For many people, the word “rat” conjures up the classic image of a beady-eyed, pointy-nosed rodent scurrying around in the trash at night. On the other hand, domesticated rats may make fantastic pets and are far from the invasive vermin that most people associate with rats.
Here are five interesting facts about rats that you probably didn’t know:
#1 Rats are extremely clean
They are meticulous groomers who despise having their hands dirty. In general, if they get something on their fur, they strive to clean it up as soon as possible. They like grooming one another (all grooming) as well as gathering and organizing their food into piles. So they’re very cool.
They don’t need to be bathed very often. Older, fat, sickly, or arthritic rats who have difficulty grooming themselves, or unaltered males who mark their territory with urine, are the only rats who require regular bathing.
#2 Rats are brilliant and empathic creatures
Many people do not consider rats to be bright. However, they are extremely intelligent and straightforward to train. Rats are frequently employed in psychological studies to better understand human behavior because of their intelligence.
Tricks, mastering riddles, running through mazes, and even solving simple problems can all be taught to them. All they require is a committed coach and some encouragement (usually with a favorite food reward).
#3 Rats form lifetime ties with their human companions
If you ask any rat owner, they will tell you: Rats recognize and respond to their owners’ sight and voice. They are pretty gregarious and enjoy spending time on the couch, on people’s shoulders, or in their laps with human family members.
They’ll even groom their human friends as if they’re other rats in their “rat pack.” Pet rats are incredibly affectionate and like the warmth and contact of their caregivers.
#4 Rats, unfortunately, do not live long
Rats have a short lifespan of two to three years, which most people are unaware of. Also, keep in mind that many rats begin to acquire frequent medical problems after just one year of life. If you’re thinking about getting a rat as a pet, keep in mind that it won’t live as long as a dog or cat.
However, you can make the most of it by ensuring that your pet rodent receives the best possible care, including frequent veterinarian attention (see next tip). Indeed, having your pet rat’s bedding (ideally paper-based), spot-cleaned daily, and entirely changed weekly is an example of good everyday care.
Rats should be fed a diet consisting primarily of pellets developed especially for rats and clean water, and a limited amount of table food (fresh produce, bits of cooked egg or pasta or meat, and occasional nuts or seeds).
They also require exercise, which can be provided by running on smooth-sided toy wheels that may be placed in their cages, as well as regular out-of-cage time.
#5 Rats require medical attention as a preventative measure
Like dogs, cats, and humans, Rats are susceptible to common medical issues such as breast cancers, lung disorders, and uterine infections. Some of these problems can be avoided entirely (such as uterine infections). In contrast, others can be treated if identified early (such as breast tumors).
Rats must have regular examinations with a rat-savvy veterinarian to prevent or treat disease. They should be evaluated following purchase or adoption. Every six months after that, ideally, given their short lifespans, they should enhance the chances of finding and treating the disease early.
Unfortunately, many rodent owners either neglect to bring their pets to the veterinarian for routine exams or wait until they are sick to bring them in.
Consider a pet rat if you want a pet that is intelligent, interactive, interesting, and easy to teach. Rats may not live as long as dogs or cats, but the time you spend with them will be well worth it.
Pet rats have health problems
Examine your rat daily for any signs of illness, such as loss of appetite or lethargy. Infectious respiratory disease is one of the most common disorders in rats. However, it can only be spread from one rat to another and does not affect other animals or people.
Buy a rat from a place where there are many rats, especially if any of them have quick or noisy breathing. Rats are prone to a variety of respiratory issues.
Although the redness is not blood but a natural color in the mucus, crimson discharge around the eyes or nose indicates disease and stress. As rats get older, some develop tumors, which are more common in females.
Read more to know your pets better now!