• Are Male Pet Rats Messier & Do They Urine Mark?

    Posted on May 7, 2016 by in Behavior, Introductions

     

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    QUESTION: Hi, I’ve only ever had female rats and I’ve heard that males are messier and dribble urine sometimes when they’re out and about. Is this true? I was thinking about getting males because females are smaller and tend to be more energetic. Thanks!

    ABOUT PET RATS ANSWERS: Thanks for your excellent question!

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    Twyla sleeping on top of Henderson

    Yes, males can be prone to urine marking. However, it’s really not as bad as it sounds. The amount of urine is very small. In addition, to keep odors to a minimum, you can cover any cloth surfaces such as a couch or bed with an old blanket that can be easily laundered after playing with your rats. Use a cup of white vinegar (along with free and clear laundry detergent) to cut the odor of urine when washing any cloth you’ve been using for your pet rats.

    You can also quickly wipe up any urine marking that occurs on your skin, clothes or any hard surfaces such as tables. I can’t emphasize enough that the amount of urine is usually quite minimal.

    Another point to keep in mind is that neutering often helps male rats decrease and even eliminate any urine marking.

    In terms of messiness, I have noticed that my females have been more interested in tidying up their cage by dragging paper strips and organizing them into nests than the males have been. Both sexes, however, have been easy to litter box train.

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    Twyla & Henderson

    Finally, did you know that females can also urine mark? Sticking with female rats doesn’t guarantee you won’t eventually get a girl who marks everything with her urine.

    If you’ve only ever had female rats, I highly recommend your trying out males. It’s amazing how different female and male rats are from one another. Males are actually my very favorites since they’re usually so much more cuddly and loving. (I do love females, too…..just have a special place in my heart for the boys!) I think you’d really enjoy getting to see for yourself how different they are from one another.

     

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4 Responses so far.

  1. Heather says:

    Hmm. My 2 boys 9 and 12 are in the process of researching before we purchase our first rats. I was really leaning towards getting two girls, but now you have me wondering! Love the website, have been reading up myself! 🙂

    • Hi Heather!

      That’s exciting you’re in the process of researching before getting your first rats. Males and females are SO different from one another. They’re both wonderful. You just need to keep in mind the females are usually much more active and independent and the males are often big snugglers. Also, females are much more prone to getting mammary tumors unless you get them spayed which I highly recommend—as long as you can find an experienced and knowledgeable veterinarian. And then there’s the fact that females generally live longer than males. You really can’t go wrong either way, though.

      Let me know if you have any questions. You’re going to love having rats in your life!

      Best Wishes to You & Your Boys,

      Jasmine | About Pet Rats

  2. Valerie says:

    That’s really interesting! I’m learning so much about rats!! I never owned one, so I’m really curious!!