Pet rat care is definitely similar to that of different small rodents, reminiscent of chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters, and rabbits.
Rats are social, clever, and can largely be awake at evening. So, they want firm, psychological stimulation, and an appropriate residence atmosphere when they’re sleeping within the day.
If correctly tamed, your pet rat will likely be blissful to get up and play with you throughout the day. However, this takes persistence and common, light dealing with.
On this article, we’ll stroll you thru every thing that you must find out about taking care of a pet rat. Together with caring for various kinds of home rats, a pet rat’s food plan, the kind of housing rats want, and every thing in between.
|Key Information About Pet Rats
|1. Rats are primarily nocturnal animals. So, they’re most lively at evening.
|2. Pet rats are social, and needs to be housed with no less than one different rat.
|3. Attributable to their small dimension and skinny pores and skin, rats can’t tolerate chilly very effectively.
|4. Rats like to climb!
|5. Rats are very clever, to allow them to get simply bored.
|6. Their intelligence additionally means rats might be good at escaping their cages!
Rats make comparatively low-maintenance pets. However you will have to supply the next to your pet:
- A safe, rat proof home in a room which is neither very chilly nor highly regarded
- An train wheel
- Bedding materials designed for rats
- Litter for the ground of the cage
- A water bottle
- Rat meals
- One thing to chew and different toys
- A pal to maintain them firm
What Else is on this Article
Are you contemplating buying a pet rat? In that case, then maybe you might be questioning the way you’ll care to your pet. Concern not, for you have got come to the best place!
Let’s get began by studying what these little pets must dwell blissful lives with us.
What Do Rats Want?
Pet rats are an more and more standard selection. They’re clever, personable, and cute little pets that may dwell so long as 4 to five years.
These little rodents are available an enormous vary of colours, and are very social. They do greatest residing in small teams, with loads of psychological stimulation.
However, to ensure that your pet rats to be happiest, potential house owners must know every thing about find out how to maintain a rat.
Rats want a spacious cage, ideally with plenty of ranges and issues for them to climb. They’re fairly delicate little animals, so it must be an acceptable warmth, and quiet and darkish sufficient for them to relaxation all through the day.
They’ll additionally want plenty of toys. Some to stimulate their brains, and others that they will grind their enamel down on.
Rats want firm, so you need to by no means personal just one. Plus, they want a effectively balanced food plan.
Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the complicated wants of those lovable rodents.
Pet Rat Temperament
Rats are pleasant, loving, and really intelligent little pets. They’re extraordinarily social, and are happiest after they dwell with different rats.
They will additionally kind very robust bonds with their house owners.
Pet rats want loads of toys to maintain their minds lively. They’re clever sufficient that house owners also can train them little methods and to reply to their very own identify.
So long as you deal with them gently day-after-day, rats will get pleasure from being picked up by you.
However, they’re nocturnal animals, so it’s greatest to attend till they’re awake to play with them. Waking them in the course of the day after they’re making an attempt to sleep might be fairly disorienting and anxious for them.
Selecting a Pet Rat Cage
Rats are social animals that like to climb. So, a big cage with sufficient room for a pet rat and no less than one pal (both desexed or of the identical intercourse, to forestall breeding) to scurry about is right.
You should purchase a cage that’s no less than 12 inches tall and no less than twice as broad. Greater is healthier as a result of there will likely be extra room to your rat to play and discover.
Like chinchillas and rabbits, rats don’t like wire-bottom cages as a result of wire hurts their ft. So, a cage with a strong ground and wire sides is greatest.
As with every different confined animal, you’ll must take away droppings out of your pet rat’s cage and refresh the ground litter recurrently. Your rat may also want a comfy mattress.
Their housing will need to have sufficient room for this, and loads of toys to maintain your rats entertained.
The place to Put Your Rat Cage
Like many small pets, rats are primarily nocturnal animals that get pleasure from burrowing and resting throughout the day and are most lively at evening.
So, you’ll must put their cage someplace that isn’t too noisy and shiny all through the day. And, the place they received’t disturb you at evening.
In accordance with the Merck Veterinary Guide, rats thrive in temperatures of 64-79 levels Fahrenheit. And they’re fairly prone to warmth stroke or respiratory illness (not directly) when uncovered to excessive warmth.
So that you’ll must find your rat cage in a heat place, however out of direct daylight and draughts. You’ll want to scrub and refill meals and water containers every day, and clear the entire cage completely twice every week – changing ground litter and bedding if obligatory.
Since rats are each compulsive chewers and extremely smart, they’re fairly good at escaping and moving into mischief.
You don’t need your pet rat munching via the TV cables, so that you’ll must be sure you home him in a completely chew proof, and escape proof cage.
Easy methods to Set Up Your Rat Cage
With regards to bedding, rats are considerably specific. They like bedding composed of bigger particles, reminiscent of strips of paper or sawdust flakes.
