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(CNN)   "Mr. T began to make himself at home, confiscating mail, pens, and whole pizza slices and dragging them under the sofa, then chewing a crawl space inside the sofa itself." Enough with the kittehs, can we have a little bit of love for Raturday?   (cnn.com) divider line 97
    More: Sappy, Mr. T, Hong Kong, countertops, terminal illness, rats  
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7389 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Oct 2012 at 7:09 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-25 07:56:43 PM

Ashrams: Strix occidentalis: Man. Rats are such intelligent cuties, but I don't think I'd ever be able to deal with the short lifespan.

Have you perhaps considered a pig? They are very smart and live longer. I know were you can get one really cheap and he does tricks.

[www.weirdasianews.com image 400x249]


They really should wait on the pork loins here.
 
2012-10-25 08:03:32 PM
I can never recommend rats as pets, because they're too awesome.

They are so smart and compassionate that you will fall in love with them - and then they die. They die so quickly. Anyone who really cares about animals will have their heart destroyed.
 
2012-10-25 08:06:48 PM

Ashrams: Have you perhaps considered a pig? They are very smart and live longer. I know were you can get one really cheap and he does tricks.


If you search on youtube, they've got video of some two legged pigs on there, walking around. It's quite a spectacle to see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxqPt49XdyE&t=0m10s
 
2012-10-25 08:20:54 PM
I had a pet albino rat named Willard as a child. He was the sweetest thing! But, the short lifespan was heartbreaking. My mom who HATED rodents grew to love Willard. She cried when he passed away.

Miss that rat.
 
2012-10-25 08:25:49 PM
Actually folks, it is Cursday today... so post dog pics.

www.itsjustcrap.com
 
2012-10-25 08:30:45 PM

Skr: That little guy was awesome and loved perching on shoulders like a parrot.


That's adorable until they start investigating your ear or building a nest in your hair. Then it tickles horribly.

Rats have much better personalities than hamsters. I don't understand why anyone would want a hamster.
 
2012-10-25 08:30:46 PM

Der Poopflinger: Rezurok: It is exceedingly rare for a rat to carry rabies, and in the US there is no known case of a human contracting rabies from a rat, ever.

And really, the plague? When's the last time people actually worried about that? That thing you brought home last night for a quick fark is much more likely to give you some worrisome disease than a lifetime of handling rats (though I don't recommend farking them). The biggest problem with rats is their god damn incontinence. They piss where they damn well please, or don't please. Doesn't matter. They gonna piss.

wow, they sure do sound like a fun pet with the pissing wherever and whenever


People who fling poop shouldn't throw stones in glass houses...or something like that...
 
2012-10-25 08:31:34 PM
Taking a rat from the alley is actually a real bad idea because of the parasites and stuff they can transmit from their feces.

Ever see monsters inside me?
 
2012-10-25 08:32:24 PM

Ashrams: That reminds me just three weeks ago I got a kitten at a pet store. There was a brother and a sister but I only let my daughter get one even though she wanted both so she got the girl one. Then next morning I got up, got my cup of coffee and went to her room to let the kitten out. The cat zipped past me and made b-line for the kitchen were my wife was serving food. I heard my wife yell like crazy so I ran to the kitchen. She told me a mouse ran across the kitchen and in less than a sec the kitten pounced and broke the mouses neck and was holding it's lifeless body in it mouse. I woke my daughter up and took her to the pet store and we got the kittens brother as a reward.

/True Story!


Similar thing happened to my folks. This orange cat kept hanging around the house but my mom wouldn't let him in. One day my mom saw a mouse in their bedroom, so my dad went outside, picked up the cat, and threw him in the bedroom. A little while later out walks the cat with the mouse. That cat was then let inside the house. I think he lived 18-20 years, he was a great cat.

/misses Tiger
 
2012-10-25 08:33:02 PM

kroonermanblack: They are rodents. They are vermin. They may be 'social creatures' but so are some wasps, and I won't be keeping those for a pet either.

