Pet rats are much less fearful, and aggressive than their wild counterparts, and when continuously handled gently, they quickly learn to be around and enjoy human friends’ company and touch.
Pet rats are cute, small, inexpensive, and quite popular with children, especially since they are exposed to them in many different animated movies and television shows. When you think of a traditional small pet, you might think of a rabbit or guinea pig. Though often overlooked, the rat can also make an excellent pet. Particularly for children as they rarely bite, are inexpensive to keep, do not require a lot of space and can be easily handled and cared for. Domestically raised rats and rats are very popular pets. They are readily available, relatively inexpensive and easy to care for, and usually enjoy human handling.
Rats are nocturnal and very social. They will be very active in the evening and night, but don’t expect to do much with them during the day. Being social, they are best kept in groups. A pair of females is the easiest, although larger groups are fine if you provide the cage space. Keeping males and females together should be avoided unless you want lots of Rats in a short amount of time.
4 tips on picking up pet rats
There are some things to remember as you begin to tame and handle your pet rat.
- It is best to never pick up a rat by their tail as this could startle or hurt them and impede your progress in gaining your rat’s trust.
- If your pet rat is not tame, an easy way to pick them up is by gently directing them into a cup turned on it’s side. Once they walk into the cup, simply tip the cup upright to move or carry the rat. Since rats are good jumpers, cover the cup’s opening with your other hand to prevent escapes and injuries.
- The best way to carry a tame rat is simply cupped in the palm of your hand. You can gently hold the scruff of the neck (the loose skin on the back of the neck) to prevent the rat from getting away if necessary.
- You can use protective gloves to pick up an untamed rat in the same manner as a tamed rat.