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Tips to Care for Your Rats

Updated on July 7, 2020
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Alex has taught at seven public schools, been accepted into three honorary societies, and traveled the Americas and Europe. He has his BS.


Your New Family Member

Congratulations if you have recently gotten a rat. They are very sweet, cute, and fun animals. I will provide some advice to rat care. Remember, these creatures are very intelligent and should be loved and taken care of properly.

A Reputable Dealer

It is important to only buy rats from reputable dealers. There are plenty of pet shops that sell pet rats. You can sometimes even find them at PetSmart.

More Than One

Rats are social animals. If you are planning on getting a rat, consider getting two or more. Remember that two rats will need more space than one, but they will be able to keep each other company when you're not at the house.

Get A Big Cage

I've seen rats in an aquarium, but cages truly are better. Cages allow for lots of air flow. A large cage is a good environment for a rat. Make sure it is big enough, especially if you get more than one. A pet store clerk should be able to help you find just the right kind of cage. Rats can clime, so the cage can take more vertical space than a bunny's cage. This is useful if finding room is a problem.

No Small Children

Be careful when handling your rats. Rats have been known to nibble and bite. Moreover, don't let very young children handle the rats. Some children may be too rough with the rat. Furthermore, young children may accidentally hurt the rat if s/he bites the child. Certain children may enjoy simply observing the rat or rats in the cage. Remember, as a rat parent, it's your job to keep all of your babies safe.

Keep Your Rats Well Fed

A pet store will often have the correct food to feed your rats. Rats have a fairly diverse diet. To find out what kinds of foods you can feed your rats, check out the link below. The author in the link below has a detailed list of foods. Remember that rats are omnivorous, but check before giving food to your rat to see if it's okay.

Keep The Water Plentiful

Make sure your rats always have access to water. Like us, they need to stay hydrated. It may sound simple, but it's worthy of a reminder. Rats can drink a lot of fluid very fast.

Clean Bedding Regularly

Not everything about being a rat parent is fun and games. Their bedding (and, they should have bedding) should be changed regularly. Rats clean themselves, so there may be no need to give them baths (although, I have done this). Still, their bedding can get dirty fairly quickly.

Be Patient

The rats will learn that you are the food provider. If they bite or nibble on your hand, be patient. If the bite breaks the skin, you may have a serious attitude problem. But, if it doesn't leave any mark, it may be out of curiosity for food. Do your best to work with them. If the rats do anything that bothers you, like biting, try to work so that the problematic behavior doesn't affect you. Don't hurt them. Remember that you are much bigger and stronger than they are. Also, explain to any guests in your home that you have rats. If the rats bite through the cage, then it would be good for your guests to be aware of that. Be patient with the rats, and with your friends.


Rats are beautiful creatures. They take a lot of love and care to be healthy. The work is worth it in the end.

© 2020 Alexander James Guckenberger


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