Keeping rats as pets

Keeping rats as pets? –

Thinking about keeping rats as pets?


All animal owners have a responsibility to look after and care for their animals. If you’re thinking about having rat’s, learn as much as you can about how to care for them beforehand. You should take your lifestyle and household into account when deciding whether you can offer them a good home. This guide explains rats’ basic needs so you can decide if they’re right for you.

Pet rats - Keeping rats as pets

Where do rats like to live?

Rats need lots of exercise and stimulation and love to explore so housing them in a large cage is important. There are many types of rodent cages available. However, it’s essential that you buy a cage that is designed for rats and NOT for smaller rodents such as hamsters.

Rats are extremely agile and can jump two feet or more!

Positioning their cage away from radiators or windows to prevent sudden changes in temperature is important. Cover the base of the cage with a paper-based or other suitable little. Don’t use wood shavings or sawdust as they can irritate rats’ eyes and noses and cause allergic reactions. Provide your animals with a private space to sleep in, fill it with nesting material to keep them snugly. Using straw is not a good idea as it’s too sharp and may damage their eyes and mouths.

Helping to get them settled in!

We know that one of the most stressful times for small animals is when they move house. Small animals can carry diseases that can be triggered when moving. Always make sure that new animals are allowed to settle in for a few days before playing with them or disturbing them, so they are rested and feel secure in their new home. If your rat shows any signs of being unwell, please contact the your local vet.

What to feed your rat?

Wild rats are scavengers who eat a wide variety of foods.

Rats should also be provided with a varied diet containing all the necessary food groups. Our rat nuggets contain all the nutrients they need in every mouthful. Nuggets prevent selective feeding. This is a common problem associated with cereal diets where your animals eat the bits they like and leave the rest, this can result in nutrient deficiencies. Pet Market recommend that you continue to feed your rats Pet Market rat nuggets to minimize any stress caused by a change of food at the same time as being taken to a new home. If you do wish to change your rats’ diet, introduce new food slowly over a period of about 10 days, phasing out the old food completely.

Treating your rats to fresh foods?

You can feed your rats fresh food such as cooked egg, cooked chicken scraps and washed fruit and vegetables such as apples, carrots and sprouts to supplement their basic diet and provide different flavors for them to try. It’s nice to treat your rats too – hanging seed sticks or hiding treats or monkey nuts around their cage provides fun and tasty challenges as well as stimulating natural behavior!

Important that you use!

A ceramic or metal food bowl is best for your animals – they’re gnaw-proof, hard to knock over and easily cleaned and disinfected. Remove left over food and wash their food bowl thoroughly every day before re-filling it. Rats tend to drink more water than other rodents so a large water bottle is essential. Provide fresh water daily.

Keeping rats as pets can be very rewarding it’s up to you to ensure they are well looked after.

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