I always preface any question I ever get about rat deaths by saying that I don’t really have a typical reaction to death in general—my dad was a hospice nurse & so death was a huge part of my life growing up. He’d bring home “how to grieve” coloring books for me, my favorite game was filling out death certificates, I’d constantly ask how many people died each day, etc. I also think that it’s easier to deal with pet deaths when you have a lot of pets, because I cannot get absolutely devastated when one of my rats dies—I have way too many others that need to be cared ofr. I don’t usually feel like playing with them for a few days after one passes away, but I still have to interact with them for feeding/cage cleaning, & I’ve found that to be really therapeutic, because seeing how excited they are to see me even when I’m upset makes me feel better.

A lot of people hear that rats have 2-3 year lifespans (which to be honest, I think is pretty misleading even though it’s constantly quoted & considered the norm…I’d say a far more likely average is 1.75-2.75, with the occasional one making it to 3+) & immediately go “Oh gosh, I could never deal with that! That’s so short!” and yes, it is, compared to a cat or a dog, but stop & think about your life for a minute & consider where you were two years ago.  Maybe I just have a faster-changing life than average, but two years ago seems like AGES to me. I was in a completely different house, I didn’t have my current boyfriend, I was working at a different job, I was still in college, I didn’t know people that I’m now very close friends with…virtually nothing about my life is the same as it was two years ago. It sounds like a short amount of time, but it’s really not.

I have to be careful how I phrase the next part because I don’t want to make it sound like I think they’re interchangeable or I don’t appreciate them as individuals, but I think that as far as my relationship with rats as a species (vs. my relationship with individual rats), their short lifespans are an absolute godsend. If I wanted to devote my entire life to giving dogs a good home, realistically, I’d probably only be able to have 5-10 dogs over the course of my lifetime. Obviously, I could decide to foster dogs & adopt them out to good homes, & I’m not saying that’s not rewarding, but it’s not the same—you don’t have as long to develop a relationship with the dog & you don’t get as good of a sense of its personality as you do if you actually own it for any length of time. But I’ve had rats for just five years & I’ve personally given a good home to 40+.  I keep way more rats than most people do, so of course that’s not a number that everyone could or should strive for, but even if you’re only keeping three rats at a time, you could still have had 6-9 rats during that period, rats that would not have been very likely to have had a good home otherwise. I’d estimate that probably 95% of rats are kept in conditions that are basically akin to abuse, it’s easy to forget that when you see people on Tumblr that have blogs devoted to them, but that’s NOT the life of most rats. Most rats are kept in tiny cages or tanks on improper, dirty bedding, often alone, with no toys & very little outside time. Check out an average “rats for adoption!” Craig’s List ad if you don’t believe me. That’s not even mentioning the high percentage that are going to be snake food. Rats that are adopted by any good owner are automatically going to have it better than the vast, vast majority of rats out there, so I find it incredibly uplifting that I’ve been able to provide a good home for so many.

I have a much easier time personally dealing with older rats’ deaths, even if they are ones I loved very much, because realistically, if they make it to much over 2, I can’t ask much else out of their lives. I don’t have any regrets because I know they had a great time with me, & to be honest, most of the time, by the point that they’re at a little over two, they’re usually afflicted with a variety of maladies (arthritis, hind end degeneration, respiratory issues, etc.) that make death not so bad. I’m not saying I think older, sickly rats are unhappy—it’s definitely an individual thing, some are fine with not being as mobile & some are so miserable that I get them euthanized just a few weeks after they start having difficulty getting around. Buuuut at the same time, I wouldn’t want Wesley to live another six months—he is very happy & seems to enjoy his life, but he’s having trouble with ladders, he has difficulty breathing in some positions, & he has to be separated to eat because he is so slow about it. I don’t think that his quality of life has deteriorated to the point that it’s cruel to not have him put down, but I wouldn’t want him to continue declining indefinitely, either. I’ll miss him when he’s gone, but it’d be awfully selfish of me to want him to live for another year just so I could be with him.

