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"This is my second post, and I still have Riddy Rat and she's gotten quite large. When it comes to cage linging, reycled paper product is far safer than pine shavings, as they have been associated with all manner of lung maladies in rats. Ample water is important, and as far as staple ratfood goes, you may have difficulty finding one. Fret not, as you can cheaply make one with "Ferret Treat" (I use two, Peanut butter flavor and fruit/ veggie with yogurt), small animal food (dehydrated vegetable and seed mix with pellets, marketed for guinea pigs and rabbits), guinea pig yogurt drops, shelled sunflower seeds, and a small amount of cheap kitten chow. She loves it, and it addresses her need for protein, fat, and carbohydrates. I still supplement her diet with fresh things--strawberries and blueberries, fresh cauliflower, and carrots. Riddy enjoys meat, and rats have a predatory streak in the wild. Feeding them chicken and allowing them to gnaw chicken bones won't spoil their lovely personalities or make them more aggressive. An exercise ball fastened so that it is stationary makes a fantastic retreat for your rat inside their cage or aquarium. Ensure that the lid on their home allows ample air flow--condensation build up on aquarium walls is an indicator that you have poor airflow concerns. "

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