General Care Information
There are so many excellent resources already online so this section will mostly be links to excellent resources, however I would strongly recommend that anyone wanting to adopt rats from me reads this article: 10 most common mistakes owners new rat owners make. Some of the ones I would highly recommend are the website Isamu Rats, run by an excellent breeder friend of mine, Jemma Fettes. Another great resource is the Facebook group Rat Care UK. In my experience, the majority of Facebook groups provide a low quality of information and often give out inaccurate or out of date information- Rat Care UK is the only one I would recommend for that reason, and even then, take advice from admin and experienced rat owners and breeders. Another good resource is the NFRS Forum; there is years of information going back on there from very experienced and passionate people. You do need to be a member to join and use the club, but you also get the magazine and other benefits with that membership. Finally, my local club is The North of England Rat Society and they have some very useful articles on their website. I’d recommend becoming a member of NERS too- get a long to a few rat shows, and enjoy their magazine, the members Facebook group and the longevity award scheme.
If you are interested, I co-run a group called Rat Vet Reviews UK to help people to find vets and practices that are open to and good at treating rats (many sadly are not and owners pay over the odds for medication that is not suitable).
If you are interested in rescuing rats, then Rat Rescue Network UK is a great place to look. You should not buy rats from pet shops- big chains, local, family owned or otherwise. I wrote an article discussing why it is unethical to fund these shops.
Breeding and Varieties
If you are interested in breeding and varieties of rats, including the genetics associated, then take a look at the standards for rats from the NFRS, Hawthorn website, and have a look at this Facebook group.
If you are interested in making your own rat food (easily done and inexpensive), then I’d encourage you to read The Scuttling Gourmet. Alison Campbell, who wrote this excellent resource, also runs a subscription service for rats called Ratwise. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who is passionate about rats and rat care and enrichment.
Where to Shop
Below are some of my favourite places to buy hammocks, toys, accessories, food, and enrichment for my rats. I tend not to shop at places like Amazon etc as the items are often not suitable, overpriced, or just a bit meh.
Rat Rations is my favourite place to shop. Postage can be expensive so buy in bulk or pre-order before a show and pick up on the day. Rat Rations sells pretty much everything you need to start up owning rats (except the cage); cage accessories, hammocks, substrates, food, bottles, vitamins etc. Rat Rations also sells my infinity bonding scarves for rats- great for bonding with new or timid rats or for taking to shows.
Mini Petz is a great place for natural toys such as wooden steps, perches, logs etc. I really value natural style set ups so this is one of my favourite places to buy cage accessories.
Cosy beds and burrows is a great place to buy excellent quality hammocks and cubes for your cage. They also sell bonding pouches and hammock hangers which my rats love. I make my own hammocks but still buy cubes from here because they’re better than anything I could make myself.
Scarletts parrots is a great website for parrot with lots of wonderful ropes and toys that you can use to give your rats interesting and enriching cage layouts.
Bayo’s bunting balls is a great little shop by a fellow rat breeder for small hanging chew toys. My rats go mad for these; I especially love them for young kittens and intelligent (naughty) rats!
Local equine shops- these will be unique to wherever you live, but these are excellent places to pick up bales of substrate for cheap. A bale of bedmax or littlemax usually costs about £9, compared to £15+ delivery online.
Additional Support for Azuline Owners
Owners of my rats will be given a comprehensive document with all my care sheets covering every aspect of rat care.
Additionally, my owners will have lifetime support from me, both in the form of my private Facebook page for my owners, and though private messaging.