Normally we think, small animals are happy and peaceful animals. But that is not really the case with rats. Rats, the cute looking small creatures can really make you run for your money! In spite of these facts, rats are exceptionally social, intelligent and make very pleasant pets. They are easy to care for but not something that requires low maintenance. You must have an uptight budget to pet a rat.
There are certain amazing facts that you must know before having a rat.
Rats are nocturnal. They usually are active at night.
The male rats are known as ‘Bucks’ while the females as ‘Does’. And the babies are known as ‘pups’ or ‘kittens’.
Rats are social animals, so care must be taken that they are not left alone. The male rats usually get along well with males only and vice versa.
Male rats are larger than females. But they are more often lazier, while female rats are active and playful.
- Where can you find a perfect pet rat?
There are certain places where you can find exactly the rat that you’re searching for. Well, pet stores can be an option. But only if they are properly informed about the animal (rats). So care must be taken that you choose the appropriate rat. It must be healthy and well brought up, if adult.
A Breeder is the best place where you can find a rat. They take special care that a rat is brought up in a well socialised atmosphere at the very small age. Hence, the new owner has less trouble in having it as a pet. You even get the suitable breed for you.
Apart from pet stores and breeders, you can even look out for pet rats that are homeless. Which have been pets before but now have no owner? They tend to be more flexible and know the basic rules of petting.
But what happens once you finally bring the rat? What’s next? How to nurture it? What does it eats? Yes, these might be some questions that must have popped in your head. And that is pretty obvious. But don’t you worry; we will answer all those one by one.
- ALONE OR IN A HERD? — Rats usually prefer a companion. They like playing and running around the cage so they can always use a friend in these activities. They don’t like being alone in their cage. Mostly a male rat prefers a male companion. Not necessary they should be in huge numbers. Two per cage is enough for the time being.
- BE READY WITH A VET– The first thing one is expected to do after getting a rat is look for a vet. Rat can be completely new anatomy for you. So it is important that know about it completely. Look out for vets that are some specialist for rodents or pocket rats. You can even ask the place or person from whom you brought the rat as which vet they usually preferred. These things help you to be ready in emergency situations. You don’t have to be in a hustle at such times.
- WHAT KIND OF HOME TO ARRANGE? – As said earlier, rats can really make you run for your money. They need lot caring. You should remember before taking its cage that it should be big enough. This let them continue with their acrobatics and other activities. Don’t have cage flooring that can be discomforting. Usually prefer some plastic or wooden flooring. Make sure the cage bars are not too wide that allows them to escape. Fancy the cage with small toys. Even remember to put up a small bed and a water dish and food dish. Make sure the cage is cleaned properly at regular intervals.
- QUALITY TIME– Just doing everything right and at time is not sufficient. It is important to spend time with your pet. To entertain him. This helps him get familiar with you. To know you better. If you cannot be with him all the time, make sure he has a buddy to keep up with.
- WHAT DOES IT EAT? – The normal diet of your rat concerns with lab blocks or some grain mix. You can even feed them with cooked beans, veggies, fresh and frozen fruits. Avoid feeding citrus juice to male rats. They can cause cancer in their kidneys. But there is no such case with females. Usually vets suggest food like Harlan Teklad lab, Oxbow Regal Rat etc.
- BE CAREFUL WITH THE TEMPERATURE CHANGES– it is must to keep a rat in temperature that falls between 65-75 Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises due to climatic changes make sure you keep some water in the cage, for them to cool themselves.
- TEACH THEM TRICKS– Rats are very smart. They learn things very fast. You can teach them certain tricks that keep them playing and active. Like jumping from a hoop, running on a wheel etc. These keeps them busy and can even entertain you.
So these were some guidelines you should consider when you decide to take a rat. Rats are fun pets to be around. They are even expected to set free at times from their cages. Some people even compare them with dogs. So if you are looking for a different pet for a change, rat it is!