Why Does My 1 Year Old Wake Up At Night Rats as Pets – 5 Myths Busted

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Rats as Pets – 5 Myths Busted

History has depicted them as filthy creatures that caused the black plague of the Middle Ages. Hollywood has portrayed them as vicious killers ready to pounce on people at the slightest provocation. Is it any wonder that most people fear the mere mention of their name?

How can such a small animal cause such a huge reaction? But more importantly, do they deserve their reputation?

Before you judge rats, it might help to understand them a little. Everyone knows that rats are rodents, but did you know that a male rat is called a buck, a female is a moose, and babies are called puppies or kittens? Rats reach puberty at an early age, between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Their bodies are 9 to 11 inches long, with tails up to 9 inches, and they come in many different colors and varieties. Rats have an average lifespan of 2-3 years and are most active at night.

Now that you know more about them, let’s look at some of the myths people believe about rats as pets. Maybe you’ll see them in a whole new light.

Myth #1

Rats are crazy creatures.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Domesticated rats are intelligent and have a natural curiosity that makes them highly trainable. They can be taught simple tricks relatively easily and love the interaction of learning. My son has a three year old Blue Fancy rat named Samantha. He quickly learned his name and comes when called. He also learned to play fetch, chasing a small plastic ball as it is rolled away from him on the floor and then rolling it back.

Myth #2

Rats are nasty, dangerous creatures.

Rats are very friendly, social animals. They are easily tamed by simply handling them from a young age. Rats enjoy spending time with their owners; bond with them as much as a dog bonds with a human. They love being petted and being close to their family. Our rat loves to sit on my shoulder while I type on my computer and sometimes falls asleep while he’s there.

Myth #3

Rats are dirty, disease-carrying rodents.

In reality, rats are very clean creatures that groom themselves daily. A sign of a healthy rat is clean, well-groomed fur. They are not low maintenance pets, but they are much easier to care for than a hamster or a larger pet. Changing the bedding in their cage every week and making sure they have fresh food and water daily will make your furry friend very happy. I have noticed that rats are organized animals. Every time Samantha’s cage is cleaned, she rearranges it according to her needs. He likes his house, bowl and toys to be where he wants them.

Myth #4

Rats are not playful.

Rats enjoy interacting with their human owners, which requires daily playtime. They need at least an hour outside of the cage every day to play and socialize with their family, as well as toys to play with when you can’t be there. The best toys I have found are designed for cats. Choose ones that your rat can’t chew because they will. Samantha has two plastic balls with bells inside that she plays with. You can hear him at night spinning those balls to make the bells ring.

Myth #5

Rats are only nocturnal creatures.

While this is mostly true, it is not set in stone. Rats rise when they think you are. Yes, they are awake at night, but they are also awake during the day. They will wake up if they feel you are ready to play. Taking them outside during the day is a great way to train them that daytime is a good time to play. Samantha sleeps day and night, but she is always ready to come out during the day and spend time with me or my son.

Rats can make a great first pet. They are easier to maintain than a dog or cat and friendlier than a hamster. With a little understanding, your family can also benefit from owning a rat. Give the rats a chance. You’ll be glad you did.

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