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ducky_dnl's avatar

Advice on caring for a new hairless rat?

Asked by ducky_dnl (5384points) May 2nd, 2010

Today, I got a hairless rat for a pet. I have had hamsters and rats before, but never a hairless rat. Is their care just the same as a regular rat, or is it different? Advice? Thanks! Also it’s not a new baby rat… it seems like an adult rat. Can I let it run about the house in my old hamster ball?

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xxii's avatar


Rats are highly intelligent creatures, and they need to be able to interact with their environment in order to feel comfortable, confident and settled within it. They interact with their environment by sniffing it, mouthing it, grasping it… not by rolling around it in a ball. In a ball, your rat is more likely to become scared and frustrated than relaxed or entertained.

The second reason not to is that hamster balls are too small for most rats, requiring rats to curve their spines when inside the ball, which can seriously injure them. More importantly, hamster balls have slits or holes in them through which a rat’s toe can easily be caught. Let your rat explore in a closed and secure room, or in a playpen.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

You don’t have to brush this one.

rangerr's avatar

@xxii I’m not sure if you’ve ever owned a rat.. but not all rats are uncomfortable running around in a ball. Two of mine really enjoy it, while the other two just don’t care. There are balls that are bigger than normal hamster balls, that would prevent them from being cramped. As for them curving their spines… where do you even get this information from? They are extremely agile and pretty flexible. There is no harm to their spine unless you are placing them in a ball that is meant for dwarf hamsters. ALSO. Rats and hamsters alike are very curious, and while they DO enjoy running around a secure room, they can do more [safe] exploring while in a ball.

Ducky, I covered everything basic that you need to know with you last night.
If you have any more questions, PM me and I’ll answer them with an answer that isn’t BS as soon as I get it.

xxii's avatar

@rangerr – PMing you.

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