How To Properly Keep and Care of Pet Rats:- If you want to get a pet, but cats or dogs do not appeal to you, then a decorative rat would be an excellent option. Because they are quite intelligent, easy to train, and will give you affection with proper care.

How to care for domestic pet rats?

how to keep and care pet rats

Description of Domestic Pet Rats

For many years, rats brought people only trouble: they spoiled crops destroyed stocks, and were also carriers of various infections. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rats began to be tamed. Since then, many breeds have been artificially bred, differing in color, type of coat, and size of adults.

Such pets live, subject to all the rules for the care and maintenance of about 2-3 years. They are cute, funny and playful. But before you get yourself a decorative rodent, you should make sure that there are no allergic reactions to these animals, and also provide them with comfortable living conditions.

Most Popular Decorative Rat Breeds

Decorative arts are distinguished by size, coat color, presence of spots, and other features. Among the many varieties, the following are distinguished:-

  • Standard;
  • Rex;
  • Satin rat;
  • Tailless rat;
  • Sphinx;
  • Downy;
  • Dumbo.

Standard Rats Breed

Standard Rats are the most popular breed of decorative rats. It was bred as a result of crossing common gray and white rats. By color, this type of rodent can be either pure white or black and white. Occasionally, tricolor representatives are also found, where gray or brown is present as an additional shade. The eyes of a Standard breed pet can be red, ruby, ​​or black. Adults reach a weight of 500 grams and a length of up to 20 cm.

Rex Rats Breed

Rex is a unique creature with coarse curly hair. In addition to curls on the back and belly, this breed has a curly mustache. The satin (satin) rat is a long-haired animal with a shiny and delicate fur coat. Tailless representatives of the family of decorative rodents are also called Manx rats. As the name implies, the main characteristic of the variety is the absence of a hairless tail.

Sphynxes or Hairless Rats Breed

Sphynxes or hairless rats are widespread among those who do not tolerate wool and are also ideal for all exotic lovers. They live slightly less than representatives of other breeds of decorative rodents. Also, hairless creatures are more susceptible to various diseases and infections, therefore, they require increased attention.

Downy Rats Breed

The downy rat has thin down instead of coarse long hair. The whiskers of these representatives of rodents are slightly curled, and on the body, there may be bare areas that are not covered with downy.

Dumbo Rats Breed

A distinctive feature of Dumbo rats is large, rounded ears. Otherwise, it can be similar to representatives of any other species, have curly hair or not have it at all, and also have a fur coat of various colors.

Rules for keeping domestic pet rats

Varieties of decorative rats

To provide the domestic rat with a comfortable stay, it is necessary to purchase a spacious cage for it. It should organize a real house on several floors with small ladders, toys, and a cozy sleeping place. For the latter, a small clay pot, an old cardboard box, or any other handy product that can act as a mink is ideal.

A comfortable temperature for rats coincides with that in which a person lives – 18-22 degrees, and a suitable humidity is 50-60%. The rodent does not like direct sunlight and strong drafts.

In addition to a bed with a bed of aspen sawdust or cellulose filler, the pet needs a special tray, a feeder, and a drinker. The love of bathing small decorative rodents can be easily satisfied by placing a small container filled with warm water inside the cage.

A well-tamed animal can be released from your house. But this must be done under strict supervision. The rat can ruin furniture or do other damage.

It is necessary to take into account the fact that rats often relieve themselves, therefore, wood products should not be used as decorative elements, as they will quickly absorb the smell of urine and become unusable.

How and what to feed domestic pet rats?

The basis of the diet of decorative rats is grain crops. A rodent needs up to 30 grams of oats, wheat, or barley per day. In addition, it is useful to include in the menu:

  • Vegetables and fruits;
  • Milk and dairy products;
  • Fresh herbs;
  • Petals of some flowers;
  • Nuts;
  • Eggs.

Meat meals are allowed once a week. But it should be borne in mind that rats have weak liver, therefore, it is necessary to carefully monitor the daily composition of the diet. For an animal to live long and have excellent health, its menu should consist of 10% fat, 25% protein, and 65% carbohydrates.

This perfect balance is difficult to achieve. That is why leading veterinarians have developed high-quality dry food for small rodents. Their composition is completely balanced and allows you to meet all the needs of the body of a domestic rat. In addition, their use will save your pet from unwanted food.

What is forbidden to give decorative rats?

  • Smoked and spicy dishes;
  • Bakery products;
  • Sweets;
  • Legumes;
  • Raw potatoes;
  • Unripe and overripe fruits;
  • Products containing soy;
  • Leaves of fruit trees.

It is undesirable to include foods that cause gas formation in the diet. The entire amount of food must be given to the rodent in 2-3 doses. Babies should increase the number of feedings up to 3-4 times. Eating small meals will provide a comfortable digestion and keep the stomach from stretching.

Diseases affecting ornamental rodents

All rodents are susceptible to diseases of an infectious and allergic nature, so rats are no exception. Many diseases can be successfully treated, but it is important to notice the symptoms in time. A healthy animal can be easily distinguished from a sick animal by its shiny coat and clear eyes. If the animal does not behave as usual, or its appearance has changed, then you should immediately contact your veterinarian.

Rats often suffer from the following diseases:

  • Excessive regrowth of the front teeth – arises from improper nutrition and gives the rodent severe discomfort, up to the inability to eat;
  • Infections of the genitourinary system – characterized by vaginal bleeding and frequent bowel movements;
  • Allergic conjunctivitis and rhinitis – manifest as redness of the eyes and mucous membranes;
  • Pneumonia and other diseases of the respiratory tract – often occur due to the increased susceptibility of rodents to microplasma;
  • Abscesses – occur at the site of injuries and cuts;
  • Mites and other ectoparasites – are determined by the appearance of scabs on the skin and require immediate processing of the animal and its cells.

Any diseases of rodents can be prevented by providing them with adequate nutrition, proper care, and periodic treatment from parasites. It is also worth remembering that the rat, like any other living creature, requires affection, so do not forget to play with the pet and periodically pick it up.