With all that being said, it can be heartbreaking when they die. I’m not big on talking about things I find extremely upsetting, so I don’t post very much about some of the animal deaths that really hit me hard…I try not to dwell on them, but there are some that were really, really difficult for me.  I still have nightmares about Wyatt dying & that was 2.5 years ago.  I can’t look at pictures of agouti hooded dumbos without tearing up because of Darcy, I have a friend of a friend with a rat on Instagram that looks a lot like him & I literally started bawling when I saw a photo of him the other day. I can’t talk about him without getting really upset, & I still can’t watch videos of him even though he died seven months ago.  I’m not planning on getting any more female mice for a while after my current group has passed away & that is entirely due to the death of my favorite one, Pie, who died a few months back.  I don’t think there’s any way to sugarcoat it or make it seem better some things are just hard. 

This always makes me feel better, the entire book is magnificent if you have never read it, but that chapter is my favorite. I have “it has done me good because of the color of the wheat fields” written on my desk & I always look at it when I am missing my Bug.

♥ 15 notes — tagged as: #faq #anon #ask


Join the club!  I haven’t eaten meat in 16 years & it feels like I cook chicken every freaking night. My ex loved chicken also, so I cooked it a lot for him, & that is seemingly all that Crawford likes to eat for dinner.

I found out that apparently the reason the chicken I’ve been cooking is so disgusting is because it’s the really cheap gross kind, & that nicer brands are not this nasty/bloody/feathery. My ex also loved the cheap kind, so I’ve never made organic chicken or any of the namebrand kind. I used to work at a grocery store & the cheap chicken was the only kind that would leak blood all over the checkouts, I always assumed that was because the packaging was worse…but now that I think about it, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the nicer brands have blood in the package & the cheaper kinds are always in red-tinted water. The feathers gross me out more than the blood, there is always at least one little feather I have to pluck out in each bag. ::shudders::

It sounds like it’s buck grease, which is normal in adult, unneutered males. Some have it a lot more than others—I’ve only had a few where it was so bad that you can see orange on the fur, but many have orange flakes on the back like that if you peel back the fur & look. In my experience, it’s MUCH worse in “manly” males (by that, I mean ones with aggression issues or larger or bulkier or just more dominant in general), which makes sense because it’s a hormone thing, so  you may not notice it nearly as much on less dominant rats. It’s what makes boyrats feel gross & coarse instead of soft & fluffy.

I don’t recommend trying to wash it off, as that tends to make them overproduce it. You can supplement with a little olive oil in their food, that helps, even though it seems like it should make it worse.

Great job, anon! Thank you for this helpful tip. The website again is Pet Food Direct. I have bookmarked it with that code in the title so that I shan’t forget for next time I go to order.

YAY I AM GLAD SOMEONE LOVES JEAN LUC!!!

He doesn’t play dentist any more now, I guess all of his cagemates forced him to quit his job, lol. He is such a sweet, active boy, & so curious!

I think that is gonna be a really nice group. Worf still needs a lot of work, he isn’t mean, but he bites very bad pretty much any time you go to touch him, & Turnip is slowly coming around (he’s not at all aggressive, just scared). The others are all absolute dolls though, & easily the most playful group of rats I’ve ever had.

Hi! That’s a good sign that they’re fine in the cage with you. If you have any larger pets, like dogs or cats, make sure to get them away before you bring them out. Even if they’re not even remotely paying attention to the rats, some rats are really sensitive to the presence of other animals. I’ve got a few that constantly nip at my cats or Cece to try to play with them, but others that I can’t take out even if the cats are asleep across the room, because they’re out of the cage that they’ll leap to the floor.

A really good way to start is to open the cage door & let them explore around it/on top of it, if you’re able to do that. I have a ton of timid rats that don’t like being very far from their cage & are extremely uncomfortable if I try to take them out to the couch or bathroom—if a rat’s that scared even after I’ve had them a while, I’ll usually just alter their outside time to be more cage-based interaction.

