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I just found this story a little funny, My grandma lives in a very woddsy area and there really arent a TON of houses arounf where she lives. Yet somehow a pet rat found her house. She almost put a rat trap out until she found out this rat isn't the normal pest, it is actually someones pet! It's a light brown and white spotted rat which is not a wild rat color at least not here. Has any one ever heard of this happening?
 

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yeah, sadly people assume a rat is just a rat and thus when they get bored of it just let it go outside....

hes lucky to be alive
 

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As far as I know I believe she is going to put out a safe rat trap that won't hurt it. She was going to put out a regular one until she realized it was somebody's pet. Someone in the family will probably find a home for it. All the girls in my dad's family are so obsessed with animals(including me) that there's no way it would end up in another bad situation. My cousin Tina will probably take it, she likes rats. (I do too but I'm getting a bunny soon so I can't take a rat in). I just found the story a little cute. When my dad saw it he said it was running across the floor in the kitchen and stopped in front of him looked up sniffed a bit then turned around and ran off. lol.
 

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I'm not a rat expert (I know a lot of people who have them as pets, but not me... they sound like a lot of fun, but too short-lived for me) but if it goes to someone else in the family, be warned that the usual advice is that you should't just have ONE rat. They're apparently group animals and get lonely by themselves.
 

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I love rats. sigh. Want one. Dare not have one though.

I'd come home from work the first day and see a very fat Toby and a empty cage.
 

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I used to have 4. They are VERY fun furry friends!! That's why I would take this one in. Some rats do do fine by themselves though. Some you can't even put in the cage with another rat or they will fight. But most like being with other rats. If you spend most of your time with them then it would be fine to only have one. But you have to spend A LOT of time with them.
 

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I've never had one as a pet, I just date them.

Oh, wait. So I guess I have....
 

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It is a possibility that it is a wild rat with a genetic mutation that makes its colouring different to normal. So id be a little wary when you catch it, make sure you try any see how it reacts to people, its behavior etc. Wild rats are alot different to domestic rats, definately not pet material. Im sure it probably will turn out to be just a pet, but still, until you know for sure be careful not to get fingers too close to the cage!
 

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it is extremely extremely rare. for example. genetic mutations in coloring in wild rats only occur when they have been crossbred with domestic rats. for example. studies done on wild rats (solid agouti brown or brown agouti "self") bred with domestic white rats found that only by the 2nd generation of crossbreeding within the new halfbreed wild/white rats that they developed a color other than brown. from these 2nd generation (matured to adulthood) there came brown selfs(agouti), brown berkshires (agouti with white tummies), black self's and black berkshires.

of these still totally brown (agouti self's, wild looking) less than 40% showed a mild irritance to being pestered (tail tugged, whiskers tickled) and of those 40% of mildly irritated brown rats, only 86% nipped. a vast difference from the berkshires and black rats where less 10% even became annoyed. and less than 4% even laid their ears back in warning

so this just goes to show that you cant judge a rat by its color. it takes generations of breeding and cross breeding to often develop any color other than brown. by this point the animal is so handtame that it would only bite under extreme fear or pain/torture. it is VERY safe to assume that a rat that is any color other than brown is domesticated and likely to be safe.

Rats are also one of the few domesticated animals that will remain domesticated even after their release into the wild. often because they do not live long having had all the diseases and health threats to humans bred out of them. thus having prolonged exposure to these elements again can and often do cause their deaths as their immune systems cannot handle them.

If you do find an odd colored or white patched rat in the wild, it was most assuredly a domesticated rat (by more than 2 generations removed from the wild) and most likely it has not been away from its owners for long. so you would most likely be safe with this animal.

a little geekish information on genetic color mutation in rats and what they mean, and what the colors can represent in how far removed they are from the wild.

my source? I was an exotic rat breeder and I have experience cross breeding many varieties, breeds and colorings of rats to develop new, more pleasing, temperaments and markings. I could get into the whole genetic graph and charts but thats even more boring lol.

I hope all goes well with the little guy. I would give him a home if i could (i miss my boys desperatly) rats get in your heart and never let go
 
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