Do rats make good pets?

 

Owning a pet is a great responsibility so you should consider a pet only if you are mature enough to understand its needs and provide a welcoming and safe environment. And, while most people decide on a dog or a cat, these animals are quite hard and expensive to look after. They will also require plenty of petting and your spare time, so don’t adopt them if you rarely stay at home.

If you still want a pet but don’t want to hustle with vaccines, periodic vet visits and endless hours spent grooming and petting your animal, you could opt for “lower-maintenance” animals such as rodents.

Rats are usually not your first choice when thinking about a new pet, but they could prove loyal and easy to train if you have the time. If you consider owning a rat as a pet, here are some pros and cons of it.

 

Pros

Rats are extremely intelligent and they can be trained depending on your skills. If you spend enough time with your new pet, you can teach it how to use a litter box or how to do small tricks. Keep in mind that most scientists use rats as part of their scientific research because they are aware of their intelligence. Never underestimate the intelligence of your pet rat!

Another advantage of having a rat as a pet  is that they are very affectionate creatures. Believe it or not, once they get used to the presence of humans and their new home, they will easily grow fond of their owners. Contrary to most people’s opinion, rats will build a close relationship with their human companions and will seek any opportunity to show their affection.

A trained rat could easily cuddle with you on the sofa and feel happy when you pet it. Rats are also easy to take care of. Unlike dogs and cats, rats won’t need specific grooming products or expensive foods and visits to the vet. In addition, they won’t occupy too much space, meaning you can easily shelter them in apartments or condos.

 

Cons

On the other hand, there are plenty of cons of owning a rat pet so you should consider both the positive and the negative aspects of such a pet before adopting one.

For instance, rats, similar to many other rodents, are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are mainly active during the night. So they won’t make great pets for children who have school in the morning or for adults who find it hard sleeping with noises. It isn’t any fun waking up at 3 AM because your rat decided to exercise and get in shape again.

Another downside is that rats have short lifespans. They usually live 2-3 years so, even though they are less of a commitment, you will get your heart broken pretty soon.

 

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