Rats make intriguing pets. Because of their intelligence, they are able to learn how to solve puzzles that are centred on food, and this ability may be utilised to educate them to demonstrate their dexterity and adaptability in doing a range of jobs.
They are quite friendly and like interacting with their owners. They take pleasure in being held if they have been used to this behaviour from a young age, and they take pleasure in being played with. It is usual practise to have many pet rats in the same cage since rats are known to be quite friendly with each other and with other rats.
Although white rats are the most popular choice for pets, there is now a broad array of colour options available. Because of this, categorization systems have been created in order to set acceptable breeding standards.
Rats will eat almost anything but care should be taken to give them a balanced diet to keep them healthy. They love fruit and vegetables (potatoes in any form are a favourite) but this should be balanced with a good amount of rat food. The kibble type of rat food, similar to dry dog food is especially useful as often it is hard which both helps check the continuous growth of the rat’s teeth as well as indulging one of their favourite activities, chewing.
Vitamin supplements are also useful to help maintain your rat’s health. These are often supplied in a liquid form so that they can be added to your pet’s drinking water.
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Domesticated rats are usually good at keeping clean and if they are provided with a clean environment, good diet and maintained at a reasonably stable temperature, they will thrive.
The rat’s coat provides the best guide to its health. It should be sleek and shiny. As the owner, it is worth keeping a daily watch on your pet’s condition. Excessive scratching or the appearance of bald patches or scabs, listlessness and dull eyes, tilting of the head to one side, mucous or excessive sneezing are some indications of possible illness. If you lack experience with rats, a trip to the vet will be required.
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Problems with the rat’s fur are often mites or lice which can be treated. An allergy can also be the cause, which again can be diagnosed and treated. Infections of various types are also fairly easily treated if diagnosed early enough. Hence the need to observe them regularly.
Generally though, rats make a healthy, active and enjoyable pet.