Are you ready to own a pet rat? Adopting a rat is not something to be taken lightly. Pet rats do take a considerable amount of time and it is important to understand if you are ready to adopt!
Can You Adopt A Pet Rat?
Here’s a list to help you get ready for your new family member.
Do you have time?
Time is essential to keeping pet rats to maintain proper socialization. How much time do you need? At least an hour a day is recommended. You’ll also need to dedicate time to cleaning, feeding, health checks, etc.
Do you have the money to care for a pet rat?
Being able to cover the cost of a pet rat is also important. The cost of lab blocks are usually a dollar a pound. Medical care can run up a cost of a couple hundred dollars. It is recommended to put aside a medical fund to cover the cost of veterinarians.
Additional considerations should be given to cage maintenence such as hammocks, toys, water bottles will occasionally need to be replaced.
Will your other animals get along with a rat?
If you have a rat terrier or an animal that instinctively hunts rats, you probably shouldn’t get another rat. If your house is already crowded with animals and you don’t have a good spot for a rat cage, probably is not the time. Be realistic. Don’t get a rat just because you want it. Make sure your environment is suitable.
Will your living situation last?
Are you going to be able to stay in a home that allows pet rats? Are you thinking about moving soon? It’s important to be settled in your home and have the ability to afford any necessary deposits if you are renting. If you are thinking of moving, make sure your new place will allow you to keep your rats.
Do you really want a rat?
I’ve seen too many times where a rat is bought for a school project. It’s needed on a short term basis. Or an impulse buy where they couldn’t resist the cuteness but after a few months, the person realizes they just don’t have the time to take care of their pets. Make sure you have the commitment, the time, and the willingness to learn what is involved.
Adopt Pet Rats in Pairs
Most pet stores will not encourage you to get two rats because the majority of the time, everyone wants to start out with one. However, it is for their own benefit as well as yours that you get them a buddy. It will make them have less social issues. A lone rat will often develop more aggressive behaviors if the owner does not have the time to properly socialize and maintain good socialization with their pet.
“But I don’t have time for two rats…”
Two rats really don’t take much more time than a single rat. If anything, it gives you a little lead way if you have a busy week and can’t take your rats out everyday (not that it’s an excuse to get two and never socialize with them again). Rats are social creatures that need other rats to cuddle with, groom and keep warm. As much time as a person could spend with their rat, it will never completely fulfill the things another rat companion will do.