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"Rats are great pets! They are, like mentioned earlier, dogs in a small package. My rat Chester died just under a year ago and is dearly missed. Rats are perfect pets for kids who have never owned a pet before. They can be fed table scraps occasionally and they dont have very strict dietary requirments like Chinchillas and Sugar gliders. Rats bond closely to owners and are extremely smart. They do like large cages. Bucks (boys) and Does (girls), make equally good pets but Bucke tend to be slower then Does, and more incined to sit on laps. Does are happy to be on the move, exloring. Their are exeptions to this rule though! Rats need lots of toys in their cages, to keep them from getting bored, as they are very smart. Rats should be kept in groups or pairs, as alone rat needs 4 hours of human intention a day. Rats should be fed rat fod, either a mix or lab blocks. Mixes have the down side of the rat being able to pick his or her favorite food and not eating the healthy parts. Lab blocks are really better, as they wear down the constantly growing teeth and provide all healthy nutrients. They dont add much variety. I fed Chester both, and he lived to be 3. Thats the down side of rats. They have short life spans of 2-4 years. Rats also can NEVER be housed on ceder, or pine, actually, no rodents should. Chester had on-going health problems from his original pet home housing him on ceder. Rats should have clean water supplied daily in a plastic or glass water bottle. Beware of plastic, which is easily chewed. Play time is very important, and you should spend at least an hour a day with your rat. As for the puchase, the best place to get a rat is from a local, private breeder. Especially if you have never had a rat before. If you must go to a pet store look for one that keeps the rats off of cedar or pine. Also look for a rat that is responsive, playful, and has clean fur, bright eyes, no discharge around eyes or nose, or a dirty under belly. You should have a wire cage with nessasary supplies aready set up at home. But always remember, if you want a rat research their care. dont be afraid to ask rat breeders questions and ask questions on forums. Enjoy your new best friend! "
"Chestersmom"

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