Flag

Q: The Smell Factor: Male rats v. mice

February 25, 2009 | By Eudocia | 8 answers | Expired: 2082 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)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
Pam K.
Flag

Feb 28, 2009

I have owned all types of small pets, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc. The best small pets I've ever owned were rats. They are truly people friendly. I've found that they actually smell much less than the others - especially mice. Like others have said, weekly cleaning of the cage and occasional baths will keep it to a minimum. If you introduce them to baths early, they don't seem to mind them at all later. We had two rats that would love to swim in the pool with us. They would jump off our shoulders and swim to the nearest floatie. They are GREAT pets!!!!

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Amber I.
Flag

Feb 26, 2009

My friend breeds rats and has both intact males and neutered males. I have noticed a minor smell of the intact male, but he does not stink. It's more just an odor you notice when close by. If the cage is kept clean, the rat cleans itself, and no real odor permeates throughout the room. The fixed male has no odor at all.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Tessa
Flag

Feb 26, 2009

I've fostered mice and I currently have both male & female rats. Mice tend to smell much worse than rats in general.
As long as you keep their cage cleaned weekly and bathe the rat every 4 -6 weeks you should have no problem with overwhelming odors. Male rats scent mark and will dribble urine so be prepared for this when you handle them. You can use organic baby wipes or a cloth soaked in a 10 % white vinegar solution to do spot cleaning on the cage shelves in between cleanings.
Here's a great rats group that I belong to that can answer any other questions you may have....www.ratsratsrats.net/forum
Hope this help you out!

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Kavykeeper
Flag

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.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Terri D.
Flag

Feb 26, 2009

did you talk to your local pet store. If you have a good one they could give you an honest answer and may even be able to recommend someone to neuter the rat.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

amy w.
Flag

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!! :)

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Kelly c.
Flag

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.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Percysmom
Flag

Feb 25, 2009

Sorry, I have no answer but rather wanted to say that I too am thinking of getting two male rats (company for each other when I'm not home as they're very social). This is a great question as I have been doing research as well and am most interested to hear the answers you get. Good luck.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement

See more ›
Know the Answer?

There are always new questions that need answers. Contribute your knowledge about pets.

Need to know | Zootoo Website