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Why Rats just may be the Best small animal.

Updated on October 23, 2013

Rats are One of the Most Personalized Small Animals.

Most people tend to think of rats as nothing other than nuisances that live around farms in the hay and infest peoples home's but those rats are almost entirely different rats, they're wild rats. Domesticated rats are entirely different from wild rats in my opinion, they are more personalized rodents they have their own personalities and they are very friendly and affectionate small animals/rodents, when they're pets they love you and want to be with you and held all the time. And some people just don't like them because of their tail, its long hairless and I suppose people think it's creepy, but if you spend enough time around and with a rat you'll get used to the tail. Sure hamsters are cute and really lack a tail, they tend to not be to nice, or don't even care about you like a rat does. Gerbils are the same, they don't really bite but aren't really wanting to be held, just like Guinea pigs and so on. A rat actually cares about you, and a rat will build its schedule around you, when you're up your rats up when you sleep or if you're gone then your rat will be asleep. If you have a wire cage, your rat will jump up on the bars demanding you let him/her out and hold him/her when you enter the room your rat is. Rats can be taught to use the litter box and can learn tricks, fetch, spin and many others, they can also learn their names. And if they're running around in your house they'll come back when they're called and will on many occasions come back on their own and will attempt to climb up your leg. One thing you do have to watch out for if they're running around your house, is if you have anything like clothes or paper things they'll take it and try building a sleeping/nest somewhere in your house, like behind your couch, and they'll hide food there too. They are very similar to dogs if you think about it though.

A few Strange things rats do.

  1. When a female's ears vibrate and she arches her back that means she's ready to breed.
  2. When rats scratch/rub their paws/hands on the ground that means that they're marking their territory.
  3. When rats grind their teeth it just means they're content.
  4. Some rats will wag their tails. When they do, it can mean excitement just like a dog or it could be caused by tension. But you should know the cause by whatever you're doing.

Rat pictures.

Dumbo eared rat.
Dumbo eared rat.
My own litter of rat pups.
My own litter of rat pups.
Various color variations.
Various color variations.

Type Of Rats.

  • Ears...
  • Dumbo Eared Rats- Dumbo eared rats have ears that are set lower on their head and have larger rounded ears.
  • Standard Eared Rats- Their ears are the standard wild type ear and the ears are on the upper part of their head.
  • Body...
  • Dwarf- Dwarf rats grow to about 1/3 the size of a standard rat.
  • Manx- Manx rats are just tailless rats.
  • Standard- The size is like any other rat.
  • Fur...
  • Rex- Their fur and whisker's are more curly and somewhat patchy.
  • Satin- Their hair is longer and thinner than the standard coat.
  • Standard- Their fur is short and smooth.
  • Eyes...
  • Black- Common eye color in rats.
  • Red- Their eyes are red/pink.
  • Blue- Their eyes are almost black but are a grayish blue.
  • Ruby- Their eyes are almost black but if you look close enough they have a red hue.
  • Odd eye- They have two different colored eyes.
  • Markings-
  • Hooded- Their head is colored and they usually have a line of color down their back, over a white fur.
  • Masked- They have darker fur covering just their face over white fur.
  • Dalmatian- They have numerous splashes of color over their entire body.
  • Solid- They are only one color.

Everybody has a favorite.

What's your favorite small animal pet?

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Basic Care for Ratties, and what you'll need to get for your rat.

Rats tend to be on the easier side of care. You mainly just have to top off their water bottle every day and give them fresh food and veggies and you can give them some of whatever you may be eating, but only ever once in a while should you do that, their cage should be cleaned at least every couple days to once a week, depending on how messy your rat is and how many you have in one cage. When buying your rat you'll have to get a sizable cage, also depending on how many rats you're getting, I would suggest a wire cage, it allows your rat to see and smell you when you walk in the room, plus it gives them more ventilation, you'll also want to invest in getting a rat wheel or a rat ball, (female rats are more likely to run in the wheel and are more likely run around in the rat ball) and a little hut for them to sleep in and you'll probably want to give them things to chew on like salt licks, and you'll need to get a rat water bottle and a water dish. Make sure you don't give them onions or any form of avocado's and if you give them pieces of apple make sure their isn't any apple seeds.

Quality time with your rats, from babies to adults.

When picking out your rat baby you will need to observe them and see which rat you're more comfortable with and that rat that seems to be most comfortable with you. You have to remember though, their personalities will change as they get older and it somewhat depends on you, like how much time you spend with your rat and what you do with them and when you do get them, when you name them you need to constantly call them by their name so that they learn their name and will come back when you call them. The rat will trust you as time goes and you'll trust your rat too, and as time goes by your bond will grow stronger. If you want to let your rat run around your home you'll need to start out in a closed in room and see if your rat can come back when you call him/her. If your rat does keep coming back when you call him/her back then move to a bigger room and soon you can move to your whole house, you just need to make sure there isn't anything that can harm your rat around you home while you let your rat run around your home.

Is One or Two better?

Some people think you should have two rats so they can accompany each other, so that they won't be lonely when you're gone. But really it all boils down to how much time you can spend with your rat, if you can at least spend a few hours with your rat each day, then you could just have one, and if you can't spend time with your rat for days on end then you should have two rats otherwise the one will just get so lonely. But with two you must make sure you take both of them out and not just one, because rats can hold grudges when you take the other one out and not the other. When you just have one rat and you spend enough time with your rat the rat will grow a stronger bond with you than if you had two. When you have two rats they'll still love you but you wont have the bond that you could have with them, but it all depends on you, if you only have time for one then just get one and if you hardly have time for even one then get two or you may not even want to get a rat if you don't have the time.

Tricks you can teach your on rattie.

Male or Female.

The gender of your rat is important, depending on you. If you want a more laid back mellow rat you may want to consider getting a male if you want a high energy rat that just wants to explore a lot then I'd get a female. Otherwise they're both sweet and will care lots about you. Male's just tend to have a stronger smell but they will both attempt to mark you with their scent. Males tend to be 1/3 of the size bigger than females, and are usually a little chubbier and tend to mark more frequently. If you just got your rat I would recommend that you designate a shirt and sweat pants, because your rat will attempt to mark you as theirs by basically peeing on you.

Introducing your rats.

  1. One of the first things you're going to want to do is be sure that you want another rat.
  2. Second thing is, you'll want to go and acquire your rat, whether it's a baby rat or an adult rat. And you'll want to get an extra overnight cage, nothing fancy, just a really cheap small cage.
  3. Bring your new rat home. And do a complete cleaning to your rat's home, and move the decorations/rat house around, so that the tank smells neutral to both rats and then the moving of the objects will give a new setting to both rats.
  4. Before introducing them, put a drop of vanilla on both of the rats backs, its supposed to make their smell neutral. Then find an area with not so many objects on the ground so that the rats can have a clear area to run around and investigate each other. They may have scuffle a little but you just need to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.

If they get along then move them to the rat cage and observe them to make sure they don't start getting aggressive in the cage setting.

If they don't get along then, that why you have the extra cage, so that you can keep your new rat in the extra cage overnight and then try again and again and again. They should eventually get along.

If they don't you'll either keep the rat, or find another home for your new rat or you'll have to see if the place you got your rat from will take the rat back.

Also, females do tend to get along better with new rats and males tend to be a bit more difficult. But that isn't always true.


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    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 

      5 years ago from United States

      I have two little girls and agree that it all goes down to how much time you have to spend with them. We started off with one rat, but introduced another a few months down the road when we both got jobs are were around a lot less. Voted up.


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