• Thu, Jan 30 - 9:00 am ET

Parents Do Everything For Their Kids, Which Is Why I’m Rat Babysitting

nixonHow many articles have I written on this very website about not getting pets? For someone with pets, I sure don’t want any pets. Don’t get me wrong, I love the dog and I love the cat but I sure wasn’t planning on adding rat babysitter to my resume of editor, mom and wife. But do you know who is writing you this article with a teensy tiny little rodent nestled in his soft-sided carrier next to her?

This mom.

The decision to add to our menagerie has been a long time coming. We have had these short people who live in our home begging for a rodent for ages. We have researched this.

Hamsters? Bitey.

Gerbils? Bitey and tiny.

And if you’re going to go for a rodent, you can’t really beat a rat. They are smart. They are clean. They aren’t bitey unless you mishandle them. And they bond with people.

Which is why every-so-often I take this baby out of his portable cage and cuddle him and offer him little bites of strawberry and the occasional sunflower seed.

Even though we made my children vow that this rat (Who is now named Nixon, thanks to my son) would be their responsibility and it was their job to feed him and water him daily and socialize him, I’m with the rat because I felt sad for him being all alone in his TWO-STORY rat cage while the kids were at school.

The fancy rat townhouse was my husband’s idea.

Do you know how many things you can buy for rats? Nixon now has a rat harness even though he is too little to use it. He has toys and chew things and a hammock and a ball he can walk in and fancy organic rat chow.

This rat has a better life than I do.

And I don’t mind to sound like I’m complaining! He is cute! And he is so tiny, and I’m sorry, I do love caring for something tiny and I like when he nestles into my arm and falls asleep. But this baby isn’t just my kid’s baby, he is now my baby too and pets are a big responsibility. I think I sort of overlooked the fact that I would feel terrible for him being alone all day.

Despite the fact that I had hoped if we were going to adopt another pet, it would be something like a kitten, I guess I’m OK with the little rat who doesn’t do much besides sniff things and be.. tiny. And I guess it gives me an excuse to puff out my chest and whip out pictures of my baby when I see other moms doing the same with their human babies.

And at least I don’t have to change diapers.

(Image: My rat)

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  • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

    I used to have pet rats and they are THE SWEETEST THINGS. I liked to wear a hoodie and let one ride in the pocket and the other in the hood! (Basically I’m saying I’m super duper jealous of your rat-snuggling situation right now.) Love that your son named this little guy Nixon, haha!

    • Bethany Ramos

      NO, AIMEE

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

      YES. Rats are precious little rodent babies. I will agree with you though that mice on the other hand are disgusting, escape-artist jerks who will poop and pee on everything you love and they can all go to hell.

      Also this is a rodent and if you don’t want to snuggle the hell out of it right now then I don’t even know:

      http://chinformation.com/LittleGuy.jpg

    • Natasha B

      Oh my gosh!!! My sister has a chinchilla, WallE, and he is the sweetest thing ever. We love him to pieces. Plus, he’s like the softest thing on earth. Even our whiny baby dog with middle child syndrome gets excited to see him :)
      I keep begging hubby for one, but for now I’m just stuck with chinchilla sitting on occasion.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      man see, my husband voted for one but I heard they are shy and get scared easily. Now I have rodent regret

    • Natasha B

      I think that’s true, but you have to interact with them a lot and they come around. I’ve only been around WallE, and he was shy at first but now he jumps right in to play and be cuddled, and he is great with my littles, he’s never scratched/bit any of them-even when the 18mo get very exuberant in her snuggles.
      Plus, they only poop like super dry pellets, so helloooo easy clean up. And watching them take a bath is so much fun.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Great now I have to get ALL the rodents

