I certainly don't want it to come off like Im pro feeding rats to be fat, BUT I have to say I've never noticed my fat rats live shorter lives than the 'normal' ones.quinn wrote:I suppose it could be possible that they're overweight - however I generally keep a close eye on their diet and have weighed them if they seemed particularly big or small to be certain whether this is the case.
I've had several fat rats over the years, and all of them have lived at least to average age, if not beyond.
In fact, I may even go out on a limb and say my chubbier rats live longer, on average.
Obviously as the vast majority of my rats at any time are rescues, my life span reports at probably not good examples, as all my rats would have hailed from pet shops or BYBs originally, and not reputable breeders. I only have 4 breeder rats.
But regarding weight, I do prefer my rats to be overweight than underweight. When rats get ill, they drop weight so incredibly fast that I like mine to have extra weight on them to better cope with this when/if it happens. Obviously, there is a line to draw; if a rat was the shape of a beachball and couldn't get around or live a normal life due to their size, thats a bad thing. Its like with people; if someone is only a couple of stone overweight, its probably not going to affect them too much. If someone is 400lbs overweight, thats serious.
But having reasonably overweight rats isn't a problem, to me, and I've never noticed it affects their life span.
My oldest rat to my knowlege (again, with mine being rescues, Im never 100% sure how old they are unless I get them as tiny babies, which is rare) was Lenny.
I did have him for a baby, so I could be pretty confident on his age.
He was the last rat people would expect to live to be old: he was hairless (considered to be less healthy in general) and a rescue from a very cruddy situation.
Both his brothers died young, one from suspected cushings and the other suddenly from an abscess. And not even a 'serious' abscess either.
But Lenny soldiered on. He had one lumpectomy (a huge scar that ran right down his back) and had his tail amputated - twice! (removed due to infection, then the infection returned again in the bit he had left, so he had to have even more removed!)
His back legs went when he got old, and while he was a fatty in his youth, he became bony in later life.
But he lived to just over 3.
He is the oldest I've had so far, and was from the worst situation for a good long life!
Im not sure why he made it to such an old age while his two brothers died under 18 months old. And all other hairless I've owned beside Lenny have died young.
Loved him. He was a weird looking thing, all pink and wrinkly and dumbo-y, with a stump of tail and a huge scar down his back, wobbly back legs and an ever-licking tongue, most people said he was hideous looking but.....nah. He was lovely.
(Im not throttling him. He was very lick-happy!)