rat housing

All posts tagged rat housing

Clean and redecorated cages!

Published March 23, 2013 by Kokomo

Ok, today I managed to gather enough energy and willpower to clean two cages after each other. Also both cages were pretty much RIPE with pee-smell πŸ˜›

 

I realized I have taken so many pictures of the cage and things in it lately that I just wanted to add a photo post about the clean cages and more.

Hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

 

Bottom -Koko and Ruma; 2 hammocks, a cube-hammock, 2 houses, 2 tubes, a fortress (the greenbox), a cover/hide out, a silent spinner and a toilet.

Bottom -Koko and Ruma; 2 hammocks, a cube-hammock, 2 houses, 2 tubes, a fortress (the greenbox), a cover/hide out, a silent spinner and a toilet.

 

Top -Valo and Maarit; 3 hammocks, a sputnik, 2 baskets, 1 long tube, 2 little hide-outs, 2 ladders, a wooden chew-toy thing, a silent spinner and a toilet.

Top -Valo and Maarit; 3 hammocks, a sputnik, 2 baskets, 1 long tube, 2 little hide-outs, 3 ladders, a wooden chew-toy thing, a silent spinner and a toilet.

 

Whole cage

Whole cage

 

Koko and Ruma napping in the mini Duna as I was cleaning their cage.

Koko and Ruma napping in the mini Duna as I was cleaning their cage.

 

Before cleaning; Koko and Ruma had chewed a hole in the back of the cube-hammock and then pulled the inside into their ball-house, which of course is way more comfortable ;)

Before cleaning; Koko and Ruma had chewed a hole in the back of the cube-hammock and then pulled the inside into their ball-house, which of course is way more comfortable πŸ˜‰

 

Ruma, first time in the cube-hammock (she lost her nose :P )

Ruma, first time in the cube-hammock (she lost her nose πŸ˜› )

 

Ruma, loving the cube-hammock (this is before they wrecked it)

Ruma, loving the cube-hammock (this is before they wrecked it)

 

Koko doing some re-con

Koko doing some re-con

 

Valo doing some re-con

Valo doing some re-con

 

The sputnik can be quite tight when you're sis is squishing you XD

The sputnik can be quite tight when you’re sis is squishing you XD

 

A close-up of this darling little face. When her eye was still good

A close-up of this darling little face. When her eye was still good

 

Maarit doing some re-con

Maarit doing some re-con

 

Hello big hand, whatcha doin?

Hello big hand, whatcha doin?

 

can't see me!

can’t see me!

 

New toys!

Published March 9, 2013 by Kokomo

After all the misery of visits to the vet (more on this later), meds, antibiotics, painkillers, ointments and having been taken out of the cage against their will, I decided it was time to properly decorate the cage of Valo and Maarit.

They had a decorated cage, but it was just lacking certain finishing touches. They had to make do with two mini-toilets, a half-broken silent spinner (which is now probably going back to Ruma :P), and only a make-do hammock.

My mother has been sowing a cube-hammock for me, and since Koko and Ruma’s cage was done last wednesday and was still filled with hammocks and other stuff, I decided to give the cube-hammock to Valo and Maarit too. I went shopping for a new Silent Spinner, a bigger toilet, new corbo since I had run out of that as well and some treats for all of them.

I collected all my courage (cleaning and decorating a cage is still a difficult task with my hand still recovering from surgery) and cleaned out the cage as fast as I could. I think I’ve set a new record, as it took me only 40 minutes to remove all the dirty towels, all the corbo and poop spread through the cage, clean the different levels and all the toys and other things in the cage and redecorate. Doing their cage is easier than the other one, as they are up high and I can reach everything way more easily. So now the ladies have a fully decorated cage, with a cube-hammock, two ordinary hammocks, a Sputnik, a Silent spinner, a big toilet, a green basket/house and lot’s of toys. The cage has somehow gotten a green/purple theme and I kind of like it πŸ™‚

Unlike Koko and Ruma, Maarit and Valo went straight at discovering and sniffing the whole cage. Especially Valo was obviously enjoying running around (I think she was also missing all her hidden candy’s that I threw out πŸ˜› ) and trying everything out. She tested the silent spinner, pooped in the new toilet and now both ladies are happily sleeping. Maarit in her Sputnik and Valo in a corner on the bottom. Because why would you sleep in comfy hammocks if you can sleep on the floor? πŸ˜‰

I managed to snap some photo’s, so here we go:

Koko and Ruma's cage, newly done.

