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Q: The Smell Factor: Male rats v. mice

February 25, 2009 | By Eudocia | 8 answers | Expired: 2013 days ago

Eudocia

Ok small animal people, here's one for you. I'm interested in adopting a young male rat I met at my local animal shelter today. My background is that I've owned spayed/neutered guinea pigs, neutered male rabbits, intact female and male hamsters and female and male mice (all separately of course), and an intact female rat. All were great, but the male mouse was terribly, horribly almost unbearably stinky, even with regular and very thorough cage cleanings. I've never owned a male rat, though I know they will have similar marking instincts as mice. I've looked all over the internet and can't find a definitive answer for this question: Do intact male rats smell as bad as male mice? The one I'm looking at is young and not fully developed yet, so I can't judge based on him. I would consider neutering, but would have a very hard time finding a vet near me that would do it. I'm especially wanting to hear from those of you that have (or have had) both male rats and male mice and can say definitively what you think. I will value all honest answers to my question - I don't want to make a poor decision based on lack of information. Thanks ahead of time!

Readers' Answers (8)
amy w.
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Feb 26, 2009

I never owned mice but I have owned several rats both male and female. I absolutely love them!! My male rat(Freddy RIP) did not smell, I cleaned his cage weekly I used recycled newspaper bedding by animal planet. They do have a body smell but its not a horrible odor. I don't know where you live but where I do I checked into neutering him it was $250 to do so, I wanted to so he could interact with my females. Hope this helps!! :)

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Kelly c.
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Feb 25, 2009

I used to have a pair of unfixed rats growing up. I never noticed a very bad smell like the mouse you are describing. Mine may also be the one-in-a-million unstinky rats..lol I would talk to a vet or a pet store owner or worker. Ask several people to get different opinions and see where that takes you.

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Kavykeeper
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Feb 26, 2009

I've never had rats but know someone who does. She claims they all have a strong odor compared to guinea pigs. Can you bathe a rat? That might be an option. Selsun blue with aloe is safe for guinea pigs so you might try that if all else fails.

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