the Zephyr homing process

When you first contact me, I will send you a questionnaire to ascertain your current level of knowledge, so that I'll know which areas to focus on in helping you to prepare for your Zephyrs. It doesn't matter whether you are completely new to rats, or whether you've kept them all your life.

We'll discuss anything arising from the questionnaire (I'll try to respond within 7 days), and assuming we reach agreement on key points, I'll send you some handouts including guides on general care and feeding, and arrange a time for you to come and visit. I generally like visits to take place as soon after application as possible because it's a chance to get to know each other a little (making subsequent digital correspondence more personal), see my set ups in person, and hopefully give you some inspiration for creating or embellishing your own set up while you wait, and of course it gives you the chance to meet my rats, confirm that you're a suitable match, and determine that they are worth waiting for.

Then it will be a matter of waiting until I contact you to say I have kittens available. I should be able to give a rough idea of when this might be, but it will obviously depend on what litters turn up and how the numbers and sexes work out. If you have specific requirements for varieties then it may take longer, but generally the wait will be between 3 and 6 months, assuming that litters go to plan.

Once a litter is born, I will sometimes get in touch very early on to confirm there will be kittens for you, but it may not be until they are a few weeks old. You'll be able to follow the development of the litter on their page, but allocation of specific kittens won't usually happen until after I have chosen my keepers at around 5 or 6 weeks of age. I try to arrange the allocations so that each home receives easily distinguishable kittens, with at least one of their preferred varieties if possible, and characters to suit their preferences and circumstances.

The kittens will be ready for homing once their kitten moult is complete, this is now usually between 7 and 8 weeks of age. When you collect them, I will give you about a week's worth of food along with some other items, and when you have decided on their names I will provide you with their family trees, and their diaries to be used for logging information which you'll send back to me twice a year.

You will have my full support throughout the rats' lives, but since I am not online 24/7, there is also a Zephyr owners group on Facebook which is useful for anything urgent, or just for sharing your experiences with the other members. I will add you to it on request once your kittens have been confirmed.