Additionally they prefer to nest in bedding that has a couple of texture to it, so a mixture of bedding sorts if most well-liked.
You may also take into account constructing a nesting field to your pet rat. This may be so simple as a small cardboard field crammed with bedding materials. You should buy specifically made rat bedding in baggage from pet shops
Your new pal may also want alternatives for train and play, in order that he doesn’t get bored or depressing.
Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at one of the best toys for pet rats.
Pet Rat Toys and Train
Selecting one of the best toys and train alternatives is a vital a part of pet rat care.
Rats want alternatives to train and play whereas of their cages, and also will benefit from the likelihood to discover outdoors the cage together with your assist and supervision.
In case your cage doesn’t include an train wheel you’ll want to purchase one, and your rat may also want some toys.
Rats love climbing, and ladders or platforms contained in the cage will likely be appreciated. Simply keep in mind that wire ladders and platforms can damage their ft.
Additionally they like hammocks and pipe programs to clamber round in, and can thrive even higher when their toys are switched out every now and then.
Do Rats Want Mates?
Rats are social animals and are happiest residing in small teams. They have an inclination to get alongside greatest with rats that they’ve grown up with. So shopping for two child rats collectively might be a good suggestion.
Simply be sure that they’re the identical intercourse or rat infants will quickly seem!
In the event you determine to purchase a single rat after which get one other one later, take a look at our information to introducing rats. It must be accomplished fastidiously.
In the event you can solely hold one pet rat, you’ll have to be ready to spend loads of time with him every day to make sure that he doesn’t get careworn from being alone. That is troublesome to realize, so it’s greatest to only get two rats.
Dealing with Your Pet Rat
You’ll must spend somewhat time every day dealing with and enjoying together with your rat so that he’s tame and unafraid of you.
Attempt to spend an equal quantity dealing with every of your pet rats, in order that none of them are scared whenever you come to play.
Be very light when holding your rats and enjoying with them.
In the event you’re apprehensive about dropping them, you may as an alternative create a secure, rat-proof space to your rats to run round while you sit with them.
This fashion, you may play video games with them and climb on you with out the concern or them falling from a excessive top.
Feeding Your Pet Rat
It’s easiest to feed your pet rat on commercially produced rat meals purchased out of your native pet retailer or ordered on-line.
Business rat meals comes within the type of protein-based pellets. The standard tends to degrade as soon as the field/sack has been opened to both purchase a small field to start with, or retailer the contents in a resealable container.
Rats get pleasure from a variety of meals and you can even complement their food plan with fiber-rich grains and contemporary greens, with the occasional piece of fruit.
Since they don’t have to forage for meals like their wild counterparts, pet rats are susceptible to weight problems in the event that they’re fed an excessive amount of. So, pellets and treats needs to be fed at a minimal to keep away from your pet getting fats.
Rats drink lots of water and hate being thirsty, so you could be sure that a pet rat has a continuing provide of contemporary water, particularly when the climate is heat.
Water bowls shortly get crammed with bits of bedding and droppings. It’s higher to purchase a consuming bottle to clip to the skin or within the rat’s cage.
Pet Rat Well being
So long as you present the best atmosphere, a balanced food plan, and nice common care to your pet rat, they need to be fairly wholesome.
However, there’s all the time a danger of well being issues growing.
Listed here are among the well being points that may be frequent in pet rats:
- Mammary tumors
- Dental issues
- Parasitic infections
- Respiratory issues
- Pituitary tumors
To learn extra concerning the well being issues that pet rats can endure from, take a more in-depth have a look at our detailed information to pet rats.
Basic Pet Rat Care
Rats’ nails develop similar to your fingernails and toenails do. It’s possible you’ll must clip your pet rats nails occasionally in the event that they get too lengthy or too sharp.
When trimming your rat’s nails, make sure to not reduce them too quick, as doing so might trigger them to bleed. Attempt to merely trim the sharp suggestions off.
As naturally curious animals, they could entertain themselves by chewing on something and every thing in case you don’t present them with one thing to fulfill their curiosity.
Rat enamel develop continuously. So, chewing isn’t simply enjoyable for rats – it’s important with a view to hold their enamel the best size. You will have to supply items of wooden or rodent-specific chewing toys to assist your rat hold his enamel in form
In case your rat breaks a tooth, or his enamel turn out to be too lengthy and sharp, then a visit to your vet will likely be so as.
Ensure you hold your pet rat’s cage clear, together with contemporary meals and water every day.
The precise care your rat will want will depend on the kind of pet rat you have got. So, let’s have a look at some differing kinds.
Fancy Rat Care
Fancy rats are kinds of rat which are acknowledged by the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Affiliation.
You don’t have to fret about particular take care of these rats, they don’t require something past the pet rat care necessities that we have now mentioned so far.
Dumbo Rat Care
Dumbo rats are a variation of the flowery rat.