Koko and Ruma’s cage, newly done.

Valo and Maarit's cage

Valo and Maarit’s cage, newly done.

Maarit testing out the cube-hammock

Maarit testing out the cube-hammock

Valo being a little acrobate as che found the goodies!

Valo being a little acrobat when she found the goodies!

This Sputnik is MINE no matter where you place it :)

This Sputnik is MINE no matter where you place it πŸ™‚

Testing the new toilet

Testing the new toilet

What's on this floor?

What’s on this floor?

Playing with the treatball

Playing with the treatball

Hope you enjoyed as well!

A new addition!

Published February 2, 2013 by Kokomo

About 4-5 weeks before Christmas time, there was a topic on the forum about rats that I frequent, that had a link to a christmas-charity website for rats that are in shelters. There was a long list of pictures of rats in several different shelters, with the option to either send a care-package, financially adopt or officially adopt one of the rats. Not all rats were adoptable, but my eye happened to fall on a little girl named Marit. The picture they had posted of here was too adorable to pass. As you all know, I had been considering getting a new rat (or two) for quite some time, and after mulling it over for a few days, I sent in an adoption form and from then on emails went flying all over the place and before I knew it, I was allowed to come pick her up, an hour’s drive away from where I live, the first weekend of December.

Look at that litte cute faced girl <3

Look at that litte cute faced girl ❀

She was already 2 years old, had been in the shelter for over a year, and spent the first months of her life in a cage that was WAY too small, in a cold garage where she got no attention at all. Poor thing.

But then, two days before I was about to go pick her up, the lady from the shelter sent me a email that she had found a lump, which could mean she had a tumor and if so, she would need surgery. So we postponed my pick-up date and I told her to give Marit a good deal of time to heal after surgery. Luckily, surgery went very well and Marit recovered quickly. But, by the time this had all passed, it was almost time for my surgery on my hand. So I didn’t want to have an introduction going on when I couldn’t intervene with my sore hand. We postponed my pick-up date again, until after my surgery.

Then, the day of my surgery, I came to the hospital and it turned out I was misinformed and I wasn’t going to get surgery until the second week of February. Once I got home, upset and frustrated, I emailed the lady from the shelter and I made plans to pick up Marit that Saturday, and I did.

When I first saw her, I was a little shocked at quite how small she is. She is even smaller than Ruma and weighs less as well. She is a little hunched, like in the picture, has Japanese hooded fur and dumbo ears. She was VERY scared when I picked her up and I instantly got covered with poop. But she was so adorable. Only one of her stitches was still in place, the rest had dissolved neatly and her fur was growing back in the area of the surgery. She still had her fur standing up, from either discomfort or stress, not quite sure, but the poor thing surely wasn’t feeling too good. And then we started the long journey home. I stuck my hand in the carry-on basket every now and then and talked and sang to her the whole way back. Once I got home, I instantly put Ruma with her and the two hit it off right away.

Marit has been here for a few weeks now, but it hasn’t been easy. I started introduction with Ruma, in a small cage, called a ‘mini-duna’ which I had purchased for this purpose and also for when one of them would get so sick they’d need to be separated.

(mine is blue though)

(mine is blue though)

Ruma and Marit went great together. They sniffed a little, but very soon were lying in a corner together, bruxing and boggling. Marit’s fur went down very quickly and I knew these two would be great together. I kept them in there for about 3 hours and then added Koko to the mix. This seemed to go just as well, and impatient as I was, after only another hour, I moved them back to the RS. Even still, things seemed to go fine and the next day I made the cage twice the size. That’s where I went wrong. Suddenly the fighting started. I had never heard a rat scream and squeal like a little pig, but Marit did. On the forum they advised me to quickly make the cage smaller and after some hesitation (took me a few hours to get it ready), I did and besides a bed and food and water, I took everything out of the cage. Nothing left to fight about.

The next day I got a visit from a friend, for dinner, and for a while, things seemed quiet. But then again, the fighting started and it was BAD. Hair was flying around and Marit and Koko were rolling around the cage so fast I could barely keep up. One time, Marit even fell from the little floor that was in there (about 25 cm high) and got a nasty cut on her back. I decided it was enough and put them back in the mini-duna. They ended up staying in there from Monday-night until Saturday-morning. No more fights luckily!

