Despite many peoples' feelings and fears, rats are wonderful, interactive, social and affectionate pets! They are extremely clean, bond strongly to their owners, and rarely bite if handled properly. Rats are highly intelligent. They can learn their names and tricks and play interactive games such as hide-n-seek and tug of war. Females tend to be more active and playful, while males are more laid back and apt to snuggle. Rats LOVE to be with you and are happiest when they are able to hitch a ride on your shoulder or sweatshirt pocket as you travel around the house doing your daily chores. Believe it or not, many rats greet their owners with just as much excitement as a dog, and are even known to give you kisses to tell you they love you. Rats typically live about 1 to 3 years, as respiratory problems and cancer are common. Female rats tend to prefer to live in pairs but males are generally best on their own. Rats need daily interactions and "out of the cage time" or they do become restless. Large cages without wire floors and with multiple levels are best, but the minimum cage requirements are 12" X 24" X 12". Pine and cedar shaving should not be used as they damage the respiratory tract and cause liver damage. A rat's diet should consist of commercial rat pellets, a bit of seed, and a small amount (about 20% of their intake daily) of fresh fruits and vegetables. Their cages should contain a litter box, soft places, such as a hammock, to sleep, places to hide, appropriate things to chew, toys, a wheel to run on, a water bottle, and food dishes. If a rat sounds like the pet for you, stop in and meet our sweet little rat today!
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