Hi guys! so a little while ago me and my partner made the plunge and got ourselves some pet rats. These little ladies come with somewhat of a sad background story as we got them as rescues. At around 6 months old they came to join our family after already having at least 2 owners in their short lives, unfortunately two of them were extremely malnourished so they were quickly put onto a high protein high frequency feeding schedule but sadly one of the beauties was too sick and didn’t make it, the other is slowly pushing through gaining weight little by little but is extremely camera shy. (She runs for the hills the second she sees the camera and lets just say, she is a very accomplished jumper.
The other two however are extremely fond of the camera so I introduce you to Mia and Mila (Mila on the left and Mia on the right)
Are you considering some pet rats?
Well, firstly let me tell you I was lied to! I was told by many, many, many sources that they are are clean and non smelly rodents… not true, I love them and I have no regrets but if your considering buying your own and a smell would be a problem maybe re consider… or clean them daily… and bathe them, they mostly like this though they will show you there kamikaze jumping skills the first few times!
Free roam and exercise
They like to chew…. and I mean everything! For the first few weeks of having them we gave them free roam daily with no concern for what they were doing that was until I pulled out the TV cabinet to clean behind it (forget that this took me weeks to do it’s heavy) and found that they had chewed almost clean through a bunch of important wires. So now they have lost there free roam privileges until they can kick the chewing habit, I don’t hold much hope for them. Thankfully we have a large dining table so can set up a big play area for them to have a roam around and obviously the giant plastic rat balls for them to run around in (they don’t, they sit and sleep in them, still working on that one) Overall a non rat friendly space need not be a issue, there is always option you can even create your own play pen space for them if needs be.
Please don’t feed them on a diet of dry food alone, they are omnivorous and need a variety of foods in their diet. I usually will give them some fruits and vegetables each day (make sure there is some green vegetables in there they need the chlorophyll in that, I don’t know why, I just know they do. They will get a dry food mix to stay in their cage, I use a rabbit food one with lots of carrot pieces within it. They also are given meat a couple of times a week and egg once a week (this may be their favourite day) I do treat them a little too, they love my cakes. They also have a pot of meal worms that they like to snack on occasionally.
Do not get them if you can’t afford to keep a cat or a dog. People see rodents and think they will be quite inexpensive pets and this is not true obviously now you know what they eat you already know that but that isn’t where the cost ends they need regular treatment against things like parasites and pet insurance for if they become poorly, this is each one you have. Other than that there is also there cage, which they can run up quite expensive, the space that they require is quite vast and they need lots of things to sleep in and play with and just keep them entertained in general, p.s they like to chew these too so they will occasionally need to be replaced.
As I have already said the cages need to be quite large, the cage we have for our little rat babies is 3 stories high and can house technically 6 rats but I personally would leave it at 4, this cage is around 3 and a half feet tall and will set you back at least £100. This is just the cage and is just the walls that they need, on top of this your shopping list should include bowls, water bottles, ladders, beds, hiding places, warm fabrics, burrowing things, a giant wheel, perches, hanging toys, toys in general. There is no such thing as too much for these guys and gals they like it super busy in there!