How to pick a pet rat: The Complete Guide

How to pick a pet rat: The Complete Guide
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Once you’ve decided to acquire a few pet rats, you should plan ahead before visiting your local pet store. A new pet should never be acquired in a rush.

Consequently, you should investigate the various facets of becoming a rat owner and ensure that you have the necessary knowledge to pet your little guy. Continue reading to discover what you must know before purchasing a rat.

How many pet rats should I get?

Rats have a natural affinity for social interaction; they often groom, play, and even sleep in the same location. Since most of us cannot constantly be with our rats, having at least two rats is crucial. The only exceptions to this rule are when your rat cannot live with other rats due to aggression, illness, or old age.

Some rat lovers suggest that two to four rats is a good starting number. In addition, it is always a good idea for amateurs to adopt two animals at once. Once you become accustomed to petting a few of them, it will be simpler to pet more.

However, getting more than two rats can be enjoyable if you have a large enough cage and the time and resources to care for them properly.

Which is preferable, adult rats or baby rats?

Due to their cuteness, most people prefer to acquire baby rats as opposed to adults. The differences between adult and baby rats are as follows:

  • Rat pups are obviously adorable and energetic. They are often referred to as “popcorn” due to their tendency to hop around like popping kernels and their inability to remain still for long. In addition, it will take some time for the puppies to develop into affectionate and caring companions.
  • Adult rats will bond quickly with you due to their already developed personalities. In addition, it’s exciting to get to know them, discover what they want, and identify areas where you can further develop their trust and personality. However, it will take time for them to bond with you if they come from a farm with little human interaction. In addition, rats older than nine months do not typically run around like infants. However, if this is your first time keeping rats, it may be best to start with young rats, as adult rats may require specialized care, especially if they have behavioral or medical issues.

What are the popular types of pet rats?

According to the American Fancy Rat; Mouse Association, there are seven common types of pet rats, each with a unique set of colors and markings. They are listed below:

  • Standard
  • Rex
  • Tailless
  • Hairless
  • Satin
  • Dumbo
  • and Bristle Coat

As you may already be aware, Dumbo and Burmese rats are incredibly sociable and affectionate. Some individuals assert that Dumbo is friendlier than other rats, and Burmese are renowned for their friendliness.

However, if you choose hairless rats, keep in mind that their lack of hair and eyelashes makes them susceptible to skin and eye problems.

Do male or female rats make better pets?

All males and females make excellent pets. Female rats are smaller and more active than male rats, chasing each other and stealing paper scraps to use as nesting material. In contrast, males are likely to make superior lap pets compared to females.

In fact, rats are not exclusively kept in cages. They need time outside of their cage every day to play, explore, and interact with their owners. Additionally, it is best to have at least two rats of the same gender live together, as rats are social animals.

Actually, a single rat that does not receive multiple hours of human care per day may be depressed, lonely, and anxious. Therefore, if you have limited time to devote to your rats, raising only two would benefit you and them.

Furthermore, if rats of the same sex are raised together or introduced properly, they can coexist harmoniously. Lastly, male rats with high levels of testosterone can be very aggressive. In this case, neutering them can reduce their aggression within eight weeks.

Where should you buy a pet rat?

We recommend beginning your search at a local animal shelter, as there are numerous pet rats looking for permanent homes. Additionally, you can consider purchasing rats from a pet store if you are unable to form a bond with any rats at the shelter. A rat purchased from a pet shop may or may not be the best option.

It all depends on their health and level of socialization. If the pet store does not maintain clean cages, medical and behavioral issues may arise.

Consequently, individuals should select a reputable pet store that imports rats from reputable breeders. A reputable breeder, on the other hand, will ensure that you receive a healthy and content rat.

To put your mind at ease, you can request to see a health certificate from certain breeders.

If you intend to pet a rat in the near future, you should begin by purchasing healthy rats from a reputable pet store. We wish you a great time with your future rodent companions and hope this guide was helpful.