If you’ve just got pet rats, or you’re about to get them, you need to know how to take care of pet rats. One of the number one rules is that you always need to get at least two rats, because they become irritable if you’ve only got one rat. But aside from that, there are logistics to think of. Things like food, their cage, and activities that they need to do to stay healthy. You should take all of these things into account when you get pet rats, and always make sure that you’re caring for them properly.
For food, the only really good diet you can give your pet rats is rat block. Most other commercial rat food is too fatty for them, and trying to make them a diet yourself is definitely not a good idea. At least eighty percent of their diet needs to be comprised of specially formulated rat blocks. For the other twenty percent, you’re probably going to feed them fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, left-over meat (especially with bones to gnaw on), and some sweet treats for them, to teach them tricks, and to socialize them to you.
For their cage, you need to make sure that you have something at least as large as a ten gallon aquarium, but with more ventilation (usually a wire mesh cage), and always have appropriate bedding available – just enough to cover the floor of the cage. For bedding, never use pine or cedar, always use aspen wood shavings, or commercial paper bedding mixtures. It’s a matter of health for the little babies. Pine and cedar are both poisonous to little animals like rats, mice, gerbils, guinea pigs and the like. You need to clean their cage at least once a week.
There are a couple activities that rats need to do to stay healthy, and there is one that you need to do to get them to be friendly with you. Socializing rats is very important. Spend at least fifteen minutes a day individually with each of your pet rats, and it is ideal if you can spend an hour a day together. At the very least, let them climb around on you while you read or watch tv. You always need to provide your pet rats with stuff to climb on, stuff to burrow under, and things to chew on. It’s also best if you provide them something to scratch on, like a natural rock to climb on.
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide to caring for pet rats. It is meant to at least explain the most important aspects of caring for your pets. Just remember these tips for appropriate food, housing and activities, and you’ll likely not need much else in the way of guidance.