Rodents chew holes in walls, cause destruction, spread disease and feces/urine everywhere, etc. etc.

If you want one as a pet, fine.

But they're not domestics, and they're not even partials like cats.

Do rats scare off or eat mice?


I feel the exact same way - about children. Just replace "rodents" or "rats" with "kids" and I am in full agreement with your sentiment. Especially the disease-spreading vermin part.
 
2012-10-25 08:37:49 PM
Everytime there is a story about rats on fark I can't help but get on youtube looking for pics of exotic pets eating rats. Giant centipede is probably the most gruesome
 
2012-10-25 08:42:36 PM
Kept a human as a pet once. It was loud, messy, disease-prone, never cleaned up after itself, and hostile to other humans.

So I put it down. It was the right thing to do. Too damn many of them anyway, and the shelters are full.
 
2012-10-25 08:46:47 PM

sleeps in trees: We are renovating and accidentally dislodged a pigeon nest with a week old baby. He is now sitting on my entertainment unit at 6 weeks and is best friends with my dog. I would download a photo but I am a technotard


Do not throw week old babies at pigeon's nests. Stick to open fields for that.
 
2012-10-25 08:57:41 PM

Der Poopflinger: I fail to understand why you'd want a rodent for a pet, you do know they help carry the black plague right?



No, no, is filigree Siberian hamster! Only one in shop!
 
2012-10-25 09:03:51 PM

Real Women Drink Akvavit: kroonermanblack: They are rodents. They are vermin. They may be 'social creatures' but so are some wasps, and I won't be keeping those for a pet either.

Rodents chew holes in walls, cause destruction, spread disease and feces/urine everywhere, etc. etc.

If you want one as a pet, fine.

But they're not domestics, and they're not even partials like cats.

Do rats scare off or eat mice?

I feel the exact same way - about children. Just replace "rodents" or "rats" with "kids" and I am in full agreement with your sentiment. Especially the disease-spreading vermin part.


Yes, that's deep and profound and not at all trite. Comparing propogation of the species (and I'm sure for your next shocking societal act you'll say 'we shouldn't) with...keeping vermin in the house.
 
2012-10-25 09:10:15 PM

cloud_van_dame: Skr: That little guy was awesome and loved perching on shoulders like a parrot.

That's adorable until they start investigating your ear or building a nest in your hair. Then it tickles horribly.

Rats have much better personalities than hamsters. I don't understand why anyone would want a hamster.


I used to have rats, but then developed a pretty major allergy to them (hives on contact, difficulty breathing while cleaning the cage), so I switched to hams. They're definitely not as smart or personable, but they're still pretty cool, and they don't pee everywhere as much.
 
2012-10-25 09:11:07 PM
He was a street rat, no more than a few days old. His life had begun in the grimy alley beside our apartment in Hong Kong, and to most people, he would have embodied filth and disease. But we saw instead a fragile, unknowable life, and in the three years that followed, we came to see him as no average soul.

He will always be a street rat, and he will die a street rat.


/no one will mourn him but his fleas
 
2012-10-25 09:15:29 PM

kroonermanblack: Do rats scare off or eat mice?


They can. Wild rats have been known to eat mice. Two years ago, we had a really cold winter, and had mice coming into the house. Raph and Uriel were terrified of the little buggers. They'd climb up me to cower against my neck if they heard one in the walls nearby.
 
2012-10-25 09:16:17 PM

kroonermanblack: Real Women Drink Akvavit: kroonermanblack: They are rodents. They are vermin. They may be 'social creatures' but so are some wasps, and I won't be keeping those for a pet either.

Rodents chew holes in walls, cause destruction, spread disease and feces/urine everywhere, etc. etc.

If you want one as a pet, fine.

But they're not domestics, and they're not even partials like cats.

Do rats scare off or eat mice?