On a related note, if the cage is small enough, taking it into whatever room you want to play with them in is practically a surefire way to get them okay with outside time. Most new rats get kinda freaked out if you’re staring at them or grabbing for them, I definitely prefer to leave the cage door open & let them crawl out while I’m reading a book or something (obviously, I keep the door to the room closed so they’re not wandering through the house while I’m engrossed in a novel, lol).  If your cage is too large to move, opening the door & putting your arm up as a kind of bridge is a good way for them to get used to you. I’ve been doing that a lot with Turnip lately because he’s so shy…I’ll keep my head close to the shelf he’s on so he can sniff at me & play in my hair, & I’ll let him crawl on my arm or shoulder as he likes. He’s still very bad about jumping off when he’s scared right now, but once he gets a little better, I’ll start slowly walking around the room with him on my shoulder until he realizes that I’m a safe place to be.

♥ 3 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask


I just answered an anon and now the post disappeared? 

I dunno if it’ll reappear or not, but anyway, the person asked if black stool was normal after a rat had been on antibiotics.  If it’s just one or two bowel movements, I wouldn’t be that concerned (assuming he’s acting normally), because I have noticed changes in rats’ poop color & consistency after diet changes, which meds could also affect.  but then I edited to add that if it continues for more than a day or so, I’d probably call the vet to make sure it’s okay.  The color changes a LOT fresh vs. dried, so it might be that you just saw it more “wet” than usual.  Definitely call the vet immediately if you see any blood in it.

♥ 1 note — tagged as: #anon #ask


Oh no, I didn’t mean just because of the Easter thing, that’s definitely part of it, it’s also that probably 50% of the people there previously worked in churches (or currently have part-time jobs in churches). That seems to be all ANYONE talks about, is what church they go to or what church they volunteer at.  That doesn’t really tell me too much, though, because I’m in a small southern town, church/religion is always a big part of any conversation. There’s also no cursing at all…admittedly, this is more professional than anywhere else I’ve worked, so maybe that’s why. But I haven’t heard anyone make a joke that was even slightly off color or mention anything sexual at all & that seems kinda weird, it’s an office, so we’re not dealing with the public or in danger of being overheard by anyone.  It’s kinda hard to tell for me because most of my other jobs were pretty vulgar & I’ve had plenty of inappropriate relationships with my managers (I’m dating a former manager right now!), so maybe this is just a normal workplace environment & I’m just a pervert.

I looked through the handbook & brochures & stuff & I never saw any mention of God, so I can’t really tell. They say a prayer before all meetings though, which definitely seems to indicate it is at least leaning towards the religious side, I don’t think that’s a usual protocol in secular organizations?  I don’t know though. I’M REALLY PUZZLED BY IT!!

Aww, she is in the kitten one! I need to get a video of her outside, my camera doesn’t take the best inside videos, they always come out a bit yellow because my lights are really dim & I have to lighten everything a ton (I need to buy brighter lightbulbs).  I have a few cell phone videos of her, I will try to upload those this weekend, maybe!

Aww, thank you!!! You didn’t miss too much, I shaved it just a few days ago, so it’s not like I’ve been bald forever, haha.

♥ 4 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #hair #work


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That is fairly common—it’s a very nasty-tasting drug. I usually hold the syringe (plunger side up) in between my teeth whenever I grab a rat to give it to & it’s awful if I get any on my lips. One of my boys, Darcy, absolutely loved it, he’d go crazy if anyone in the cage was getting medicated, but as a whole, I’d say most rats don’t like it.  I’ve heard that too about yogurt, mixing it with dairy can apparently mess it up.  I don’t like mixing meds in baby food if it’s something that strong-tasting because some rats refuse to eat it & then you’ve wasted a dose.  I like dipping the bottom of the syringe in honey once the medicine’s been sucked up, because then they jump in for the honey & you can kinda squirt in the meds before they realize what’s happening.

My vet told me that “cooking” one dose at a time into some strawberry jello works really, really well (she said she had talked to a few people & that strawberry seems to work best).  You can use a medicine cup to just make a tiny little amount.  That’s probably what I’d try if I had one that was being a complete asshole & impossible to medicate any other way.

