The modern family owns many exotic pets that weren’t popular a few decades ago, like snakes, reptiles, and even mice and rats. As our knowledge about these animals grows, we can take care of them better, and we are learning that many of these animals make fantastic pets.
If you were thinking of purchasing a rat for your home but would like to know if they make good pets and where you might buy one, you’ve come to the right place. We’re about to list the advantages of owning a pet rat as well as any disadvantages, and we’ll also list some places where you can purchase one.
Is Owning a Rat a Good Idea?
Rats can make amazing pets. They are clean, and they continuously groom themselves like cats. They will also clean each other, so they rarely need bathing. They also like to arrange their food into little piles to keep their area neat. Rats are also extremely intelligent and can learn tricks and solve puzzles. They can catch a ball, jump through hoops, and will even respond to their name. They form lifelong bonds with their owners and enjoy cuddling and snuggling.
The downside to owning a rat is that they frequently need medical attention and require several checkups with a knowledgeable rat veterinarian. Another downside is that they have a short lifespan, and most only live to 2-3 years of age.
Before we dive in, it is important to note that live rodents are not always sold at the options below and availability greatly differs among stores. If you are unsure about stock and want more information before you head to your local shop, contact them directly for more information.
Retail Sales Outlets
PetSmart is a great retail outlet where you can buy a pet rat and all the supplies you need to raise it. They have many locations, and each store also has supplies for cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, fish, and more. This large company has numerous sales and knowledgeable staff. They’ll even deliver items right to your door.
Petco is similar to PetSmart in that it’s a large chain with many stores you can visit to see the animal you were interested in firsthand. You can choose from a large selection of rats to keep as pets, and they have everything you need to house and raise it. It also has everything you need for cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and more, and they even provide services like grooming and training.
Online Sales Outlets
There are many opportunities online to buy pet rats, but make sure there are ways to ensure the safety of your new pet as it is shipped to your home. This is something to inquire with a potential breeder about.
Adopt a Pet
Adopt a Pet is a fantastic online service that allows you to adopt your pet rat from anywhere in the United States. You type in what animal you’re looking for, your zip code, and some other information like how far you’re willing to drive, and it presents you with a list of options. With any luck, you’ll find one within a few miles from your home that will be less expensive than the one you might find in a retail store.
AllClassifieds is another online service that connects people with other people looking to sell rats (and other things) in their area. Most owners post pictures of the rat along with the price they’re asking and their location. You can contact them for more information or make a purchase.
Rats make great pets as long as you are alright with them only living 2-3 years. They are extremely intelligent and enjoy being around people. If you allow it, pet rats will often sit on your lap or shoulder for an hour or more each day, and you might find yourself carrying it around with you more than you ever thought you would. It’s surprisingly easy to find a pet rat at many local pet stores with no need to contact a breeder and you might even find one online for less money.
Featured Image Credit: Kirill Kurashov, Shutterstock