I feel the exact same way - about children. Just replace "rodents" or "rats" with "kids" and I am in full agreement with your sentiment. Especially the disease-spreading vermin part.

Yes, that's deep and profound and not at all trite. Comparing propogation of the species (and I'm sure for your next shocking societal act you'll say 'we shouldn't) with...keeping vermin in the house.


Children ARE vermin. Where do you propose people keep them until they grow out of their vermin-like states? I vote for "far away from me until they're at least 13", but understand others like them. Doesn't mean I have to like them any more than other people have to like lutefisk (or rodents) just because I like 'em.
 
2012-10-25 09:19:38 PM
I had rats when I was a teen. My daughters have/had rats. Currently, we have Benny.
Rats are better pets than hamsters. I wouldn't let my kid have a hamster. They tend to bite way more.
Benny knows his name as is learning tricks.
 
2012-10-25 09:20:14 PM

kroonermanblack: Real Women Drink Akvavit: kroonermanblack: They are rodents. They are vermin. They may be 'social creatures' but so are some wasps, and I won't be keeping those for a pet either.

Rodents chew holes in walls, cause destruction, spread disease and feces/urine everywhere, etc. etc.

If you want one as a pet, fine.

But they're not domestics, and they're not even partials like cats.

Do rats scare off or eat mice?

I feel the exact same way - about children. Just replace "rodents" or "rats" with "kids" and I am in full agreement with your sentiment. Especially the disease-spreading vermin part.

Yes, that's deep and profound and not at all trite. Comparing propogation of the species (and I'm sure for your next shocking societal act you'll say 'we shouldn't) with...keeping vermin in the house.


There is no objective quality that makes cats more "petlike" than rats. Rats are very easy to domesticate (if impossible to housebreak). If you don't want to have a rat, then that's fine. I don't either; they live too short lives, and they are messy and rather destructive if you aren't extremely vigilant. But they are adorable, trainable, surprisingly intelligent (more so than most dogs I've met), and have personalities as robust as most pets. They are good companion animals if you can tolerate the drawbacks. Or if you happen to see one dying in an alley and fall in love with it.
 
2012-10-25 09:23:13 PM
I liked that article until the whole "We stopped eating out. We didn't travel, when we did we left an instruction manual an inch thick. We got a surgeon to operate on him. He was paralysed and we were cool with it."

These people didn't adopt a rat. They adopted a lifestyle as rat-caretakers.
 
2012-10-25 09:33:28 PM
I've had a lot of animals over the years - cats, dogs, lizards, salamanders, fish - but rats were the most awesome. People who don't like/are irrationally afraid of them are missing out on one of the most affectionate, funny, intelligent animals you can know.
 
2012-10-25 09:55:55 PM

Acharne: I liked that article until the whole "We stopped eating out. We didn't travel, when we did we left an instruction manual an inch thick. We got a surgeon to operate on him. He was paralysed and we were cool with it."

These people didn't adopt a rat. They adopted a lifestyle as rat-caretakers.


The price of parenthood.
 
2012-10-25 10:02:14 PM
Wow, I feel badly for the days that FARK would welcome loudly our weasley companions.
Like rats, couldn't keep them because of ferts, and now cannot keep them (gerbils) cause of cats.

/lose, lose a situation mine
 
2012-10-25 10:15:19 PM

miltonbabbitt: [imageshack.us image 445x326]


Man some of those girls have pretty muscly arms.
 
2012-10-25 10:28:58 PM
Awww, cute story....and rats are lovey things, and smart, and yes, they can be housebroken :3

The one bad thing re ratties is that they live JUST long enough for you to get really attached to them...and then they die :(

Keizer_Ghidorah: Also had a rattie that was into rodentistry (yes, it's a common enough trait in rats that it has its own nickname, and it IS actually a sort of grooming they do to let you know they love you). :3

Re rats and domestication--actually, whilst domestic rats can go feral in lab experiments and wild Norway rats can tame relatively easily, there ARE signs of "domestication syndrome" in fancy rats or domesticated rats (not just the hooded coats, but Dumbo rats also show a classic sign of domestication syndrome and are reputed to be especially friendly as pet rats--it's similar to the lop-eared trait in dogs and rabbits). At least some strains of hooded rats in particular may have a fairly long domestication history, with hooded rats once being known as "Japanese rats" due to a rat fancy that seems to have existed for at least 400 years before European rat fancies.