EDIT: jessicaw48 said their vet compounds Baytril with flavoring for a small fee, so that might be something to ask about, too!

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Haha this made me laugh a lot! Don’t worry, Courage’s eyes are gross enough for all the rest of my rats put together. It bums me out I can’t really post pictures of him any more, because I know a lot of people like him, but his eyes are sooooo gross looking now. He acts pretty much like he did before he had eye problems, so I know he’s not in any pain, but it’s absolutely disgusting to look at him!  And I also have poor Pax who is blind in the one eye.

I have had a few that get a lot of porphyrin when they get older, Wesley is kinda like that, but his is mostly on his nose.  He is healthy, little bit of lung scarring & increasingly bad hind end degeneration, but for his age, he’s in great shape, so it doesn’t really worry me too much that he has so much drainage from his nose sometimes. I usually try to avoid posting pics with excessive porphyrin, even if it has an explanation like Wes’s, because I don’t want people to think that it’s normal, because in most cases, it’s not.  I’d say the main thing is to just know your rats—I have had some young rats (I assume yours are young since you didn’t mention an age) that have always had slight breathing issues or porphyrin, even though they’re perfect healthy, but in many rats, that’d be a really bad sign.  I think it’s probably similar to how some people have allergies or asthma that give them problems that for them are normal, but for other people would mean they had an illness.

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I have a Canon 7D now, which is pretty top-of-the-line, but before this, I had a Rebel XS & I LOVED it! I don’t think they make them any more, but it might be worth checking eBay. I had it for I think four or five years before I felt like I outgrew it & wanted something better. That was the barest entry level SLR that Canon offered at the time, I’m not sure what a comparable model would be now.

Before that, I had a really nice Canon Powershoot—I haven’t done camera research in years, so I don’t know what’s available now, but at the time, I had only owned Powershoots previously. I started with two entry level small models & then got the S2000, which I was so proud of. I had it for years & loved it to death, I was so excited about it & you would’ve thought I had some professional camera with how I’d rave about it. It was awful in low lighting, but it had a lot more ability to change settings (like an SLR) than most point & shoots would.

I definitely recommend getting what’s appropriate for your skill level.  I’m really glad I didn’t start out with the nicest camera available, because I learned a lot from my crappier cameras & it helped me out a ton as far as learning how to edit or how to avoid certain problems, especially with lighting.

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Aww, I am sure it’d look great! I think it is mostly about confidence, which I don’t have a lot of, so I walk around stores with my head held low hoping no one notices me when I’m out in public alone. :P

I don’t feel like mine looks all that great now & I definitely preferred the pink, but I don’t regret doing it because I have always wanted to & I figured now was as good of a time as any to try it.  I LOVE the way it feels, it’s so nice walking outside with it when the weather is good, & I can’t quit touching it.  I think I’ll like it a little better when it gets longer & I can start dyeing it pink again. I’d love to have a little mohawk! I’m trying to estimate when it’s gonna be long enough to start putting gel in, I’ve never done any sort of styling with my hair & I’m excited. I really like Miley Cyrus’s cut & I might end up trying something like that later in the summer, I dunno. But you should definitely go for it assuming you don’t have a job or anything else that would get in the way!  You can always wear hats if you don’t like it. :)  Mine is growing back really fast, I shaved it Saturday & it’s now Wednesday night & about twice as long as it was.  I think it’ll probably be a respectable (as in, a more socially acceptable short cut for women where people don’t automatically assume I’m lesbian) length within a month, maybe even a little less.

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I have, mostly in rats with hind end degeneration. It’s a good idea of making a habit to check their groins frequently, especially if they’re older or have mobility issues, & clean off with a rag or tissue.  You can also use a q-tip to kinda clean around it.

