“A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit!”
Sarah Jessica Parker, Actress
Pros and Cons of Keeping Rats As Pets
You think about getting a rat as a pet but are not sure whether this is a good idea or not?
Great! This article is exactly for you since I show you all the pros and cons of keeping rats at home in the following chapters.
Advantages of Keeping Rats as Pets
- Rats don’t need much feed
- Rats are small pets
- You can also keep them in small flats
- Rats are rather cheap pets
- Pet rats will not be a long-term commitment
- You can leave your rat alone for a certain period of time
- Rats don’t require your attention all day long
- You don’t have to go for a walk with your rat
- Rats are rather tidy pets
- Rats will not break your things
- Rats are much smarter than most people expect
- You will have a rather exotic animal at home
- You can acquire plenty of knowledge around rat keeping
- Keeping pet rats can make you some money
- You may become famous on social media
- You can get help for various issues on the internet
Rats don’t need much feed
One advantage of keeping pet rats is that you will not have to spend much money on feed.
While you will have to spend hundreds of dollars for dog feed or cat feed every year, you will only have to spend a few bucks on rat feed since your rats will simply not eat much.
This also means that you don’t necessarily have to feed them every day.
Instead, you can just put plenty of feed in their cage that will last for the whole week.
By doing so, you can save some time on feeding your pets and will have more time for other things.
Moreover, since you will have to spend less money on feed, you will also have more money to spend on other things you like.
Rats are small pets
Compared to most other pets, rats are also rather small.
While other pets may be small as well when they are young, other pets like cats or dogs will significantly grow over time and may become far bigger than you might expect.
With rats, you will not have this problem since rats will not grow that much and will rather stay small and compact.
This can be great since your pet rats will not take away lots of space from you.
You can also keep them in small flats
In general, rats are great pets if you don’t live in a big house but rather live in a small flat instead.
While it will not be advisable to keep many other bigger animals in such a case, keeping rats will not be a problem for you since you can keep rats in rather confined spaces and even small apartments are decent living spaces for rats as long as you are able to place a rat cage in your apartment.
Hence, if you currently don’t have space at home to keep bigger pets but still want to have some company, rats can be great companions for you.
Rats are rather cheap pets
Another upside to keeping rats is that they are also rather cheap pets.
While you will have to spend plenty of money on feed and also for visits to the veterinarian with other pets, you will not have the same expenses for rats.
Sure, also your rat will get sick sooner or later.
Yet, rats are often not eligible for complex surgeries and this means that you will not have to spend as much money on rats as on bigger pets.
Hence, rats also make great pets for you if you are currently on a budget and can’t afford to spend too much money on pet keeping.
Pet rats will not be a long-term commitment
By getting a pet rat, you will also not make a long-term commitment.
While rats will live for about 2 years, other pets will live much longer.
For instance, many cats and dogs can reach 10 years or even more.
Thus, by getting those other pets, you will make a real long-term commitment and have to care for your pets for decades while you will not make the same time-commitment with pet rats.
Consequently, if you are not sure how your life will look like in a few years and if you are the kind of guy who just doesn’t want to make those kinds of commitments, getting a pet rat can be great for you since you will not have to care for it as long as for most other pets.
You can leave your rat alone for a certain period of time
Another benefit of having a pet rat is that you will also be able to do your daily work and to have your own life whenever you want to.
In fact, rats are not that demanding and you can just leave them alone for a certain period of time.
You may even be able to go on short vacations if you provide enough food and water for your pet rats while you are away.
You will not have the same luxury with most other pets and getting a pet rat instead of other pets therefore gives you plenty of flexibility regarding how you want to spend your life since you will just not have to make that many compromises.
Rats don’t require your attention all day long
Rats are also rather quiet pets and also don’t require your attention all day long.
Sure, from time to time, you have to feed them and clean their cage. Yet, you will still have the majority of the day for you.
Moreover, if you work from home, rats make great pets for you since they will just not disturb you and you can focus on your work in a quiet atmosphere without any distractions while dogs and other animals may not let you focus entirely on your work since they always need attention and company.
You don’t have to go for a walk with your rat
While you will have to go for a walk with a dog every day, you will have the luxury of not having to do that with a pet rat.
In fact, many dog owners have to go outside during heavy rain or snow and their dog will not ask them whether they like it or not.
