What is your favorite animal for pet? Some people would love to pick a cute kitten or puppies. Some other pet exotic animals like parrots, iguanas, or even snakes. Now, how about rats as a pet?
Yes, you read it right. Rats are possible to be your option for a pet. Rats is not as bad as you think, after all. Besides, have you ever heard about The Black Death? The Black Death or also known as the Great Plague was one of the most devastating pandemics in human in the 14th century. Rats are usually blamed on it. But a recent study suggested that is not because of rats, but more likely from the warm climate in Asia and brought by the giant gerbils.
Rats have only started to be a pet in the hundred years. The most common species of rat that keep as a pet is the domesticated brow rat or mostly know as fancy rat. The fancy rat name literally comes from “to fancy”, which means to like or appreciated.
Domesticated pet rats are tamer than the wild one (the one that you usually see back and forth to the sewer). Domesticated one is also shown to mate earlier and have a longer period of lifespan. They are friendly to human, smart, playful, and even empathetic.
Although they cannot make you breakfast or run a bistro in your home, they are still as lovable as any other pets! They are also easy to take care of. If you are interested, here are some tips that you can follow to pet some rats (in a good way!)
6 Guide Of Making A Rat Your Pet, Stop The Bad Prejudice
1. Rats are actually cleaner than you think
Rats like to groom themselves. They don’t like getting dirty so they will try to clean themselves immediately if something is on their fur. Not only clean, but they are also neat. Nevertheless, you don’t have to bath them regularly. Only the rats who are having difficulty grooming themselves due to age or illness that require regular baths.
2. The housing
The best type of cage for your rats is a large wire cage with horizontals bars. These bars will be their playground to climb around. If your cage is big enough or about 12 until 14 inches of floor space, you can put two small rats in the same cage. For addition, you can provide the cage with hammocks!
Remember that rats are nocturnal so it would be better for you to place the cage in a relatively quiet place but still close to social activity in your home. Avoid direct sunlight to the cage. For the owner of cat or dogs, make sure you keep your rats’ cage secure because your rats may feel threatened.
For their litter, you can provide them with paper towels or tissues. Usually, rats will choose the same corner of their cage for bedding. Clean their cage at least once a week!
3. They can learn some tricks!
It must be a surprise to know that you can train your rats to do some tricks, for examples, they can be taught to catch a ball like dogs, to dunk into the basketball hoop, and respond to their names if you called them! How cool is that?
4. The rats’ diet
You can give your rats some commercial food blocks for rat in the market or pet stores as their basic diet. These form of food is nutritious enough for your rats because they usually formulated to be nutritionally complete.
You can also stock some fresh vegetables or fruits like peas, apples, broccoli, or bananas, some whole grain bread or pasta, brown rice, cheese, nuts, or even yogurts in your kitchen to feed the up and keep them healthy. Various fresh food may also prevent your rats from boredom with the pelleted one. Just make sure you give them the right amount of portion. Limit high-fat foods from cheese, nuts, or seeds to maintain their fiber and low-fat diet level.
For the bowl, you can use a heavy ceramic dishes. Don’t forget to put water bottle with a sipper tube to fulfill their needs for freshwater.
5. Rats’ playtime
Your rats will love to climb the cage bars as ladders and play in the hammocks and tunnels. You can also provide addition toys such as woodblock, cardboard boxes, or paper bags for them to chew. As an extra, you can also give them exercise wheels with a solid surface for your rats to run.
Since they like to chew a lot, make sure your electrical wires and poisonous plants are out of reach when your rats play outside their cages. They like to put anything on their teeth, so be prepared!
6. Rats’ health problem
Just like cats, dogs, and any other pets, rats can develop many health issues. The possible issues are digestive problems, respiratory problems, neurological problems, and even tumors. Make sure you bring your rats to the vet for a check-up for once every six months to prevent them from diseases. We would rather prevent the diseases rather than perform surgery on your tiny friend, aren’t we?
Even the domesticated rats have a longer lifespan compare to the wild one, their lifespan is still short, only two to three years. So, if you start to decide keeping rats as a pet, make sure you enjoy every little time with them while you can! Good luck!
That’s all the guide you need to know for making a rat as your pet. From here we know that rats, or fancy rats, is possible to keep as a pet. They are amazing pets! They are loyal, friendly, smart, and easy to take care of just like any other usual pet. May this information can also be a new insight for you and stop the bad prejudice on rats. Fancy rat is friend, not pest!