    • Natasha B

      We were super careful the first few times my sis introduced him to Keagan (our dog) so he wouldn’t get to scared and have a heart attack. Our dog is a large breed and 8yo, so he doesn’t really jump around and bark a lot anymore though. I am easily stressed out by small dogs that bark a lot…..
      But yes, chinchillas are a little on the high maintenance side, def do your research. We would get a cuddle fest in then let him run around to ‘cool off’. It’s hilarious watching them jump,though. And it kills me when he takes a treat from you with his little hands and eats it like a little man.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      awwww like a little man

    • Natasha B

      My oldest is handing him a treat, you can see his wittle hands. (Do rats eat with their hands? I always thought they did)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      this is all amazingly adorable plus I love that tutu

    • Natasha B

      Christmas at grandma’s requires a great deal of sparkle. Thanks :)

    • ElleJai

      Rats eat very daintily with their hands. Little pet rodents are all the cute :D

      And I have two little dogs… My eldest quickly learned not to upset the rat by following her too closely, because Squeak turned around, very calmly, swiped her across the nose with her nails, then continued on. Miss kept a respectful distance ever after lol!

    • meteor_echo

      They really are. In the nature, they live in the mountains where there’s not much excessive noise (Appalachians). So, they can be easily stressed out by loud noises and other animals, especially small dogs or puppies. They can actually die from the stress, so yeah.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Yeah, I thought with having a nine year old and 11 year old it would be better to get them something that is a bit more outgoing

    • meteor_echo

      Get a couple sugar gliders! They’re marsupials, not rodents, but they’re a) adorable, b) social, c) fairly easy to keep as long as you set up a proper environment for them. They look like fuzzy geckos!

    • Natasha B

      I have often thought I would die from the stress of small neighbor dogs yippity yipping allllll day….
      But def agree, chinchillas are more high maintenance than rats.

    • meteor_echo

      Little yipping dogs are horrible. I’m not a fan of lap dogs, they’re often completely untrained, bitey, aggressive and annoying. There are some exceptions, but they’re exceptions for a reason.

    • Kay_Sue

      It really seems like the smaller the dog, the more likely the owner is to think it doesn’t need any training…

    • Natasha B

      YES a thousand times!!! Oh, my dog only weighs 10 pounds, so it doesn’t need manners. Yes, yes it does. Irresponsible pet owners give me rage headaches.

    • Natasha B

      I could hug you. The only exception I know of is our kindly neighbor, with a middle aged floofy chihuahua thing that never barks and has never been aggressive or jumped on anyone. It does, however, pee itself from excitement every time you pet it.
      Other than that, the majority of lap/pocket puppies I meet reinforce the stereotype that they are complete a holes. I’ll stick to my 70lbs of dog with the big ol bark, k thanks.

    • Tea

      Yeah, they can die of stress, and they’re really heat sensitive. Ours is a badass though and teases the cats through the bars.

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      Chinchillas are also like having a furry toddler for 20 years, the amount of work and attention needed is insane.

    • Tea

      Chinchillas are such teases, because they look make for snuggles, but they act like squirrels on crack. Our little buddy gandalf would only cuddle if he could so so in your robe sleeve, otherwise he had way more interesting things to do than cuddle, like steal socks and sleep on them under the futon.

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

      My college suitemates had a chinchilla and his favorite thing was hiding in the laundry basket with the clothes!

    • Bunny Lucia

      Isn’t that the truth! I FINALLY am now able to pick Betsy up and carry her around, and she’s been under my roof eating my raisins for almost five years!

    • Rachel Sea

      One of my friends had a chinchilla who would steal cigarettes and beer at every opportunity.

    • Tea

      I think I need to draw a tiny, angry chinchilla with a cigarette now

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I’m gonna get my male rat a pretty dress just to spite you

    • Bethany Ramos

      DON’T CHURCH IT UP

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I need more rat advice. How else can we make this baby happy?

