Just because they’re small, don’t go thinking that you can give a rat any less care, commitment and love than you’d give to a bigger pet. In this guide, we show you by far the best way to give your pets the time of their little lives – which usually last around two years.
Rats require lots of exercise and stimulation and will love to explore so housing them in a large cage is important.
The more you get to know your rats (Latin name Rattus norvegicus), and get to know about them, the better. There’s more fun to be had, and more reward, every single day.
Rats make excellent pets, especially for older children and adults. They’re clean, friendly, inquisitive and highly intelligent. They love a bit of problem-solving – and you can even teach them tricks. They bond well with people and rarely bite.
Although rats are sleepy-heads all day long, they’re usually up in the late afternoon and evening. Bright-eyed, long-tailed and ready for action – absolutely ideal for when you get in.
Rats tails are used for temperature regulation and communication as well as balance.
Rats have glands on the bottom of their feet so they leave a wet trail wherever they walk.
Wild rats can be found all over Europe, although they originated in Asia. The population spread across the world when the rats were sneaky stowaways on merchant ships. The domestic or fancy rat is descended from the Brown Rat (also known as the Norwegian Rat) and is thought to have originated from Asia moving into Europe in 1553 and then onto the US in 1775.
Domesticated rats are very clean, intelligent animals. They are very different to their wild cousins.
There are many different colour variations among rats, and three types of coat – smooth-haired, rex and hairless.
To take the best care of your rats, you’ll need all these things:
If you have a question, please email us or call us on 0800 413 969. Our dedicated consumer care team are available to answer any questions you may have. If you are concerned about the immediate health of your pet, please seek the advice of your vet as soon as possible.Email us