What do I need to know about pet rats?

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Question by Harley: What do I need to know about pet rats?
my 10 yr old son just got a pet rat. Someone who knows, plz tell me what we need to know, any hints for training etc. We got “rat diet” food, water, and some wood blocks to chew. Is there anything else we need?

Best answer:

Answer by Serialmom12
they smell and they bite

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4 comments on “What do I need to know about pet rats?

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  2. Serialmom, what the hell do you do to rats. I’ve had about 10 rats in my life and have gotten bitten once when I poked one through his cage while he was asleep. They are not bitters and they are very friendly. Maybe you should know something about an animal before you answer.



    Oh and you should always have two because they are very social animals and need a buddy.

  3. Rats are amazing pets to have. I have two now and had one before.

    It is best to have two rats because when you aren’t home they will have someone else to play with. Getting one wont do too much harm but I have herd that anti- social rats have lower immune systems.

    Shavings- You shouldn’t use pine or any other coniferous shavings, it is best to use recyclable shavings(such as carefresh) Pine causes respiratory problems.

    Litterbox trainning- I really recomend litterbox training you rat because it will keep the cage much cleaner and (alot) less smelly! It is really simple to do (this is a great site that I used to help me the first time! http://www.dapper.com.au/articles.htm )

    Food- I really recomend lab blocks for you rat because then it cant be picky and eat just the fatty foods that are mixed it with the “blends” BUT- try to buy only soy based lab blocks because corn is no good for rats!
    Rats drink ALOT of water and get dehydrated quickly so make sure that they always have water avaliable.

    Toys- Get creative with the toys! make your own! (It can be very inexpensive too!) This (again) is a great site for toys- http://www.dapper.com.au/toys.htm my rats also love empty tissue boxes(small ones) but make sure all of the plastic is gone!

    My only other tip is to do research yourself and deside what you want to teach your rat.

    Good Luck!! =]]

  4. To serial-
    You couldn’t be more wrong, rats are wonderful affectionate pets.
    Omg you need to know so much, here is a link to my website care page, wich will tell you everything you need to know to get you started!
    Good luck!
    Having two rats does not make your rat harder to train, or less in tune with you, in fact that exact opposite is true. Research has shown that single rats are more likely to become aggressive.
    Remember that though you intend to spend as much time as possible with your rat- if you spend four hours a day with it, it’s still alone for twenty! Rats are social animals, and need the companionship of another rat, just as they need food and water.

  5. I think a rat is a very good pet for a child, as long as they have an adult helping them. Make sure you clean the cage once a week – rat urine has a smell unlike anything else. You’ll want to get a wheel for the rat to run in. It’s good exercise, and it’ll give it something to do. New food and water every day…and all that fun stuff. And don’t pick it up by its tail (although that was once the way to handle rodents…it’s been decided that it’s inhumane).

    Here’s a good link to visit:


    I’m not sure I believe the thing about having two rats, minimum, though. As long as the rat gets enough attention from you, there shouldn’t really be a need for a second rat. And having two will make it less in tune with it’s owners, and harder to train.

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