Consider a Pet Rat for Your Family :: WRAL.com

The earliest documented evidence of domesticated rats comes from Japan and dates back to the Edo period (1603 to 1868). The tradition of keeping fancy rats may have originated in Japan, but pet rats have become more mainstream over the years.

The term fancy rat is used to refer to a rat that was bred as a pet as opposed to a wild rat. The standards for fancy rats are set by the American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association (AFRMA).

Rats can make excellent pets for the right family. Rats as pets face a lot of stigma for being branded vermin, but they are loving pets that can be trained like any dog. Some rats can even be trained for highly complex tasks like detecting landmines!

Although there are a variety of house rats, they are all descended from brown rats (Rattus norvegicus). Because of this, black rats have blunt noses, smaller ears and eyes, and tails that are the same length as their bodies. While there are some variations that led to the hairless rat due to genetic variance, all pet rats share generally the same traits.

Read on to learn about the different types of pet rats and all of the varieties that exist today.

The standard rat

The standard rat is as close as possible to the wild brown rat. These rats eat a standard rat diet and do not require any special requirements.

To care for a normal rat, you need a cage with a solid floor, meaning no wire, to keep its feet and legs secure.

  • The floor should not be made of wood as it can absorb urine which can lead to lung problems; The top and sides of the cage can be made of wire to improve airflow.
  • For an adult pet rat, the cage should be at least 14 x 12 x 24 inches.
  • You should stay away from pine or cedar shavings as they are poisonous to rats.

Your rat needs a shelter or a sleeping box in the cage. Bedding and litter must be cleaned twice a week.

The temperature should stay below 90 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid heat stroke.

Standard rats will eat lab pellets or lab blocks.

Include a water bottle that will allow your rat to drink when needed, since water bowls can spill.

Your black rat needs 0.16 to 0.19 ounces of food per 3.22 ounces of body weight. An average adult rat eats 0.48 to 0.64 ounces of food daily.

These listed requirements are the minimum requirements needed to care for a pet rat. So feel free to add more items as long as they are safe for rats to use.

Rats need love and affection to bond with their owner. Just like you would spend time with a new puppy, you need to spend time with your new pet rat.

The Rex Rat

The Rex rat’s name comes from the Rex mutation. The Rex mutation is a genetic variation found in mammals that gives them a soft, curly coat.

Rex rats’ whiskers and eyelashes also tend to be frizzy and woolly to the touch. For this reason, Rex rats are sometimes referred to as sheep rats. If a Rex rat has two of the Rex genes, its fur, eyelashes, and whiskers will be tightly curled

As Rex rats age, their fur begins to thin, which can result in some bald patches.

The Manx Rat

Like the Rex rat, the Manx rat is visibly different from a standard rat. Manx rats don’t have full tails; They only have a stub tail, giving them the appearance of having no tail at all.

Unlike the standard rat, Manx rats require special care due to their tailless appearance. A rat’s tail plays a huge role in a rat’s balance and self-care. As such, Manx rats require extra care to ensure they are healthy and happy.

The Sphynx Rat

Like a Sphynx cat, the Sphynx rat is a hairless rat variant. The hairless rats are selectively bred to ensure they remain completely hair free.

The Sphynx rat is not recommended as a pet because they can get sick incredibly easily and will need extra care to keep them warm. The main reason they are not recommended as pets is that if there is a demand for them, breeders will continue to breed these types of rats without caring about the rats suffering.

The Dumbo Rat

Unlike the standard rat, the Dumbo rat’s ears are set lower on the side of its head and are much larger than other rats’ ears. Dumbo rats appear to have larger heads than other rat species.

Aside from the difference in appearance, Dumbo rats don’t require any additional grooming.

Consider Oet rats your next companion

Although rats are not many people’s first thought when choosing a pet, their affectionate nature and friendly nature make them great companions. Dogs and cats have been the most popular pets for years, with hamsters and birds popping up as options here and there while rats have been left behind. So consider getting a pet rat as your next companion to experience just how amazing these creatures can really be.

About Clayton Arredondo

Check Also

Why Corgis Make Great Pets According to Experts – Best Life

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth the second, her beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgis have received …