Birds     |     Dogs     |     Cats     |     Horses     |     Small Pets

Guidance on

the best way to

keep Rats as a Pet

Help Rescue Homeless

Pets with a Gift

of One Dollar

If you're going to have a Rat as a Pet - Read this First

Rats are highly social creatures and are relatively easy to
care for. Rats make wonderful pets and many devoted rat pet
keepers have at least two. The most common type of rat that
is kept as a pet is a long-domesticated variety called the
black rat or roof rat. These are one of the most intelligent
of rodents, seem to show affection for their keepers, and
can be trained to perform tricks.

Before getting a pet rat you will need at least these
basics: a small mammal cage, wire or glass and at least one
by two feet with a secure door or lid, commercial rodent
bedding or sawdust, a small mammal water dropper bottle and
an exercise wheel. You can also make a little box with a
hole in it for a home nest.

Some toilet paper, paper towel, or other nontoxic paper
dropped into the cage every now and again will be used by
the rat to make a nest. Keep in mind that anything you put
in the cage will be gnawed on, so DO NOT PUT ANYTHING MADE
OF PLASTIC OR RUBBER in the cage. Your rat will most
assuredly gnaw on it and small gnawed plastic and rubber
bits cause intestinal distress and can kill your rat.

You may want to keep two cages ready so as to avoid having
to keep your rat in some other container while you clean its
cage. You will have to clean the cage once a week for one
rat, and replace the substrate at least once a month. Rats
are very cleanly creatures and groom themselves at least six
times a day. If you do need to clean your rat a damp warm
rag and some baby shampoo are enough. Just make sure to get
all the soap off.

Many people believe that the best rat pets are males that
have been neutered. Neutered males are more gentle and calm
than females and have fewer problems with the cancer that
seems to plague pet rats. We do not prefer to get albino or
PEW rats because they have been over bred and white rats are
not as attractive, in my opinion, but some people prefer

Rats can bite if provoked, but if you get a neutered male
that is still a baby (five weeks old) then you should be
able to hand tame it very easily. My rat likes to perch on
my shoulder and ride around and to sniff in my ear. But keep
in mind that rats can jump and have survived a twenty foot
drop. They can also jump three feet in any direction from a
standing position, so if you think that you are safe to have
the lid off the cage for a second while you get something,
think again. They will escape.

Rats can also squeeze themselves through remarkably tiny
holes for their size. Adult rats can basically go through
any hole into which their heads will fit, believe it or not,
and if they won't fit, a short spate of gnawing can fix
that. So if you let your pet rat out of its cage for
exercise, be sure to keep a constant eye on it.

You can expect a rat to live from two years up to ten years
depending upon their breeding and the care provided. Getting
more than one rat when you first purchase them is
recommended so that they have ratty social interaction and
so that they grow up together and won't have territorial

You can train your pet rat to do basic tricks. A rat will do
almost anything for some avocado or for yogurt raisins. Be
sure to feed your rat a good healthy diet of commercial rat
food or a good dog food, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Rats
are omnivorous and need the protein in their diet that
hamster feed can never give them.

Rats make great pets and are lots of fun. If a rat is tame
even children love them. You can, over time, even let them
loose in the house for short periods to explore, which is
good for them. Usually a treat will lure them back or you
can get a small mammal ball to put them in so they can
explore your house. Squeak, Squeaker!

Back to:
More Knowledge on Rats as Pets

Custom Search

Terrifically Cute Stuffed Rats