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Travelling with a pet rat

Discussion in 'Furry Nomads' started by duderino, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. duderino

    duderino One of the Regulars

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    I'm thinking about taking a rat with me on a cross country bike tour. Does anyone have any experience traveling with a pet rat? I can't take my dogs with me because one has severe separation anxiety and would be impossible to leave outside somewhere while I restock on supplies. The other is an 11 year old pug mix with a heart condition, and she doesn't do well in the heat. Also, bringing a dog would be an extra 40+ pounds which would not be fun for climbing hills. I've always had pets and would like to have a furry friend on the road, but I'm not selfish and don't want to risk their lives. If not a rat, what other small animals would make good traveling companions?
     
  2. Shwhiskey Gumimaci

    Shwhiskey Gumimaci Celebrated Poster

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    I traveled with someone with a rat. It just lived in her bra. Only came out to eat. It just wanted a cozy place to hide until it was feeding time. They're really easy to travel with if you have a good place to store them. I've seen some weird animals on the road and a rat was probably the easiest I ever saw.
     
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  3. OP
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    duderino

    duderino One of the Regulars

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    Would it be weird if I wore a bra just for the rat? My tits aren't very big so, it would probably have to be a small one. Just kidding. Cool, so it would probably be easy to have one without needing a cage then. I can probably find a spot in a pannier or a jacket pocket or something.
     
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  4. Shwhiskey Gumimaci

    Shwhiskey Gumimaci Celebrated Poster

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    I don't have a rat but it seems pretty easy. Definitely attainable. I assume the rat's temperament is a big thing too.
     
  5. Sirius

    Sirius Sir Posts a Lot

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    I've known quite a few street rats. They seem to do just fine
     
  6. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted One of the Regulars

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    I've had ten rats and only one out of those ten would I ever consider taking on the road. My boys are just way too adventurous to take travelling- they want to explore everything and have no fears. The only one I'd consider taking with me is unfortunately gone from this world now, but he was very mellow and laid back- I could put him in a pocket, on my bed in a certain spot, or in the hood of my jacket and he'd always stay there until I gave him the okay to do otherwise. He would even sleep next to my head at night without wandering. :)

    Rats are like people- they all have different personalities- different needs. I suggest getting a rat while you're off the road- a young one- and taking them everywhere with you. I suggest this because you'll be purchasing them out of caged life- to automatically take them on the road will be such a shock I'm not sure how they'd fair... But if you get them while you have a stable situation you can have a cage for them at night and between outings, but still take them into society often. This will get them used to thinking of you as their home and a safe hand.

    Some rats like to be super social and active and explorative. Other rats like to be calm and alone. You need the latter!

    Also- I suggest getting a rat from a feeder bin. They cost less and you'll be saving a life. Some pet store owners will try to scare you away from buying a feeder bin rat for a pet because the ones labelled to be pets are more expensive. They will say things like "I can't guarantee their health" / "I can't guarantee they won't bite." / etc. While feeder bin rats are known to sometimes have health problems, it's rare. I've purchased 4 feeder bin rats and they are absolutely precious- they don't bite me, they aren't unhealthy.. So while those things can happen it's not an absolute.

    If you get a rat that bites DO NOT BE DISMAYED, and please don't return them to the pet store.. Biting is a defense mechanism because they're scared. My gentlest boys have bit me at least once out of fear (bath time horrors ;P )... I had one boy that would try to bite me any time I picked him up because he was traumatized by baths. I worked with him for about a week to get him to stop with that and now he won't bite anyone- he just walks away or submits to my will. Lol. There are videos on youtube illustrating how to train rats to not bite as well as how to teach them tricks and what-not. I suggest watching these.

    Another thing- Rats are prone to respiratory infections. If you get them while you're off the road get them a bird cage (this isn't big enough to be a proper home. This is assuming you'll be taking them out most of the day.) not a tank. Tanks trap in the air, causing them to get respiratory infections from the ammonia in their pee. I also suggest using cloth on the bottom of the cage rather than wood chips- wood chips have dust that your rat will breathe in and get respiratory distress from. ALL of my rats have had respiratory issues at some point or another- that's because of how sensitive they are to smells and fumes.

    If you have a Facebook join the rat groups- If you type "rats" into the search bar it should shoot you back some groups, but if it doesn't I'd be more than happy to list the names of 'em for ya.

    Rats are adventurous just like us. They're great pets. You just have to learn about them so that you can give them a decent life. If you join the FB group "Rats and Mice are Awesome" there are group-files regarding rat care, be it health issues, what they can and can't eat, or how to train them.

    You will find that most pet stores and pet food brands give incorrect information regarding rat care, so please read up on the group sites. The information in them is written by people with years of experience with rats rather than people trying to make a buck.

    Hope this helps! Have a good day! :)
     
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  7. OP
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    duderino

    duderino One of the Regulars

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    Cool. Thanks for all the info!
     
  8. voortne

    voortne is getting to know the place

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    I love rats, I've traveled with quite a few. Usually it really depends on the rat. The easiest for me were definitely my males. Male rats tend to be huge mommas boys and just want to cuddle alllll the time. Females tend to be incredibly curious and active, but still workable. I'll be traveling with 2 girls this time around so it'll be a fair share of looking after but rats tend to get really attached to their human so they're usually not hard to train.

    Also, I've hitched with a travel cage strapped around me, it's not too hard to take around with you. Your rat will have a comfort space and it definitely comes in handy sometimes. I used to just fill it with old cloths and wash them when I had the chance. They even have collapsible fabric travel cages that I tried at one point, but one of my rats chewed right through the mesh lol. It probably wouldn't be too hard to even just make one.

    They're pretty fragile little things, so yeah they are prone to respiratory issues a lot and tumors and strokes and such. You'd just have to be prepared for anything tbh. A friend of mine said his got swept up by a bird lol that's definitely one of my biggest fears.
    they're really awesome pets though. I'd definitely recommend.
     
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  9. voortne

    voortne is getting to know the place

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    One thing to consider, rats will get into anything if given the chance. It's good to think about rat-proofing some things if you plan to get some. They are super curious and love to make nests out of things they like. It's cute/annoying. My girls like to run off with food, lighters, shiny things, and anything that smells nice.
    I've definitely had times where I've seen my rat last minute hopping away with something I didn't want them to get into, and I absolutely have ended up with tons of holes in my clothes, lotions, food and other things I would rather not have had chewed up when I wasn't careful or paying attention.
    (spacebags are not impenetrable by rat teeth.:oops:)
     
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  10. mymotherisafish

    mymotherisafish Hungry for Knowledge

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    The only thing I can think to add that hasnt already been said is rats are naturally social animals and its best to keep them in groups of 2 or more if possible. They live longer, happier lives in a group than they do alone. As others have said, male rats are better for traveling as they tend to be fat and lazy compared to the more curious and adventurous female rats. Be careful to keep them out of the heat, it will kill them. My friend lost a couple of her rats to the heat last summer. They make awesome pets though, i miss mine and want to get more soon
     
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  11. voortne

    voortne is getting to know the place

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    I did lose a rat to the heat a few years ago as well. I asked a friend to watch her for a few hours on my birthday and they ended up stupidly neglecting her long enough for her to die. I'll never ever trust anyone else with my rats for as long as I live. Worst birthday ever.