Today's pet rats are very different from their wild ancestors. They offer a pet experience that is nothing like gerbils, hamsters or other pocket pets. These mild mannered fuzz butts are gentle, clean and they want to be social with you.
In a very short time they will trust you and feel safe in their home/cage areas. Pet rats will not run away from you, they will run to you. With whiskers wiggling they will beg for treats and attention.
Pet rats rarely bite. In my 25+ years working with fancy rats of many kinds from many environments, I have never been bit out of meanness by a socialized rat.
Pet rats need....
• a buddy - rats need cage-mates
• basic enclosure for safety
• clean food and water
• same temperatures as us
• non treated wood to chew
• love and attention
• for best results - add treats!
You can feed them from your hand.
Let them ride on your shoulder.
And even teach them tricks just like a dog.
They will be waiting for you and learn your schedule.
Rats are an inexpensive pet in comparison to most. They have modest needs.You can find what you need at most common stores such as Walmart.
They don't need huge or elaborate cages. They don't need heat rocks, salt blocks or special lighting. Rats normally do not need licenses, vaccines, or wormed. Neutering is only needed in rare occasions if males and females are kept separated.
Rats have short lives. 2 and a half years seems to be average. I rarely see them reach 3, and have only heard of rats 4 or more. This short life span gives owners freedom to own rats without a decade commitment. Making fancy rats a prime choice for younger children, apartment dwelling, and campus companions.