Also, re rats and plague--most cases of plague (including the Black Death) linked to rats are from a species of flea that feeds on a different species of rat than pet rats--black rats or roof rats (Rattus rattus) versus Norway rats or brown rats (Rattus norvegicus)--there's even been some interesting lines of speculation that has tied the end of plague epidemics to the spread of the Norway rat as it displaced the roof rat in most of its environments (Norway rats apparently die very rapidly from plague, to the point the disease doesn't pass on to fleas as quickly; roof rats tend to linger a bit). This isn't to say Norway rats can't get plague, but it's more uncommon than with roof rats and the flea that transmitted the Black Death had roof rats as its preferential host.

(And yes, "Norway rat" is a misnomer--"Norway rats", including domesticated rats, are actually native to Asia and populated Europe as trade spread with the Middle East in particular. There are actually three rat species that tend to have been in close association with humans--Norway rats, roof rats (which are a bit more mouse-like in both lifestyle and in mannerisms than Norway rats) and the Polynesian rat.)

Much the same, rats almost never transmit rabies (in fact, rodents as rabies vectors are pretty damn rare, with groundhogs really being the only rodents of note where rabies transmission has occurred)--rabies kills rats before they ever have the chance to pass it along.

If one was really worried about a zoonosis from wild Norway rats, I'd be more worried about leptospirosis or hantavirus, and that's more of a risk from rat pee and rat poop rather than the rats themselves. (I'll also note that with domestic rats, there's not really much in the realm of zoonotic illnesses you can catch from them--you're more likely to give them a zoonotic illness, with pet rats in particular being susceptible to human strep throat.)

/rats really are awesome
//they are just pretty much the companion-critter equivalent of the light that burns twice as bright and half as long
 
2012-10-25 11:00:28 PM
I've played with pet rats, before, they seemed personable and interesting. One of my students has a rat as a certified companion animal. She's a bit tightly-wound on the best of days, I'd hate to see her if she didn't have a pet rat to commune with.
 
2012-10-25 11:22:35 PM

Point02GPA: Today is my 68th birthday. And I'm thinking about posting James Cagney's often mis-quoted quote about rats. And, just to think, my 3rd grade teacher said that I'd never amount to anything.

  

www.greetingcarduniverse.com
 
2012-10-25 11:25:27 PM
I have a rat living under my futon. Where I sleep. Its cosy ...

At the moment I have the cat in here and I am hoping she will catch it tonight ...
 
2012-10-25 11:35:35 PM

kroonermanblack: Real Women Drink Akvavit: kroonermanblack: They are rodents. They are vermin. They may be 'social creatures' but so are some wasps, and I won't be keeping those for a pet either.

Rodents chew holes in walls, cause destruction, spread disease and feces/urine everywhere, etc. etc.

If you want one as a pet, fine.

But they're not domestics, and they're not even partials like cats.

Do rats scare off or eat mice?

I feel the exact same way - about children. Just replace "rodents" or "rats" with "kids" and I am in full agreement with your sentiment. Especially the disease-spreading vermin part.

Yes, that's deep and profound and not at all trite. Comparing propogation of the species (and I'm sure for your next shocking societal act you'll say 'we shouldn't) with...keeping vermin in the house.


You'll get over it.

/has 5 guinea pigs
//go fark yourself
 
2012-10-25 11:36:43 PM

theorellior: I've played with pet rats, before, they seemed personable and interesting. One of my students has a rat as a certified companion animal. She's a bit tightly-wound on the best of days, I'd hate to see her if she didn't have a pet rat to commune with.


