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Roxy
Roxy  
I just bought my first rat today. She's a beautiful albino. I want to keep her in my room with me but I'm afraid that the air conditioning will hurt her because of the cold. I have an upstairs apartmentaand it's really hot everywhere except my room. Where should I keep her?

Answer
That IS a very pretty rat...thank you for the photo.  Rats should not be kept at very cool or very hot temperatures.  I would say temps between 75 and 80 are ideal.  Is there a way for you to keep the air conditioning in your room at a level within that range?

If your room is a little colder than 75, it is still better than very hot temps.  But in this case, you would need to either get a special heat lamp from a pet store (the kind made for reptiles and make sure you keep it at a distance from the cage so that it is not too close where she would become overheated or burned if she touches it.  Putting several very warm snugglies, hammocks (made from warm fleece) would also be a good idea so she can hide in them if she's too cold.  

I know this isn't part of your question, but I feel obligated to advise you anyway.  In case you are not aware, rats should never be kept solo.  You should strongly consider getting her a friend close to her age.  Otherwise she will be lonely, especially while you are asleep or away and can't spend time with her.  At night is when rats are most active.  It is really no more effort to keep two rats than one, and they eat so little that the cost to feed one more rat is very minor.

I hope that this video will be convincing enough:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDy3bMRuobE

Please let me know if I can help you with anything else and lots of luck to you and your girl (and hopefully girls) in the future.  

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Irene Murphy

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I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.

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I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

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I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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