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An Ideal Fuzzy Pet The Domestic Rat

Rats are a very cute entertaining pet, they are affectionate and intelligent. The rat is an easy to care for pet that fit a range of living circumstances, as they are kept indoors they are ideal in houses and apartments. They come in a wide variation of colour such as platinum, blue, chocolate, mink and silver, hooded, patched and masked. They live two to three years.

Rats are social creatures; they don’t mind being handled and become accustomed to sitting on your shoulder. Once socialised they like people, enjoying being petted. Since rats like company it is a good idea to get two rats so they can keep each other company especially at night when they are most active. Beacause of their social nature when rats are housed with other rats, they are friendly with people. You can increase your pet rats friendliness by providing regular gentle contact which allows your bond to grow.

Place your rats cage somewhere that is not too bright, out of direct sunlight, and nice and dark at night. You want to find a comfortable temperature, keep the cage away from high pitch sounds and loud areas, clean the cage regularly not allowing urine and faeces to build up, provide suitable bedding/nesting material, keep the cage away from strong smells, and only move the cage when it is absolutely necessary, as your rat can find this stressful.

Rats are very active and need space to run, stretch, climb and explore. Cages with wire floors can cause foot injuries. Rats have highly sensitive and delicate whiskers which helps them with balance and guiding them. They have excellent memories and are trainable.

Your pet rat is an omnivore and will benefit from eating a wide range of fresh vegetables, fruit and grains with a balanced commercial pellet diet especially for rats. A serving size is about a teaspoon, otherwise digestive disruptions can occur. Remember that when providing fresh foods, that they are not an addition but are to be given as part of their daily meal, otherwise it could lead to obesity and other health problems. Fresh Foods to Feed

  • Always provide fresh drinking water, morning and night
  • Fruit: apple (no seeds), banana, strawberries, melons, plums
  • Vegetables: broccoli, peas, carrot, cooked sweet potato, kale, bok choy,
  • Cooked liver/other very lean meats (no fat)
  • Whole wheat pasta/bread
  • Yogurt
  • Cooked beans
  • Meal worms
  • Cooked egg
  • Brown rice
  • Sunflower seeds ( as a special treat, as they are high in fat)

What Not to Feed

  • Blue cheese
  • Rhubarb
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Poppy seeds
  • Artichoke
  • Onion
  • Raw sweet potato
  • Raw red cabbage and brussel sprouts
  • Citrus juice
  • Raw beans
  • Green Potatoes
  • Sugary sweet treats/junk food
  • Caffeinated/Carbonated beverages

Health fact: rats will eat some of their own fresh droppings. Don’t worry this is normal behaviour and ensures your rat absorbs all nutrients it need to stay healthy.

You can find out more by visiting your local Just For Pets store, where staff will be able to recommend cage sizes and a balanced staple diet for your new pet rat. And remember, never pick up a rat by the tail, always support your rats body weight