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Are You Thinking About Getting A Pet Rat?
I never thought about getting a rat for a pet but since we have had several pet rats over the years I have found that there are definitely some things you should be thinking about getting a pet rat.
When we do think about rats we generally get an image of vermin rats , which are an entirely different matter altogether. In my hub, Oh Rats , you will find why the unexpected arrival of our first pet rat had me on edge. Unlike hamsters or gerbils, pet rats are not strictly nocturnal . This provides plenty of opportunity to interact with your pet rat and given that they are well worth interacting with it is of great benefit that they keep much the same hours as you do.
You will find that your pet rat is not at all indifferent to your company and will in fact rush to the side of their cage to greet you when you enter the room. They love to visit with you and are more than capable of demonstrating affection. They are extremely intelligent and easy to train and make an excellent first pet for a child . Rats are very sociable and like a cat or a dog they become very attached to their owners. This attachment is mutual because you will find that you will soon bond with your pet rat . They are not a pet to be ignored and left in to languish in a cage as they can become frustrated through a lack of mental stimulation. Rats can be litter trained like a cat and walk on a leash like a dog.
First Pet Rat
While I have had many animals in my life over the years, from gerbils to horses and all manner in between one of the last creatures on earth I ever envisioned adding to my long list of pets was a rat. When one did come into my life I had no part in the decision, my husband and young daughter simply arrived home one day with a little rat in a little box. As I had experienced some extremely unpleasant circumstances with rats I was not at all enthused about this new addition to our menagerie. Considering the word menagerie in French literally means management of a
household, one little rat entered the picture and I certainly lost
control of more than just my household. In fact my children took great delight sneaking up on me and thrusting the 'thing' in my face just to see me jump. This would generally result in my chanting the mantra, "I love my children, I love my children, I love my children" in an attempt not to let loose with a litany of unacceptable expletives or some other such uncontrollable reaction such as smacking them or the rat.
Then came the day when that all changed. My five year old daughter had a friend over to play one morning and they played happily for a couple of hours before the young boy went home for lunch. About an hour later he returned and as he and my daughter headed up the stairs to the play room I heard him ask her, "Did the rat's tail grow back yet?" I was up those stairs and to the rat's cage in three seconds flat. There was the poor little thing in a corner of her cage with the entire sheathing missing from her tail. All that remained was bloodied cartilage. "What happened?", I demanded of the two very guilty looking children. Out poured the tale of what happened to the rat's tail. My daughter, taking the rat out of the cage had put it on the floor to let it run around and it ran around behind a dresser. In her attempts to get it out from behind the dresser she had pulled on the rat's tail and it came off.
There was nothing for it but for me to touch the 'thing'. My older children were in school and I had an injured pet on my hands regardless of my aversion to it. It was clear that the rat needed the attentions of a veterinarian. I phoned the little boy's mother and sent the two children over to his house and with my little charge cuddled up in a towel on my lap I drove to the vet's. The result was that I took on the roll of rat's nurse administering antibiotics and applying cream to the sad and sore remnants of its tail. We bonded, I was hooked and my negative outlook on pet rats became a thing of the past.
The Rat Information
Unlike all those years ago, when my now graduated daughter contributed to my change of heart there is now a wealth of information available for pet rat owners and those who are considering joining the ranks of rat enthusiasts.
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