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I miss him too! I don’t have any grumpy-looking dumbos now & that makes me sad. I am constantly on the lookout for an agouti hooded dumbo boy like my dearly departed Darcy, but I’d probably end up getting a happy-looking, friendly one, & that’d be all wrong. I need a grumpy mcgrumpypants like Jag or Bug.

(PS: ARE YOU THE GIRL WITH THE REALLY NICE BOOBS?!?!?! I don’t remember her name, so I feel super skeezy for remembering her that way, but she was British & had nice boobs & liked Jag a lot! I think her name was Max maybe. She quit Tumblr I’m pretty sure.)

———-
re: people in Walmart about my hair

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THANK YOU YOU GUYS ARE SO SWEET!!! I wish there were more people like y’all at my local Walmart, lol.

♥ 6 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #hair


Apr 06, 2014
12:39pm

Haha! I saw the little girl the day after & she ran up to her saying “She is a very nice dog!” I felt bad because she wanted to pet her & play with her & Cece’s still pretty scared of strangers.

I don’t think she’s really ugly, I just don’t find her to be particularly attractive, other than in an “all puppies are cute!!!” way. I don’t really like black brindles much, to be honest, so that is probably why. Everyone that sees her seems to think she is either gorgeous or really ugly, so I suppose it just depends on whether or not people like the color!

I buzzed it yesterday! I had always wanted to & I figured no time like the present. I like it a lot, but I’m really nervous about going out in public!! Crawford’s brother & friends are coming over today & that’d normally be pretty anxiety-inducing, but today it’s just an absolute nightmare, I think if one of them said anything even jokingly insulting, I’d burst into tears, so I’m just gonna head out to Walmart in a hat.

I haven’t ever read any manga, sorry.  :(   I have read a few graphic novels & seen a couple of anime shows (I am in the middle of Attack on Titan now & love it!), but just haven’t ever dabbled any in manga.

It’s possible they were older than you thought when you got them—it can be difficult to predict rats’ ages sometimes & I’ve found that it’s easier to just assume they’re 9mths-1yr when they’re fully grown & then count backwards from there.  Rio was unusually small until she hit about a year & she hasn’t grown any since then, but Vera was her full size around 8mths, so it can definitely vary. But I’d say if they haven’t grown any at all in five months, they were older than 3mths when you got them.

Hi! If he’s not showing any other symptoms that would indicate a respiratory infection, it’s entirely possible it’s just some sort of mild eye infection or eye irritation. I’d try getting plain saline (available in the contact lens cleaning section of most stores, it’s usually only a couple of dollars) & try rinsing his eye out with that. It’s usually only when it’s from both eyes or excessively from the nose that it is a sign of stress or illness (& if it’s an illness, you’d see other symptoms). It is possible there’s some sort of tumor/abscess behind the eye, but that is a lot less likely. 

—————————————

I had another ask (I assume they’ll know who they are when I say that, but just in case: it mentioned the hamster) & I don’t wanna post it because I don’t want to cause drama or have anyone misunderstand me, but I definitely do largely agree with you, anon! I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you or offended if I didn’t say anything at all.   :)

♥ 5 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #cecilia #hair


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Blaze & I don’t hang out a lot any more due to being busy & stuff, but we still talk. I actually have her hamster as of last night, her living situation is kind of up in the air right now & it’s not easy to drag around a small animal when you are transient…I am keeping the hamster at least for a little while & hopefully she will be able to take her back once things have settled down a bit.

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She’s tagged with “#robin thickehamster.” [The post I made last night didn’t get tagged right away because it was from Instagram.]

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I do rat intros using a method pretty much identical to this one.

Females are MUCH, MUCH easier. I go into a F:F intro assuming it is going to work, more than likely within 3-4 days (& quite possibly within 1-2).  Younger males are similarly easy—most males under 6mths old can be introduced incredibly quickly with little difficulty.