Little hunch-backed Marit

Little hunch-backed Marit

IMG-20130116-03660

Sleeping together in the Mini-Duna

From another shelter that I had visited to do a donation (another story), I was able to borrow a bigger Duna. The normal sized one, to take the next step in their introduction. I put them in there on Saturday and as things went well, I slowly started adding things to the cage, like a hammock and later a Sputnik XL.

They seemed to have become friends, so on Tuesday, I moved them back to half a Royal Suite. I slowly started adding things to the cage, one a day, like the Silent Spinner, and more hammocks. I started noticing they didn’t always sleep together, but that didn’t really worry me too much. Marit seemed to warm up to me, she would also come running to the door when I opened it, not as fast as the others, but always ready to receive a treat. I still couldn’t take her out of the cage much, because she would run and hide as fast as she could, but I figured this would just take time and patience. When I did take her out, she still had the habit of pooping all over me :(. The first days went great. They ate, pooped, drank and slept (together) and it seemed to have been a successful introduction. But then, everyday, I started noticing things. There would be a fight, Koko would have her hair standing up and threaten either Marit or Ruma, Marit would always be sleeping alone and more little things like this. On the forum they told me to be patient, maybe take out some beds from the cage and see what happened.

Marit nibbling at the hedgehog, ot a good pic, but you can see how small she is.

Marit nibbling at the hedgehog, ot a good pic, but you can see how small she is.

Then the other day, I had them all on my bed. Marit was happily exploring under my blankets and Koko came to join her. Instantly, Koko put her fur up and started pushing her. Marit would just make herself as small as possible and not move, hoping Koko would go away, but she didn’t. Eventually, Marit crawled into my shirt. Koko came towards us and then I caught her BITING Marit!!! I was so shocked! My Koko, biting! She wasn’t wounding Marit, but very clearly showing her disapproval. Obviously I didn’t let her and I instantly stopped this. Marit was so frightened after this. I kept her in my shirt for a while, until she felt safe enough to peek out again, and then returned her to the cage. Later on, I seemed to notice that Koko was locking her in the ball (they sleep in it as mentioned before). I wasn’t sure, so I moved the towel that Koko had been sleeping in, which was right in front of the ball, to the corner and checked again the next day. The towel was back in the same place, but I couldn’t be sure who did it, because Marit was always pulling it into the ball as well. So I left it like that.

In the mean time I had emailed the lady of the last named shelter, who loaned me her cage, to ask for her advice. What to do, because I could see Marit wasn’t happy, nor were Koko and Ruma. She told me I could come by and we could see of there was another rat there that Marit did click with. We made plans, but then I realised my surgery is coming up and I couldn’t be having an intro again here. She very sweetly offered to keep Marit for a while, if we were able to find her a friend there. I was to go over there on Saturday.

Then, last (Friday)night, when I let the ladies free range again, I noticed something that made me worry even more. Marit was on the bed with me, and Koko was nowhere to be seen, but Ruma came to say hi. Marit again made herself as small as possible and started pooping instantly. It was obvious fear-poop. Ruma, as far as I know, has never hurt her, she only grooms and cuddles, so I was quite shocked to see Marit behave like this. I realized she was just simply scared out of her mind for both my rats and I couldn’t put her back into the cage with them. So, I put her in the Duna, since it was just going to be one night anyways. I am going to the shelter today, and hopefully we will find Marit a new friend so she can spend her last weeks/months, maybe even year, happily together with her new friend.

Marit in a hammock in the RS. Love this sweet pic.

Marit in a hammock in the RS. Love this sweet pic.

This does mean I will have 2 groups of 2 rats, instead of one group of 3 or 4, as I wanted, but if this is best for the rats, this is what I will do. Either way, the RS will be in full use. I have enough to fill the cage, so it shouldn’t be an issue (except for the bottom plate that I need to get…). Not the way I would have liked to see it, but their happiness means more to me. So, I will keep you updated on the new developments!

P.S. Sorry for the endless post! πŸ™‚

Bathroom manners

Published January 15, 2013 by Kokomo

YES! It has taken 5 weeks in the new cage, and apparently a new and bigger toilet, but my ladies have refound their bathroom manners. Peeing is still an issue, but not nearly as big as in their old cage, where they peed on the barred floors and made it drip through they entire cage, but once again they poop in Β a corner toilet. I am such a proud rat mommy!

