Here you can read smaller basic information about rats as pets. How old they get. Do rats bite? Female or male? Do rats smell?
How rats is as a pet
Rats are a bit like cats and dogs, you could say. They like contact and can climb up on one's legs to sit on the shoulder when they are out of the cage. When they see their "mom" or "dad", they often run forward to greet their owner. Some also train their rats to come on calling when they are out of the cage. Females can be less cuddly until they come over the years, most want to play with their owner. usually more energy on young females than on males.
Males are often happy in your lap and cuddle. It can also be more playing and energy on the males than the females. But usually, females want to run around more than males. Young animals are always mischievous than older animals of course. But they would love to spend time with their owner.
Rats are easy to train. Mine can spin around to simple command. They love food and love to steal your sandwich if given the chance. A relaxed rat should preferably hang quite loosely in your hand when you hold it and never withdraw when you trying to pick it up.
The rat is waiting for you when you lift it up and do not run away. Rats are often very brave, relaxed and fearless. Not content with running on a bed, but want to jump around the room and examine everything!
Rats rarely fall or run straight into the air, such as hamsters, but are very good climbers!
How old do rats usually get?
Most common is 2-3 years.
Do rats bite?
It is very rare that rats bite! Sometimes teenage rats have a hormonal time around the age of 6-10 months, where they can become more hard in their play with other rats and some can become aggressive. Can be found on both genders. But it is more common in males to have som testosterone problems around their teenage time. Usually very little problem you might not even notice. But could get to where they bite humans and cage members.
A castration can then rectify the behavior. You never breed on rats who had been aggressive or had aggressive siblings because it is inherited. A rat that bites that hard more than once usually gets killed or castrated. It is NOT okay to the bite.
When I say bite, I mean that they bite holes or extremely hard to mark. A rat gnaws gently on your nails or likes to insert your fingers in your mouth is another thing. Rats are like dogs. They like to lick and to have you in the mouth. But it will not hurt! Rat Babies can be a bit heavy-handed, of course, just like puppies. This trained away with time and usually gives to itself by itself. However, most rats do not bite at all. If you are unsure, ask someone with experience.
Where can I buy rats?
Turn to the forums in the first place and get an idea of the breeders. Breeders are best to buy from when you can get help and they are following up how the rats are doing after they get sold.
But you should have a breeder you feel comfortable with. And that first-time rat owner may need help finding good rats. Sometimes it may actually be best to get little older rats that can show you how rats should be. Rat Babies are often a little unsure at first. Look for rats that are easily managed, moderate mischievous onwards and who likes people. They should not be afraid, bite or lock sick. Meet them at the home of the breeder/owner so that they are themselves.
Once home, they are usually very insecure when al is new to them. Find out what you want for a rat! It is cowardly, cuddly, courageous, mischievous, big, small, gentle and stupid rats. That's how it is. Look at the rats that you enjoy!
Are rats suitable for children?
Yes, I think, from 12 years. Al children can have rats, even younger. But as younger the kids are, the more you as a parent need to be there and helps with everything. Children can be a wonderful pet keeper. But not without a well-read and interested parent. You would never buy a dog for your child, and do not read on how to take care of it. The parent must know how to make the introductions and what they eat and how they should be handled, etc. It is not the world of science to find out those things. If you have problems with rats, I do recommend that you seek out the breeder for help and ask or forums. As a reminder, a good breeder also helps after the rats are sold.
One or more?
Never one rat! They are flock animals and should by law be held at least two. The only exception is for example if there is an over-dominant rats demonstrated that it is not able to live with other rats despite castration but is kind to people.
Should I castrate rats?
No, only if they become aggressive. It is a far too large proportion of fatalities associated with castrations in order to recommend doing it as a preventive measure because rats are very sensitive to anesthesia. Always keep the males and females apart! They can mate in seconds, and then you might have a large litter so take care of and find a new home too. Never let male and females meet if you not a breeder.
Females and males together?
NO! Keep the rats apart if you are not planning a litter. Females are in heat for every five days and can become pregnant after a single mating. A female can usually get the offsprings every three weeks if she lives with males. Imagine 10 kids born every third week. There will be many rats there. If you want both females and males. Keep them living in separate packs and never meet outside the cages.
The only time you can keep a male with females. Is if he was neutered first.
Why do rats become sexual mature twice?
Both females and males become physically mature at 5-6 weeks of age and can mate and have offspring even then but they are certainly not mature to become parents at that age. They need to grow both physically and mentally. At 6-10 months they enter the psychic sexual maturity and it is also because they may have problems with hormones, get aggression and so on. It is customary to wait for mating rats as long as possible. So you can have time to see any undesirable failure showing up. Sad to mate a five-month female that month after getting a serious tumor or 7 months of age, Or mating a young male then weeks after the mating he becoming aggressive.
Of course, such inherited. So the rule is to never breed a female before 5 months old and never after the age of one for here first litter. The male is best to wait for until he is over the year before use in breeding.
Weight recommendations are different around the world. Here in Sweden, we have some recommendations that are lower in other countries.
Females should not be used in breeding before she weighs at least 300gram. And the males should weigh at least 500gram. They should not be thick, malnourished or in poor condition.
I want to mate my rats, how do I do?
