See my rats Willy and Emilio sucking up to Santa Mouse!
Rats Make Great Pets
"The best things in life are worth waiting for," I am gently reminded now and then by a dear friend. That's how I feel about rats. After having just about every pet you can legally stick under one roof, rats were definitely worth waiting for. I'm grateful that I was talked into getting one at first. I've now loved seven rats, and like most rat owners I've met, we believe rats are the most wonderful pet of all! This page is dedicated to pet rats for bringing unlimited joy and love to those of us who have lived with them.
Rats are wonderful companions and pets. If more people realized this, more rats would be saved from being snake food. They can learn their names. They're clean animals and very smart. They can learn how to use a litter box. They're quiet and affectionate. And most of all, they enjoy humans. People who live in apartments or small homes can get much enjoyment from a rat as a pet. They're devoted and playful. They're like little puppies that never grow up, except they don't bark - they squeak. I hope to always have rats in my life.
Year of the Rat Dates
31 January 1900 - 18 February 1901: Metal Rat
18 February 1912 - 5 February 1913: Water Rat
5 February 1924 - 24 January 1925: Wood Rat
24 January 1936 - 10 February 1937: Fire Rat
10 February 1948 - 28 January 1949: Earth Rat
28 January 1960 - 14 February 1961: Metal Rat
15 February 1972 - 2 February 1973: Water Rat
2 February 1984 - 19 February 1985: Wood Rat
10 February 1996 - 6 February 1997: Fire Rat
7 February 2008 - 25 January 2009: Earth Rat
2020 - 2021: Metal Rat
Have you seen me?
You might have said "Hi" to me at the pet shop where I lived with my brothers and sisters for awhile. We were kinda cramped but we loved the attention you gave; I'm sure you noticed we're gluttons for love. A few of us lucky ones were adopted by nice folks with a comfy setup for us in their home. But most - 90% of us - end up as snake food. And we've been bred for gentleness and intelligence.
As we rats reincarnate from life to life, we're quickly evolving into living as comfortably with humans as dogs and cats do now. Humans are always surprised what wonderful pets and companions we are for them. Our merits are far too numerous to list here, but suffice to say that we're worth our weight in gold...or at least lab blocks. I can be your typically smart and gentle lab rat or a "Fancy" - a showstopper at those elaborate rat and mice shows. We seldom bite or nip like those moody (and not nearly as intelligent) guinea pigs and hamsters. Sure they're kinda cute, but we're far more sociable and fun. We're great hosts at a party, too. It's our unruly, wild cousins that have given us such a bad rap all these centuries.
If you happen to ever want to adopt one and ideally two of us pet rats -- here's a bit of advice to help us all get along comfortably together.
Give us some time to know you. We're usually very trusting right away, but some of us need extra time to realize how nice you really are. After all, we've spent generations of being hated and hunted by humans. We are very responsive and appreciative of your love and kindness and we'll even treat you like one of us. We're meticulous about our hygiene, and even cleaner and more content when we have another rat with us. We take care of each other's fleas and nits, which we rarely get anyway, so you don't have to worry about that. Our antics are loads of fun and we don't eat that much. Some of us use a litter box, too.
We live to be about 2 1/2 years old with the right diet, clean quarters, oodles of attention, good genes, and feeling loved. A few might live to be 4! But that's like humans living to be 100.
Pet Rat Rescues
PetFinder.com - Search nationwide for any type of rescue animal. 1000's of shelters and rescues. A good place to start.
AnyRatRescue.org - network of caring foster homes in Arizona.
How You Can Help Your Local Rescue or Shelter
Thank you to Maggie and her special rat, Feivel for sending me this poem from the "chorus" part of 'God Gave me an Angel:'
"God gave me an angel to have and to love
And I make a promise to heaven above
I'll love you forever and you'll come to see
As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."