    • Alex Lee

      I don’t know but I can’t shake the thought of getting you a giant ball that you can walk around in…

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

      Hmm … you already have a ball, you said – one of my girls LOVED that thing, although the other refused to go into it. My roommates and I also once made a maze out of textbooks on the living room floor, which was a lot of fun! They’ll also snack on pretty much anything you offer – mine liked scrambled egg, peanut, and turkey lunchmeat the best! Just avoid giving them gas-tacular foods like broccoli and beans – rats can’t burp and while this does not mean (as someone once tried to tell me) that they will EXPLODE after eating beans, it will give them a tiny rattie tummyache and I can’t be having with that.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Oh man, great, thanks for the warning, he is so little he really doesn’t like much, he did like licking berries and he ate half a piece of a chex cereal but so far he mainly likes his kibble

    • Magrat

      If his cage has bars (instead of solid plastic) you can put stuff like scrap paper and leafy greens on top of it and watch while he pulls it all down to make a nest (or eat the greens). They’re omnivores, so they need protein, and you can get little yogurt treats for them at the pet store that they LOVE.

    • Rachel Sea

      Feed him bugs. My rats lost their minds for crickets and mealworms, and they are an ideal source of protein.

    • Elizabeth

      Get an old fleece from the thrift shop, cut off the arm, and attach the ends to the top of the cage. It makes a lovely little rat hammock! They love having a place to crawl around and snuggle.

    • ElleJai

      I’d pop my two under my jumper and take them out to the petrol station with me. They were just darling companions .

  • Bethany Ramos

    Even though you are such a nice mom, I will not stand for this!! I just hate rodents sooooo much because they are prone to getting loose and eating your face while you sleep. I’d take 1000 lizards any day.

  • Shelly Lloyd

    AWWWWE, he is the cutest little baby rat ever! Of course I fall in love with any small furry thing. heck I am even feeling a bit protective of the snail in the salt tank my hubby is making. He has to add some sort of chemical to the water to prep it for the salt water fish and he said he thinks it will kill off the snails and I’m like–but why? Lets just keep the snails we do not need the fish. Why do they have to die just because you want some stinking fish….

  • LadyClodia

    Aww, that’s so sweet!
    My husband had pet rats when he was younger, and we had a hamster when we were first married. I’d be up for getting a rat, but we have 4 cats and some of them are jerks, so I wouldn’t want to put the rat in danger.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I have been told, on occasion, a rat and cat can coexist happily and even become pals, but I would be too scared to risk it

    • LadyClodia

      Yeah. And my cats are total jerks even to each other; there is never furry peace in our house. Plus, one of them we rescued literally from the streets, and I definitely wouldn’t trust her.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      A friend of mine has a guinea pig and 4 cats. The cats are totally cool with the pig. They have an open top guinea pig cage and one of the cats is always sitting in the cage with the pig. Crazy.

    • Elisa Probert

      My mom’s big old one eyed cat does that. She just hangs out with the guinea pigs all the time. I think she thinks they’re her babies…Luna is always stealing babies. She tried to mother my Chihuahua mix puppy a couple weeks ago, puppy was like, “Umm, that’s a big-ass monster and I think it wants to eat me.”

      Luna just wanted to wash your ears, puppy!

  • G.E. Phillips

    Nixon is the cutest! I used to have ferrets, who are not clean but are even smarter and cuddlier than rats, so I get you. Also, I’m not exactly sure what a “rat carrier” looks like but I’m picturing a teeny tiny Rodent Bjorn, and squeeeee.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      haha, it’s a small soft sided kennel and it’s about the size of a shoe box, It had clear screened windows on all sides. I need a rat bjorn

    • Elisa Probert

      I used to have a sling thing I’d made…my little hairless rat Pandora LOVED it. (well duh, she got COLD being naked all the time!) If it ever turns up I’d totally give it to you. One of the things I haven’t been able to find since we moved a year ago…

  • Nat

    Return the harness. It can damage his spine.

    Other than that, enjoy your new baby!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      REALLY?! tell me more. I assumed it could be used when we want him to roam but don’t want him to go far, like taking him outside in the sun or no?

