Rats need to learn your smell, and get used to your voice. Play with them all day if you can, even if they try to run away or seem quiet. They will soon get over this phase and become the best pets you’ve ever had. You can let them sit on your shoulder as you walk around the house, keep them in your sweater or hold them in your hands. You cannot play with them too much in the beginning phase unless they are clearly sick or nervous to the point of peeing themselves. If this is the case, phone your breeder and mention it to them.
Don’t pick up rats by the tail. Their tails are extremely fragile and it can cause an injury for them. Rather pick them up from under their chest, holding them gently.
Once rats get used to you, it’s time to let them get some freedom and roam around your house a little each day. It’s important to make sure you always know exactly where they are however, so keep an eye on them. Also it pays to take some precautions around the house to make sure there are no accidents. Rats are known for marking their territory with their urine (just a few drops at a time however) so if you want your furniture to stay smelling fresh, get some extra blankets to throw over it while the rats are wandering around.
Rats like chewing electrical cords and this usually results in instant death if they make it all the way through the insulation. One way to prevent this from happening is to cover all electrical cords with aquarium tubing. You can get it from most hardware stores and it just needs a long slice made down it’s length to pop the cable into.
Rats also like to chew on clothes, stationary, books and shoes. They also tend to knock things over so keep all these items up high or inside cupboards to prevent any accidents. Keep windows and doors closed and make sure any possible holes they could fit through are sealed up somehow. Do not wear shoes while they are scurrying around so you can feel if anything furry happens to be under your feet while walking around before it’s too late. Rats love playing in plants so if you want to keep yours nice and tidy, get them raised off the floor. Also check to see if any of the plants in your house are poisonous as they will likely die if they take a bite.