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Cricetomys Emini

Being too tired after the day, and too beaten up after paying the HUGE fee for getting the car in shape to pass it’s MOT, I was doing some rather aimless surfing, and found this. It’s not a bad care guide for giant rats.

This amused me: “Giant Pouched Rats are not domesticated animals. They require lots of love, attention, exercise, space, time and money if they are going to be kept as a successful pet. If you keep one of these animals the chances are that you will get bitten, they will destroy your furniture and they will keep you up at night. They will also delight and amaze you and on balance they are worth it.” lol…sound like the average pet owner’s dream.

Let me tell you a bit about ours.

1. They DO bite. This is a very strong rodent about two-three feet in length (including the tail) that has teeth like a squirrel. They bite hard, and although our female is fairly gentle, the male is quite aggressive and bad-tempered. We had them loose in the living room once, and he ripped off the nailed-on strip of draft excluder. When Phil went to shoo him away, he whipped around and sank his teeth into Phil’s hand.

2. They get bored with food easily. Current favourite is pomegranite; past favourites were avocado and banana. They also get salad, tomatoes, tangerines, berries, etc. They get rat/parrot mix because they should, and nuts because they love them. They can stuff an amazing amount of food in their cheek pouches – I’ll have to video that sometime. They won’t touch meat, cheese, eggs or sweets. Feeding them is both expensive and frustrating.

3. They sound like birds. They can screech like parrots, chirp, and make odd ratcheting noises in their chests, similar to the odd sounds that crows can make.

4. They can make four-foot leaps to get on top of ironing boards or into bay windows. Not to mention the famous Very Bad Rat fireplace incident. :(

5. They have a very strong, but not unpleasant smell. I have never been able to successfully compare it to anything…slightly burnt toast is the closest, but not entirely.

Here are some pics:

5 thoughts on “Cricetomys Emini

  1. I LOVE the bathtub one :)

    however, I do know that I had no notion they were 2-3 feet! including tail? the photos honestly don’t give much perspective — cage bars can be any width. course, I know it’s dangerous to try to get something else in the photo with them. at least human somethings.

    unique pets indeed!

    so must also ask.. what is their lifespan? I know you got them as adults, so curious how long their owners tend to last ;)

  2. They have very long tails; the body is roughly the size of a small cat. They’re very strong, though – one of the strongest animals for their size that I’ve ever seen. They have about the same lifespan as ferrets, probably 8 years or so. Ours are in a 4’x3′ steel dog cage, which takes up a good portion of our front room. (English houses tend to have a separate front (company) room and living (family) room.)

  3. I’d have to say they’re closer to the 2 foot measurement than three, but for their size I’d have to agree – pound for pound they have more strength than any animal I’ve come across… more feisty too!

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