    • Nat

      Your best bet is to rat proof a room and let him roam or get a small animal play pen. Those large hamster balls are also terrible for their backs. I don’t have rats personally, but a friend does. While he’s still tiny put s towel down in the tub, toss in a bunch of toys and let him run around in there, he won’t be able to escape and it’s a change of scenery.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      AMAZING tip. I love this. I will do this later. He doesn’t seem to be able to actually walk in the ball yet so I doubt it will get much use.

    • ElleJai

      You know it’s time to let them roam bigger things when the little smarties see your bathtub, wait until you duck outside for a minute, then climb out to go find you lol.

  • Tea

    We had four ladies for a while, and they were the sweetest. I stopped owning rats because they’re like little dogs with a two to three year lifespan, and our hearts couldn’t take it.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      YES! Their lifespan makes me sad too :(

    • Magrat

      That’s why I don’t keep them anymore. Plus they aren’t bred as pets, so they’ve got a lot of hereditary health problems, which means that their last six months is always awful.

    • Tea

      That was the worst, it was never a peaceful death of old age, it was always cancer…

  • LiteBrite

    I used to volunteer at our city’s local humane society as a small animal socializer. At first I was pretty leery of rats, but after having several in our shelter, an appreciation grew for them. Some of the rats we got were the most gentle, sweet, social little creatures I had ever come across.

    My son has mentioned getting a rat a few times, but with two cats and two guinea pigs, we’re at our apex for pets right now.

    Welcome Nixon! (I never thought I’d write THAT in a sentence….)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      awwww, guinea pigs are cute too but they seem so shy to me

    • LiteBrite

      They can be really skittish. They’re like rabbits: pure prey animals, So they’re naturally afraid of big creatures like us. I have a penned in area in the front of the house where I let them play and run around. I can take them out of their cage pretty easily, but when I bend down to pick them up out of the pen they run and try to hide.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      see, I refuse to feed anything that hides from me

    • Nat

      The trick with guinea pigs is to get them to realize that you = veggies. My boys run up to me, talking away, at veggie time. They don’t like being lifted but once they are snuggled against me they are fine.

    • LiteBrite

      My two girls go insane whenever they hear a bag opening. It’s hilarious. All you hear are WHEEK! WHEEK! WHEEK!

      Once I pick them up, they’re usually fine. It’s just that “picking up” stage that can be tricky at times.

    • Guest

      The key is socialization and treats. Our bunny was terrified of everyone but now I walk in and he runs up to me thinking I have craisins. Crasins = bunny crack

    • Elisa Probert

      Don’t tell my sisters’ guinea pigs they’re supposed to be shy! One of my sisters has five big neutered males, and they will stampede you when it’s time for their hay! I love how they sing when they’re snuggling. Wheeking is annoying but hey, I don’t have to hear it unless I visit.

      I’ll make do with my ferrets and their maniacal laughter. (seriously, look up “ferrets dooking,” it’s hilarious…they laugh like little evil geniuses on crack when they are excited)

  • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

    I have rats and they are awesome! Freyja loves and respects them but Lucipurr tries to murder them :(

  • Ally

    My very first boyfriend ever (like, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) had two rats named Cheddar and Gouda. They were the sweetest little animals on earth. I used to love when he went out of town so that I could babysit them.

  • Lilly

    I recently saw these pictures floating around — definitely see rats as being cuddly/snugly after this

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/23-adorable-photos-that-will-change-the-way-you-think-about-rats

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Yes! They tweeted that at me when I said I got a rat, so cute, I MUST find a mini teddy bear

    • ChillMama

      Oh wow. I seriously just teared up looking at those. So adorable! It also made me wonder what the market niche is like for making teddy bears for rates.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I badly want a bonnet for my rat

  • Steampunk

    Rats do not do the best alone. You really should get a second one. They are a ton of fun in pairs.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      UGH, see, I read that too, but I wanna make sure we are excellent rat owners before we get another one. PLUS, really dumb question, I have no interest in bringing rat babies into the world. do boy rats get along?