Older males are a lot harder. With 8mth+ old males, it’s a good idea to assume that it is going to be difficult, & maybe impossible, so that you don’t get impatient & have injuries resulting from moving too quickly (I am most definitely speaking from experience here!!!!)  I’m not ever worried that a female will cause serious harm to another rat in an intro—it’s possible, but very unlikely.  I had one baby rat die during an introduction with a very psychologically unstable male—it wasn’t a normal situation at all because he was so very screwed up at the time. I also had one adult get severely mauled during an introduction with another adult, & one normally extremely mellow & calm adult that almost killed a baby—it wasn’t a bad bite at all, but he was just a few millimeters away from the spinal cord. 

I’ve done literally dozens of intros that went injury-free, & in some cases, completely drama-free, but it is definitely safer to be careful & as patient as possible. Don’t move on to the next step until you’re 100% confident they’re not going to fight.  The general rule is “no blood, no foul”—i.e.: don’t separate unless there’s blood, but I’ve seen many cases where a rat was legitimately terrified to the point that it wasn’t able to function & just stood there looking almost like it was in shock because it was convinced it was about to get attacked—if a rat’s so fearful it looks like it’s going to have a heart attack, I step back & try to take things a little slower, even if there hasn’t been any blood involved.

I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE I SOUND SO PARANOID WHEN I TALK ABOUT INTROS!!! I’ve had those bad experiences, but like I said, I’ve done sooooo many more where nothing bad happened. I just like to mention the bad experiences because I’ve seen soooooo many uninformed people just decide to go out & get a buddy without bothering to get a second cage or doing any sort of introduction. I fully support rats living with cagemates, but in a lot of cases (& the vast majority of them if you’re dealing with an adult male), that sort of “intro” is NOT going to go well. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen someone say “my rat lives alone because we tried to give him a friend when he was younger & he attacked him”—there are definitely some cases where a male has such extreme aggression problems that they can’t live with a friend without neutering (& the following sentences are not referencing 1+ year old males that have lived alone their whole lives), but it’s not nearly as common as posts like that would have you believe. I can just about guarantee you that 95%+ of those people didn’t do introductions properly & gave up when they saw that their rat freaked out because they threw some new rat into the cage. That’s the equivalent of a stranger trying to befriend you by busting down your front door & giving you a big giant hug, it’s probably not going to make you like the person very much.

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I have a normal-sized head & Rory is a normal-sized rat. I put up one average-sized one that is about the size I feed a rat, & one half-sized one (they often break in the bags), which is about the size I’d feed a mouse.

They’re pretty hard—an extremely strong person could maybe break one with their hands, but I use a hammer if I have to crush one up for some reason.

I didn’t realize they didn’t have them elsewhere, so I enjoyed your message! It is always nice to learn things.

♥ 5 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #self portrait #me #rorschach #robin thickehamster


Anonymous: "what are you reading that's awesome? game of thrones still?"

Oops, yeah, guess I should’ve mentioned that!  I am all caught up on Game of Thrones & anxiously awaiting Sunday’s TV premiere. Currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, it’s sooooo good. I just started a few days ago & I can’t pick it up without reading 50+ pages.

SUPER looking forward to The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman & of course the next GoT if it ever comes out.

—Lisa

♥ 4 notes — tagged as: #anon #ask #books


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Aww this made my morning!! I have a lot of colors that are run-of-the-mill & are more often snake food than pets, so I always find it surprising when people find them attractive! :)

I definitely get lucky & end up with a lot that like the camera & will pose. Bonkers & Geordi are both like “CAMERA WHAT WHERE LET ME SEE” so it is a lot easier to get good photos of them, much moreso than rats like Philip that are way prettier, but don’t like getting their pictures taken. I guess a lot of it is a percentages thing…if I just had Philip, Vera, & Theo, I would have three extremely attractive rats, but mostly terrible photos, because all three of them do not enjoy modeling, lol.