You as a rat owner will just be able to spend your time in a cozy atmosphere inside instead of going for a walk during those unpleasant periods.
Rats are rather tidy pets
You may not know it, but rats are also pretty tidy animals.
They will clean themselves on a regular basis and you don’t have to fear that you will have to deal with unhygienic pets by getting a rat.
Sure, you also have to keep them in an environment where they are able to keep them clean.
Yet, compared to many other pets, rats are usually much tidier and will take care of their hygiene without the need for any interventions from your side.
Rats will not break your things
Another advantage of getting a rat as a pet is that you will also not have to fear that your rat will break anything.
Since your rat will be in its cage almost all day long, you will just have no animals running around your home.
In turn, chances are much lower that your pet will break anything.
This can be quite nice, especially if you have many precious belongings at home and don’t want your pets to ruin them.
Rats are much smarter than most people expect
Many people also think that rats are dumb. This is not true at all.
While rats may not have the same level of intelligence as many bigger pets, they are still smart enough to manage their lives and to keep themselves clean and tidy.
If you work really hard on it, you may even be able to get your rat to a place where it will understand what you want from it.
Sure, this will take quite a long time.
Yet, if you are willing to invest plenty of time, your rat will become much smarter.
You will have a rather exotic animal at home
Keeping rats at home is clearly not for everyone.
In fact, many people don’t like rats and some are even afraid of them.
Yet, by keeping pet rats, you will have something special at home that most other people don’t have.
Consequently, if you want to make a stand against the rest of society and don’t want to keep ordinary pets, chances are that getting a pet rat will be a great way to go for you.
You can acquire plenty of knowledge around rat keeping
You will also be able to learn quite a lot by keeping a pet rat.
While you may struggle to treat your rat in the proper manner in the beginning, you will soon be able to acquire plenty of knowledge about your little friends.
You will also realize that rats are quite interesting animals and you will also see patterns regarding how they spend their day sooner or later.
In turn, you will also be able to give advice to your friends who may also want to get a pet rat and your peers will be really grateful for that.
Keeping pet rats can make you some money
You may even be able to make serious money from your pet rat.
If you are familiar with digital marketing or are willing to invest some time to learn about it, you may be able to start your own blog or YouTube channel that shows people how to keep rats in a proper manner.
Trust me, you will not be the only one who keeps rats out there and if you are able to provide helpful information to your readers or subscribers, chances are that you will be able to monetize your channel or blog later on with ads or affiliate income.
Some people even make a full-time income from those things and getting a rat can therefore also give you additional career options.
You may become famous on social media
If you understand how the minds of people work, you may also be able to build a serious audience on social media.
In fact, you can build a brand around you and your rat and over time, you may be able to get many thousands of subscribers.
In the long run, people may even recognize you when you walk down the street and may ask you for pictures and autographs.
Hence, getting a pet rat may also help you in case you love to be the center of the universe and need attention all day long.
You can get help for various issues on the internet
Especially if you don’t know anything about rat keeping, you may be intimidated and may not be confident that you can keep rats in a proper manner.
Yet, there is just no reason for this.
In fact, you will find lots of information on various topics related to rat keeping on the internet and you can also join forums and social media groups in case you need help in this regard.
Consequently, you will be able to learn quite a lot in a rather short period of time.
As you can see, keeping rats as pets can make quite a lot of sense in many different ways.
Yet, while we have only talked about the benefits of pet rats, it is now time to also shed light on the problems that come along with it.
Disadvantages of Having a Rat at Home
- Pet rats don’t have a good standing in society
- Many people are afraid of rats
- Rats can carry diseases
- Your rat may escape sooner or later
- Other animals may chase your rat
- People may think you are weird
- Rats are not that communicative
- Rats often don’t listen to your commands
- Hard to teach rats fancy tricks
- Many people keep pet rats the wrong way
- You have to clean the rat cage
- Your pet rat may end up in the shelter
- Rats are not the best pets for kids
- Difficult if you want to go on vacation
Pet rats don’t have a good standing in society
One problem with pet rats is that they just don’t have a good social standing.
In fact, many people don’t like rats at all and will not understand your decision of getting one of those furry friends.
Even your own family may not understand your decision and may no longer want to come over to your place.
Many people are afraid of rats
Not only will many people not like your rats, but some of them will really be afraid of them.
This can mean that your friends may no longer want to come over to your place and you may even lose some of your friends due to your rat keeping project.
