Rat Care Cheat Sheet

As someone who has owned a lot of rats over the years - and who has made mistakes in the past - here are some things you should know!

Rats do not belong in an aquarium. 10 gallon aquariums are really popular for keeping rats, but they do not nearly meet their needs for space. A 10 gal is much too small and because it is glass on 4 sides, it doesn’t ventilate well. People also like to put rats on wood chip bedding, but since they are prone to respiratory issues and bedding makes dust, it’s best to have a wire cage with a pan underneath, and that way the rats aren’t directly on the bedding. Even so I like to use a brand called Care Fresh because it’s made from natural wood and recycled paper, has no odor, is nearly dust-free, and is biodegradable. 

Rats are not simple creatures. They are intelligent, curious, and social. You should never keep one rat alone by itself and they do much better in groups. Additionally if you cannot provide bonding time with your rats outside the cage EVERY DAY, they probably aren’t the right pet for you. On the same note they should have a multi-level cage that allows them to climb and exercise with various things to do - a digging box, chews, and other toys to play with for example. Rats need something to do.

They also feel safest if there are multiple hides so provide them with hammocks, tunnels, dens, and the like. Since the bars of a wire cage are harsh on their feet and can cause a condition called bumblefoot, make sure they have lots of other surfaces to walk and rest on. I like to put fleece, cardboard, etc.

Don’t feed them the first random cheap rodent food you find at the store. Their nutrition matters! Rats need a whole, well rounded diet just like any other mammal so do some research. Oxbow is a fantastic brand of rat food that has 15% protein, 4% fat, and all essential vitamins and minerals that are ideal for rats which is why it’s recommended by vets.

You can also supplement a rat’s diet with food from your own kitchen since they have a diverse diet, but do a google search before giving them things. For example, meat or other animal proteins should be carefully limited since a diet too high in protein will cause the rat to itch and get sores. Foods too high in fat should be limited because it’s easy to have a rat that’s obese which leads to other health problems. Some foods are toxic. Just look it up.

As I said rats are prone to respiratory infections. This is easy to identify if the rat has red discharge that looks like a bloody nose, or their breathing sounds sticky. If the rat is visibly gasping for air they need to be rushed to a vet so please don’t let it get to that point. I lost too many rats - particularly young ones fresh from the pet store - in the past because I didn’t know you could treat RIs. If the vet says, “It’s just a rat not a dog, we don’t really treat them,” FIND A NEW VET! Doing a course of antibiotics - our vet prescribed orbax - saved Basil’s life when he was just a few weeks old.

Rats are inherently not aggressive and generally only bite if they are afraid for their life or in pain. It doesn’t happen often but it has happened to me two or three times over the years particularly with rats that hadn’t been handled well or that had a neurological disorder. It’s not a big deal but since they have lots of bacteria in their mouth - like any animal - you need to wash the bite out really well. Rubbing alcohol obviously burns but it’ll kill bacteria, then you can follow up with antibiotic ointment and a bandage. With this method I’ve never had a bite become infected.

If you adopt a rat that was handled poorly you can most likely rehabilitate it. Our rat Sesame was living in terrible conditions and was dangled by the tail before we brought him home. It took time and patience but he is now a very sweet boy who is not difficult to handle and loves attention. The way to a rat’s heart is truly through their stomach so you can build trust by offering tasty treats in exchange for the rat letting you touch and handle them. Don’t expect it to happen overnight though, it took about four months before Sesame calmed down and became easy to handle.

I hope I’ve covered everything, but I know it’s easy to forget one detail or another so if you are experienced with rats, please feel free to add!

Here’s ANOTHER idea:

Let’s say, several years before Krypton’s ultimate demise, it’s government was kind of weird. 

Millennia before the concept of a people-centered government arose, Krypton was lead by a royal family, which came from a long, long, long line of Kryptonians with mutated DNA which allowed them to be born with random abilities (like the x-men). Early Kryptonians believed that these powers were given to the Krypton royals by the god Rao, as he believed those people were destined to lead them, and everyone else just sorta went with it. The royal family of course kind of spread apart, and with other factions of the Kryptonian populous combined to form Krypton’s houses (El, etc.).

