Rats - Not my idea of a pet
Rats are something I have given a lot of thought about, and I am sure I am not the only one that feels like this about rats.
One night after going to bed, when the lights were out, there was this noise like something moving and chewing, in the top of my wardrobe. I was petrified and many memories came back to me of my early years of childhood and rats.
So here I am, going to put this down in writing and hope it will get rid of my rat phobia.
Brown rat eating
Rats are supposed to be cute and lovable pets - but not to me.
This is a real phobia, not just simple fear, it makes my heart pound, tear-inducing, scared to move, in case it heads my way, if out in the garden, or someplace I cannot find shelter, I become paralysed and have to wait until I cannot see it, before I can move.
Rats play a large part in my life as growing up, starting when I was quite young, as my parents kept fowls, chicken they reared from 1 day old,and sold eggs. (Poultry Farm). Rats would scuttle around eating chicken feed and I dreaded seeing their large bodies scurrying away from sheets of iron if disturbed under trees and shrubs in the garden. But most of all hearing a rat scream if trapped in a bag of wheat, my parents would feed to the hens, a real blood curdling high pitch scream and I have not forgotten it, even 65 years later.
Now thinking about that years later, my brain, if it registers rat, I go cold with fear. I cannot even watch TV if there are rats on the screen as I feel that they are walking over my skin. So here I am, making this lens with the hope after I have studied rats and finished this lens, I will learn to accept them.By writing this and getting my fear out in the open, hopefully, I will be able to understand how anyone can keep a rat as a pet and accept them as just another animal and as long as I do not hurt them, they will not touch me.
Who knows why I react so intensely to such a small animal? I will probably never know, but I'm determined that I won't let it beat me again, now I am writing about it I will beat that dread of rats, I have not won with my phobia yet).
It's now October 2016, nothing's changed, I have given up trying to feel different to them and just accept them, and no it's not working writing about them.
Brown NZ Rat
Brown New Zealand Rat
This is the rat I cannot bear to be around, it is large to me.
Arriving before 1800 (perhaps on James Cook's vessels), brown rats have posed a serious threat to many of New Zealand's native animals. Rat eradication programs within New Zealand have led to rat-free zones on offshore islands and even on fenced "ecological islands" on the mainland.
Before an eradication effort was launched in 2001, the sub-Antarctic Campbell Island had the highest population density of brown rats in the world. Even here in East Taranaki we have traps set to try and help the kiwis breeding it is a never ending task as the rats breed so fast.
Even here in East Taranaki, where I live we have traps set to try and help the kiwis breeding it is a never ending task as the rats breed so fast.
The brown rat, common rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat (Rattus norvegicus) is one of the best known and most common rats.
One of the largest muroids, it is a brown or gray rodent with a body up to 25 cm (10 in) long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350 g (12 oz) and the female 250 g (9 oz).
Thought to have originated in northern China, this rodent has now spread to all continents, except Antarctica, and is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America-making it the most successful mammal on the planet after humans. Indeed, with rare exceptions the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas.
Selective breeding of Rattus norvegicus has produced the laboratory rat, an important model organism in biological research, as well as pet rats.
Baby Pet Rat
Rats as pets
Keeping Rats as Pets
Rats are intelligent, social animals that can make wonderful pets. They are omnivores, eat anything they find that remotely looks like food.
Rats are extremely smart and very trainable. They can learn their own names, come when they are called. Some can also be trained to use litter boxes. yes just like kittens. Affectionately groom and give you kisses and are easily tamed. Relatively easy to care for, but are not low maintenance pets.
Require a fair amount of attention and exercise time outside of their cages (at least an hour a day is ideal). Rats are very social and do best if kept with other rats.Same sex pairs or groups are ideal.
Males usually get along fine with other males especially if introduced at a young age or they are littermates. Keeping rats in groups does not make them more difficult to tame if they are handled from a young age. Rats are very curious.
Many owners compare the companionship of a rat to that of a dog.
To the owners of pet rats they are the equal of dogs and cats in playfulness, personality, and intelligence, and make a great friend to enjoy, as long as they are looked after the right way, feed and cleaned out and not let go smelly, you can have a great relationship with them.
Wishing you every success with your pet rat.