MEET THE RAT

Fancy rats have been kept as pets since the 1800s. They are personable, loving, and intelligent animals who make wonderful pets for folks of all ages. Rats make great pets for beginners!

Lifespan

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2 - 3 years

Diet Difficulty

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Low

Good With Kids

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Yes

Care Difficulty

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Low

Space Requirement

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Medium

Cleanliness

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Medium

Time Needed Outside Cage

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High

Human Interaction Needs

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High

Potty Trainability

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Medium

Cuddliness

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High

CARE

GUIDE

HEALTH

GUIDES

SUPPLY

LIST

ADOPTABLE

RATS

ENCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Dimensions

One rat: 2 cubic ft

Two rats: 4 cubic ft

Three rats: 6 cubic ft

MNPPR Recommends

Double Critter Nation

Rat Manor

Critter Nation cages are easy to clean, customize, and move around. Plus, they come in both single and double sizes depending on how much room you have and how many rats you want to keep. Rat Manor cages are good for 1 - 3 rats and have several levels for them to play on. 

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Other Notes

Wire-sided cages are preferable because they provide plenty of ventilation and options for climbing. Taller cages with levels are best.

 

Bar spacing should be no more than 1” for adult rats and 0.5” for young rats.

 

All cage floors, ramps, and levels should be solid or covered with fleece since standing on wire can cause injuries and bumblefoot.

Sometimes bedding that works for one rat will not work for another as some rats have allergies to certain beddings. MNPPR strongly recommends avoiding all wood-based beddings due to the general sensitivity of pocket pets. We like to use fleece to line the cage and cover any exposed wire floors, then use unscented paper bedding as litter placed in a litter box. When the fleece is soiled, simply throw it in the wash and replace it as needed. Most rats can be trained to use a litter box, which can make cleaning even easier.

ENRICHMENT REQUIREMENTS

Essentials

water bottle

food bowl

lots of chew toys (wood or lava)

at least one shelter/hide

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Variety

toilet paper tubes

fiddlesticks

tunnels

bird toys

bits of fabric

ladders

cardboard

treat balls

homemade toys

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Other Items

ramps/levels

hammocks

pet bed

wheel

pet carrier

fleece

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FEEDING REQUIREMENTS

Staple Diet

Always keep your rat’s food bowl full of high-quality rat/mouse kibble, pellets, or blocks such as Oxbow or Mazuri. Seed mix food should not be used because they are often missing vital nutrients and many rats will only eat their favorite tasting pieces causing an unbalanced diet. If your rat is overweight they may need fewer treats or more exercise.

Treats

There are many options for store-bought treats made for rats but fresh food can also make great treats. Be sure they are not storing anything in their nests that could rot. rats should never get more than 1 tablespoon of treats a day or they may become obese.

Safe Treats

apples

bananas

bell peppers

blueberries

broccoli

carrots

cauliflower

Cheerios

cranberries

cucumbers

cooked eggs

green beans

mealworms

parsley

peas

pumpkin seeds

plain popcorn

raspberries

sunflower seeds 

timothy hay

unsalted crackers

yogurt

Unsafe Treats

any citrus fruit

apple seeds

cabbage

cheese

corn

fizzy drinks

garlic

milk

onions

peanuts

poppy seeds

raisins

raw beans

raw meat

rhubarb

walnuts

DISCLAIMER

All information shared by MN Pocket Pet Rescue is researched, up to date, and accurate to the best of our ability. We are not a licensed veterinary organization and do not intend to present ourselves as such. All educational material contains our best recommendations for care specific to each species. However, all animals are different and some may have unique needs. MN Pocket Pet Rescue does not assume any liability for the well-being of any animal not under our care. Always use your best judgment and follow veterinary recommendations whenever necessary. If you have any questions or find inaccurate information please contact us.