Rats as pets: tips for keeping them

Rats as pets are becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so. The intelligent rodents are not everyone's taste, but can, if it fits, enrich every household with their friendly and social nature. Before you buy such a whistle, you should be aware that there is a lot of responsibility involved with the purchase. Rats love new environments. If you are tame, you can go outside with the rodents! - Shutterstock / Darina Matasova

Rats live for about two to three years and need care and employment during this time. If you want to buy a pet, you should be sure that you can offer both and find out about rat husbandry beforehand. Caring for a live animal is always a big responsibility - rats as pets are no exception.

Rats as pets need company

Rats are extremely social and sociable animals that need company and employment. As a keeper, you cannot take care of the rodents around the clock, so you should always team up with fellow species. Rats quickly become unhappy when they are bored. The rodents are pack animals and feel most comfortable in the group, it is advisable to keep at least three of them. Larger packs are even more beautiful for the smart fur noses. Ideally, you should buy a small group that has already grown up and consists of females and castrated males - otherwise unwanted rat offspring can result.

Are rats the right pets for you?

If you don't really know rats, first visit a rat owner or rats at an animal rescue or animal shelter to familiarize yourself with the animals. You should check beforehand whether or not you have problems with the rat's bustling movements, long rat tail and smell of its own. In general, it is very important that you learn about rat keeping - for example, ask the breeder, a veterinarian or ask the rat help center what is important.

Color rats: Smart and friendly pets

The right rat cage for your rodents

The rat cage must not be less than 0.3 square meters per animal. A solid floor, several levels, climbing and play facilities, feeding and drinking points (such as a feeding bottle), toilet and shelters are also a must. Plastic houses from the pet shop or comparable products can serve as a nest and hiding place. The cage floor is covered with litter - wood shavings from pet shops are suitable. Warning: Never use pine or cedar litter as this can cause fatal fumes for rats if it comes into contact with urine! Speaking of urine: omnivores should not contaminate their feeding or sleeping places - a rat toilet is therefore important. You can find these in specialist shops in the form of small plastic boxes with a manhole. Important: Always keep the cage clean - you should remove any unclean spots daily and clean the cage completely once a week so as not to endanger the health of your fur friends.

Employ rats: toys, exercise, tricks and Co.

Toys for rats abound. The rodents, for example, are happy about most cat toys, toilet paper rolls, climbing opportunities and cage elements such as hammocks or branches. Put several toys in the rat cage and run and make sure that your fur noses can be occupied around the clock. Such a small whistle builds a very close relationship with his heart man if he is kept appropriately. Therefore, you should play with your little animals several times a day. You can see how cuddly the rascals can be in this video:

In principle, you should give your rats a run every day - the cage is usually too small for the sniffing lines that are easy to move. You should make sure that your apartment is rat-safe if you do not keep the rodents in an outdoor enclosure. In particular, cables, poisonous plants and valuable objects should be safe from the nibbles. By the way: rats are extremely intelligent animals that you can also teach them tricks. From giving paws to making males to jumping tires, everything is possible. However, you should never punish your rat - the animals do not understand this and react fearfully, confused or aggressively. If your long tail does something right, give it a treat.