For many years Humans have considered Rats as “vermin” or “pests”. Well, today you’re going to learn why this is NOT the case.
Rats have been the blame for plagues around the world and generally being dirty animals, but for those of us who are rat owners, we know the whole disease thing is far from the truth! Recent studies indicate Rats actual had very little to do with it.
As well as being relatively tidy animals, they’re also very social and absolutely love attention and affection. Rats can be bonded with strongly and the only down side to them is they don’t live long enough.
Read on to learn why Rats make amazing pets, and if you love friendly little fur balls then they most certainly may be a pet you can consider.
Rats are very social
As mentioned, Rats are very social animals, meaning they live in groups as opposed to on their own. While you can keep them in pairs it’s generally better for them to be in groups of 3 or more.
Being social animals means they love to spend time with their own kind, as well as their owners. Owners tend to find that rats enjoy to be tickled, snuggled with, scratched behind the ears and are generally very playful.
Since they live in social groups there is a hierarchy so Rats do like to have the odd harmless scrap, but they do often play fight their cage mates as well.
Rats don’t tend to smell
You may hear that Rats are very smelly, along the lines of Ferrets. While Rats do poo and wee a lot as a way of marking their scent, they’re not as smelly as people seem to think.
It tends to be males that are smellier than females, but as long as you have a cleaning routine then the smell is no worse than any other small rodents. Potties should be emptied daily, but substrate could be done every 5 to 7 days, depending how much mess is made.
Weirdly enough, Rats will make more smell if you clean them TOO much. If everything is nice and clean too often, then they will see all their hard work removed and shall continue to mark their scent even more.
Rats don’t carry disease!
Poor rats are held accountable for plagues dating back to the middle ages, but recent research is actually showing that it may well not be rats that were a large part in spreading diseases.
Since they’re scavengers in the wild, they’ve always been present but we could have been wrong about them carrying fleas over to humans. In fact, it’s now coming to light that we spread plague among ourselves instead!
Pet Rats are a species known as Fancy Rats and are not the same as wild ones anyway. You can’t blame them for something their ancestors did!
Rats are gentle
I doubt you’d hear much about this since it’s a rare occurrence anyway, but if you’re ever worried about Rats biting – don’t be. While they can obviously nibble or even bite in very rare cases, Rats would sooner run away and hide from you before biting you.
There are cases of Rats that haven’t been raised well that need re-homing by experienced owners, and they will be aggressive and try to bite, but if you were to handle rats from an experienced breeder then this wouldn’t be the case.
It is extremely uncommon for Fancy Rats to bite people without good reason. The worst it could get is a small and painless nip if your fingers are mistaken as food. Just avoid feeding them through the bars!
Rats are very intelligent
The fact that Rats are social is due to their high intelligence. Just like you would train a dog to do tricks, you can train a Rat to do the same.
Common tricks owners tend to teach their rats include the likes of fetching a ball, putting a ball through a hoop, doing a simple spin around but there are many others they are capable of.
If you enjoy working your pets mind and teaching them tricks, Rats are a great option to consider.
Rats are ADORABLE
Seriously, there’s very few things that make you feel more loved than having a Rat cuddle up to you, crawl onto your shoulders and sit there, lick your fingers, among many other affectionate and mischievous, yet cute activities they get up to.
Rodent lovers will love Rats. Fact. The more people that see them for the beautiful little animals they are, the better. So spread the word!
Do you have Rats? Feel free to share your stories and pictures in the comments below!