Rat Facts

 

  • The rats kept as pets are Rattus norvegicus (the Norway or Brown rat) this refers to their species not their colour! Our pets come in a wide variety of colours from white,  fawn and brown through to black, and also in many different patterns.

  • Pet rats have been domesticated for hundreds of years, to the point where they are as different from wild rats as a Poodle is from a Wolf.

  • Rats do not smell (unlike mice). They are extremely clean, and groom themselves in the same way a cat does.

  • The average life span of a pet rat is 2-3 years.

 

  • Rats are social and should always be kept in pairs or groups.

 

  • A group of rats is referred to as a “Mischief”.

 

  • Formally females are called Does, males are Bucks & babies are Pups. But most people just call them, girls, boys &  babies!

  • Females weigh around 400 grams. Males weigh about 600 grams but some can reach over 1 kilo !

 

  • Females come on heat every 4-5 days (for about 24 hours) and can get pregnant immediately after giving birth.

 

  • Gestation time is 21-24 days. Litters are usually between 4-24.

 

  • Rat puppies are weaned at 4-5 weeks, they are completely independent at 6 weeks and reach puberty at 6-8 weeks.

 

  • It is very rare for a well socialised pet rat to bite.

 

  • You won’t catch “the plague” from a pet rat !

 

  • Pet rats don’t need vaccinations.