Even asking that question then you should leave it alone. Much can go wrong. Breeding is not recommended for younger people or people without experience and knowledge. You should also know that it can be expensive veterinary costs if something goes wrong. Anything can happen, from infections during mating to birth problems. Sit down, read on and gain some experience. Find out what you want out of the mating and what purpose it should have. Get help from a breeder who can be your mentor. Ask questions on the forums. But first and foremost; Socialize and enjoy your rats and allow mating wait until you have taken some rats in first! You must know what rats are and what you want to accomplish with a mating. One should not breed rats just because it is cozy with babies of fun to have a litter.
Are rats afraid of other animals?
Rats are usually very afraid of cats. But can be trained to not fear them when you own both rats and cat. They often like dogs. Mice and other small animals. But be careful to let rats be around other pets. Rats can hunt and kill smaller animals. They can also join several rats to strike on larger animals as the guinea pig.
Other animals can hurt them, dogs/cats can bring virus and bacteria so the rats get sick. hay from rabbits and other animals can give rats lice, mange and so on. Better to be safe than sorry.
Can I take the rats on holiday?
All rats are different but most get used to the new environment quickly as long as you are with them. Best is to make some planning on what cage they can live in if their original cage is too big to take. Can you provide shelter from cold, wind, sun, rain and unnecessary stress?
Do rats chew on things?
Yes! They can chew on wires, fabric, belts, shoes, wallpaper. More or less. Some rats don't chew at al and other chew a lot. On open, free space they chew very rarely. It is usually if they find a little cozy corner where they want to sleep or if they try to get thru somewhere that they can chew on what is around to make a bigger path. But the best part is to rat-proof, hide cables behind shelves etc. And do not leave the rats alone in a room where there are things you are afraid of. Usually, they will not chew at all. They chew most when they are a bit bored.
Rubber and leather are a popular thing to bite at. Even cables! And things that smell good, such as adhesives and creams. Are you with so you have time to see. But make sure they can not creep in behind things where you can not access. Males gnaws usually much smaller than the females.
Do rats smell?
All animals smell course. But rats smell very little if you keep their cage clean. But they can smell a lot. Especially after eaten something there stomach didn't like or stress pooping. Then they can give away a really smelling poop.
Even their pee smells ammonia of course. So if you have some problems with having a pet that smells like a pet. You need to clean more often. Change the litter box, fabric. Don't use shredded paper, it tends to smell fast. Some cages can also smell, and be hard top get clean.
As for some things inside the cage as wood houses. Ammonia is sometimes hard to clean from old wood things. Better to replace to new when start to smell.
Most common to clean every week for a smaller pack. Some owner changes the litter box and fabric once or twice every week but only cleans the whole cage biweekly.
As for the rats. Many think the rats usually smells bad. But people tend to get surprised when first smell on a rats furry to find they smell more like perfume. Most rats smell nice if they are kept in a clean environment. My rats smell most sweet, floral/spicy. But sometimes I have one or two rats that can smell more like pee. Usually on really old rats who have a hard time cleaning themselves.
Can rats be housebroken?
YES! It's super easy to litter train rats. If you make it there is also none poop when they are out playing. Fix a box, at least 20 × 20 cm that you put in a corner of the cage. Gladly where they often poop and/or urinating. Fill with a different material than the rest of the cage,
For example cat sand or paper pellet. Pick the poop from spaces into the box. Continue to do this every time you see a turd outside the box.
Do you see that the rat is sitting somewhere to pee or poop, place them directly on the box.
Do you have rats outside the cage is the same basically. Make sure you always have with you a box and put them where the first thing you do when you take them out so that they know where the box is. Babies are less able to hold water than adults but they eventually learn. You can toaträna both adult rats and babies. They can be up to 100% housebroken to the end and jump back to the cage right away when it should poop and pee. Territory Marker force, you never removed. It is tiny odorless drops as they leave here and there to mark his territory.
Females and males?
Females are smaller. Have no balls. Is often more mischievous. Have often softer fur. Chews more things. Will not become aggressive in equal largely based as on males. Can not be neutered, in the same way as males. Have smaller herd problems. You can often put together two adult females. Usually not as easy with adult males.
Males are larger and calmer. Have great balls some are disgusted by. Often more fatty and rougher coat. Has the experience of males taking it cooler when you take them out on the picnic than females do. Females are often either fear or mischievous while the males often take the cooler.
But take the example; Bathe a male and then put him in the cage again, there may be serious trouble. This rarely happens with females. the female pack is not as sensitive as the male pack, in general. But of course, it's about how well the rats are. Really good rats are kind to each other at all times. It is also a breeding goal of breeders to produce more such rats. But in most flocks is usually not a problem to insert a new baby in the pack as long to make a proper introduction. So don't just put in a new rat to the cage. Read about introduction first.
As a beginner owners, I would probably still say females, precisely because it is less trouble to put together female packs of different ages. I myself do prefer males over females. I love that they are usually more calm, often more cuddly even in younger age. But I also love their bigger size. I have always liked the male gender in most pets before females.
The best way is to read more about the rats and to meet with rats and form an opinion about which sex you want. Turn to breeders or other owners. Could also go to a meeting or show and look! The exhibitions are usually free to visit, you can be as long as you want and you do not need to register if you do not take rats with you.