Don’t freak out just yet. Rats make amazing pets just like dogs or cats. If you listen to pet rat owners, they will tell you tales of how adorable their furball pets are and how they hang out on the couch together.
Domesticated rats are also known as fancy rats. Their personality is completely different to wild rats you see on the streets or anywhere else. Fancy rats love hanging out with humans. And there are so many different types of rats you could choose from.
Reasons Why Rats Are Amazing Pets
1. They Make Great Starter Pets
Never taken care of a pet before? Looking for an “easy” pet for your children? Rats are your best bet. They are easy to take care of, independent, and loyal furry creatures. Their size makes it easy for children and new pet owners relatively easy to handle.
2. They Are Super Smart And Empathetic
That’s right. Rats are intelligent beings and studies suggest they can make decisions by themselves, a reason why they are popularly used in psychological studies. An interesting research found out rats are very empathetic too. A rat was let free in area and was given two options in front of him – one with a container holding chocolate and the other was a trapped rat friend. The rat found a way to rescue his friend rat, released him, and the moved to the chocolate, which he shared with his friend.1
3. They Love Human Company
Rats get excited when they see their owners. They love hanging out on their owner’s shoulders or in their
4. They Are Low-Maintenance
Rats are extremely easy to handle and don’t demand attention. They don’t take up much space and they can entertain themselves, especially if they have other rats in the cage. They also love stimulating games like running through tunnels and ramps.
5. They Are Squeaky Clean
They love being clean. In fact, rats groom themselves more than a cat and don’t require frequent bathing. Their fur is usually spotless and ever so shiny. They mark a territory in their cage and stick to it for their business. Rats also like
6. They Love Getting Their Tummy Rubbed
Just like any other furry creature, rats love petting. You cant pet them behind their ears or along their back. Their favorite spot is when you rub their tummy. Also, the squeaky noise they make during a tummy rub is supposed to be laughter, suggests a study. It also revealed rats develop a deeper bond with people who tickle and make them laugh.2
If you are concerned that an owning a rat could increase the risk of getting a disease, domesticated rats posses as much as harm as a domesticated dog or cat. It’s the wild rat you need to be concerned about.
If you are planning to get
|↑1||Bartal, Inbal Ben-Ami, Jean Decety, and Peggy Mason. “Empathy and pro-social behavior in rats.” Science 334, no. 6061 (2011): 1427-1430|
|↑2||Panksepp, Jaak, and Jeffrey Burgdorf. “50-kHz chirping (laughter?) in response to conditioned and unconditioned tickle-induced reward in rats: effects of social housing and genetic variables.” Behavioural brain research 115, no. 1 (2000): 25-38|