I know – I’ve been posting a lot about rats lately. I can’t help it! My two boys are my furbabies, and my third pair of fancy rats. Many people get disgusted when they see rats in pet stores. But I’ve always found rats (and mice) to be cute! And compared to other popular small animals, rats make better pets.
So why should you consider a rat as a pet for you or your children?
1. Fancy rats are friendly.
Rats have a good temperament and are very easy to tame. Parents tend to seek out hamsters as easy pets for their kids. But hamsters are not naturally friendly. With work and time, you can bond with and tame them. But I don’t even pick up our hamsters with my bare hands. I’ve had a hamster go out of it’s way to jump up and latch onto my finger!
2. Fancy rats are social.
Hamsters have to live alone because they are territorial and aggressive toward other hamsters. However, fancy rats can live together in both small and large groups. Males and females can even be mixed if spayed/neutered! And rats enjoy having at least one friend. That is why we always get our rats in pairs!
3. Fancy rats are intelligent.
Rats are very smart in comparison to other small animals! They can be litter trained and taught to perform several tricks! I have taught our rats how to spin, stand up on two legs, and come when called. Some owners teach their rats how to fetch. A popular act at our annual Renaissance Faire trains rats to run through an obstacle course!
4. Fancy rats are playful.
Rats love to play! And they all have different personalities that makes them enjoy different things. I’ve had girls that enjoyed playing with cat teaser toys and tennis balls. My boys prefer shredding up paper bags and toilet paper rolls. Barry loves running on the exercise wheel, and Oliver won’t go near it. My boys also enjoy having the freedom to play outside of the cage.
5. Fancy rats are loving.
Rats bond with you over time. Oliver lets me pet him for minutes at a time. My boys and past girls have groomed my fingers and nails. They will come out to greet me … sometimes. My boys are pretty lazy! As I type this, Oliver is asleep on the couch next to me. How cute is that?
And if your pet store doesn’t have rats, try fancy mice! They are similar to rats, just smaller in size. Have you ever owned any small pets?