Are rats good pets?

I’ve read about having rats as pets online, but I’d like to hear from people who have actually had them. What are the good and bad things about having rats as pets? Any advice or things you wish you knew before getting one? Just looking for any helpful tips or experiences. Thanks! :slight_smile:

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Rats can make good pets for some people but generally, rats have a bad rapport with humans though they are said to be very intelligent and charismatic.

Hello @Barbara, As you are aware, rats often have a bad reputation, but people who keep domesticated rats (Rattus norvegicus domestica) say they are smart, charming, and social. So yes, rats can be great pets, but like all pets, they need proper care and attention to be healthy and happy.

Personally, I think they need a lot of upkeep. They are quite sociable; if Bitsy sees me working on my schoolwork or doing anything else where I’m not paying attention to her, she will toss her feces at me. I clean their litter box every day, clean their cage once a week, and give them food and drink every day. Given their many health problems and, heaven forbid, if they escape their cage, frequent trips to the veterinarian may be necessary. It would take me more than eight hours to capture Fawn every time she broke out of my room until I figured out how she was doing it. Although they are wonderful pets and I like them, I have found that owning rats may be challenging since each one is unique.

Hahaa. Rats make great pets due to their social nature, intelligence, and ability to bond closely with their owners. They are trainable, low-maintenance, and entertaining to watch, providing hours of amusement with their playful behavior.

However, potential downsides include their relatively short lifespan of 2-3 years, requiring a significant time commitment for socialization and enrichment, and susceptibility to health issues such as respiratory infections and tumors. Before getting rats as pets, it’s essential to research their care requirements thoroughly and consider whether you have the time, resources, and commitment to provide for their needs throughout their lifespan.

Agree with @Cynthia. The few pet rats I’ve interacted with were like that.