    • Elisa Probert

      Very nicely, usually. They all just sleep in a big pile of lazy.

      My boys used to love when I’d bring home a new baby boy rat. The big guys would be all washing him, and the baby would be all “Noooooo! I thought I was done with all this cleanliness when I got away from mom!”

      My girls, on the other hand, would throw hissy fits and beat the tar out of new babies. I could only bring in two or more if I wanted to introduce new girls to my colony.

    • Garavriel

      Female rats are notorious for beating up babies. It took a while for my first two girls to accept the baby but they worked it out in the end.

  • ElleJai

    I LOVED my rat babies. Mine had a 3 story town house, run of the garden and a bedroom on occasion, and I had 2 of them.

    My favourite house to put in their cage was an empty tissue box with lots of shredded paper (the wood shavings are bad for rat lungs). Easily replaceable when dirty!

    And use pipe cleaners to put up toilet paper rolls or kitchen rolls as tunnels too! Sooo much easier than kids ad SO CUTE!

  • Fondue

    Eve, thank you for this article on what great pets rats can be! We currently have three of the little critters and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. The thing about rats is that they’re social animals–he should have a friend. If you’re open to the idea, find a local rat rescue and see if they set you up with one and help with the introductions (males can be a little less quick to make new friends when they’re not babies anymore).

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      awww, thank you for the tip. any more for me?

  • EnglishSarah

    Rats need company, need, it is a need, please please please do not keep rats alone it’s horrific. Like trapping a child in a room alone only letting it play with a dog for an hour or so a day. Please do some research. Please do not keep rats alone.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      IDK, I have read that they do fine alone but they like pals. as I said below, I want to make sure we are good for him before we go and get another

      UH OH :
      Rats with company live more full and active lives than those kept alone. There are many experiences open to them which the single rat simply cannot have. And no matter how much attention a person gives a single rat, she will not be available 24 hours a day and willing to play in the middle of the night when rats are at their most active

      Now I will have to get all the rats

    • LiteBrite

      When it comes to pets, I believe two is better than one. It’s nice to have another creature in the house who speaks your language. This motto has led to two cats and two guinea pigs though, much to my husband’s dismay.

    • Elisa Probert

      Just make sure his friend is the same gender! Nobody needs a dozen or more new rats a month.

      Boy rats are better than girls, for pets, I think. I loved my girls but they were soooooo hyper!!! My boys (in a seperate cage) were all fat lazy slobs that just wanted cuddled. And apparantly they thought my bra was a hammock.

      https://scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/t1/38680_136091719764613_5835055_n.jpg?lvh=1

      Lothar, the black, was a Rex, and Iolus, the blond, was a Dumbo.

      They’re kind of like potato chips.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      OMG I LOVE YOUR BRA RATS SO MUCH

    • Elisa Probert

      I don’t know why the picture showed up twice…LOL

      Those guys were such marshmallows! Iolus was a little…err…slow, but he made up for it with snuggles and just being adorable. Lothar was just fun to pet, he felt like a tiny lamb!

  • Mystik Spiral

    You just made me want to adopt a rat, Eve.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      if you do we can marry our rats

    • Mystik Spiral

      I’ll have to get a boy so we can be all “Fuck you religious right! EQUAL RIGHTS YEAAAAA!!!!”

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      YES!

