8 Sep 2022

The 10 Best Things About Pet Rats

Ever wondered if rats make good pets? Check out this article to know the ten best things about pet rats & if they’re the right pets for you.

The 10 Best Things About Pet Rats

Rats are one of the most misunderstood pets, and many people won’t even think about having rats compared to cats or dogs.

However, as we’re starting to understand these cute and smart animals better, more pet shops are open to having them. Compared to popular beliefs, the rats you see as domestic pets aren’t unclean or aggressive. They’re quite different from wild rats, with a better temperament and social behaviour.

And like many other pets, domesticated rats can form lasting relationships with rat owners and adapt to a home environment. The small size of pet rats also makes them perfect for those who live in small apartments and can’t keep a dog or a cat. That’s why we’ve created a list of the ten best things about pet rats to help you decide if they will be a good fit for your home.

10 Best Things About Rats

1. Good At Adapting

Even though it might seem unlikely, rats are actually pretty good at adapting to different environments. This ensures that your pet rat won’t fall sick as frequently as other pets. Ensure that a pet rat’s needs are met for the best possible life.

2. Clean Animals

Considering rats’ bad reputation for disease, it can be hard to think of them as clean animals. But, the reality is quite different as rats can certainly be considered one of the cleanest animals.

Pet rats love grooming and often spend some of the days cleaning themselves. So they don’t usually smell bad or dirty. Plus, the rats typically available as pets are selectively bred from the brown rats (Rattus norvegicus), also called the Norway rat, and are completely domesticated.

Unlike their wild counterparts, domestic rats will almost always live in a clean environment. Old rats may have difficulty grooming themselves, but with a little help from owners, they can stay hygienic and clean.

Cleaning Pet Rat At Vet

3. Intelligent

The best thing about rats has to be their intelligence, as no one can deny that the small rodent has the ability to figure things out almost instantaneously. This has made rats a vital part of several kinds of research, especially those dealing with brain functions. And recent studies show that rats are great at learning tricks and solving problems.

So, after getting a pet rat, you can surely help it learn tricks with food, just like pet dogs.

4. Great For Cuddling

Most people prefer pets that are a bit cuddly, and a pet rat can be an excellent option as they are more social and cuddly than guinea pigs or hamsters. Also, rats are believed to be empathetic, which helps create tight bonds between the pet and its human owner.

Most of them stop growing after reaching 9-11 inches, so they take up much less space and act as great snuggle buddies, especially for kids.

Man Showing Size Of Pet Rat

5. Different Personalities

Just like any other animal, rats tend to have diverse personalities. This is especially highlighted when you have more than one pet rat, which is recommended as rats are social animals. While some can be a bit mischievous, other rats tend to be more interested in getting hugs from your kids.

6. Amazing Laughs

An astonishing thing about rats is that they have a cute laugh. While most of us are accustomed to their squeaky voice, a bit of play or tickling from their favourite human is enough to make a rat laugh. Most of them actually love playing with humans quite a lot and are known to participate in games like tag or chase a cat toy.

Rat Looking Out Of Cage

7. Grow Emotional Bonds

As a species of social animals, rats have always formed emotional bonds with each other, and they can do the same with humans. When living in groups, a rat cares for their families and grow to develop amazing communication skills. That’s why you should always try to have at least two rats as pets, but keep female and male rats separate as they attain sexual maturity pretty fast.

A rat is known to sense the mood of its human owners, so when you’re feeling down, your pet rat may snuggle to comfort you.

8. Pro At Balancing Acts

If you didn’t know already, rats have an incredible sense of balance, letting them navigate narrow spaces and hang from ropes using their tails. So, having a pet rat is an excellent opportunity to engage them in balancing and climbing acts. If you train your rat correctly, it may even perform tricks. They can often be trained to climb or perform tricks with their tails using food.

Boy Balancing Rat In Sleeve

9. Exploration Buddies

An interesting fact about rats is that they were one of the first animals to get on ships and explore the world. And the instinct of exploration remains within them even when domesticated; that’s why pet owners are encouraged to let their rat out of its cage for at least 1-2 hours daily.

10. Swimmers

A lesser-known fact about rats is that they’re pretty good at swimming, often leading to incidents where they may swim up a toilet. A pet rat can hold its breath underwater for up to 3 minutes, and you can fill out the bathtub for your rats to swim and get much-needed exercise. Plus, while your rat is bathing, it allows you to clean the cages.

How Do You Feel About A Rat As A Pet?

We guess that by now, you’re considering getting a fancy rat as your next pet. Most pet rats are fairly low maintenance and offer a lot of love without asking for much.

However, you need to provide them with a balanced diet with nutrition-rich foods and a large clean cage while ensuring they get proper exercise. Also, take them to the vet for regular checkups to keep them healthy.

Even though they are excellent pets for humans, they tend to chew on almost everything due to their ever-growing teeth. So, don’t forget to rat-proof your rooms so that your pets aren’t able to damage the furniture with their teeth when playing outside their cage.

Looking for a new pet for your family? Check out our post on the Best First Pets for Kids! And before you leave, be sure to visit Planet Pet’s store. We have everything your little friend could need, from treats and toys to bedding and accessories!

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