Did you know that rats actually have a bit of a bad rep when it comes to being pets? Most people will scream ‘eurgh, pet rats!’ when somebody suggests they might be a good idea, but pet rats can actually be amazing pets for kids. You have to realize that sewer rats and pet rats are very different. While sewer rats are mostly huge and can carry diseases, pet rats are sweet, gentle, and can even learn tricks!
Here’s some advice and information that could help you to make up your mind:
Pet Rats: Why They Make Amazing Pets
Pet rats come with their own personality built in. One may like to play, another may want to snuggle. However, the theme is that they all genuinely love their owners (unlike many other pets). They can also learn tricks, and will even give kisses! They will learn their names, and can also be litter trained. Spend lots of time when you name your pets because they will answer to what you call them, unlike hamsters or guinea pigs!
Other benefits include:
- They are very clean
- They are extremely affectionate and cuddly
- They are social and enjoy time out of their cages
- Rats are less likely to bite than other small furry animals because they are so smart
- Will show affection to their owners, sometimes licking them like a dog would
The one downside you should bear in mind is that they tend to need a special vet, so keep this in mind if you do decide to get them.
Female Or Male?
Both females and males make great pets. However, it’s wise to either get two females or two males. You don’t want lots of baby rats! They should always be in pairs because they can get lonely, and this isn’t fair on them. However, there is one distinction: females tend to like to play a lot and stay active, while makes can make better lap pets.
There’s also the potential that males could develop too much testosterone and become aggressive. For this reason, most first time rat owners choose females.
Buy A Big Cage
Rats need a large cage to play and scamper around in – the bigger the better. The cage should be at least 12″ X 24″ X 12″. The cage should be made especially for rats – bear in mind that wire or mesh cages can be dangerous as rats can catch their feet in them and break a leg. Keeping them in terrariums may not provide proper ventilation. Make sure you do your research.
Fill their cage with plenty of toys that will keep them stimulated so they can continue learning and staying stimulated.
Holding Your Rat
The best way to pick up a rat is to scoop them up with both hands. Never, ever pick a rat up by the tail. This could hurt them and their skin could actually come off.
Before deciding to get a rat, weigh up the pros and cons, make sure you have plenty of room, and make sure you’re all willing to spend time training and playing with them. Rats live 2-3 years, but with proper care, you could extend their lifespan.