There are few pets that evoke the same reaction from people as rats. We are so familiar with the ‘normal’ domesticated animals that the concept of owning a rat is a bridge too far for many regular pet owners. But is the stigma justified and what kind of pet is a rat afterall?
Many rat owners will testify that they make excellent pets. They consider them to be smart, clean and friendly animals that very rarely bite and they play, do tricks and smell less than mice.They are considered good pets for children too. They can be potty trained too, which is always a nice bonus.
On average a adult male rat can grow to about a foot long including the tail. There are a wide variety of breeds that are hairless, big eared, smaller and tailess. Their coats can have great variety, just like dogs and cats, though it’s harder to find that range at your typical pet store.
You can keep rats in pairs, they make good companions for one another and they like to groom each other too. Introducing older rats to live together is not a wise idea, however babies that grow up together will form a strong bond.
Female rats can produce big litters of 15 or more and they will naturally be very protective during this period. Having babies will shorten their life as rats can get pregnant every 20-25 days, the whole cycle of birth and feeding can be very taxing on the mother. Once the babies are old enough to fend for themselves the mother will return to normal temperament.
So although a pet rat was probably not on your radar before you read this article (and it still might not be) there is a lot of really positive things about owning a pet rat that people should be aware of. We will hopefully be able to document more about these unique creatures in future posts so be sure to pop by again to check up on the Smiley Pets blog.