Do Rats Make Good Pets?

Do Rats Make Good Pets?

Rats can be amazing pets for people of all ages – kids and adults alike! They are intelligent, funny and loving animals, that bond with their owners and show lots of affection.

Don’t mistake them for the dirty rodents going through rubbish in sewers and big cities, fancy rats are not at all like their wild cousins and actually make remarkable pets! Let’s find out why.

The Smartest Of Pets

Pet rats have been bred since 18th century and even Queen Victoria enjoyed watching them perform tricks.
Rats are incredibly smart and can be trained to solve puzzles, run through mazes and complete agility courses without breaking a sweat! All they need is a patient trainer and a simple incentive in the form of their favourite food snack. It’s amazing to watch the different tasks your rodent pets can learn when you show them how. Spinning in circles, going up and down seesaw, fetching little balls or even putting them through the hoop, that’s only couple of examples your ratties are capable of. Spending time with your rat can be super fun and rewarding when you see them master a new trick.

Man’s Best Friend

Forget dogs and make room for the rats! It’s been proven time and time again that rats are very empathetic, friendly and love to spend their time with humans, so if you are asking yourself “Are rats cuddly and do they love their owners?”, the answers are yes and yes!

When socialised from early age, they recognise their owners and react to familiar voices and can even run to you when you call their names!
They love to “ride” on people’s shoulders, sit in your lap and enjoy stroking, cuddles and tickles. Rats will often show affection by grooming their owners, licking their fingers or just snuggling up next to them on the sofa. A good sign of a rat being relaxed and content with human contact is so called bruxing and boggling. It may sound strange but when rats grind their teeth (bruxing) or move their eyes in and out of the sockets (boggling), it means they are supper happy!

Clean Clean Clean

Often when people think about rats, the image of a dirty sewer rats springs to mind, but that couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to pet rats. So are pet rats clean animals?
Fancy, domesticated rodents are in fact very clean animals that spend most of their time grooming and tidying their appearance. They will also extend the grooming to “sorting out” their other cage mates, making sure everyone’s fur is up to the super clean standard. You will rarely need to worry about giving your rats a wash or a bath, they will lick themselves clean and brush their coat with their little paws until they are satisfied… And then probably repeat it again!

The Best Pet

The most common reason for people not having any pets is the long-term commitment they require. Cats need space to run around, dogs need daily walking and each of these animals live for over 10 years so it’s hard to take care of them if your future is uncertain.
That’s why rats are excellent companions for owners of all ages. They live around 2 – 2.5 years, so long enough for you to enjoy spending time with them, but not long enough to be as big commitment as a cat or dog.

Rats and Humans
Source: @the_longbois Instagram

Are rats high maintenance? Not necessarily! Rats are pretty content spending most of their time in the cage with a mate or two and will sleep for up to 15 hours a day! They will happily wake up to play with their owners or have a snack and it’s even possible to litter train them, so there’s little to no mess! As long as you let them out of the cage for some free roaming play time – at least an hour a day – they are amazing pets for kids or adults and unlike other small rodents like hamsters, they rarely bite or are mean to their owners.

So next time you consider getting a pet, visit your local animal store or breeder and get to know some rats, you will not regret it! You can also check out our other rat related articles here!

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