How to Look After a Rat as a Pet

How to Look After a Rat as a Pet

Here we can see, “How to Look After a Rat as a Pet”

Rats are intelligent and affectionate creatures who enjoy cuddling. They are excellent companion animals, especially for children. They are sociable animals who enjoy human company as well as interacting with other rats. Rats demand modest care, but it’s rather simple after you’ve gotten over the initial construction of the box. Most pet retailers carry their specially prepared diet. Furthermore, their habitat takes very little room and is relatively easy to maintain.

Rat Temperament and Behavior

Rats are gregarious animals, and most may become accustomed to—and even like—gentle treatment. They will identify their owners and will even become thrilled to see them. They form strong bonds with those who look after them and spend the most time with them. So, in addition to spending time on regular enclosure maintenance, daily engagement is essential.

Rats are primarily nocturnal, but they can be active during the day as well. The evening hours are frequently an excellent time to interact with them.

Start cautiously when hand-taming a rat by inviting it to explore your hands while holding rewards. When picking up the rat, make sure you’re supporting its weight and never squeeze it. Once a rat has become accustomed to this type of handling, it will most likely want to explore by climbing on you. Many rats enjoy cuddling in their owners’ laps or perching on their shoulders. And they usually don’t bite unless they’re in danger.

Although rats emit some mild vocalisations, they are generally silent pets. To avoid undue stress and potential damage, keep them apart from other household pets. They do, however, enjoy living in pairs or small groups. A peaceful coexistence between two females is common. A couple of males can get territorial at times, but if introduced at an early age, they can thrive. A female and a male can also live together if they have been spayed or neutered. Otherwise, you’ll be raising a lot of rats in no time.

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Size Specifications

Rats can grow to be between 14 and 18 inches long, including the length of their tail. They range in size from 0.5 to 1.5 pounds, with males being slightly larger than females.


For pet rats, a powder-coated wire cage with a solid-floor foundation is suitable. It will provide adequate air circulation while remaining comfy for the rats’ feet. A minimum cage size for two rats should be 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet, although larger is always better. Rats like to climb, so a multilevel cage would be a great way to give them more exercise and things to do.

Place the enclosure somewhere that is somewhat quiet. Also, keep it away from draughts and bright sunshine. The optimum temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Provide rat toys, preferably chew toys, within the enclosure. And don’t forget to include a nesting box. You can use a small cardboard box, half of a clay flowerpot tipped on its side, or a store-bought miniature animal nest.

Specific Substrate Requirements

At the bottom of the enclosure, place a few inches of bedding material, such as aspen or paper pellet bedding. Rats can be poisoned by the oils in cedar and pine bedding. You can also include some shredded paper towels or napkins for your rats to use as a soft nesting material. Scrub all surfaces in the cage with moderate soap and water once a week to change the bedding.

What Do Rats Consume and Drink?

Ensure that rats have access to fresh water at all times. A water bottle that attaches to the enclosure’s side is good because it’s easy to clean. However, provide a water bowl until you’re certain the rats are using the bottle.

Use hefty ceramic food plates to avoid gnawing and tipping. Rats are usually fed pelleted or block-type diets as their main source of nutrition. They’ve been designed to be nutrient-dense. Follow the feeding directions on your chosen food, and consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions. It’s typical to put a day’s worth of pellets in a dish and then discard any food that hasn’t been consumed after 24 hours before adding the next day’s ration. Grazing is a habit that rats have during their waking hours.

Fresh meals can be supplied to enhance the diet and keep the pellets from becoming monotonous. Small amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grain pasta and bread, brown rice, and plain yoghurt can be fed to your pet rats. Low-fat cooked meat, mealworms, cheese, seeds, and almonds can be offered on occasion. It’s critical to feed rats a high-fiber, low-fat diet.

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Typical Health Issues

Rats are generally tough pets. However, they are prone to a number of health issues, including:

  • Cancer: Both benign and malignant tumours are common in rats.
  • Parasites: Intestinal parasites, such as worms, and skin parasites, such as lice, can infect rats.
  • Infections: Rats are susceptible to respiratory illnesses and other ailments.
  • Kidney disease: Kidney illness, as well as kidney and bladder stones, are more common in older rats.

Furthermore, the teeth of rats are constantly growing. Rats’ teeth can become enlarged if they don’t have enough items to bite on in their surroundings, limiting their ability to consume. Overgrown teeth can be identified and corrected with the help of a veterinarian.

