Do Rats Make Good Pets?

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Small Pets

Pet Rat

When it comes to classroom pets or even pets for small kids, we think of gerbils, hamsters and sometimes guinea pigs. What about rats? Do they make good pets?

The last rat you may have seen could have been in a tray in your biology class stuck down with pins. But, rats are more complicated and fascinating than you may first think. You might even consider them as your new family pet.

The past has given them a bad image in people’s eyes. There was that thing in the Middle Ages and the bubonic plague but that can’t all be blamed on rodentia. Here are a few interesting facts you might want to know about rats.

Rat Facts both Interesting and True

1. Rats are clean animals – This might be refuted by their perceived history with humans, but actually they are very clean. Much like cats, they groom themselves. In their habitat, they are careful to keep their nest away from the place where they “use the facilities.” If you own a pet rat, it will make for easier cleanup if you provide a separate area for the facilities.

2. Rats are smart
– This is one reason that they make good research models. Pet rats can be taught tricks like running though mazes and how to jump.

3. Rats love affection – If you own a pet rat, they will always want to cuddle and be around you. Because of their intelligence, they are interested in everything. A rat would love to sit on your shoulder and watch you cook or even read a book. They will be your constant companion.

4. Rats can swim – Ever heard of following rats on a sinking ship? They will find the way out. What they don’t tell you is that they can swim farther than you can.

5. They can survive without water
– This doesn’t last indefinitely but they can survive for long periods of time without drinking water if none is available.

6. Rats like company
– They enjoy being with their owners, but are more social with another rat. Try to always have at least two pet rats (of the same sex). They would love more but you might not.

7. Rats don’t live long – Even at their best, their life expectancy is only a couple of years. During those years, you can experience a lot of fun from your pet.

Rats are better pets than their other rodent counterparts because they are clean and even tempered. They require a lot of attention but give back that love in return. If you are considering a pet for your home for young children, think about a rat. Just don’t own any cats at the same time.

Read Animal-World’s Guide to Pet Rats to learn even more about them!


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