In many circles, rats have a bad reputation. They are considered gross, dirty, and not suitable for pet ownership. However, there are a lot of reasons to keep rats as pets. They aren't what most people expect and if people just gave them the time of day to prove themselves, most people would be shocked. Rats make really great pets for grown ups and children alike. They can become a great friend and many rat owners get rats on and off all through their lives.  

10. They Don't Take Up a Lot of Space

Cats take up space. They need a litter box, a place for their food and water, and often a place to sleep. They also need toys and would love to climb. Dogs also take up a fair amount of space. On the other hand, rats really don't need a lot of space. While they will appreciate the largest cage that you can get for them you won't need to dedicate a lot of space to them. This can make them perfect for apartments, smaller houses, and even a house you just don't have a lot of extra space in.  

Pet Rats(95413)

9. Rats Aren't Extremely Expensive

Rats aren't really cheap. Cages can be expensive. However, once you have a rat set up you won't be spending much money on them. Their food is inexpensive. You can find inexpensive toys. You can even make your own toys. They also need less vet care than cats or dogs. Because of this rats are a lot less expensive than many animals.  

8. They Are Easy To Care For

Rats are easy to care for. While they like a lot of stimulation and that means it does take time to care for them properly, they don't need a whole lot of special work. You will need to feed and water them every day. You will need to change their bedding every week. Plus they need regular attention and they need stimulation outside of their cage. However, this is really easy to work around your schedule and they don't have any needs that require you to make changes in your day or your life to meet their needs. Just play with them for an hour or two each day, when it is convenient to you.  

Female Pet Rat
Credit: Pemelet, Wikipedia, PD

7. They Are Cute

Rats really have a bad rep and many people talk about how horrible their tails are or can be. However, if you get past the fact that it is a rat and you were probably taught that they were bad, most people have to admit that they are cute. They have sweet faces, love to be clean, and are soft. They also come in a wide variety of looks so that you can find the one that is cutest to you.  

6. They Are Friendly

There are many rodents that are sold for pets. The popular ones include mice, hamsters, and gerbils. The problem with these creatures is that they just aren't really friendly as a whole. Every now and again you may find one that is friendly, but for the most part these types of rodents would prefer to be left alone. On the other hand, rats are friendly. They love people and they really want to spend time with people. They love getting out of their cages and playing games. Many of them even love traveling, visiting others, and playing in new places.  

Pet Rat

5. They Are Playful

With all the playing mentioned in the last section, it is no surprise that rats are playful. They love to explore, climb all over people, and even play games. Many of them enjoy going outside and playing in new places. They will enjoy having the run of the couch (with supervision) or the bed (also with supervision). They will also love playing with a variety of toys made for rodents and even birds!  

4. They Are Intelligent

Mice are often entertaining. However, mice aren't very smart. Hamsters can be entertaining, but hamsters are just downright dumb. On the other hand, the rat is a very smart creature. It can be taught to come when you call, to know its name, to play games, and even to use a litter box inside of its cage instead of going to the bathroom just anywhere. They also show their intelligence in other ways that can be fun and entertaining to the owner.  

Our Pet Rat

3. Rats Can Learn Tricks

Rats can learn to do tricks. While it does take some work, you can teach your rats all sorts of tricks. Rats will sit on your shoulder, will ride around, will learn to play games (including hide and seek), and love to have fun.


2. Rats Are Clean

When people who aren't used to rats, meet them they are often worried about how dirty they are. However, rats are clean. They don't like their cage to get messy and won't smell as long as their owners take decent care of them. They bathe themselves frequently to stay clean and fresh looking. They will spend a lot of their awake time making sure that they are indeed clean.  

Marcus (5) with Pet Rat Telery

1. Rats Love People!

Of all the reasons that a person might want to keep a rat, the number one reason to keep them is that they really love people. There are a lot of animals that are kept that tolerate people and some that do that grudgingly. However, rats really do love people. They form attachments to the people in their life. They are affectionate and loving. They will bathe their owners and some of them even like to cuddle. They will become some of your best friends.  

Rats, like dogs, will be there for you through thick and thin. They will always love you and will always love being by your side. While they may spend time in their cage and they may be tiny loved ones, but they are great pets. Some people will never be convinced, but if you are on the fence then you should spend some time with these adorable creatures. It's likely that you will be bringing a couple home and falling in love. Take it from me, one rat changed my opinion 13 years ago and since that I have been “mom” to 16 rats.