Want to have a fancy pet rat? Go ahead and learn how rats have lived in close association with human beings for centuries. Rats are considered as pests and are shunned by many. But this is not wholly true, as rats do make fancy pets. They are docile and clean creatures making them adorable pets. These are a great pet option for families that have no space for a cat or dog due to space restrictions. Rat Guides give you an idea on how rats are domesticated and turned into pets. The www.petmd.com care center explains the positive benefits of bringing up rats in the house.
Domesticating Fancy Rats Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is the domestic version of rats. The history dates back to 1900 where fancy rats came into existence. They come in diverse coat colors like solid black with white belly called the Berkshire, cat coloring named Siamese to spotted rats called Dalmatian type. The hair of a rat is short, straight and dense but did you know that there are curly varieties also available. If you want hairless rats, they too are available too.
Morphometric information of rats Body dimensions: 9 to 11 inches in length and tail length is 7 to 9 inches. The average body weight of the female is 400 g and for males is 500 g. The sexual maturity age of the rate is 10-12 weeks, and males mature a little early than females. The lifespan of a rat is 18-36 months.
Social creatures Rats are sociable with each other and with humans. Pet experts recommend a pair instead of one as they can socialize helping contain behavioural problems. Two young males can be quarrelsome in the beginning to determine them as an alpha male. Bucks or Does are introduced as pairs before they reach 10 weeks.
Games with rats Having rats as pets could be fun. The feeling of holding them and let them perch your shoulders can be exciting. Many activities can keep them busy, like building mazes, overcoming mini hurdles etc. Once the activity is complete, you can treat them. There are dirt games also that could be exciting both for the owner and pet. In a large storage container leave some organic soil and plant wheat grass seeds, allow it to germinate, and once they are up, you can leave the rat in the mud. They love digging and munch on the grass. Once they get dirty, swim them in the bathtub after massaging them with a pet shampoo. Rats spend most of the time in the cage, and such fun activities can help them combat boredom.
Rat nest maintenance A large cage of 24 x 12 x 15 inches is sufficient for a rat pair. Use soil plastic floor with soft bedding to make the rat comfortable. Grated or wired cages are not recommended as their small feet can get caught in between the grids. Since they are burrowing animals building a nest with softwood shavings or paper shredding or cardboard shaving could be an ideal setup.
Do not forget to get the rats regularly check by a veterinarian to maintain them in good health.