Should I Get Male or Female Rats as Pets? – Yes/No?

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Male or Female Rats as Pets

As for whether males or females make a better pet… This is really a difficult thing to answer! Males are messier, require more space (about 2.5 cubic feet per rat), and smell more (note that rat owners who have had males say this is hardly ever an issue).

If however you want something to cuddle with you all day, a male is the way to go. They get bigger and often times prefer to laze around.

Females are much more curious, and would rather be exploring and playing than doing something “boring” like sitting on your lap for hours at a time 🙂 Don’t expect a female to curl up with you for some quiet time unless she’s well and exhausted from her adventures.

ALSO SEE: Rat Aquarium Setup vs Cages

Male or Female Rats as Pets
Female rat on the left and male rat on the right

Know that females have a higher tendency of developing tumors, however males are more likely to develop kidney problems.

Spaying female rats has been found to help reduce the probability of tumors. Cost and experience varies from vet to vet ($25-$150 generally), so make sure you do some research into vets available in your area (see the link to the right under “Important Links” for a list of exotic vets). Both have their pros and their cons, and it really depends on your preferences.

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