Rats as Pets

Do you want an unusual pet for your North West London home? A rat may be a great option. Domestic rats actually make great pets. They are curious and quite smart, and very cute. Rats do need attention, and will need time outside of their cage to truly thrive. There are several breeds of domestic rat, and these little ones come in a variety of colors.

Here are some basics on having a rat for a pet:


You can expect some startup costs, as you would with any pocket pet. You can get a good cage for usually around $40 or so. Food for your pet rat will probably cost about $50 annually, while litter and bedding will be about another $200. Treats and toys will probably cost about $40.


Rats are very sociable, and will get lonely without others of their own kind. You can house several rats together. Just take care not to put intact males with unspayed females, or you may find your rats multiplying. Your pet rats will enjoy climbing, so two story cages are a great option. You’ll need to include bedding so your rat can nest comfortably.


Rats are very curious and inquisitive, and are always looking to explore. Keep the cage fun by including plenty of toys for your pet rat. Many toys for birds, such as swings, will work fine for rats.


Rats should be fed mainly rat blocks, which are formulated specifically for rodents. You can also give your rat fresh fruits and veggies, such as apples, bananas, peas, broccoli, and carrots. You can definitely try some different things out, to see what your pet likes best. Rats also need to chew, as their teeth never stop growing, so you’ll need to provide material for them to nibble. Dog treats, cardboard, or rawhide toys are all fine.


Your rat’s cage will need ongoing maintenance, as you’ll have to remove waste and uneaten food every day. About once a week, you’ll need to scrub the cage down and replace the bedding. You’ll also need to handle your rat frequently, to keep it tame.

Rats live about two or three years, on average, and can become quite attached to their people. Make sure to do complete research before choosing a rat as a pet.

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