  • Michelle Pittman

    i think all rodents can be bitey if they’re not socialized/held enough…my youngest got a pet hamster when he was around 4 and named it Elephant…and after a full 2 days of living in my son’s hands (gloved) because said son refused to let go of him, he was the sweetest & tamest little thing you could possibly have…it was to the point that when he escaped his cage, you could CALL him and he would come waddling to climb into your hand…maybe you need a hamster you can have wine with? http://files.myopera.com/farid32/albums/5653962/hamster.gif

  • AmazingE

    You’re a far braver woman than I, that’s for sure. I am terrified of rats and mice. Like climb to the top of the fridge at seven months pregnant because I saw a mouse in my living room terrified. The rational part of me knows that it can’t hurt me and is likely far more scared of me than I am of it, but the rest of me is like “fuck no, kill it with fire before it has a chance to feast on my tasty, tasty, flesh.” I’m not a big fan of hamsters or gerbils either. Far too mouse like for my comfort, haha. Oddly enough I’m totally cool with guinea pigs, though. I had one named Spike that used to like to chill in the pockets of my bathrobe and would ride around in the hoods of my sweatshirts too.

  • Magrat

    Rats are wonderful. Mine used to sit on my shoulder and chitter in my ear. They don’t live very long, though, and they die kind of horribly, so I don’t keep them anymore.

  • Elisianna

    I don’t like animals but this made me consider getting a rat if my kids ever want a pet to take care of… But in the province I live there are no rats…anywhere.

  • Guest

    I remember my cousins always had rats and they were awesome. The ones they had all got cancer I think though..so that was horrible. I’d consider getting a rat or maybe guinea pig (after getting bitten by a hamster thats a no) but I worry about my dogs or cat wanting to eat them. I’ve gotten them all accustomed to our bunny roaming the house but the cat still likes to paw at him. I need to get some sort of barn to fill with all these animals.

  • Rachel Sea

    I loved having pet rats, I would gladly have a couple now, except that at some point I became violently allergic, breaking out in hives and unable to breathe if I’m anywhere near them. It makes me super sad, because friends and family have them, and I want to nuzzle every one of their tiny fuzzy noses.

    A specialist vet can neuter him, if you want to get a girl rat so he has company. Neutered males often live longer too.

  • Kay_Sue

    We lost our hamster this week (may he rest in peace), so we have sworn off small rodents. I am trying to get my husband to commit to a guinea pig. They are supposed to live five or more years if you take good care of them, and I have always wanted on…I mean, the kids really want one…

    • pineapplegrasss

      Seriously, I just noticed that the turtle was dead last night. Not sure how to tell the kids since its suppose to be hibernating. We had 3 babies and I lost 2 of them 2 winters ago. Idk why. Of course, they don’t play with it anymore or want to clean its cage etc but oh how they’re going to profess all the love in the world for this turtle now that they know he’s dead. I thought about removing it and maybe they’ll never notice the cage is empty. Oh, what’s a mom to do?

    • Kay_Sue

      Yeah, I caught the unmistakeable whiff of dead rodent while putting away my older son’s laundry, and my first response was, “How the fuck do I tell A?” as he was at school. And it went over about as well as a fart in church, if said fart caused the building to explode.

      I have a turtle that is 21 years old. That’s not a joke, he’s literally 21 years old, and refuses to die. I say it like that, but I am going to cry so hard when he goes. I was in first grade when my dad surprised me with him (because he killed my first one accidentally), and it’s going to be rough, even though he’s an asshole and tries to bite me whenever I vitashell him despite having been socialized for, you know, decades…

      Good luck telling your kiddos and/or covering it up!

    • pineapplegrasss

      maybe I can replace it with a rat?

    • Kay_Sue

      They really do make fantastic pets, lol. That’s no joke!

    • pineapplegrasss

      but the kittens turned into CATS! I am kinda scared of pets. I want a yorkie cause they’re so cute, but Im like a kid that way. I once spent hundreds on a bichon and he was the worst dog ever

    • pineapplegrasss

      21! none of mine ever got big enough to even go outside :(

    • Kay_Sue

      I have no idea why he has lived so long. His projected lifespan was much less, something like three to five years in captivity, even if we followed all of his care directions and recommendations to the absolute letter. I named him Raphael all those years ago, and I have come to believe that he is a legitimate mutant turtle–maybe not a ninja, definitely not a teenager, but most certainly a mutant.

