Many people, when you mention the word rat, automatically think of dirty and dangerous sewer dwellers, but the reality is quite different. A rat as a pet is becoming more and more popular.
If you have a rat as a pet you will discover how tremendously intelligent, clean, sociable, cheerful, and funny they are. When you talk to them they look you in the eye, they are really worth it, and they are very grateful beings.
I advise you a brood of about a month and a half. At that time she will be weaned and eat alone. When you acquire it so young, endless possibilities present themselves to you: you can educate it and even teach it with patience many fun tricks.
1. Where do I have it?
Their place of residence should be a large cage for dwarf rabbit surrounded by a metal mesh well fastened with wire as a more economical option. There are also rat-specific ones. Watch out for ferret cages, because if your rat is small, it will escape between bars.
I am of the opinion that within your economic and space possibilities, you should provide them with a good place where they can run around without difficulty. Try to have the cage have at least one den where they can spend the day – they are twilight – without stress to be calm.
2. The hygienic substrate
Keep the substrate clean. Change it at least once a week. The most recommended are those of paper and corn. They will be easy to find in your specialty pet store. Do not be tempted to use heating pellets, shavings or hay. Think that your pet will be in contact all day and dust among other substances, can cause respiratory problems.
3. Train my rat as a pet
It is very rewarding to train and enjoy your progress. To get a polite little bit you must dedicate to training time, you will see how little by little you become inseparable. I play with mine every day when I get back from work. It is a great therapy to forget the daily worries and have a good time.
The first thing I do when I get home is open the cage for them. If you do not have them very controlled I advise you to release them in a room without too many hiding places, for example the corridor. Talk to them and don’t make sudden movements when you take them out, they could mistake you for a predator!
If you are afraid to take a bite, use a plastic cup, to capture your rat, then leave it on your hand.
Later I play with them without making them dizzy. I give them a prize when they do some trick that I have taught them, for example giving me the paw or standing up when calling them. This mode of training is called positive reinforcement.
4. The appropriate prizes
The prize can be two kibbles of feed for dogs or cats, a piece of sausage, fruit, pasta, etc. They can also eat insect larvae.
Mine, especially Muf, love uncooked pasta, it also serves to wear down teeth or as a biter. It is important not to give them sweets whenever they perform the trick, they could get fat. We can replace them with a caress. By the way, when I caress them in my arms, they feel so comfortable and protected that they snap their teeth generating a very peculiar noise, it is their way of communicating their happiness.