Training Your Rat

Litter Training

Litter box training rats is achievable since rats are intelligent and instinctively choose one location to use as their restroom. Get a tiny animal litter box that your rat can easily enter and exit, and fill it with a different type of litter from the main cage bedding. Put the box where your rat usually discharges itself.

To show your rat that this is the place to go, put some soiled bedding in the box. However, if the box becomes too filthy, the rat may refuse to use it. If your rat begins to relieve itself in a different location, move the box there or, if you have the space, install a second box. Although not all rats will be entirely litter trained, it should catch on soon. Make sure the litter in the box is changed on a daily basis.


Rats must exercise every day, not simply to stay physically fit but also to keep their wits stimulated. Rats enjoy climbing and will use ladders, ropes, hammocks, tunnels, and platforms in their habitat to do so. Some rats enjoy running on a treadmill. To avoid harm, if you add one, make sure it has a solid surface rather than wires.

They also appreciate ferret and parrot toys in addition to rat toys. However, look for rope and wood toys, as most plastic toys won’t withstand a determined rat’s nibbling. Furthermore, common household items like large cardboard mailing tubes, crumpled paper, paper bags, and cardboard boxes can be used to build fantastic handmade rat toys. Because rats are intelligent, it’s ideal to rotate the toys on a regular basis to keep them from becoming bored.

Take your rat out of its cage on a daily basis to get some exercise. However, make sure the space is rat-proofed because rats will chew on just about everything they can get their hands on. Keep electrical cables out of reach, and make sure your rat doesn’t get access to anything hazardous.

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Rats also mark their territory with pee drips as they move around. Although the stench is not unpleasant, you may wish to cover your furniture with a throw while they are out of the cage. Be aware that they will leave a scent mark on their owners.


Rats are tidy creatures who do much of their grooming themselves. They may, however, require nail trims if their nails do not naturally wear down. Your veterinarian can either do it for you or instruct you on how to do it yourself. Furthermore, rats do not require water for bathing. However, if they have dirt or debris lodged in their fur, you can gently touch the area with a moist towel to assist them in getting it out.

Costs of Maintenance

A pet rat will set you back between $20 and $40 a month on average. Your main expenses will be food and lodging. You’ll also need to replace chew toys and other objects in the enclosure on a regular basis. Make sure to budget for both normal and emergency veterinary treatment.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Having a Rat as a Pet

Rats make excellent pets since they are quiet and take up little room. They’re also quite friendly with their owners. They do, however, have a short lifespan. And, in most cases, you’ll need to keep more than one to suit their social requirements.

Exotic Pets that are Similar to the Rat

If you want to learn more about pet rats, go to:

Otherwise, have a look at some of the other exotic animals that could become your new pet!

Adopting or Purchasing a Rat

The average cost of a pet rat is $20, though this varies greatly. If you want a specific coat appearance, for example, you may have to spend more. On the other hand, you might be able to find rats for adoption for a lower price than a breeder would ask.

Small animal rescue groups and even general animal shelters frequently have rats available for adoption because they’re such a popular pet. They can also be found in pet stores, though a reliable breeder is preferable. Breeders and adoption groups that care for their animals well should be able to offer you detailed information about their history and health.


A veterinarian who specialises in exotic animals may be able to recommend a rat breeder or rescue organisation in your area. A breeder would usually have a larger selection of younger animals, though rescues can also have a nice selection. In any case, the seller should show you where their animals are kept. Check to see if the conditions are clean and if all of the animals appear to be in excellent health.

If you’re bringing home many rats, keep them with other rats of the same sex or get them spayed and neutered to avoid accidently becoming a breeder.

User Questions

Do rats make good pets for kids?

Rats can be wonderful pets for older children who know how to care for them gently and carefully.

Are rats hard to take care of?

The care of rats is rather simple. Their habitat will need to be cleaned on a daily basis, and they will require daily feedings.

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Do rats like to be held?

Rats are gregarious and inquisitive critters. The majority of rats can be tamed by hand and will even sit on and cuddle with their owners.

Do pet rats make good pets?

Rats make excellent pets! Rats are easy to care for, have a low odour, and bite only rarely. They are smart and friendly animals that form strong bonds with their owners and quickly learn new skills.

Do rats like to cuddle?

They are quite gregarious and enjoy spending time on the couch, on people’s shoulders, or in their laps with human family members. They’ll even groom their human friends as if they were other rats in their “rat pack.” Pet rats are extremely affectionate and like the warmth and contact of their caregivers.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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