How to Care for a Fancy Rat

Have you ever thought of getting a rat? Rat's can make great pets! They are affectionate, social, playful, and very curious. They can even learn tricks and their name! If you are thinking of getting one and want to know the care requirements, read the instructions below.


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    Getting a cage for your rat: Getting a cage is the first essential part in keeping a pet rat. Get a cage that is big enough for your rat to walk around a lot, generally its recommended to have at least 2 square ft per rat, 2.5 square ft or more is even better. Wire floors in a cage could be hazardous. Your rat can get his/her feet caught in a wire floor. Your cage is not your rats only home. Make sure he gets time out of the cage too.
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    Food and water for your pet rat: Make sure you have a good diet for you rat. Food from the pet store is good. However, it should not be a seed mix as rats can be picky eaters. Rats need fresh fruits and Vegetables too and fresh water also. Don't keep the water bottle and food dish right next to each other.
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    How many rats to keep: It is not really good to just keep one rat. They are very social animals, and if you aren't home they can get very bored. It is best to at least have two. You will see that they usually keep two together at the pet store. It is nice for them to have someone to play with when you aren't there.
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    Cleaning the cage: Rats can get messy but they can be litter trained in a similar way to cats to make cleaning easier instead of having poop everywhere. It is a good idea to daily wipe up any puddles of urine you might spot on shelves with kitchen roll or a non-scented baby wipe. How often they need cleaning will depend on your rats and the set up. If you fully clean the cage too frequently they will scent mark on purpose and you will notice they will smell very quickly, putting a little bit of dirty bedding in with the clean bedding helps avoid this. Avoid any harsh chemicals or strongly scented cleaning products; simple white vinegar is a great pet-friendly cage cleaner!
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    Making sure this is the pet you want: Like any other pet, rats need a lot of care and daily affection. Some rats love to swim and some don't. They can make very good pets and socialize with their owners very well. You can teach them tricks like spin, walking on two feet, fetching, coming to their name, and there are many other tricks they can learn. They are very good pets for children too.
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    Toys for your pet rat: Toys are good to have too for your pet rat. They also should have something to chew on to help their teeth from getting too long. Some rats will not chew on chew toys, but don't worry — this will not mean his teeth will get to long because rats brush to keep their teeth short.


  • Don't forget to clean the cage daily
  • Make sure you take your rat out of it's cage daily
  • Have at least two rats
  • There are many kinds of rats with many different personalities. Choose the one that's best for you.
  • Some of them like to swim, some don't. Don't push it if he doesn't like the water. You'll only scare him even more.You could try putting a painting tray with some water in it in front of the rat though and let the rat go in by himself. Don't put him in the water or he/she will run out and be scared.
  • If you already have a pet rat and your getting another one, the best place to let them meet each other is a big basin like a bathtub. You should never put a rat right in the cage with your other rat because the rat will feel like someone's invading territory and they will start to fight.


  • raw red cabbage and brussel sprouts = contain an anti-nutrient that destroys thiamin
  • green potato skin and eyes = contain solanine (toxin)
  • licorice = contains a suspected neurotoxin
  • green bananas = inhibit starch digestion
  • rhubarb high levels of oxalates which bind up calcium
  • raw sweet potato = contains cyanide-forming compounds
  • raw bulk tofu = can contain bacteria (packaged tofu is safe)
  • wild insects = could carry parasites
  • raw onion = can lead to anemia and an upset stomach

Never let your rat eat: *blue cheese = contains toxic mold

  • raw artichokes = inhibit protein digestion
  • orange juice = contains d-limonene which can cause kidney cancer in male rats
  • raw dry beans or peanuts = contain anti-nutrients, cause red blood cell clumping (note: the peanuts that you buy in stores are almost always roasted so are okay. ... Frozen beans from veggie mixes are okay because they've been pre-cooked)

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Categories: Mice and Rats