I read about a rat that worked as a certified therapy animal in a hospital. I wish I could remember is name or where I read about him. He'd be allowed to play with terminal and bed-ridden children in their beds. He'd often just let them pet and stroke him, but he'd also run around and play tag with their fingers if they were so inclined. He even visited the few old folks who weren't adverse to snuggling a rat.

He lived an abnormally (although not unheard of) long life, reaching almost 7. When autopsied, they found that he was riddled with tumors, and should've been dead for a long time. His handlers surmised he stayed alive because of his personality and positive attitude...
 
2012-10-26 12:06:25 AM
Now repeat after me, "It's OK to like rats."
farm4.staticflickr.com
farm4.staticflickr.com
farm4.staticflickr.com
farm7.staticflickr.com
farm4.staticflickr.com
farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2012-10-26 12:09:17 AM
rats are incredibly sweet and clean
 
2012-10-26 12:46:42 AM

HairBolus: I love rodents.


Me too. I've had guinea pigs most of my life, but all kinds of other things too. I love the wild ones, too. So here's a prairie dog.

lh4.googleusercontent.com 

and a ferret.

lh6.googleusercontent.com

That damn ferret went out the doggie door once and I thought it was gone forever (it wasn't even mine). Two days later, it came back in.
 
2012-10-26 12:55:45 AM

cryinoutloud: HairBolus: I love rodents.

Me too. I've had guinea pigs most of my life, but all kinds of other things too. I love the wild ones, too. So here's a prairie dog.

[lh4.googleusercontent.com image 440x300] 

and a ferret.

[lh6.googleusercontent.com image 640x466]

That damn ferret went out the doggie door once and I thought it was gone forever (it wasn't even mine). Two days later, it came back in.


Ferrets aren't rodents, but they are cute.

Someday, I would love to have a rat as a pet, though. Or possibly a guinea pig. Although the cavies are less lively, it seems like...
 
2012-10-26 02:04:34 AM
ktybear~

THANKS...and enjoy
 
2012-10-26 02:18:59 AM

Point02GPA: ktybear~

THANKS...and enjoy


no, thank you! Awesomeness!


And I do hope you've had a happy birthday :)
 
2012-10-26 03:09:04 AM
The rats I see in NYC are never this cute.
 
2012-10-26 03:19:00 AM
I've had gerbils and rats. Rats are so much better in every aspect. Much friendlier, smarter, and, yes, they can be housebroken. Mine were. Gerbils are cute and fun to watch doing their thing in their cage, but they don't seem to enjoy petting or handling much. They're a lot more likely to bite, and they will definitely piss and shiat everywhere. If it weren't for the cat, I wouldn't think twice about getting a couple new rats. They'd be great pets for the kids, I'm sure.
 
2012-10-26 09:41:31 AM

belhade: The rats I see in NYC are never this cute.


image.blingee.com
 
2012-10-26 10:17:11 AM

Parthenogenetic: Fine, I'll start

[i.imgur.com image 600x450]

This one was destined to be snake food. Instead, she became the Rat Queen.

[i.imgur.com image 400x533]

Jupie, the mega-rat

[i.imgur.com image 600x450]

Jupie's second birthday party. He lets the Rat Queen and Rat Princess eat first. What a gentleman.

[i.imgur.com image 600x450]

The Brain, checking out the Christmas tree. His brother, Pinky, is burrowing in the couch cushions
They are Sprague-Dawley rats who served in a Naval Medical Research Unit operating at the local US Air Force base (yeah, it's kinda weird)
Had to fill out a surprisingly long and thorough application issued by the Department of Defense, probably the same one to adopt a dog or horse

[i.imgur.com image 600x900]

Sorry, Santa. The sign said, "Pet pictures with Santa taken here." You just assumed the pets would all be dogs and cats.


