baby rats

All posts tagged baby rats

Rats vs kids

Published November 17, 2012 by Kokomo

Are pet rats just like kids? In some aspects, YES THEY ARE!

1. All candy will be stolen and eaten or hidden away.

2. Any wet surface can and MUST be licked.

3. Things aren’t hot until they burn themselves on it.

4. No glass with a drink in it can be left untouched.

We can ALL share

5. Rubber duckies are the best thing ever, especially for putting in your mouth.

6. They never see danger coming.

7. When they fall, they always double over and it looks like they are breaking their necks. 😦

8. They eat, poop, sleep and get into trouble basically.

9. Flinging poop can be SO MUCH fun.

10. Anything breakable must be tested.

11. If it smells like chocolate, it is chocolate and they will eat it.

Tomato? what tomato? I smell chocolate!

12. If it’s quiet for longer then 5 minutes, you KNOW they are up to something.

13. Plastic makes the best sound in the world.

14. EVERYTHING must be tasted.

15. Whatever part of the house you just cleaned, they find it and mess it up.

16. Smartphones are a whole world of fun.

17. Sitting still for a picture is the hardest thing in the world.

Nice and blurry

18. If they can see through it, they can squeeze themselves stuck in it.

19. If they can’t see on top of it, they must climb on top of it.

20. Medicine and chemicals are candy, right?

21. Bath time is fun time.

22. New toys are the best to destroy.

But, we can’t deny it, we love them like crazy! ❤


A trip down memory lane

Published October 22, 2012 by Kokomo

As I was cleaning my house this weekend, sorting through boxes and making more room for all my rat-related-shit to be put away, I found my old micro-sd reader, complete with an sd card from an old phone. Oh joy, I LOOOOOOVE discovering things I thought I had lost. This time, I got to discover pictures of  my second set of rat ladies; Bear and Tiger. I got them in 2007, whilst still living in my dorm, but had to give them away to a friend’s aunt when I moved to the US in July 2008. I never got to see them grow old (nor did I see the 1st pair grow old as my dorm-landlord had banned all pets and I had to find another home for them), but then again, I never had to endure the heartache of seeing them die.

I remember I got Bear first. She was white and very docile. She would sleep between my pillows on my bed or under a blanket with me when I would take my study-naps. All of that changed when I added Tiger to the mix. They were at least 4 months apart. (Yes I had Bear alone for a while, but all the nests I had looked at in the mean time had sick rats). Tiger was not even half the size of Bear (I wish I still had pics of that time), and had a black hood on her head, with a stripe going all the way down her back. Sadly, Tiger was sick when I brought her home (I had looked so good, never heard a sneeze in the pet-store) and so she infected Bear.

Tiger on my shoulder, young me 😉

Back then, I hadn’t done much research on rats. The first pair were given to me by a roommate who had bought them for her boyfriend who didn’t like them. The two had started fighting each other (looking back this must have been a consequence of too little space), and she wanted to get rid of them. I separated them in two cages, gave them lot’s of love and taught them to be nice to each other. All was fine within a few weeks. But then they had to go. About a year later I got Bear. I didn’t have an internet connection in my dormroom, nor easy access and, to be honest, no idea there actually was any research. But the first pair ( called Star -first Cruella and Scabbers) had made me fall in love with the species. Can you believe I actually wanted hamsters first?

Bear, peeking out the cage. She used to ‘center’ a lot.

It took me a while to notice that Bear and Tiger were getting worse. Bear actually developed an abscess, or so it looked. So after two weeks, I took them to the vet. The vet wasn’t very hopeful. He told me rats are very viable to cancers and tumors and Bear’s days (by then probably 6 months old) were counted. He gave me antibiotics for both (the same as I got for Koko and Ruma) and told me to hope for the best. Just 5 days into giving them their cure, Bear’s abscess started disappearing. Soon, she was back to normal eating, and playing with Tiger.


The girls cuddled together. Bear in the front. 

Tiger was way more active and feisty than Bear. She was always running around, playing, trying to go places she shouldn’t, stealing things and gnawing through EVERY thing. Always pulling things into the cage too. Weirdly, as she grew into adulthood, her hood turned white, with an odd dark hair here and there.

