When I was growing up my mother got me a rat called Rosie – she was black and white… and pregnant so it turned out. So pretty soon I had a number of rats.
I have very fond memories of my little rat Rosie and her babies, which I managed to find homes for very quickly much to the dismay of my school friends’ mothers.
I used to carry Rosie around in my pocket when I went to school much to the horror of my teachers and I often had her floating around in my room, with the door closed of course since we had dogs and cats too.
Now I know that so many people hear rat and freak out, perhaps because rats are associated with the plague and people assume that they are dirty animals. Domestic rats are actually very clean animals and I personally think that they make amazing pets for kids.
So much so that I got my kids some rats of their own. We aren’t able to have a dog where we live and unfortunately my husband is so allergic to cats that I had to send my two cats to live with my parents on their farm when we got married. This made rodents a great option for my kids.
Yes I thought about hamsters, but I also had some of those when I was growing up and they bit me all the time so I decided against hamsters, besides when my kids took one look at the rats in the pet store their eyes lit up and their minds were made up.
I’m pleased to say that my kids’ rats are lovely creatures that never bite and are am absolute pleasure to have.
1 Rats Are Clean
Yes I bet you never saw that one coming. Contrary to what so many people believe, domestic rats are very clean animals. They have rough tongues just like cats and they groom themselves often, they also groom each other. In addition to this you can actually train them to use a little box. I haven’t gotten this right with our rats but I never actually tried to do it. They have however allocated one section of their cage as their toilet and they only mess there which makes it nice and easy to clean up after them.
You can buy rat toilets and litter.
2 Rats Are Very Intelligent
Rats are far from stupid, in fact they are very clever animals that learn very easily. This is the reason why rats are so often used in research and testing. According to PETA (People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals) rats also show empathy.
3 Rats Are Hardy And Easy To Care For
You can buy rat food from any pet shop. You can also feed your rats fresh vegetables and fruits too. Our rats love eating our supper left overs so we always make sure to leave a little bit for them. Make sure they always have fresh water and you can also buy them a mineral stone from your pet store which is a great source of calcium as well as giving them something to chew on which will help to keep your rats teeth in good shape.
Cleaning their cage is easy, just scoop out anything that is dirty and then wash out their cage. You can get away with doing this once a week or more often if you prefer.
They also don’t need to get any vaccinations like cats and dogs need, so they are cheap and easy to look after.
4 Rats Rarely Bite
Rats are not prone to bite, yes it may happen but out of all the rodents that you consider rats are probably the least likely to bite. No parent wants a pet that bites their children!
Rats are a pretty safe bet. I can personally say that I have been bitten by plenty of hamsters and mice, but never by a rat.
5 Rats Have Amazing Personalities
Rats are amazing animals. They are affectionate, loyal, inquisitive and interactive. Treat your rat with love and care and you will find your rats individual personality coming out.
Your child will be able to form a very close bond with his or her pet rat.