Have you ever considered adopting a rat? Many people never even considered a rat as a pet but they can make great animal companions, once you know a few of their needs. Here, Monika Kucic lists 6 things to know before adopting a rat… 

Ever considered a rat as a pet?

Having a rat as a pet is a great privilege and one that many underestimate. Before you take the plunge however, there are some things that you should be aware of. The following 6 points are things to know before adopting a rat. Give these a read over before you decide whether you can provide a good home for one of these loving rodents.

  1. Rats are social
    Rats are very social creatures so if you are thinking of adopting them, go for two or more. They strive in bigger groups, it makes them healthier and happier. They will keep each other company but will also still lavish lots of affection onto you. Two or more rats are just as easy to care for as one and they can be put in the same cage providing they are not regularly fighting. Make sure your rats are the same gender of course, unless you want lots of rat babies running around!

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  1. Rats have a varied diet
    Rats enjoyed varied diets: It makes them happier and it’s better for their health too. They love to eat fresh food including eggs, vegetables, fruit and even chicken! Mixing up what you feed the rats is important but make sure it’s safe. In addition to a varied diet, plenty of water is vital too of course.


  1. Rats don’t live very long
    Having rats is awesome but unfortunately, even the healthiest of them will only live between two and three years. They are prone to many illnesses including tumors but looking after them well, can help prevent these illnesses to some degree. Getting your rats checked out by the vet regularly is also important. No matter what you do however, before very long it will be time to say goodbye, so make sure you are prepared for that moment.

Adopting a rat on Pet Problems Solved

  1. Their cage needs to be suitable
    Rats have certain requirements so you have to make sure their “home” is up to the needs they have. Glass cages are not good as rats love to climb and explore. A metal cage may be the best option although avoid one where the bars are too far apart because they will be able to escape easily. Make sure their cage is big enough, especially if you have several rats homing together because they do like to have plenty of space.
  1. Rats need time outside their cage
    In addition to a high quality and clean cage, you need to allow time out of their home on a regular basis. Whether you set up a playpen for your rats or let them run around in a room where it is safe to do so, this is going to make them happy. Make sure dogs, cats and small children are not left in the same room as them when they are having their run around time. Put toys or hidden food around the room/area to make it even more exciting for them to explore the “outside world”.

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  1. Male and female rats have different traits
    Just like humans, different rats and different genders of rats all have different traits that make them unique. Male rats are generally lazier and will be happy doing not much at all for most of the time. In comparison to that, girl rats are usually inquisitive and adventurous. Male rats will generally grow to be larger mainly due to the fact they are couch potatoes and female rats are smaller. What gender you get when you adopt a rat, depends on what you want from the animal. Girls will keep you on your toes and are more fun but they are also likely to die sooner because they have an increased likelihood of tumors.


Now you know a little more about rats and the kind of lifestyle they live, you can decide whether adopting a rat is something you really want. As long as you can provide a loving home and you have everything you need to care for your rats, you are ready to do it.

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About the author:
Monika Kucic is a huge animal lover, currently having two cats in her life. She is the owner of a pet blog called Animallama where she writes about pet care, pet tips and advice.

More reading:
Choosing a pet
Talking to guinea pigs



  1. Rats make great pets we have around 60 at the moment ranging from a day old to 4 years old. No rat has the same personality as the next like humans I guess. They are a very under rated pet people have a misconception about them. They make wonderful pets and make great pets for people with mental illnesses. I have people come to be with letters from their psychologists recommending they have pet rats education is the key

    1. Pet Problems Solved with Dr Jo yes we are a registered breeder of rats and mice, breeding primarily for show and pet, yes believe it or not there are rodent shows we currently have 60 rats and around 120 mice. Luckily 1 of my 2 British shorthairs has very little interest lol. A handful of my friends have rodents majority just think may be I am at the midlife crisis point of my life I however can’t speak highly enough of the little critters we have a Facebook page Cyclone Mousery head over for a look and be prepared to be amazed

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