Eventually, this was left of Tiger’s black hood…

I have to admit, besides this, I don’t remember much of the bunch. It was quite a while ago and I didn’t know half as much as I know now about keeping rats. (Their caging was actually quite proper – the straw was only temporary, I was experimenting). So, just enjoy the (very blurry) pictures below. It makes me reminisce.


Lazying about


Tiger again.


Sleeping in a self-made nest.


Owner’s voice

Published September 14, 2012 by Kokomo
Koko, day 1

Koko day 1

So, today it’s time you hear about these little deviants from my point of view. Let’s start at the beginning. I had rats many years ago when I lived in a dorm and, as much as I loved them, didn’t know the first thing about raising them. I did a little research on what bedding they need, fed them standard rat-food and treats, but that’s about it. needles to say, the rats, as well as me, lived quite cramped and for some reason I never got them completely tame.

Last February I had a bad day and decided to go to the pet store and get me a rat. I had been mulling over the idea for a few weeks now and I just needed the comfort of an animal around me. I went to the pet store and they had 2 rats left. One was already quite big and looked ill, not too strange if you consider the rats were living on hay (at a pet store no less!). The other one was small and active. The only thing was that she sneezed a lot. But she looked healthy enough for me and so the little creature was taken out of her cage. Put in to a box big enough to hold a whole cage and I drove her home. It took me a few days but I eventually named her Koko, after my own nickname, given by a friend of mine. The whole night Koko was up, gurgling and rattling and needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep either. I took her to the vet the next day and they prescribed an antibiotic. Only one issue; the doses said 0.10 mg per 100 gr of bodyweight and Koko only weighed 88 grams. She was so small and helpless and I decided that I needed to get her healthy before I would get her a companion.

I spent the biggest part of the week doing research on how to care for rats and picked up a bigger cage that I had in storage. After a week of intensive attention, fresh food and twice a day antibiotics, I went back to the pet store to get some accessories for the cage. There, in the rat ‘cage’ was a new nest. The babies were all quite big and as I knelt down to watch them, from the bottom of the pile suddenly the runt appeared. Not only was she the smallest, but also the only one with dumbo-ears, a new feature to me. She came to the glass and put her two paw right where my face was. I opened the cage at the top and before my hand was well in there, the little thing had crawled up my arm into my neck. I was in love for the second time in a week. she was so ugly, I had to take her with me.

Ruma, 1st week

Looking back, it might not have been the smartest decision I made, because within 24 hours both ladies sounded worse then before. Sneezing, gurgling and rattling. Again, a lot of loving care, fresh foods and antibiotics cured the two and within a matter of hours they had become friends for life.

They were SO small ❤

This time it took me less then an hour to think of a name. I opened google translate, typed in the word ‘ugly’ and hit every language that was in the window. When I came to Finnish it said ‘Ruma’. It felt right. I then, just for fun, translated the word ‘Koko’ from Finnish, which turns out to mean ‘size’. So I guess in my cage they are ‘size’ ‘ugly’. In retrospect, Koko (size) turns out to be the perfect name for my little glutton girl who is growing to a size beyond proportions.  Whereas Ruma is still significantly smaller (too small for her age).

By now maybe you have figured out those weird words at the bottom of the last two posts; they are words in Finnish!

It’s quite obvious to see which one of them likes to exercise in the silent spinner wheel and which one doesn’t :). Koko nevertheless runs around like mad and climbs whatever she can pull her weight (still under 500 grams) onto. Besides that she can projectile jump as far as 3,5ft! (Only horizontally). Ruma is still quite small for her age, but this is quite in her advantage as the holes she needs to make in things are smaller and she can very easily fit into pretty much every small space. (she still fits completely in my cupped hands – she weighs around 350 grams).

Well, so much for the beginning. Stay tuned for more adventures!

Koko then; 92 grams

Koko now (7 months later); 430 grams

Ruma then; 72 grams

Ruma now (7 months later); 230 grams

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