BWAHAHA! Cute pics. And everyone else also.

I'd like a rat. Do males and females have different temperaments? Can they be litter trained or are they fairly clean?
 
2012-10-26 12:33:46 PM

MoronLessOff: I'd like a rat. Do males and females have different temperaments? Can they be litter trained or are they fairly clean?


Males tend to be more laid back, though young animals are more energetic than older ones.

They keep themselves clean, but if you don't clean their cages regularly, the litter will start to stink, as with any other small animal.

We used to let our rats run free, but you have to be OK with a certain amount of chewing. This might not go well with electrical cords or antique furniture. Also, if you want to put them back in their cages at night, it is a pain in the ass to play hunt the rat before you go to bed.

Our rats were litter trained. We got a couple small trays, and put some of their litter in them. We'd put them in corners. We put a couple rat turds in the tray, so they'd realize that they were supposed to poop there. We never had to clean up stray rat turds. Honestly, I'll bet they peed outside of the litter box, since as other posters have noted they tend to pee as they run about.

You should get at least two rats. They're social, and require companionship to be happy.

They don't live very long. Two years, usually, three years tops. They tend to die of respiratory disease, or malignant tumors.

This is a pretty good rat owner's manual:

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2012-10-26 12:40:06 PM

Parthenogenetic: MoronLessOff: I'd like a rat. Do males and females have different temperaments? Can they be litter trained or are they fairly clean?

Males tend to be more laid back, though young animals are more energetic than older ones.

They keep themselves clean, but if you don't clean their cages regularly, the litter will start to stink, as with any other small animal.

We used to let our rats run free, but you have to be OK with a certain amount of chewing. This might not go well with electrical cords or antique furniture. Also, if you want to put them back in their cages at night, it is a pain in the ass to play hunt the rat before you go to bed.

Our rats were litter trained. We got a couple small trays, and put some of their litter in them. We'd put them in corners. We put a couple rat turds in the tray, so they'd realize that they were supposed to poop there. We never had to clean up stray rat turds. Honestly, I'll bet they peed outside of the litter box, since as other posters have noted they tend to pee as they run about.

You should get at least two rats. They're social, and require companionship to be happy.

They don't live very long. Two years, usually, three years tops. They tend to die of respiratory disease, or malignant tumors.

This is a pretty good rat owner's manual:

[ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]


The house is bunny proofed to an extend, they tend to be chewers as well. Thanks for the tips!
 
2012-10-26 01:07:20 PM
Get a degus, or a chinchilla. The former last 3 times as long as rats, the latter can go around 15-20 years old. Chinchillas especially will become very friendly. Gerbils are friendly too, but again short lifespan though I had one that lasted till he was 6. Used to sit down and watch TV with us.
 
2012-10-26 02:20:11 PM
i1184.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-26 10:54:07 PM

cynicalbastard: Get a degus, or a chinchilla. The former last 3 times as long as rats, the latter can go around 15-20 years old. Chinchillas especially will become very friendly. Gerbils are friendly too, but again short lifespan though I had one that lasted till he was 6. Used to sit down and watch TV with us.


Chinchillas are also pretty awesome :D (My first real exposure to pet rodents was via a friend who had a pet chinchilla, cute little guy--pretty much if you can imagine something bunny-sized but with a "friendly rodent" personality rather than Bunnitude.)

Degus I'm a little more leery of, but that's just because degus have (at least around here) only entered the pet market recently and still have a bit of a rep as an "exotic" (as opposed to guinea pigs and rats--guinea pigs actually have some of the longest domestication history of any critter outside of dogs and cats), but I've heard they can be friendly.

Rats are friggin' awesome though, even if they don't live all that long (and we did have some girls that were almost rattie Methuselahs)--if I ever have little bruxybeasts in my home again, probably it'll be through a rescue (we actually have a rat rescue that occasionally has adoptable rats locally).
 
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