No more clearing poopies from everywhere in the cage, no more changing the toilet for no apparent reason and no more corbo spread through the cage and on the floor πŸ™‚

My new toilet is from the same producer as the cage, savic. For rodent-owners this is quite a common brand and a very common toilet (apparently).

Poop-house :)

Poop-house πŸ™‚

I got them the green one, since that is still the color I have (very) few items in throughout my apt. I could have gone for fuchsia-pink, since their runningΒ  sleeping ball is also in that color, but I am not one of those nuts who has to have the entire cage in one color theme. That would kill my OCD for sure πŸ˜‰

Here they are sleeping in the ball. Still their favorite place ;)

Here they are sleeping in the ball. Still their favorite place πŸ˜‰

I’m thinking their recently refound manners may have something to do with the size of this toilet being at east 2,5 times the size of the old one. Either way, they haven’t tipped it over in 2 days and they haven’t pooped outside it (aside from one or two stray poops).

small toilet

small toilet

So here’s to a proud and happy rat-mommy, hoping they will keep up this wonderful behavior πŸ™‚

A visit to the vet

Published January 9, 2013 by Kokomo

Lately Ruma has been sneezing a little more than usual and sometimes I hear a little rattle in her breathing. I tried giving them an over the counter slime thinning medicine for 10 days (they were spoiled rotten as I mixed it in with all kinds of amazing foods) but there wasn’t a lot of improvement. So I decided it was time to go and see the vet.

I had heard of a vet not too far from me, who was very experienced in taking care of pet rats. She was recommended to me through the forum I am active on and I even heard of people traveling up to 80 miles to see her.

I called on the thursday afternoon Β after Christmas and lucky me, they still had room that same afternoon. Back home I prepared the travel basket I just bought for the ladies to be transported in. I had decided I wanted to take both, because I was new at the vet’s office and also because I didn’t want to stress either one out by taking them apart.

I put a dirty towel from the cage in the basket so it would smell familiar. I had tried putting them in once before, when I just bought it, but they didn’t know how to get out faster. I needed them to stay calm this time, so I hoped their own smell would help them.

big enough for small rabbits this one is!

big enough for small rabbits this one is!

I also added a few treats and then put in the ladies. Well, their own smell really didn’t reduce the stress level one bit! Within seconds Koko was trying to gnaw her way out and Ruma was sticking her little nose through each hole sniffing VERY loudly and alarming me even more.

I stayed strong though and once the lid was closed, I kept it closed. Since it was raining, I covered the basket with another (clean) towel and carefully placed it on the passenger seat in my car. I took off about 30 minutes before my appointment, not knowing exactly how long it would take me to get there. In the car the ladies kept running in circles, sniffing and gnawing and I felt so sorry for them, I started to sing. I sang Adele songs to them and miraculously, after about 5 minutes of singing, the ladies had settled down. They were not relaxing, but they had curled up together and stopped panicking.

Once I got to the vet, I was 20 minutes early. I waited in the car for about 10 minutes but then decided to just go in. They invited me into the exam room after just 5 minutes. Funnily, the vet instantly knew Ruma was the one I was coming for. he told me American blue rats often have weaker airways and are prone to get all kinds of infections. Ruma was very happy to be taken out of the basket and after licking my hand was happily transferred to the vet’s hand where she continued her licking process. The vet listened to her little longues and to my relief told me they were clean.

What could it be then? Well apparently the air in my apt is too dry. This didn’t surprise me entirely, since I wake up every morning feeling like I licked the sahara that night and I quit smoking over 2 years ago, so it can’t be that ;). Simple solution: water on the radiator, cooking without using the hood, showering with the door open and drying laundry in the room. Just to raise the humidity. Should be simple enough.

She also quickly checked Koko, who wasn’t nearly as relaxed as Ruma, and confirmed my idea that she is a little overweight. We talked about what I feed them and she agreed it can’t be that. Koko simply needs more exercise. But how to make a lazy rat move more? Well, more on that later. I am just very happy they survived their first visit to the vet and I didn’t have to give them medicine πŸ™‚ Hoping this will be the last visit for a while.

Picture time!

Published December 30, 2012 by Kokomo

Because my phone is overloaded with silly, sweet and mostly blurry pictures of my two little cuddles, I decided I wanted to treat y’all to a little gallery! Here goes nothing, a few of my favorites:

Big nosed curious Koko

Big nosed curious Koko

My dumbo girl <3

My dumbo girl ❀

This is tasty! Can I eat this?

