Most people misunderstand rats. The idea of rats as pets seems to be self-contradictory to them – rats are dirty, wild, they chew up on everything in their path, they cannot be www.petsblog.org and kept at a home with humans – especially children.
However, more people than commonly thought own a pet rat, or even several pet rats – often nicknamed fancy rats. If you have arrived here you may own one or some already, or thinking of owning one, or simply want to know more about the fancy rat. Whichever is true, you should know that pet rats are more delicate than some might think, and caring for them requires a lot of attention to detail. Here you will learn some tips about attending to pet rat health, which pet rat cages are best and how they should be prepared for your pet rat, and general tips about pet rat care and pet rat training.
In order to house your pet rat, care must be taken to which cage you choose and how to prepare it. The cage should be large enough so that your fancy rat has room to run around. It should be made to provide an environment of different activities for your pet rat – toys to play with and keep your fancy rat interested are very important, for example, because fancy rats can literally get sick with boredom. The cage should also have places in which your pet rat can snuggle and rest, and preferably something it can climb. The cage floor should be properly bedded with newspaper or some fabric. Keep an eye on the cleanliness of the cage as well – clean it on a weekly basis, at least.
Which toys should you use in the pet rat cage? well, pet rats have personalities, and each pet rat is different. An old tennis ball can be good for one, a wooden ring to chew on can be good for the other. At the end of this article you will find a pointer to the source of an abundance of ideas for pet rat toys. However, just like with a child, your pet rat can have all the toys in the world – but nothing would match up to some quality time with you. So make time to play with your pet rats. Pet rats are also good companions for each other – if you put more than one of them in the same cage (if the cage is big enough, of course) they’ll be able to play with each other, and that will make their lives much better and more interesting.
Pet rat care begins with what you feed them with. Rats can eat pretty much everything, but in order to keep your pet rat healthy there are certain things you can do with regards to their diet. You can feed them ready-made mouse food that you buy in a shop, but make sure you diversify it with bits of fresh fruit and vegetables (except citrus fruit which are bad, especially to males). Trial and error will tell you which foods your pet rat loves best – like I said, rats have personalities, and each one is different. You can sometimes even spoil your pet rats with a sweet delicacy such as a dog biscuit, if you find they like it. You can also hide food in their cages for them to look for. Water should be given in a drip bottle attached to the wiring of the cage – make sure water never runs out.
A healthy diet, without overfeeding, will generally keep your pet rat healthy. But pet rat health requires attention in other aspects too. For example, pet rats are very sensitive to heat or cold. They should be given worm cloth to snuggle in during cold days, and fed cold food (such as frozen veggies) on hot days.
If your pet rat does not act like its usual self (particularly if it’s much quieter or more indifferent than usual), if it does not drink or eat normally, or if it sneezes often or shows signs of breathing difficulty – it may be sick. If you notice a lump in your pet rat’s body, that may be a sign of serious illness. Rats may also contract skin diseases or worms in their digestive systems. Whatever the symptoms are, the best thing to do is to when you notice something out of the ordinary is to take it to the vet, the sooner the better.