Why pick out rats?
I know what you are thinking:
EWW, rats!?! REALLY? Ok, let me explain why I love rats as pets.
It all began, as far as I can tell, when my dad brought seven-year-old-me to the local PetCo and told me,
“Pick something out – whatever you want. Do you want a fish or a kitten?”
I look at cats but there is a long line, so I find myself looking in an aquarium full of furry rodents but I’m not sure about them.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“Feeder rats because they are fed to the pet snakes.”
“I want that.”
“A snake?” Dad asks.
“No,” I said, “A rat.”
And there you have it. My heart swells with compassion and it’s a done deal. I’m attracted to a female albino rat with ruby eyes, who would later be named, “Crystal” and my sister also picked out a black hooded rat named “Jasmine.”
Crystal and Jasmine were smart and empathetic pets for Amy and I. I was soon watching them beg to be let out of their wire cage to play with us.
Fast forward to today and I still love pet rats. However, I have three male rescues instead of female. They are named James Bond, Louis Vuitton and Tim Burton. I really love taking care of them and honestly, they take care of me too.
More On Why Pick Out Rats?
They make me happy and stress is no match for these little guys because rats are empathetic animals, who show me affection and are closely bonded to me. I am stressed out of habit but I intentionally change my thoughts into positive ones, so I can help form new neural pathways. I have a bad day and these little guys cheer me right up.
Rats are easily potty trained so I spent a week or two moving their 💩 into a litter tray. Before long, they knew where to go and isn’t that amazing!? Now they are easy to care for and clean up after, not only because of this but also because rats groom themselves and each other several times a day, much like a cat.
Rats are attracted to urinating on flat surfaces. I use paper towels or newsprint (preferably ink-free) on the flat surfaces of the cage to soak up any urine. It is easy to clean up and switch out with new materials.
I bought Oxbow rat food from www.chewy.com but I supplement with packaged bulk food from Natural Grocers such as spelt, barley, oats and buckwheat. I treat the rats to peas, broccoli, bell peppers, berries, pumpkin and other similar non-gmo and organic fruits and veggies.
Rats add so much joy to my life and I often compare them to a mix between a dog and a monkey. If you ever get the chance, get to know a rat or two and you may fall in love.
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