Your Pet Rat Needs a Home
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Your Pet Rat Needs a Home

A rat will make an amazing pet. They are clean but the urine from a male rat can smell so the litter should be changed often to prevent this. Rats are friendly and funny. They love attention and will climb all over you. The hardest thing for you to do is get the idea that it is a rat out of your head.

You must provide a cozy home for your pet rat. Rabbit cages work well if the wires are ½ inch apart.  A birdcage will also work very well.  Fish tanks are not that good for rats because the ventilation is not very good.  The rat will need good ventilation so they do not get a respiratory infection.  Rats need a temperature of 70 to 78 degrees so they will be comfortable.  Rats love to burrow so you will have to give them something to burrow in such as shavings.  Do not use cedar or pine shavings, as they will cause respiratory infections.  Aspen shavings are best and shredded newspapers work well.  Put 2 to 3 inches of shavings or shredded newspaper in the bottom of the cage so he has enough to burrow in.  Rats usually urinate and defecate in one corner and this needs to be cleaned everyday if you do not want any smell.  Rats can also be trained to use a small litter box.

Your rat’s home must be large enough for him to exercise and feel comfortable.  If your rat is overcrowded, he will stress and this will make him unhealthy.  You can get your rat an exercise wheel that he will love.  He will also like an exercise ball.   You can give him cardboard boxes to hide in.  Pieces of plastic pipe will also work very well.  Rats love to gnaw so be sure to get him some rodent blocks that he can gnaw on.  Hard rubber bones for dogs also work very well.  Rats love to climb and will climb ladders or shelves so some of these would be nice.

Rats must have food at all time, as they must eat every few hours to stay healthy.  Do not give your rat unhealthy treats like junk food or leftovers.  Feed your rat a diet that is formulated for rats.  You can purchase rat food in pet stores and sometimes in large supermarkets.  You can also supplement your rat’s diet with fruits and vegetables.

You will want your rat’s food dish to be easy to clean.  A water bottle works best for a rat, as it stays clean.  The water bottle must be filled with fresh water everyday.  You can leave your rat alone for a couple of days and he will be fine.   If you do leave your rat alone for a couple of days make sure he has plenty of water and food.  Rats become dehydrated very easily so leave two water bottles for him when you are leaving him alone.  It is very important that he has plenty of water to drink while you are gone.

Rats love to be clean and they usually do not smell except for male rat urine.  Keep the bedding changed often to eliminate odor.  The food dishes and water bottle should be cleaned everyday.  Your rat will usually take care of his own grooming as they are very good groomers and will groom themselves several times a day.

Sometimes rats will get fleas from other pets in the house.  You can get rid of the fleas on your rat by using a product made especially for rats.  It is not hard to care for a pet rat.  Rats are great pets and they will keep you entertained with their actions. The hardest part is getting past the thought that they are rats.

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Comments (1)

I live in Alberta, a rat free province, they are not even allowed as pets.

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