    • pineapplegrasss

      My dad has an old one like that too. And, his name is also Raphael! He’s gotten huge over the past 10 years, dug a hole in the backyard and comes out to eat at dusk. maybe hes a mutant too.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      21 years is amazing. wow

    • Kay_Sue

      I’m pretty sure he’s immortal.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Paint a rock? :(

    • pineapplegrasss

      that’s seriously such a good idea.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      RIP hamster dude :(

    • Kay_Sue

      Thanks. We did have a beautiful service, and he was laid to rest in his beloved ball. I feel bad because it is not really biodegradable, but at the point my son made the request, I was ready to do anything to get the tears to subside. Gizmo was a cool little dude. I hope he enjoys the great hamster wheel in the sky…

  • Elisa Probert

    I’m jealous! All my rats died from old age. Now I have ferrets, which eat rats, so I won’t be getting anymore. Still love them though!

    I used to have a rat that was half wild rat, half domestic. Some dark and mysterious stranger-rat came a-callin’ one night and Miss Rattie just couldn’t say no…LOL (I don’t know the whole story, I got my rat at the petstore and figured out she wasn’t totally normal on my own)

    Xena was super-smart and knew how to operate the latches on her cage doors. She tried to get my other rats (also all girls) to help her open them but they didn’t understand like she did. She also played tricks on my then-boyfriend. I love horror movies, he does not. So he’d watch them with me anyway. Xena would be on my shoulder, and when she’d hear the music start to intensify, she’d hop onto the back of the couch and creep across until she was right behind him. Then, right as the killer appeared on screen and the big scare actually happened, she’d jump onto his shoulder, which of course made him jump and scream. She’d run back to me, and I swear to go you could see her laughing.

    https://scontent-b-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/62962_151060468267738_6256820_n.jpg

    I miss my sassy brown girl.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      awwwww, oh man, I love all these pics so very much look at her SOULFUL eyes

  • TheGiantPeach

    So doesn’t the cat try to kill the rat? I’ve been interested in adding a small pet like a rat, hamster or guinea pig but I’m worried the cat will kill it. I would not like that at all.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I have seen rats and cats get along, I am not sure I would ever be brave enough, but check out the gif below

  • Courtney Lynn

    I LOOOOOVE rats! I had some when my husband and I met. They are great! If I could go back to before we had dogs, I would take the rat over the dogs. I love my dogs and dogs in general, but rats are easier and just as interactive!

  • Garavriel

    Rats are incredibly intelligent. Mine were all trained to come when they were called and one of my girls knew “follow” (stay at my heel as I walked around the house), up (go from my hand to my shoulder), down (go from my shoulder to hand), “yoggie” (the word I used for their yogurt drop treats), “peanut butter”, and she would stand on her hind legs and beg.
    They are really social animals and it’s usually recommended to have at least two because the play, groom each other, and sleep together so if you’re going to stick to just the one make sure that he gets plenty of attention.
    If you have a multi story wire cage there is so much you can do for entertainment. I wired a tissue box to the roof of my girls’ cage so that they could reach by climbing from one landing across the cage wall, and in. They also sell hammocks that every rat I’ve known has enjoyed. My girls loved it when, I after I cleaned their cage and threw out all the old nest material, I would stick strips of paper towel through the bars of their cage and they would grab them and run around the cage stuffing them into their nest boxes. You can also make a puzzle for them by wrapping treat in layers of paper and putting it in a bit of cardboard tube. You can also do create a piñata by wrapping treat in paper and hanging it from the ceiling or from one of the landings.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      UGH adorable plus now my weekend plans include making a rat piñata

  • Ashley Feit

    I don’t know how I missed this post, but we LOVE rats! They are so smart and social, wouldn’t want any other critter. We are down to our last girl as we had to put her friend to sleep a couple weeks ago. We’re hoping to find our remaining rat a friend so she is not lonely. Here’s my little girl sharing her “feesh” with Pips (RIP).

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