Kayla, You want to make sure that they are both young, same age, and similar size, and slowly introduce them. You may need multiple cages so that they can sniff and smell each other through the cages, if your current rat/mouse is not a baby. Sometimes you may not have any problems throwing a new rat in with a current one, but sometimes you will encounter bullying. This is even a concern with littermates.

Kayla on November 26, 2008:

How do you introduce male rats/mice that aren't littermates? (if there is a way.)

I'm gettting a new male rat friend for Kilo and they aren't littermates....and I don't want them to fight/

Samantha on November 26, 2008:

I use a pine bedding for my mice, I'm starting to worry, because other sites I've been on say you can't use them because of dust, and the oils releases from the pine. Is the pine bedding I use ok?

I use the Premier Pet Natural Pine Bedding

It says it's dust-free, and absorbency for healthier pets and eaiser care...

Whitney (author) from Georgia on November 24, 2008:

the rats will kill the mice.

Julie on November 24, 2008:

Can you house rats and mice together? or will they fight?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on November 17, 2008:

sneezing is the first sign of respiratory illness. Yougner rats will sneeze more than older rats, but not an excessive amount of sneezing, and typically only when excited. You will see noticeable size difference in a few weeks. Rats are typically full grown by a few months old.

kat on November 17, 2008:

do you know how i can get my rat to become more comfortable around me. i've only had him a few days, i understand it takes time. but i just wanna make sure he likes me! and also, he keeps sneezing. i've heard it could be bad, but then again i also heard a lot of younger rats sneeze. he has no discharge from his eyes or nose. and one more thing, how fast do rats grow? can i expect to see some size difference in a few weeks? thanks.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 31, 2008:

It's actually not recommended to give them baths. do you know what is causing the smell? is the cage fairly small? is the one sleeping in the bedding where they pee and poo?

kayla on October 31, 2008:

I have have two rats. they are so cute! but one of them is starting to smell. can i give her a bath?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 30, 2008:

are they bullying each other? rough wrestling?

ratlovinggirl on October 29, 2008:

i have two adorable rats, bonnie and chloe. they are the sweeetest things alive.. get rats!!!

bonnie is getting a few sores and cuts around her neck and stuff, what is it? what should i do? please help!!! thanx <3

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 21, 2008:

Paralysis is serious. You may need a vet. There is typically some underlying cause.

jenn09281979 on October 20, 2008:

I have a male mouse maybe 6 months old, and his back legs are not moving. He appears to be happy, eating and is still able to get around his cage but his back legs are dragging. Anyone know what this might be? My kids are very sad


amber on October 17, 2008:

ok, well maybe my mom can take me to Petsmart or something to get him a cage :)

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 17, 2008:

I'm sorry to hear that.

As for the dad, you need another place to house him. Mice are very smart animals, and you are killing him having him couped up in a pickel jar.

Buy another cage.

amber on October 17, 2008:

The younger of the brothers died this morning :(

I don't really have anywhere to put the dad, besides back in the tank. Which I don't really want to do for a reason, and I can't put him with the females either, because I'm not allwoed to breed them for another month or so...

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 17, 2008:

Sounds like you need to separate them asap! First off take the one out of the pickel jar. Mice need more room to play and be a mouse than in a pickel jar. That's really cruel of you to do that. Secondly, get the wounded mouse to a vet for antibiotics. It doesn't sound like he's doing well at all.

amber on October 16, 2008:

hi, my name is amber. I have 3 male mice in one cage. Two are brothers, and the "dominant" one is their dad. He keeps fighting with them, we had 3 mice to start with (1 male, 2 female) and we were breeding them for a snake (not my idea, it was my moms) so we had like 9 males total before we split males and females, and they kept fighting. I had one he was my favorite, and his dad killed him just for running on the wheel. He won't allow any of them in the house now, and I'm not sure what to do. We split them up, the 2 brothers are in the tank, and he's in a pickel jar. Does anybody have any advice?

The younger of the brothers isn't using his back legs, he's draging them everywhere he goes, and they both have wounds from the middle of the back to they're tails... please help me.

Rat Lover. on October 11, 2008:

I absolutely love rats, but they are incredibly social creatures so I urge you to get more then one. Even if they do have plenty of toys, their brother and you will be their entertainment most of the time. The have a much healthier upbringing when raised with a friend(s).

How to tell your boy rat has reached puberty

1. You find much chewed copies of PlayRat magazine in his stash when cleaning up his cage. 2. He's given up all his favourite healthy treats in favour of yogurt drops and coke. 3. He demands you put a lockable privacy door on the litter tray. 4. 555-HOTRATS is programmed into your phone's speed dial. 5. You discover that your drivers license has been "fixed" with a photo of your rat, so he can get into clubs. 6. Scritches are no longer acceptable in public places. 7. He dribbles pee all over your house without embarrassment.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 26, 2008:

Sometimes you can be successful at introducing males together early on but there are many cases where they will fight at an older age even if that is done. It really all depends on the rat.

Deanna on September 26, 2008:

hey its fine to have male rats housed together, yes if they're are introduced young its bnest, but if introdocued properly in a nuetral area.. they will be fine. I have four boys Ben, Edy, Breyer and Dasz. I love them to deatha dn try to educate people on rats, i work at a pet store and try to change the "eeeewww rat" person's mind.. i usually suceed.

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