Why rats make good pets for children

Why Rats Make Good Pets For Children

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.

Why Rats Make Good Pets For Children

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.

Why rats make good pets

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.

 

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4 comments

  1. All good points @lynne 🙂
    My little one has two hamsters, while they have never bitten her, others (including myself) have not been so lucky 😛
    I think the only reason we didn’t consider rats when we looked for pets for her was because of my own icky factor. Their tails……. they completely freak me out lol.

  2. Oh my God we’re am staying the is lots of uncontrollable rats everywhere and can’t say i would like to have it as a pet.

  3. This article made me chuckle.

    I can just imagine this picture with Rosie and her babies and you giving the babies to your friends. 🙂

    Most people think that rats are disgusting and filthy and I have to admit I really don’t like wild rats and are dead scared of them. Purely because they are so fast. They always scurry right past you. You just catch a glimpse of them through the corner of your eye and they carry all kinds of pests, I’m sure.

    But domestic rats on the other hand are a completely different scenario. They are very cute and super clean like you say. Most people think they are dirty but this is not true at all.

    My best friend in primary school had a white pet rat and she gave me one too. I was heartbroken when I had to take it back the next day. My Dad said we were not allowed to have pet rodents because it was against the rules and regulations of our house contract or something. When I was older I realised that he must have just made it up because we had two guinea pigs a few years earlier.

    My best friend in high school had this huge white rat and it got out one night. She kept it secretly because her Dad didn’t want her to keep it.

    Then of course her Dad had a nightly visit from this rat and he told her the next day “I don’t know what animal you’re hiding, but you better get rid of it”.

    She never did, and the rat eventually had a permanent home inside the hole underneath the bath. Reading your article made me think of this again. 😀

    My cousin and her boyfriend have lots of rats as pets. They adore them. They give them baths and play with them and give them all kinds of treats.
    They are a perfect alternative when you’re not allowed to have dogs or cats which is the case with most rental properties.

  4. My cousins had rats as pets growing up. As a child I had a whole menagerie, it included hamsters at one stage but never rats. Not sure I would be keen on a rat per say. I would be worried about it escaping and then breeding.

    I recently saw a hairless rat, now that looks like something out of an E.T movie. We are currently evaluating the option of a vole as a pet. We recently had to put our dogs down. One due to old age and one due to severe aggression towards men. I’m still heart broken.

    Thus the option of something completely different.

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