The special Kryptonians lead for centuries, and most of the time were very good rulers, primarily women/Queens or other. This DNA would not be changed if a royal married a non-royal, so the idea of some commoners becoming royals was actually required for the system to work. Eventually, the houses formed a council to guide the Queen and King, which lead to a chain reaction and the monarchy to ultimately diminish. But many Kryptonians still believed their power made them special, so royals became a front for the people (doing things like curing people, kissing babies, etc.) while the council did most of the actual governing.

Upon the age of Krypton’s demise, they had been warring with nearby planets for methods of energy production (a thing that eventually destroys Krypton). Maybe another race becomes angry or something similar, as the infant child of the current King and Queen is stolen in the dead of night. Krypton begins to war with itself over using it’s power to find the princess, or to find a solution to the energy crisis, which causes the planet to ignore times of war, leaving the princess’s capturers free from war when Krypton eventually goes kablooey. Everything works out for the bad guys; they have the supposed last ROYAL Kryptonian in their hands (which would sell well on ANY market) and their worst enemy is gone. You know what happens on Earth with another survivor, Kal-El. But what happens to the last member of the royal house of Lae, Ra-Lae?

A Kryptonian spy hiding amongst the enemy steals the princess away, taking her to a trading planet at the center of the galaxy to hide her. But the spy is discovered and killed seconds after he leaves her a similar crystal to the one Kal-El, leaving the baby in the hands of a crew of pirates—yes. SPACE PIRATES. Considering that this planet they are orbiting has a yellow sun, they can’t really destroy or kill this baby, so the Captain just shrugs their shoulders and takes in this super-baby.

She is raised with these pirates and is taught to become their secret weapon, stealing and protecting for them. She learns how to fight and thrive, and then eventually her k-gene develops and she gets the ability to manipulate certain kinds of energy; particularly solar energy, which is where she gets the ability to create shields and blow shit up! So not only can this kid deflect bullets and fly faster than a speeding bullet, but she can zap you with the power of the sun

Now Ra-Lae, or just Ray (like sunshine, a nickname she got from her pirate pals), comes upon something that can read whatever this crystal she has says (which she, of course, wears around her neck like a necklace), and finds out all about her heritage and her lost world. Sure there must have been survivors, Ray hugs her pirate buddies goodbye and follows a trail back to Earth.

(By now, you can guess what she’s like; a quiet but sassy, conflicted, emotionally-defensive, too-powerful teenager who flies through space in a leather jacket. Because of certain laws of physics and a black hole encounter, she is younger than Clark.)

There, she crash lands in Gotham (because let’s face it, she can’t fly for shit unless it’s in space). And guess who finds her—not Superman, not Batman, but Robin. Jason Todd’s Robin, who immediately decides that Hey, this pretty girl needs help and she’s clearly a streetrat like me, let’s take her on an adventure! So Jason is constantly shoving this girl into his closet and hiding her from Bruce, as he’s teaching her about Earth. Ray insists that he help her find the source of this energy, and Jason promises to do so. Somewhere along the line she finally fesses up and admits where she’s from (after she and Jason have gotten close, of course). (He also definitely calls her princess). That’s when Jason decides to take her to Superman.

Kara probably shows up halfway through this meeting (”Who could miss Clark finding out about ANOTHER Kryptonian he doesn’t know about?”), and since she lived on Krypton, she instantly recognizes the symbol Ray wears on her chest. She kinda looks at this funky girl and realizes omg it’s the princess of Krypton and drops into the royal salute, spouting rapid-fire Kryptonian that Ray can’t speak as fluently. She gives a short explanation, and after all this ruckus, Kara turns to Clark and goes,”This girl? That’s the princess of Krypton.”

Clark, of course, doesn’t know how to dad. But BRUCE does, 100%, and Jason seems to like her so why not? So Bruce runs his tests, then he gives Ray a public identity as another one of his wards. Boom! She gets into the whole Superheroing thing and calls herself something like Ray or Supersun or whatever, Jason dies, she joins homas one of the outlaws later and she and Bizarro bro it out, she and Jason develope a romance, blah blah blah. There’s a bunch of kinks I need to work out, but I LOVE THIS IDEA SO MUCH AND YOU CAN ALL FIGHT ME ON IT.

Prepare to see more of this idea in the future… But hey, here’s a working title:


A bunch of new peeps here and I like to say hello to all and thanks for following me! I tried to update and post more often but if only I can cope with my anxiety. But I appreciate each and every one of you for your support <3

Have a nice day!