Buying a Domesticated Rat
The moment you shout “rats”, you will see many people run for the hills. There are exceptions though, because to some people rats are affectionate, adorable, cute, and entertaining. The fact is that rats are lively and intelligent too. They make great pets, not only for children but for adults as well. The Fancy Rat is probably the most common pet rat: they love to play with humans and are perfect friends.
However, it is important to understand that just like all other pets, rats will require your special attention. You need to show serious commitment to their well being and health. It is, therefore, important to ensure that you are ready to put in the time and effort to keep your little friends healthy, happy, and safe.
What Your Rat Needs for Healthy Living
Rats are extremely compassionate animals, and your love and attention for your little friend will help lay the foundation for an incredibly fulfilling relationship.
Your duty is to provide your rat with the best you can.
Here’s what your rat will need.
- A Great Environment
- A Perfect Diet
To create a perfect living environment, you need to get a cage that should at least be 12×24 inches. To that end, you should opt for a wire cage for better ventilation and install an exercise wheel (avoid hamster wheels, for they are too small).
Next up is litter and bedding. Avoid using pine or cedar shavings because they contain toxins and may cause respiratory problems in rats. Instead, opt for alfalfa pellets or aspen shavings. Avoid clay cat litters at all cost.
Anything like shredded paper, corn-husk, felt, or sisal bedding will do.
Make it a perfect environment by adding a snug place for your rat to sleep – you can use household items like cans, milk jugs, or even ink-free boxes. Other important items include a water bottle, and food dish.
Once everything looks perfect, you need to pay attention to select the right diet plan for your rat. Knowing what rats eat is essential to keeping them healthy. You can buy rat blocks that will provide them nutrients. Give them fresh fruits and vegetables to eat, and anything that contains protein and fat. If you have a male rat, avoid citrus juice because it can cause kidney damage. You can give them pieces of oranges, though.
Avoid raw dry beans and peanuts because they can destroy vitamin A and other enzymes required to digest starches and protein. Roasted peanuts are not that bad though. You must avoid giving your pet rat green bananas, green potato skin, mango, poppy seeds, raw bulk tofu, and wild insects.
To ensure you don’t forget anything before you go buy a pet rat for yourself, here’s a supplies checklist to keep with you.
- Large cage
- Bedding and litter
- Dry food dispenser and water bottles
- Moist-food dish
- Rat foods and treats
- Exercise wheel and activity toys
- Chew toys
It doesn’t have to be an extremely expensive endeavor to keep a pet rat. A cage will cost you anywhere around $35, whereas food supplies will run about $50 a year. You may have to spend $20 a year for treats and toys, and litter and bedding material may cost around $220 annually.
It’s nothing compared to how much you have to spend when you buy another pet. Just remember that you will have to put in an effort to develop an emotional bond with your new friend to make it a great experience for both of you.