Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

 

Rat Facts

Average Adult Size:8 inches long
Average Life Span:Up to 5 years with proper care
Diet:Omnivore

Rats are highly intelligent, loyal and one of the most under-rated small animal pets. Rats are easily tamed pets that thrive on interaction and bond with their pet parent. They are social and are best kept in same-sex pairs. Rats are playful and enjoy a variety of toys and activities such as exercise wheels and anything that encourages climbing and exploration. Like other small animals, a rat's teeth grow continuously throughout their life, so they should be provided with chew sticks to prevent them from becoming over-grown. The types of rats available include Dumbo, Hairless, Hooded, Albino, Siamese and endless other color variations. There's sure to be a rat suited to meet your physical preferences, and its personality is sure to win your heart!

  • Rats regulate their temperature through their tails.
  • Unlike the common misconception, rats are incredibly clean and docile animals.
  • Scientific name - Rattus norvegicus

Rats, like the ones for sale at Petland are easily tamed and thrive on interaction. These include Dumbo, Hairless, Hooded, Albino, Siamese and endless other color variations. They are known to bond with their pet parent with time and daily engagement. They are best kept in same-sex pairs because of their natural tendencies to be social, and enjoy a variety of toys and activities that encourage climbing and exploration. Like other small animals, a rat's teeth grow continuously throughout their life, so they should be provided with chew sticks to maintain a comfortable length.

Diet

A well-balanced rat diet consists of:

  • High-quality rat food or lab blocks and limited amounts of grain, vegetables and fruits.
  • Clean, fresh, filtered, chlorine-free water, changed daily.
  • Do not feed chocolate, caffeine or alcohol as these can cause serious medical conditions. Avoid sugar and high fat treats.

Feeding

Things to remember when feeding your rat:

  • Fresh food and water should always be available.
  • A limited amount of grain, vegetables, fruits or Timothy hay can be given daily but should not exceed 10% of their total diet
  • Vegetables and fruits not eaten within 24 hours should be discarded.

Housing

  • Rats acclimate well to average household temperatures, not to exceed 80°F; be cautious of extreme temperature changes. The habitat should never be in direct sunlight or in a drafty area.
  • Habitat should be plastic, metal or glass and escape-proof with a solid bottom; there should be plenty of room for the rat to exercise and play. It is best to provide the largest habitat possible.
  • 1-2" of bedding should be placed in the habitat; proper bedding includes high quality paper bedding, crumbled paper bedding, or hardwood shavings. Cedar-based products are not recommended.
  • Rats can be kept in same-sex pairs that have been raised together. Different types of small animals should not be housed together.

Normal Behavior

  • Play during the night and rest during the day (nocturnal) but can adjust to your schedule.
  • Hide in objects but will come out when people come near the habitat.
  • Chew on objects to maintain incisor teeth, which grow continuously; ensure they have plenty of wood chew sticks or mineral chews.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Clean and disinfect the habitat and its contents at least once a week with a 3% bleach solution. Rinse and allow to dry completely before placing the rat back into the habitat.
  • Remove wet spots daily; change bedding at least once a week, or more often as necessary.

Grooming & Hygiene

  • Rats stay clean and rarely need baths, but can be spot-cleaned with a damp washcloth or unscented baby wipes if needed.
  • Consult with a veterinarian if a rat's teeth seem too long.


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