There is a very small percentage of people who immediately think of a rat as a pet. The media portrays rats as rather dirty, street and sewer-dwelling animals, therefore that is often how most people regard them. Allow us to completely change your perspective on rats, especially if you are considering getting a small animal as a pet.

A pet rat just might be exactly what you’re looking for! Why do they make such wonderful pets? Well, there are many positive arguments as to why, but let’s look at some of the most popular reasons and find out if a pet rat is right for you.

They are social butterflies!

Okay, so they look a lot different than a butterfly, but they will certainly flutter their way right into your heart with their sociability. To be clear, these are domesticated rats we are referring to (not to be confused with picking up a rat you found on the street).

Domestic rats are generally overtly friendly, surprisingly affectionate, and have unique personalities. While each rat is an individual, and some are shyer than others, they usually warm up to their owners, and their excitement to see you will rival any dog wagging its tail at the door. 

They are relatively low maintenance.

You don’t have to worry about burning their energy with a mile-long walk each morning or playing fetch in the backyard! While your rat will be excited to see you at the end of a long day, they don’t mind that you leave them. They can keep themselves occupied so you can have a guilt-free day at the office and still get some snuggles in once the day is done.

If you are worried about them being lonely without you, they LOVE rat friends, so you can always get them a friend and they’ll keep each other busy and content! 

They are CLEAN! 

Rats, despite their reputation, are actually very clean animals. They tend to keep their environments pretty tidy so you should only expect to clean up their cage about once a week or so. They do self groom, but some enjoy being brushed by their owners since they are such social animals. Don’t feel obligated, though! They can do without but likely won’t put up a fight for brushing if it means some affection.

While any small animal cage will eventually smell from urine or feces, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about an overwhelming smell so long as you commit to the once-a-week cleaning. Your rat(s) will otherwise keep their room neat and clean for you! 

They respond to training. 

Looking to teach your rat some fun tricks? You’re in luck! Rats are very trainable animals. Teach them to stand up on back legs on command, run on their wheel, respond to their name, and so much more!

Your rat is very intelligent, so show that off! Some of their favorite yummy treats you can use to train include seeds, cooked pasta or rice, or (if you want to touch them) mealworms!


Have we convinced you yet? If you weren’t considering a rat as a pet before, we know you are now! Rats are wonderful companion pets, and should absolutely be on your shortlist in your pursuit of a new best friend.