Rats are the complete opposite to what most people think.
People are often surprised to learn that pet rats are sweet
natured, gentle, affectionate, clean, social, curious, playful,
happy and smart.
They make exceptional little pets, providing a similar level of companionship
as a dog. In fact they are often referred to as ‘Pocket Dogs’.
They bond very closely to each other and their human families. A rat’s favourite place is usually on the shoulder of its owner, joining in whatever they are doing. Most rats have a great sense of fun, and love to play. They can be trained to come when called, beg and do other tricks. They keep themselves meticulously clean & most will learn to use a litter tray. They are also very good travelers.
Rats naturally snooze on and off during the day, being more active in the late afternoon/evening which is perfect for those who are at work or school. But they do adjust to the schedules of their owners, so if a household is busier in the morning, the rats will be up and about then too.
Rats really do make great pets !
However they do have some specific care requirements so we recommend getting all the right information before deciding if rats are the right pet for you.
If you have any questions about pet rats or their care, please don’t hesitate to contact the AusRFS.
A Note to Parents
Rats can be fantastic pets for kids. They can help teach children about friendship, empathy, gentleness, responsibility and commitment. However the AusRFS does not recommend them for children under about 6-8 years. Young children tend to grab and hold rats too tightly, and can seriously injure a rat by dropping or sitting on or even throwing a rat, and these things can happen in the blink of an eye. Please consider the maturity of your child and what level of supervision will be needed before agreeing to let your child have rats as pets.
Please remember that ultimately the responsibility for the care of the rats will be yours. So, if your child loses interest in the rats, are YOU willing to continue to provide the rats’ physical and emotional needs?