Rats being kept as pets may not fall along the “dogs kept as pets” convention, but as many owners of pet rats have come to share, their companionship as pets is often compared to having a dog around.
Featured as a villainous character in the 1986 animated classic The Great Mouse Detective, Ratigan managed to capture certain rat characteristics, showing the myriad of rat personalities known to be.
Though rats are not exactly “villainous” by nature, their intelligence and tenacity for survival has pegged them as a type of vermin in most parts of the world, but in no way does this mean that they are impossible to keep as pets.
Rats kept as pets in enclosures are relatively easy to take care, requiring only regular bathing, an ample supply of water and food to keep them going. Needless to say, it is advisable to get a pet rat from an accredited specialty pet store, since the rats from these venues are cleared of any diseases, rabies, and other parasites.
With rats being social creatures, it is often advised to keep them in groups, with same sex groups being a healthy group. Male rats are known to get along pretty well with other males, especially when we’re talking about siblings who’ve known each other since birth.
Though challenging, training rats to do tricks is possible to do, though this isn’t as relatively easy as teaching dogs to fetch or roll over or play dead.
Between male and female rats, males tend to be more lax while females tend to be more active, ie more playful. Also, female rats tend to have softer fur when compared to males, and knowing about these rat attributes would greatly help a potential pet rat owner in which type of rat to pick out as a pet.
Smart and generally pleasant company to keep, attention should be given to pet rats, since interaction helps keep their personalities tame and at ease.