As you will have guessed by their identify, the first distinction between dumbo rats and fancy rats is within the dimension, form, and placement of their ears.
Dumbo rats have spherical ears that protrude from the facet of the rat’s head, whereas fancy rats have barely smaller ears that protrude from the highest of their head.
Fundamental rat care applies to dumbo rats, since they primarily the identical animal as a elaborate pet rat. They don’t require any particular care.
Hairless Rat Care
Hairless rats are additionally a variation of the flowery rat.
True to their identify, hairless rats are merely fancy rats with none physique fur, though they could have a small quantity of fur round their nostril and tail.
Hairless rats, nevertheless, do want a bit of additional care and a spotlight.
Since they don’t have a pure “coat” like different fancy rats, you’ll must keep watch over the temperature within the space the place the hairless rat is housed, as they really feel the chilly extra simply.
A hairless rat would profit from being caged with a non-hairless rat, however you can even present bits of cloth or blanket for the rat to burrow in, ought to they get chilled. Simply be sure that she or he doesn’t attempt to eat the material as an alternative!
Though any pet rat might be susceptible to pores and skin issues, due to their skinny pores and skin, hairless rats are particularly susceptible to pores and skin irritation, as they don’t have fur defending their skinny pores and skin.
Because of this you could mattress a hairless rat’s cage with very delicate, ideally non-textured bedding.
Child Pet Rat Care
If you end up caring for a litter of child rats or maybe an orphaned litter, you’ll must take particular care to make sure that they’re fed and warmed correctly.
If a nursing mother rat will not be out there to “undertake” unweaned infants, then you definitely’ll must bottle feed them with milk substitute formulation till they’re of weaning age, or about three weeks outdated.
Alternatively, if the infants are weaned, you’ll must have meals and water bowls which are low sufficient for them to entry till they’re larger.
The infants could have one another to snuggle up in opposition to for heat, however you’ll additionally need to present further bedding and/or blanketing materials for them to burrow into.
Be very light when dealing with child rats. Rats are fragile and shouldn’t be squeezed too tightly even when totally grown, so that you should be further cautious to not deal with infants too roughly.
Senior Pet Rat Care
One factor that you could be discover stunning is that pet rats have a reasonably quick life span – they often dwell for a mere two to a few years.
Some can dwell so long as 5 years, however that is much less frequent.
Thus, chances are you’ll discover your pet rat’s well being deteriorating after the primary two years or so.
One signal of getting old in rats is decreased mobility and exercise. To make issues simpler to your senior pet rat, chances are you’ll discover it helps to modify out their water bottle for a low-sided water bowl and low-sided meals bowl.
The place to Purchase a Pet Rat
Pet rats might be present in some pet shops, and chances are you’ll even be capable to discover them out there for rescue.
Nevertheless, it’s greatest to get a pet rat via a specialised breeder.
The most effective breeders will deal with breeding the healthiest rats attainable. Rats in pet shops received’t essentially be bred for well being, often only for revenue.
You possibly can look on-line to search out breeders, but it surely’s additionally a terrific concept to talk to your vet, or native pet rescues. They are going to typically be capable to suggest respected breeders.
Selecting a Good Breeder
While you’ve discovered a breeder, ensure you ask plenty of questions. The most effective breeders will solely breed from wholesome rats, so there’s the smallest danger of hereditary issues being handed down.
They may also give their very own pet rats nice care. Ensure their rats are effectively sorted, wholesome, and blissful.
An excellent breeder will likely be blissful to reply any questions you have got, and can doubtless have lots of their very own to ensure you’re ready to take care of pet rats correctly.
When you’ve discovered a superb, respected breeder, chances are you’ll want to attend on an inventory for his or her subsequent litter.
Pet rat care isn’t too complicated, but it surely doesn’t go well with all folks and houses. In the event you’re unsure that rats are going to be the best pet for you, there are many different small, comparable pets you can take into account.
These could also be a greater match to your residence.
Pet Rat Care Abstract
Studying find out how to take care of a pet rat isn’t too difficult. Actually, so long as you have got the house and time to dedicate, these little pets might be actually rewarding.
You possibly can hold a number of rats in a big cage with a couple of sorts of bedding (modified typically), a nesting field, and entry to water and fibrous meals sources.
Sound manageable? Now you understand how to take care of pet rats, in case your reply is sure, then you definitely’re most likely able to embark on a journey together with your new pal!
References and Sources
- Donnelly, T. ‘Mice and Rats as Pets’, Veterinary Guide (2015)
- Clancy, J. (et al), ‘Daytime Sleep Wake Cycle within the Rat’, Physiology & Conduct (1978)
- Rao, G. (et al), ‘Development, Physique Weight, Survival, and Tumor Tendencies in F344/N Rats Throughout an Eleven 12 months Interval’, Toxicologic Pathology (1990)