Do I have the time to properly care for two or more rats?
Luckily pet rats don’t take as much time out of your life as say a dog or a cat, but still a fair amount of time is needed each day for cage maintenance, playing with them, checking on their well-being etc. If your life is so busy that you cant own cats or dogs, then unless you have at least -some- time each morning or evening to see to your rats, its no good getting one in the assumption that they are ‘low maintenance’ pets.
Caring for your rats takes responsibility.
Rats are wholly dependant on you for their care, food, water, mental stimulation and overall wellbeing. ‘Accidently’ forgetting to feed your rat or not cleaning out its cage because it smells and you might get dirty are not responsible attitudes. Ignorance is never an excuse for not caring for your rats properly – there are so many resources available online for rat owners or potentional rat owners to learn from. In the Links section of this site are hotlinks to many other rat websites.
Rats need your love.
Even the most well cared for rat will be unhappy if you pay it no attention. Rats grow quite attached to their owners and if you stop playing with it and paying attention to its demands for affection, not only may it become bored and bad tempered, some rats may even pine away, unable to understand why their owners don’t love them any more. Rats are not disposable pets. If you think you may grow bored with your rats after a little while, you shouldn’t buy them in the first place.
The life expectancy of rats.
Possibly the one major downside of owning rats is the fact that their average life span is 2 – 3 years. Within this time owners can become so attached to their pets that they are absolutely devastated when they pass away. Before you rush out and buy your rats, consider carefully if you can handle becoming so attached to a pet who will die within a few years. The rewards of owning such personality pets can far outweigh this downside to most rat owners, however it is a major point to consider for potential first time owners.
What are the advantages of rats over other pets?
Rats have at least as much intelligence as a dog and are far less demanding. They are very clean animals, grooming themselves many times a day. With their intelligence, they can be housetrained, taught their names, taught tricks, and to come to you when called. They become attached to their owners, returning as much affection as is given to them. Many rats will even groom their owner’s hand in return for a scratch behind the ears. Unlike dogs and cats, their demise will never be in the violent form of being run over in the street. Unlike mice and some other pets, rats are generally not inclined to try and escape their confines in any way possible. In fact, if they are trying to escape their cage, it’s probably because they want to be with you! rats eat very little compared to larger pets, they don’t need yearly vaccinations and regular vet visits (unless they are quite ill), and as such are very inexpensive pets to keep. They don’t need tons of exercise, they take up far less of your time than many other pets and they don’t try and take advantage of your guests’ legs 😉