Sociable and very active rats often live together in the wild. Various studies agree that life alone does not go well for them, so much so that they can feel very lonely and depressed if this happens.
Because of their gregarious nature, the first recommendation for their care is that they be bonded with others of the same species. Thus, it is ideal that at least they are raised in a same-sex pair , making sure that the male is never with the female.
In the right company, rats will be very happy and playful. They are small animals that like to live in burrows. They tend to climb, run, and jump. This is why an upright cage is ideal for them .
Preferably, the cage should be made of rods rather than glass, and it should be decorated with toys, tunnels and hammocks. The ideal place for a cage is in a quiet corner of the house, away from the cold and drafts.
Usually in the first few days you will notice some distrust in their behavior; little by little they will be released and identify their owner. To shorten this period, it is convenient to gradually ease them into the adaptation process.
Hygiene and feeding rats in the home
Like cats, rats take care of themselves most of the day . Therefore, it is not necessary to bathe them very often, it will be enough to do it at certain times when they are very dirty. A small container of warm water and neutral soap can be used when bathing.
To relieve themselves, rats tend to choose places far away from where they play, eat and sleep. It is advisable to use a corner with a special liner to make hygiene easier.
It is necessary to keep the area where they live in good hygienic conditions. Therefore, remove the remains of feces and food daily and at least once a week conduct a deep cleaning of his cage.
You should be aware that the digestion of rats is very short, so they eat small amounts of food many times a day. In this sense, it is advisable to always have small portions of food at their disposal.
His diet is based on vegetables and fruits . You can make homemade portions of chard, cooked artichoke, raw rice, pumpkin, coconut, asparagus, spinach, strawberries, string beans, carrots, apples, melon, papaya, cucumber and pears.
Other fruits such as pineapple, banana, watermelon, tomato, and grapes also digest well. Sometimes they can consume walnuts, beets, coriander, celery, or hazelnuts.
You should keep in mind that rats cannot tolerate certain foods such as raw artichokes, sugar, sweet potatoes, eggplant, coffee, onions, plums, parsley, radishes, cabbage, figs, mangoes, kiwi, cassava and citrus fruits.
There are some rodent foods on the market that can be fed to rats. However, you should check with your veterinarian about which one is most recommended for them.
Although rats like cheese, it is advisable to limit their intake, since it may cause obesity. You should also take care that they do not consume leftover garbage, as it can affect their health.
Issues to consider when raising rats
There are some aspects to consider to ensure that these rodents have a quality home life:
- Make sure the cage is wide enough for them to move freely; at least 50 cm in length, although this depends on the number of rats being bred.
- It is advisable to place special rodent toys in their cage to keep them active and entertained.
- Wood shavings are ideal for placing in the bottom of the cage, but there are some types of wood, such as pine or cedar, which release substances that are toxic to rats when they come in contact with the pet’s urine.
With these considerations in mind, you can have no problem raising a rat as a pet, guaranteeing it good health and happiness.
In spite of the way we have formed an idea of what these animals are like in the wild, having a rat as a pet reveals one of its main virtues: its character . The house rat is a sociable animal that loves human company and needs to play with its owners.
Something that makes us devote as much time to them on a daily basis as we would to any other animal we share our lives with, as they establish strong bonds with their owners. Loneliness can cause a pet a picture of stress and sadness, so in addition to spending time with them daily, it is more than advisable that they live as a pair so that when we are not home, they are not alone.
To make this life of company positive, we must choose the right sex of pet rat . Ideally have two females, as they are not territorial with each other and will easily coexist in harmony. If we choose a female and a male, it is important to spay them, unless we want to increase the family significantly.
One of the unknown things about pet rats is that they are affectionate animals . Something that makes them an ideal pet for children. And we make this consideration because unlike other small rodents such as hamsters, pet rats are not aggressive, although we must also consider that their character is fundamentally up to us as owners.
Having a rat as a pet involves, like any other animal, a period of adjustment to the environment in our home. One in which the rat will be suspicious and fearful at first, until he gets used to the new place. In addition to allowing her to explore, always under our supervision, it is vital that we instill in them the confidence to establish that strong bond so characteristic of these animals.
And, busting another myth about having a rat as a pet, don’t overdo it with cheese . Although it is a food they love, the truth is that it can lead to overweight. A real enemy to her health that we will have to avoid as much as possible or, in any case, use in moderation as a reward in case we decide to train her.