Rats as Pets Pros and Cons List

While some may shudder at the mere idea of keeping a rat as a pet, there are many who tout the virtues of rat ownership. No matter which side of this debate you fall on, there are valid points to be made. Owning a rat and keeping it as a personal pet may not be the most conventional method of pet ownership, but it is not going away anytime soon. The following is a closer glimpse at the advantages and disadvantages of rats as pets.

List of Pros of Rats as Pets

1. Intelligent Creatures.
Rats are typically stereotyped as filthy creatures who lack intelligence and are next to impossible to train. However, this is one of many common misconceptions about rats that is simply untrue. Not only are rats uncommonly intelligent, as compared to other animals you could keep as a pet, but they are also much easier to train.

There is a reason why so many scientists rely on the usage of rats in their experiments and it is because of their unexpected levels of intelligence. They may not be the most conventionally attractive pets to keep in your home, but they will not provide the same level of difficulty as a dog or cat.

2. Rats Are Incredibly Affectionate.
Mainstream tends to portray rats as filthy ruffians, creatures who are incapable of caring about anything other than where their next meal is coming from. The reality is actually much different, as rats are some of the most affectionate animals that a person can keep in their home.

Once a rat becomes accustomed to their new environment and their owner, they start to develop a close attachment with their caretaker, a bond that is difficult to break. Their attachment begets their affection towards their owner and they are appreciative animals.

3. Smaller Animals.
Unlike the majority of dogs or even some cats, a rat is a very small animal that does not require very much space in order to be happy and contented. For those who live in a smaller home or apartment and do no have a great deal of space at their disposal, rats make for a great pet.

A rat is not going to need a great deal of attention, they do not need to be walked every day and they can be kept in a variety of small and cramped spaces. A person who does not have a large house is still able to have a pet.

4. Inexpensive To Keep.
Rats have an unearned reputation for being dirty animals, when they are actually rather clean and require very little upkeep on their owner’s behalf. This makes them much less expensive than other pets that regularly requires baths and the purchase of expensive animal shampoos.

As compared to a cat or dog, there is little maintenance or cleanup needed. Rats can live in very modest spaces and most owners will not need to purchase any sort of bedding or toys for them to play with. The incidental expenses associated with owning a rat are much less than those associated with traditional pets.

List of Cons of Rats as Pets

1. They Do Not Live Long.
A person who develops a close attachment with their pets may not want to opt for a rat, as they do not have a very long life span. Cats and dogs can often live for up to twenty years, allowing owners to plan a life together with them.

A rat’s average lifespan is only two to three years, which does not give owners a great deal of time to develop the bond with their pet that they would like. When choosing a pet, potential life span is a crucial factor to consider.

2. Susceptible To Health Issues.
As you might imagine, rats are not exactly the picture of good health. They are particularly susceptible to a number of health issues than can significantly cut down on their life expectancy. Female rats are especially at risk, as they are much more likely to develop tumors than their male counterparts.

Another common health problem for rats is respiratory infection and even the most qualified veterinarians can struggle to save a rat who has developed an infection of this nature.

3. Allergic Reactions.
When it comes to allergic reactions, rats are one of the most prevalent catalysts. A number of people are allergic to rats and while rat dander is usually easier to contain, due to the fact that they typically remain in a small, enclosed space, owners who like to allow their rats to roam throughout the home may experience issues.

Being forced to spend additional time managing their rat’s whereabouts can serve as an annoying reminder of the difficulties involved in keeping one as a pet. People who share homes with roommates, significant others or family members will have to keep their rats under wraps.

4. Veterinarians Are Hard To Find.
The more exotic the pet, the tougher it is to find a licensed veterinarian who can take of their health problems in an expeditious manner. When a beloved animal becomes sick, time is of the essence and any time that you spend searching for a qualified vet is time that you cannot afford to waste.

Before obtaining a rat to keep as a household pet, be sure to do your homework about available veterinarians in your region. Unless you can find one with experience in caring for exotic pets, it is best to avoid the process altogether.