The Magnificent Rat
Rats make magnificent, low maintenance pets for families with children of all ages.
Besides being fun to watch scurrying around in their cages, if trained, can be handled frequently. They will even sit on your shoulder! Just like cats and dogs, each rat has their own unique personality! Some rats can be outgoing and demanding of attention while some rats can be very shy and like to sleep a lot, the more you interact and handle your rat the more you will get to know their personality.
Keeping a rat will require a house, bedding, food and water dishes and litter or newspaper. Generally, most cages will be wire cages, bird cages are perfect to house multiple rats, and can be decorated with multiple levels and ramps for the rats to have space to run and play together. If housing rats in a wire cage be sure to cover the wire bottom with towels. This will prevent a condition rats can develop called bumblefoot.
As rats form close bonds with people and other rats, and thrive on socialisation, we recommend adopting 2 or more rats, of the same sex, at a time. Rats are very friendly and are unlikely to bite or scratch for no reason. Although, parental supervision should be maintained with children under 10.
Rats love to play! There are many different toys which can be purchased for rats, or toys can be made up from old rolls of toilet paper cardboard. AND! With daily interaction you can also teach your rats some awesome tricks! Like fetch, spin and roll over! How cool!
Rats are super clean (which is what make them such fantastic pets!) and can even be taught to do their business in the corner or in a small bucket! Easy clean up! If the cage is cleaned weekly it is unlikely to produce any odours.
Feeding time for rats can be the most fun of their day! Rats love to eat all types of food from fruits and vegetables to cooked pasta and pellets, but steer clear from garlics and onions! As with fresh food rats also require fresh water daily. Absolutely no carbonated drinks, as rats can’t burp! Remember, a healthy, complete diet will help your pet rat live a long and healthy life with a lifespan of 2-3 years!