I'm going to be doing a series of posts about pet rats and how to take care of them. So to start off:
An Introduction to Pet Rats:
Despite rats' unpopular reputation, they actually make excellent pets. They are very social and love attention, they are fairly low-maintenance and are very entertaining to watch.
Rats can grow to be up to about 18 inches long (this includes their normally seven inch long tail) and with proper care they can live to be two and a half to three years old.
Here are some common rat myths:
Pet rats carry and spread diseases.
As long as you keep their surroundings clean and they get proper nutrition, a pet rat will most likely get no diseases, with the exception of a minor rat cold. They will not spread the plague! (it was actually the fleas and unsanitary conditions that caused the plague, not the rats. The rats were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rats infested with fleas helped spread the disease, but they did not cause the disease.)
Rats bite a lot:
Actually most rats generally never bite. I handle a lot of rats and the only rats that have ever bitten me are rats that are alone. Rats need a lot of social interaction, and they need to be with other rats.
Rats are ugly.
Technically this isn't a myth, it is just personal opinion. I happen to think that they are very cute! The hairless ones are kind of ugly, but I think that ugliness makes them cute.
Stay tuned for rat care posts!
*image courtesy of aspca.com