Keeping Your Rat Healthy

What Kind of Food does my Pet Rat Need?

A healthy diet is key to a happy rat! Rats are omnivorous, meaning they eat meat and veggies just like we do. Most pet rats will do just fine on a rodent mix available at any pet store, they specialize in giving your pet everything they need to survive. That being said, you can do a lot better as a loving owner. However, if you insist on just using the bagged mix from the store, be sure that your rat eats all the food in his dish before giving them more. Rats have a tendency to eat what they like first, and if he does not eat everything, your pet can suffer from being malnourished. Make sure they get a full dish a day (roughly a hand full of food)...

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Pet Rats in History

Rats also discovered that many of the warm, dry habitats built by humans offered a significant amount of protection against predators, harsh weather and other dangers. Though humans initially saw rats as a pest, it was eventually discovered that rats were extremely intelligent, social and affectionate animals. The role of rats throughout history has had a noticeable influence on how our culture has evolved into today’s complex society.

Food Storage

When people discovered that rats had made a habit of stealing from human food stores, they had to make significant changes to protect their food supply. This involved finding alternate storage methods, such as storing grains in clay, glass or metal containers...

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Rat Cleaning

Rats are actually extremely clean creatures, unlike the images conjured up in the average person’s mind when one mentions the word ‘rat’. They spend 30% of their time awake grooming themselves. For this reason you hardly ever have to bathe or wash them unless they are for show in competitions. If you choose to bathe yours, make sure you use a puppy shampoo since human shampoo tends to irritate their skin.

Some rats however, tend to be lazy when it comes to cleaning their tails so you may need to help them out with this from time to time. You can do this with a soft, old toothbrush and bicarbonate of soda or animal shampoo. Wet the tail, apply your chosen cleaner and then stroke from the base of the tail to the tip repeatedly until it’s clean...

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The Importance of Ventilation

The importance of ventilation is that decomposing droppings and urine give off ammonia. This irritates the respiratory tract, making rats vulnerable to respiratory problems (breathing difficulties). Litter on the cage floor absorbs moisture from droppings, which slows or halts the decomposition process, but some ammonia release is inevitable, even with the best litter. Good ventilation allows ammonia to dissipate in the surrounding air, thus reducing the amount that rats are exposed to in the cage. Ventilation is therefore a very important element in keeping rats healthy, and should be given particular attention whenever a rat suffers from respiratory illness.

Wire cages are by far the best housing for rats...

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Fancy Rats

A pet rat, also known as a fancy rat, is the domesticated bread of a brown or black rat. A pet rat generally lives anywhere between 2 and 3 1/2 years. The title “fancy rat” actually has nothing to do with the rat, but the owner who “fancies” them. A buck, or male rat can weigh anywhere from 400 to 800 grams, and a female between 250 and 450 grams. While both genders are extremely intelligent and playful, female rats tend to be slightly more so than males.

The History of a Rat as a Pet

Jack Black It is commonly believed that the pet rat came about in the late 19th Century. In Europe, rat-catchers were paid for trapping rats by their local government. These catchers would keep the rats for exhibition and gambling fights...

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Should I Get a Male or Female Pet Rat

Some people believe that one gender is “better” as a pet than the other, which is simply not true. In reality, there are notable differences between male and female rats, though it is simply a matter of preference which gender will suit a specific rat owner. Here is a general guide to help you to understand the key differences between male and female pet rats.

Visual Differences

The key visual difference between male and female pet rats will be in the development of their genital area. Though determining gender in very young rats can be quite difficult, it gets much easier as the rats get older. At about 5 to 6 weeks of age, male rats reach sexual maturity, and develop testicles. These testicles are very visible underneath the rat’s tail, which makes determining gender easy...

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Rat Breeding

Baby rats become fertile at about 5 weeks of age so they need to be kept separate from even before this time. For a planned mating, pair the female that’s in heat with a fertile male in the same cage overnight. It is not advised to leave them together after mating has taken place as the buck will quickly become ‘whipped’ and unable to socialize with his male buddies again very easily, just like humans.

The other reason is that does go into heat immediately after giving birth so it’s likely that she would get pregnant again. This would put a lot of pressure on her to suckle the newborns while pregnant for the second time.

Does need to be separated from their cage mates when fully pregnant. This would be ideal at about 20 days of gestation...

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Introduction to Owning a Pet Rat

Pet rats are clean, intelligent, social and affectionate. They have the ability to understand both simple and complicated commands, as well as do a variety of tricks. Owning a pet rat is a wonderful way to share companionship with one of the best types of small rodents.

Is a Pet Rat Right for Me?

While owning a pet rat can be an incredibly rewarding experience, pet rats aren’t for everyone. It’s extremely important that you are prepared for the responsibility of adopting a new member of your family. Rats are social, and will require time with you each day in order to be happy. Rats will also need constant stimulation from new toys, environments and concepts...

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Pet Rats

Known by their species name, Rattus Norvegicus, the rats you would keep as pets are exactly the same as the wild, brown rats found in the countryside. They have however been bred to be a lot more calm and cute (of course) over the years so they can be even more ideal household pets. Their ancestors were a lot more aggressive towards humans as well as other rats, so they would have been much more likely to bite or scratch. Over time this aggressiveness has been largely bred out. The pet rats of today are cute, sensitive and gentle.

Play Time – The Key to Healthy, Well Adjusted Rats!

Spend some time with them and you will find that your pet rat can easily learn many tricks. They can come to you when called by name and much more.

Unlike other pets however, rats need quite a bit of attention...

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