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What Should You Know About Having Rats for Pets?


Rats can make great pets for the right person. These creatures are usually very social and like companionship. However, much depends on the care provided to the rat. If a rat is given the wrong care it can result in a nervous temperament. When looking for rats for pets, it?s important to know what signs to look for, and what questions to ask.

These two things can help you find the right one.

What is the Good News?

Rats can make for great pets. In fact, these animals have been compared to dogs and the companionship they provide. Rats are usually easy to tame and are very social. Contrary to what some may believe, rats are intelligent creatures. These animals do well in a group. Rats are also relatively easy to provide for. However, they do need enough attention and exercise.

What is the Bad News?

Rats can be very curious. They need a lot of attention and time outside of their cage. Unfortunately rats normally only live about 2 to 3 years. They are nocturnal creatures, so they'll be more active at night. Additionally, the female rats often go into heat every 4 to 5 days, which can change their behavior temporarily.

Where Can You Find a Rat?

There are several places you can purchase a rat. Be careful of stores that keep female and male rats together, as you could have a surprise litter if they are not housed separately. Make sure the rats are cared for correctly. The rats should have been handled often, provided the right diet, and the seller should have knowledge on the species. Rats can be purchased at pet stores, from breeders, or shelters. When finding a rat you'll want to see what type of health it is in, and the temperament it displays.

How Do You Choose the Right Rat?

When deciding on a rat, see what type of personality it shows. For example, if the rat is nervous or panicky when being handled, and does not calm down after a bit, it's probably not the best choice. Also rats that appear too docile or quiet could be sick. A rat should appear alert and curious. A healthy rat will look more groomed, as they clean themselves often. If a rat appears to be drooling it could be a sign of a dental issue.

How Should You Care for a Rat?

When caring for a rat, make sure to provide for all of its needs. A tall wire cage with horizontal lines is a good idea (something that allows the rat to climb). Some cages offer ramps and platforms, which are also important to think about. Make sure the cage is large enough; at minimum it should at least have 12 by 24 inches in floor space. Rats should have toys and things to climb on. You may want to look at purchasing a ladder, tube, rope, and blocks to chew on. Ask a specialist before purchasing bedding, as some is not appropriate for smaller animals.

Don't believe all the rumors, rats may have a bad reputation, but it's not all true. In fact, rats can make for great pets. These creatures are social by nature and usually enjoy affection. A rat can make for an interesting and entertaining little buddy. If you ask the right questions you may find yourself with one loveable little friend.



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