Hence, make sure that you are willing to risk some friendships before getting a pet rat.
Rats can carry diseases
Another downside to keeping rats at home is that rats can also carry serious diseases.
While this is mainly true for undomesticated rats, it can also become a problem if you let your rats play in your garden and if they get in contact with wild rats.
In such a case, your rats may get infected with serious diseases and some of those diseases may also be a potential threat for us humans.
Therefore, make sure that you keep your rat indoors and don’t allow it any contact with other wild animals to avoid those health problems.
Your rat may escape sooner or later
Rats are also pretty fast and may escape sooner or later.
Especially if you forget to close the rat cage and you have left your garden door open, chances are that your little friend will be gone pretty soon and will explore the nearby neighborhood.
In such a case, it will not only be quite hard to find your rat outdoors, but your rat may also annoy your neighbors and the relationship between you and your neighbors may become worse due to that.
Other animals may chase your rat
If you have other pets at home, your rat will likely be the smallest member of your pet family and this also means that it will often be chased by your bigger pets.
This can become a serious problem, especially if you also have a cat at home since cats have it deep inside their DNA to chase mouses and rats.
Hence, before getting a pet, make sure that it fits in your current mix of pets and that there are not issues in this regard.
People may think you are weird
Rat keeping is still considered rather dodgy by most people out there.
In turn, this also means that people may think you are weird.
If you have kids, other parents may also not want their children to come over to your place and your own kids may therefore get socially isolated due to that.
Rats are not that communicative
You should also not expect your rats to be responsive to you as much as other pets would be.
In fact, if you talk to your rat, you will barely get any response and this can be quite sad.
Consequently, you may want to get another pet that is more responsive and really takes part in your life.
Rats often don’t listen to your commands
It is also pretty hard to get your rat to a point where it knows what you want from it.
In fact, most rats will never listen to any of your commands and will rather do what they want instead of what you want from them.
Hard to teach rats fancy tricks
While you will be able to teach dogs many nice tricks, you will simply not be able to do this with a rat.
Instead, your rat will just ignore your efforts in this regard and will rather sleep or play in its rat wheel.
Many people keep pet rats the wrong way
While it is not that difficult to keep pet rats in a proper manner, many people still don’t inform themselves and keep their little friends in an incorrect manner.
In turn, those rats often suffer from diseases and other issues.
Thus, before getting a pet rat, make sure that you get some knowledge to avoid major mistakes in this regard.
You have to clean the rat cage
It will also be your responsibility to clean the rat cage on a regular basis.
This can be quite annoying and it is definitely one of the most unpleasant tasks that come along with keeping rats at home.
Your pet rat may end up in the shelter
If you are not really convinced about getting a pet rat, chances are that you should just not do it.
Otherwise, it may end up in the shelter pretty soon since you may just lose interest in it.
Rats are not the best pets for kids
If you have kids, you may also want to go for other pets instead.
Since rats are not that responsive and are also not as exciting as many other pets, your children may lose interest in them pretty soon.
Moreover, your kids may also not want to play with your rat. Hence, there are just better pets for kids out there.
Difficult if you want to go on vacation
If you want to go on vacation, you may also face serious problems since you will have to find someone who is willing to take care of your rats while you are away.
While this might not be a big problem if you have other pets, not many people want to care for rats and you may have to change your vacation plants quite frequently due to that.
Top 10 Pet Rats Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Pet Rats Pros||Pet Rats Cons|
|You can keep rats in small apartments||Many people don’t like rats|
|Rats are rather cheap pets||People may no longer want to visit you|
|Rats don’t require all your attention||People may think you are weird|
|Rats are rather quiet pets||Rats are not good pets for kids|
|Rats are tidy animals||Your pet rat may end up in the shelter|
|Rats will not break your stuff||Other pets may chase your rat|
|Easy to go on short vacations||Rats can carry diseases|
|You don’t have to rat walk them||Rats will not listen to you|
|You have a special pet at home||Hard to teach them tricks|
|You may become famous||Your rat may escape|
Should You Get A Rat As A Pet?
As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages to keeping pet rats.
In the end, it is on you to decide whether you still want to get a rat or if you rather want to get a dog, cat, rabbit, tortoise, mini pig, guinea pig, snake, spider or an aquarium instead.
About the Author
My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.
In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.