This is tasty! Can I eat this?

Yummy fresh mint. nommerenomnom

Yummy fresh mint. nommerenomnom

Were doing our door-dance, what do you think?

Were doing our door-dance, what do you think?

Wazzup? Y u wake me?

Wazzup? Y u wake me?

Is this new? Not sure I like this....

Is this new? Not sure I like this….

 

Nice view from up here!

Nice view from up here!

Snoozing

Snoozing

Squeezin' about....

Squeezin’ about….

I'm pretending to be a possum, can you see?

I’m pretending to be a possum, can you see?

I MUST eat this!

I MUST eat this!

noms together :)

noms together πŸ™‚

 

 

Allright, eough with the nonsense. More for later! Thnx for viewing!

NEW CAGE!!!

Published December 8, 2012 by Kokomo

Yes, as a follow up of last week’s post about what cage to get; here’s the new cage post. We are so delighted! I know Koko and Ruma are too because I caught them bruxing and boggling this morning πŸ™‚

What happened was, I bid on a Royal Suite ( click here for my post about cages) but the girl didn’t respond to my bid. So I also bid on a Furet Tower. It had gotten to the point where I had made arrangements to pick up the Furet Tower. Then I e-mailed the other girl about the RS again. She said it was reserved but if they didn’t pick it up, he’d let me know. I’d bid €80,-, but the furet tower (a lower quality cage) had a bid of €100,- on it. Then on Wednesday, I got news from the girl who owned the RS. She wanted me to pick it up the next day for €80,-. I told her that was fine and went home really excited. Then on Thursday she emailed me if it was possible to pick it up on Friday as that day wasn’t possible for her. Sure, I could wait another day. And then yesterday, it was finally time. I sat home after work, anxiously awaiting a message from the girl when I could come and pick it up.

I went to pick it up. I petted her cutest rats (3 ladies and 3 gents -oh my those gents are big! – but I didn’t see any balls…) and took home the RS, dismantled in many loose (and heavy) parts. Back home the assembly puzzle began. She didn’t have a description and told me it took her 5 hrs the first time to put it together. Within 45 minutes, half the cage was up. It scared the crap out of me. The cage is BIG! No, not big, HUGE! I decided to leave it there, half a cage was enough for now. As one of the bottom plates was missing, which would mean I would have to put in cardboard or something, I just built half and put the other half away. YAY for separate parts!

So here’s the cage after 45 minutes of hard labor yesterday:

IMG-20121207-03520

Look at the IKEA expedition case behind it to grasp it’s size…

The only plate that was left with the cage was actually the one that belongs on the top half, it has a hole in it to make room for the ladder, but I put cardboard below the plate and a towel on top to cover it. So I started putting in the thingamagiggies from the other cages and at the same time disassemble the old cages.

Let’s say Koko and Ruma weren’t as excited as I was with the new arrival… They kept trying to climb out of the cage and on top of me, even though I put the old hammocks in, so things would have a familiar smell. After a while and a lot of treats, they did settle in and went to sleep in their ball. The night passed quietly and this morning they seemed VERY content when I stuck my hand in the cage, Koko put her head on it and Ruma put her head on top of that and they both started bruxing and boggling. They were so cute.

This afternoon I went shopping because even with all the things I had in the old cages in there, it still looked empty. I told myself I could spend a maximum of €60,- and I managed to go just about €20,- above that amount :$. But here’s the result of my shopping spree:

Toys, food, a travel basket, yup, I went all out. And teddy is posing :P

Toys, food, a travel basket, yup, I went all out. And teddy is posing πŸ˜›

I woke up my creative mind and for an hour I was putting rings through holes and hooking things into the cage. And here is the (crappy) result. I say Crappy because it’s dark now and so the quality of the pictures is horrible. I shall take new pictures tomorrow when there is daylight again. But for now; the new paradise:

IMG-20121208-03525

The whole cage (old cages are still stacked on top)

IMG-20121208-03526

Left side. Koko is posing how to escape.

IMG-20121208-03527

Right side cage. Yeah, it’s full! πŸ™‚

So all these changes are happening because of a good reason. What reason? I’m saving that one for a new post. Stay tuned!

Kokomo

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