A rat for a pet may be difficult to see as a sensible idea at first – rats are usually seen as pests, after all. Rats are popular pets, nevertheless.
Many people have kept rats as pets for centuries. Their intelligence and their highly developed ability to bond makes them perfect as pets. If you haven’t considered keeping a rat for a pet, you’re missing out. Here’s what you get when you decide to get a rat.
1. Smart as a rat
Scientists choose to work with rats over other animals for two reasons – their physiology is closely related to that of humans and they are intelligent. Rats can be trained to learn new behavior and new tricks.
The intelligence of rats makes them fun pets to hang around with, too. Rat owner forums tend to have astonishing stories of the kinds of tricks that owners manage to teach their rats. Rat owners have potty-trained their rats, taught them to beg and trained them to sit on their shoulders on command.
2. Rats are loyal and affectionate
Rats have a reputation as pests that are difficult to get rid of. If you have a rat infestation problem, you might try to trap the rats in your home humanely and set them free far away. More likely than not, though, the rats will get back home before you manage to. Rats don’t return repeatedly to the same home because of their tenacity as pests – rather they do it out of loyalty.
Rats feel attachment to the home that they live in and to the people in it. When you raise a rat from infancy, you can establish a great bond. Unfortunately, rats don’t live very long. Most pass away in under two years. Creating a bond with a rat can come with heartbreak.
3. Rats are very easy to care for
Rats are known for their ability to survive the harshest environments. Other than to make sure that your rat has enough to eat, you need to do little taking care of it. You don’t need to feed it special kinds of food, spend anything much on healthcare or give it exercise. Rats are completely able to take care of themselves. Your only responsibility when you raise a rat as a pet is to play with it.
4. Rats are among the cleanest creatures that you could find to keep as pets
If you’re in the market for a small pet, you’ll probably consider mice and hamsters. Both creatures can be terribly messy in their enclosures. Hamsters have the unfortunate habit of covering themselves in their own pee for scent-marking purposes, for instance. Rats have an excellent sense of personal hygiene, though. They constantly groom themselves to keep clean. Rats usually smell fresh.
5. Purebred rats look special
A person picking a rat for a pet often doesn’t get much sympathy from friends or family. Being associated with rat bites and the plague, they certainly don’t enjoy a reputation as a decent pet. Many rat enthusiasts find that fancy, purebred rats do enjoy better reputations. They are bred in various exotic coat color variations – blue, silver and so on. Blue, purebred rats can bring a great deal of positive attention to the owner of a pet rat.
6. Rats don’t shed
Unlike dogs or other common pets, rats don’t shed. You can easily have a rat run around on your sofas or your beds without worrying about fur all over the place. I think it’s one of the best benefits of having rats.
7. Rats are easier to travel with
Owning a rat instead of a larger animal can make life much simpler when you travel. Most pet-related restrictions don’t apply to such small creatures. It doesn’t take much to feed a rat well. It’s easy to provide for a rat. Rats aren’t picky eaters. They consider practically every kind of food, a treat.
8. Rats have a two-to-three year lifespan
While this may appear to be detrimental, a short lifespan is a plus for a first pet. Three years isn’t long for a pet that your child actually enjoys and takes care of, but it can seem like a decade for a pet that gets foisted off on Mom and Dad.
Caring for a rat is also a good way to gauge whether your child would actually be interested in having/caring for a more labor-intensive pet.
9. Rats are bigger than hamsters or mice
Sometimes, young children in particular will accidentally kill mice or hamsters while trying to catch them because they’re so little. Rats are heftier, which means that children will have an easier time holding them.
10. It doesn’t end here
Rats have a great deal going for them as pets. Scientists testing on rats often report on how close they become to their test subjects. Rats love handling much better than hamsters. They tend to be scared, vulnerable and in need of loving protection. To anyone in need of companionship, these are endearing qualities.
There are many wonderful benefits of owning rats. They are cute, loyal, and incredibly smart. Plus, they are easy to care for. Have you ever owned a rat?