Read About Rats

Rats are often misunderstood by many small animal lovers. Here's everything you need to know about Rats.

Varieties of Rats

There are numerous rat species in the world, but the species that has been domesticated and turned into a pet is the brown rat, which also bears the unfortunate name, sewer rat. Unfortunately, this name tends to reinforce negative feelings people have about Rats, but animals bred in captivity to be sold as pets are disease-free and friendly and make great pets. Pet stores and breeders generally call the species fancy rat.

Physical Characteristics of Rats

Like mice, Rats are classified as small mammals in the pet world. Males generally have bodies that are 8 to 10 inches long, but females are smaller and average 6 to 7 inches in length. Their hairless tails are almost as long as their bodies, which gives them balance and agility for climbing. Colors and patterns vary significantly, including solid colors like brown, white, black, and gray as well as spotted and splotchy patterns. Domesticated Rats have a life span of 2 to 2.5 years in captivity with some occasionally living 3 to 4 years, but this is rare.

Behavior of Rats

Rats that have been bred to be pets are still nocturnal creatures that become more active at night. They're friendly, affectionate, and intelligent, and many pet owners have found them to be a lot of fun. To ensure that pet Rats will get along with one another, young Rats should be raised together. Adult Rats establish an order of dominance and can become violent if a new Rat is introduced.