Getting new pets is always an exciting experience, but it is something you should prepare for fully before you rush out and pick your new companions. selten are complex and intelligent creatures who, if cared for correctly, will provide you with 2 – 3 years of fun and loyalty.
Here are some of the most important rat care issues you need to address before you embark on your journey as a rat guardian:
How many pet rats to get?
Keeping a lone rat should never be considered, to keep a rat on its own will be denying it and you important and rewarding rat interactions. Rats are social creatures by nature and they take comfort and stimulation from other rats, it is part of what makes rats such wonderful companions. Because living socially is what makes rats happy they will instantly feel more relaxed and confident in their new home and with you.
The optimum number of rats to get, particularly if you are new to the world of rats and their care is 2 or 3. This may sound daunting, but in reality it makes your job as a rat owner a lot easier and ultimately more enjoyable. Rats will play and sleep together, and they will spend large amounts of time grooming each other. Multiple rats won’t look at you solely as their care giver, you will be part of their colony, just another rat if you like, and you will find yourself sharing games, love and mischief with your rats.
What kind of rat cage is best?
Wire cages make the healthiest and most stimulating homes for rats. The bars of of a wire cage can be used to create an exciting environment for yours rats by hanging toys and hammocks for them to climb up to and explore. As rats can be prone to respiratory problems the ventilation offered by a wire top cage is essential. Unfortunately not all large wire cages are ideal. The space between the bars must be considered, especially when it comes to young rats. One important rat rule which you should always keep in mind is this; if a rat can get its head through something it will try and get its bottom through too. This can lead to them either escaping or getting stuck.
Once you have found your perfect rat cage, by using a little imagination you can turn it into an adventure playground which will keep your rats happy, active and healthy while you are not there. Don’t forget that a large and exciting cage still means you need to get your rats out to play and they will love you all the more for it.
What is a good rat diet?
While in the wild rats are scavengers, if you want the best for your pet rats you must feed them proper rat food. Ready mixed rat foods are available in all pet supply stores. Make sure that your rats have access to their food at all times and don’t let it run out. Use a flat bottomed ceramic food bowl, the size often made for rabbits is good as it allows your rats to dig around in it without to much spillage. An alternative is a metal bowl that can be attached to the sides of the cage. Rats are cheeky little critters and if a bowl is not stable or secured they may well accidentally tip it up by standing on it.
Your rats basic diet should also be supplemented with fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears, carrots, curly kale, cauliflowers and broccoli. With sensible experimentation you’ll figure out what your rats love. It is much better to treat your rats regularly with fresh produce than with store purchased yogurt or chocolate drops.