Rats as Pets

Rats may not be the first animals to come to mind when deciding on your next family pet, but don’t rule them out right away! Despite the negative reputation they often have, rats can make wonderful pets for the right family. Learn more below from your Diamond Bar vet.

Caring for a Rat

Rats will need a relatively large cage, complete with plenty of hiding spots and fun toys. Commercial rat food mix is widely available, and your rat’s diet will need to be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables as well. They’ll also need a good bedding material, which is also available at pet stores.

Also be aware that a rat will require at least an hour of exercise time outside of their cage per day. Make sure you and your family members are prepared to spend this important bonding time with your new rodent!

Behavior of a Rat

In spite of the negative light society puts on them, rats are in fact very intelligent, friendly, and social creatures. Since they are so social, they’re actually happiest when paired with another rat. Consider getting two rats if you’ve decided they might be the proper pet for you.

Remember that rats are mostly nocturnal—this is a key factor for many potential pet owners. Since rats will be more active in the night than in the day, it’s probably not a good idea to keep their cage in your bedroom.

Choosing a Rat

Picking a healthy rat from the get-go will save a lot of time, worry, and money later. Pick an alert, active animal. Look at the body composition to find a rat that isn’t too skinny or too fat, and make sure the fur, eyes, nose, ears, and mouth are clean and clear.

Call the clinic to find out more about the care requirements and personalities of domesticated rats. Work closely with your Diamond Bar veterinarian to decide if a rat—or two!—could make a great new addition to your family.

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