Rattie Ratz: Three May be Company but Four is Never a Crowd

by Stephanie Cameron

Stephanie Cameron is a volunteer with Rattie Ratz Rescue in the bay area of California. Each month KRL will be featuring a column from Rattie Ratz.

Not too long ago I shared the story of Jack and Beans, two brothers who are special ambassador rats. Did you know that Jack and Beans have two sisters? Marble and Spunky were surrendered to Rattie Ratz Rescue last year along with their two brothers and a handful of sisters and cousins. They were just as charismatic as their brothers and they suckered me in with their expressive little faces, so I adopted them as well as their brothers because - why the heck not? You can check out Jack and Beans' story here. Like their brothers, the girls were adventurous and inquisitive from the very beginning. But unlike their calm brothers, Marble and Spunky didn't know how to stay still! How could they when there was so much to explore!?

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Spunky is a rex like her brother Jack (more affectionately referred to as Jack Jack) which means she has slightly curly fur and whiskers and Marble is a standard like her brother Beans (aka Beanzer) which means her fur is smooth and lays flat. Both girls are black and white with mismarked patterns, but they're very easy to tell apart.

Marble is more people oriented and when she isn’t running in her wheel you can find her hanging out on her human mom's shoulder, puttering around the house and garden. Spunky - as her name suggests - is full of life and pluck. I don't think she is aware of her size, but if she is aware of her smaller stature, she definitely doesn't let it stop her. She is by far the most daring of the group and is the first to check out the new toy on the floor, scale down walls and climb onto banisters.
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Marble (on top) Jack (on bottom)

The boys and girls were kept separated until the boys were old enough to be safely neutered. Once the boys were neutered, we had to wait an additional four weeks before re-introducing them to the girls because it can take that long for all of their little swimmers to go away. We definitely didn't want any more baby rats running around!

The slow lumbering boys balance their hyperactive female counterparts beautifully. If you can manage a larger group of rats and can accommodate the larger space requirement and supply costs, having a larger group of rats can be very rewarding as you watch them interact with each other. In many mixed gender groups, the females will be the ones bossing the males about, so pretty much the same as us humans, but they also take care of each other.
First time together

They sleep together in hammocks, pillowing their heads on each other’s backs as they dream of yogies. They groom each other to ensure everyone is looking their best and they love to share the water bottle spout - who needs the second water bottle right next to it? Not these guys! If I take out Jack or Beans for a private cuddle session, the girls will be waiting at the cage door to greet and groom their brother upon his return. Marble and Spunky are clearly telling their brother that they will get rid of that pesky human smell lickerty split!

I can't imagine not having this group of ratties living together. They balance each other so well and they obviously love each other very much. It is so rewarding to watch their interactions. Although they have a wonderful relationship with each other they are still siblings and in true sibling fashion they will steal food from each other, try to tell the other's in the cage that THEY are the boss, at least until someone else sits on them, and will play wrestle with each other. When the group is enjoying free range play, they will follow each other around to make sure they don't get separated and always know where each one is.

They love food and are not picky. The way to their hearts is definitely through their stomachs. Carrot greens, corn, bell pepper, grapes, apples, spinach, strawberries, rice puffs, oats, pasta, brown rice, sunflower seeds, dog cookies, banana pancakes - you name it they love it! Though let’s be honest, the banana pancakes are definitely at the top of their 'happy to eat' list.
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Snack Time L to R Beans, Jack, Marble & Spunky

I have never once regretted adopting all four siblings. I love them all so much and they bring so much joy to my life in different ways. From the cuddle-bear Jack Jack to the charmingly aloof Beanzer, the feisty Spunky and the sweetheart Marble, this quartet keeps me on my toes in the best way possible. After a difficult day I know I can always come home to this mischievous bunch and they’ll be able to make my burdens feel lighter and put a smile on my face. They’re definitely four of a kind.

Rattie Ratz is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to help all domesticated ratties who come to us find a loving, forever home.

Rattie Ratz: Rescue, Resource, & Referral
Click here to email us at: info@rattieratz.com
Call us at: (415) 340-1896

If you would like to know more about Rattie Ratz Rescue or find out about upcoming information/adoption events, please visit our Facebook or Instagram. If you are interested in adoptable rats or volunteering for Rattie Ratz Rescue, visit our website.

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from Rattie Ratz. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Rattie Ratz.

We also have a brand new pets newsletter that will be going out once a month letting our readers know about all of the pet and animal rescue related articles that went up that month so you never miss a thing. We hope to send the first one out in May. We also hope to provide some additional content and maybe even some pet related giveaways. You can use this box to subscribe!

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Stephanie Cameron works and lives in the Bay Area, and has been active in the rat rescue community for a number of years. She got her first pair of rats - sisters named Snowflake and Diamond - when she was eight years old. In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking her dogs, traveling, discovering fantastic vegan recipes, and singing in the shower.