My Child Wants A Pet Rat But I'm Wary As Rats Are Well Known For Spreading Diseases And For Being Dirty Animals. Is It Safe To Keep One In The House?


16 Answers

Gillian Smith Profile
Gillian Smith answered
Rats make excellent companions. They are wonderful animals and highly intelligent.
If a rat is kept in clean conditions and has adequate housing and is well looked after you will have no problems. It is an old wives tale that rats are dirty animals. Very few animals are dirty by nature and it's up to those who choose to keep animals as pets to ensure that they are cleaned out regularly and have good care.

If you are unsure as to whether or not you can give the animal the care it needs or are unsure that you can cope with a rat don't keep one. I rescued a pet rat who had been neglected and she was the most delightful companion - she even got on well with my dogs!
Given the proper care they make lovely pets.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
This is a common worry for many people and the good news is that pet rats are actually quite clean animals. While wild rats do carry diseases, this is mainly because they hang around in sewers and they pick up mites and fleas along the way. Pet rats on the other hand are born and raised in the home, and they do not carry any form of disease.

Pet rats are also well known for their cleanliness and while they do have a natural odour, they are always cleaning themselves. Some even like to have a little bowl of water which they can use to wash themselves in. Male rats generally smell worse than female ones but cleaning them out regularly will stop this.

There will always be a certain stigma attached to the pet rat but overall they are extremely intelligent, clean and friendly animals and they do make really good children's pets.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
I had a pet rat many years ago, Please remember to explaine to your kids that rats only live about 2-3 years, It may be hard to loose them. Iam glad I had her she was sweet and I really loved her. Bless my Mom for tallerating her. Also remember not to set their cages to close to curtins and such, as they will pull anything in to make nesting matiral out of it.
katrina mckinnon Profile
My pet Rat she is great she gives kisses. I thought the same thing when my son wanted one. But now I am really close to her as well as son. They are very smart she looks forward to seeing us and you can tell. I think Pet rats are wonderful animal to choose for your child. They don't bite witch is great  our rat named Abby does not bite all she does is gives kisses on your hand. I just tell my son after anything you touch always wash your hands.
Mia Teeliumtrozzle Profile
Don't worry-Rats do NOT spread disease and they are not dirty. It is perfectly safe to keep them in the house. Rats have a reputation for being dirty and diseased because of the Bubonic Plague- but during the bubonic Plaugue, disease was actually spread by fleas- not rats as is commonly believed. So rats do not spread disease and are not dirty. It is a legend.

Having a pet rat will also be great fun and extremely enjoyable.The little creatures are very intelligent and can become great friends with you. You can teach them lots of cool tricks and they can play some games with you.They are wonderful pets. Just make sure your child cares for the rat properly, which is not very difficult.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Contrary to popular belief, rats are porbably one of the, if not, the cleanest rodent. They make excellent pets for children as they are easy to hold, very friendlly and rarely bite. I have never been bitten by any of my pet rats. Make sure that you handle the rat at the pet shop to get abasic idea of its temperment, for younger children chose a rat that is laid back and not too jumpy, and older children may prefer a rat with a bit more curiousity.
Jess Profile
Jess answered
I don't think that I'd get a rat for a child under 12. Rats are intelligent animals that require lots of careful handling and attention. That they should be bought in pairs for companionship would only add to the responsibility.

Aside from the responsibility required, rats are absolutely awesome pets. Even the responsibility parts can be fun! My rats love to take baths and run around in the water so even cleaning time isn't really much of a chore. This definitely doesn't go for all rats but purchasing a same sex pair from a reputable breeder that has handled the little guys from birth will ensure some inquisitive, intelligent, sociable and gentle pets.
Megan D Profile
Megan D answered
Rats are really good pets. They are clean overall (Ours throw poo and bedding outside the cage and stink but do not spread disease. I think our rats just have a bad habit.) they are friendly, and cute! You may be thinking of wild rats. There are special fancy rats bred for being pets.
Arnold Calvin Profile
Arnold Calvin answered

You do not need to worry about disease and all If you will keep him clean then there is no question of diseases and all. Rats are really smart pets. I think you should go for it.

Ginger McName Profile
Ginger McName answered

Dogs and cats also carry diseases, and they are as dirty as, if not dirtier, than rats.

I've had three of them and they clean themselves every half hour. You only have to bathe rats if they get into something, (once my rat got honey on his head, it was hilarious) in which case you'll have to be careful. All of my rats hated water, and my hands would get scratched up because they were so frantic. (Don't worry! It doesn't break the skin.)

I have never been bitten, ever. Every time I woke up in the morning I went straight to the cage and took out the rat I had at the time. He or she would sit on my shoulder, in my sleeves, or against my chest while I got ready for school, and then I'd care for them (change the litter, replace food and water, etc.). When I got home the rat would be jumping up against the cage until I let it out, and they'd be with me until I ate dinner and again until I went to bed- everywhere!

They are escape artists, so be careful. Fortunately they're not hard to catch, once my rat Kenzy escaped and when I woke up the next morning she was asleep in my shirt.

They are very trusting friends, and also nearly indestructible (I slept with one in bed, after all) and it takes a LOT to get them to bite. They're actually not different enough to be classified as a different species from their wild counterpart, the brown or Norway rat, but are 100% domesticated and are like low maintenance dogs.

Bikergirl Anonymous Profile

As much as I dislike keeping any animal in a cage for their entire lifetime .. If you going to do it .. Do it right.

If you want a pet, get one from a reputable pet store. Rats are actually very clean animals.

If you're thinking in terms of capturing a street rat .. And I really really really hope that's not what you are intending to do .. But, if you DO .. Have it checked out and tested by your vet.  Do NOT try to handle it.

carol bull Profile
carol bull answered
Rats make very good pets . They are very friendly and gentle with gentle children. Find a breeder though and get a female as the male have a musky Oder. You can ever get a fancy rat.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Rats do not spread disease and are well known for being clean animals. They are constantly bathing themselves. You can also give them a bath with baby shampoo or special rat or rodent shampoo
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Pet rats do NOT carry diseases and they are NOT dirty animals. They are the cleanliest of all pet rodents spending about 80% of their time grooming themselves. As long as you clean them out a few days a week they will be fine.
Emma oloughlin Profile
Emma oloughlin answered
Absolutley yes I have two they are adorable they are my baby girle I named them roxie and chloe I love them take them everywhere I go when I am going shopping they wait in the car for me. They are like dogs mine love spagetti

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