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770g is BIIIIG, 626g is also very big tbh, so just based on numbers, I’d say they’re actually probably both overweight, but I really cannot stress enough that rats are like people & they have vastly different body types. Alan is my biggest & he’s about 610g & is only a little fatter than I’d like him to be. Courage is a little bit older than him & he’s barely 300g & is a perfect weight…if he weighed Alan’s weight, he’d be unable to move due to obesity, & if Alan weighed his weight, he’d be dead. I HATE when charts list “this is what a rat should weigh” because you can’t say that, you have to take into effect length & build, just like you would with a person. I’m assuming since your vet said he’s too big that he probably actually is, so I know that doesn’t apply to you, I just always like to clarify that because I wouldn’t want someone to just look at any numbers anyone mentions & say “omg my rat is too fat, he needs to diet!” when it’s very, verypossible he’s a fine weight for his size.

As far as lab blocks, I definitely wouldn’t free feed any more. I usually do one lab block each in the morning, sometimes a mid-day snack (usually something like cereal, eggs, or fruit or veggies if I have any on hand), & a small handful of a high quality dog food at dinner (I adjust the size of the handful if the cage as a whole is too fat or too thin, or either do a second lab block after the first if they’re all too thin). I wouldn’t recommend dog food at all if you’re trying to get them to lose weight, because even senior or light formulas can be pretty fattening. 3-4 lab blocks a day each will be enough nutritionally for them & should drop some weight, but you might want to supplement with something like Romaine lettuce or carrots so they feel fuller during the day. You might find that you need to separate the younger ones at feeding times to make sure they’re able to eat, I’ve had fat rats that get aggressive when their food is cut back & they can be VERY prone to stealing it from sickly, young, or elderly rats. It can be difficult to get weight off of older males, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a few months, but it will prolong his lifespan & it makes hind end degeneration (common in older rats) MUCH, MUCH easier for them to deal with if they are at a good weight.

In general, a rat is too thin if their backbone is felt extremely easily (& especially if it’s visible). They might still look like normal rats if you’re not up close or touching them—a good example would be Jon Snowrat, who is just about impossible to keep weight on due to general sickliness. From photos, you couldn’t tell that he’s underweight, but his backbone is very prominent when you pick him up & I’d love for him to be several ounces heavier. Very young malnourished rats (like from snake food bins at pet stores) will often have the appearance of vastly oversized heads & you can maybe even see their ribs. I don’t think you can probably tell from my photos of him, but Riker is in this category; he wasn’t on a good diet at his previous home & he’s still a little too thin now even after I’ve had him two weeks.

Overly fat is a lot more common & it can be difficult to tell, especially with older males, since they tend to have a kind of “squishiness” about them. I’d say that a good barometer is if they’re standing or lying normally (not flattening themselves down into a pancake or rolled into a ball), they shouldn’t have a ton of excess flab on either side of them, they should be fairly firm & pretty much a straight line on ether side. I’d say that most males around 1.5 or so tend towards being slightly chubby, as do neutered males (Rorschach is a good example), but I do see many, many rats on Tumblr that look severely overweight, judging solely from photos. Like I said, though, it can be just about impossible to tell from pictures or weights—it’s not the same as holding a rat in your hand & telling whether it’s flab or firmness making them so big.

ETA:

Yeah, deeeeefinitely! I had two huge rats belonging to a friend that stayed with me while they got neutered. I didn’t weigh them, but I am sure they were not a whole lot under 2lbs (which is around 900g), but they were absolutely gorgeous & in fantastic condition, not at all overweight. My Ivan was around 675g his whole life & he wasn’t overweight until he hit 2, but he was never as obese as you would’ve thought, just judging by his weight.

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Mar 28, 2014
10:08pm
Anonymous: "Just saying thank you for taking the time to answer questions and run this blog, I've asked u like 10 questions and u always find time to reply and ur really helpful :)"

AAAH I somehow missed this until just now, which is kinda ironic, but I did get to it eventually, haha!

I feel bad because I usually only get around to answering messages one or two days out of the week, but I have a full time job & 40 something animals at the moment, so things are pretty hectic! It’s also kind of a pain because I’m on a computer all day at work, so I often have a headache when I get home or don’t feel like getting on my personal computer. :(  But I do love y’all & I appreciate this message very much! I hope you have a nice weekend. :)

—Lisa

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