May 30, 2023


pets keep it coming

Busting 10 Common Myths About Pet Rats

8 min read

When adopting a pet, it is essential to do some analysis about the form of animal, their care, and what to assume. Nevertheless, there is a lot of misinformation out there so in this put up, we’ll acquire a glimpse at some of the most misleading pet rat myths.

Myth 1: Rats Don’t Have Bladders – Wrong

Rats definitely have bladders! They also have beautifully excellent bladder control – even if they never constantly work out it – and they can be litter educated.

So exactly where does this frankly unusual idea occur from? Rats truly never have gall-bladders, a modest organ we have around our livers to retail outlet bile, so probably that is the lead to of the confusion. A different doable source for the rumour is that some rats are a tad… dribbly, and stroll all over leaving a trail of modest drops of urine in their wake. On the other hand, this is really deliberate on the portion of the rat, who is utilizing drips of urine to scent mark their territory and favourite things.

Which delivers us to…

Fantasy 2: Only Male Rats Scent-mark – Phony

Rats scent mark possibly by leaving a minimal path of urine drops powering, or by rubbing their again conclusion and flanks on the item they want to assert. This releases fluid from the scent glands on their flanks – if you observe your rat has soaked flanks and a weirdly aniseedy chemical scent, a bit like grape soda, they’ve been scenting.

It’s true that unneutered male rats are frequent scent markers for the reason that their testosterone stages make them significantly interested in telling everybody who is manager. Even so, not all male rats care, while some woman or even neutered male rats can have incredibly sturdy views. My girls scent mark me to demonstrate I belong to them just about every bit as normally as my boys do.

Fantasy 3: Rats Are Dirty and Scent – Wrong

Pet rats don't smell

Rats are extremely keen on personalized hygiene and expend far far more of their day washing and grooming than human beings do. They also continue to keep their houses thoroughly clean by working with rest room corners and pushing soiled bedding out of their nest. Rats have a unique ‘ratty’ odor from the oils in their fur, and this can be more powerful in unneutered males who secrete locations of “buck grease” on their backs. On the other hand, to smell a rat’s personalized scent you have to hold it up to your nose and sniff – known in the rat neighborhood as “huffing a rat”.

If the smell of pet rats stinks out their space, then the difficulty is not the rats, but their husbandry. Regular, but not around-regular, cage cleaning is the important to retaining your rats non-smelly.

Fantasy 4: Rats Carry Health conditions – It’s Difficult

Wild rats can carry diseases and parasites – while they don’t carry an abnormal number when compared to any other wild animals, and they weren’t exclusively liable for the plague! What ailments a wild rat carries is dependent on their species and in which in the world they are living. 

Nonetheless, pet rats are not wild rats! Sure, they are the exact same species, Rattus norvegicus, as the wild brown or Norway rat, but unless of course they have been dumped or saved outside the house, or exposed to wild rodents, they must not appear into make contact with with the same parasites or pathogens. There have been some isolated situations of pet rats carrying health conditions this kind of as hantavirus, but these are unusual activities. 

If you come across a pet rat who has been dumped outdoors, or you finish up hand-boosting orphaned child wild rats, you may well be anxious about whether they will be carrying any wild health conditions or parasites. The finest issue to do in this problem is to consult with an skilled vet in your place. They really should know what health conditions are possible in your part of the environment and give prophylactic treatment to solve any challenges.

Myth 5: All Rats Bite – Untrue

Pet rats don't tend to bite their owners

Most pet rats never ever chunk a human in their life – they are quite affectionate creatures who want to be our good friends and delight in all the scritches, head rubs and treats.

On the other hand, it is achievable to be bitten by a pet rat. The causes for rats biting are:

  • Their hormones are jogging out of regulate and they’ve turned into aggressive grumpy young people with no impulse manage – this is particularly popular in males and in rats who have not been bred for temperament. Thankfully it is normally simply solved by neutering. 
  • They have experienced a important trauma in their earlier lifetime and biting is a dread response.
  • They are getting managed in a way that hurts or scares them.

As you can see the second or 3rd reasons are issues induced by human beings, not a issue with the rat, and a lot can be finished with good care, thorough managing and trust education. 

Myth 6: Rats Can Eat Anything at all – Wrong

And Myth 6a: Rats Want Really Specialised Weight loss plans – Also Fake

Rat diet plans are easy to fully grasp mainly because what they can and can not eat is very very similar to our own limits and desires. Rats really should by no means be fed:

  • most dried pulses,
  • environmentally friendly or raw potato,
  • avocado pores and skin and stone,
  • or something else that is poisonous to people.

They should also by no means be allowed to sample tobacco or alcohol.

On the flipside, if we can safely eat a food stuff, it probably won’t actively poison them. Rats are a substantially less difficult pet than canine and cats in that regard – if they steal your chocolate you won’t finish up with a vacation to the vet, while you might have a struggle on your hands to get it again. 

However… just for the reason that rats can eat a ton of things without having dropping useless, does not imply that they must! Junk food items, and hugely sugary, salty and processed treats have no area in their diet plans, and its also most effective to avoid anything far too spicy, as even if a rat isn’t harmed by a food stuff, they can still get a abdomen ache.

Just like human beings, rats need to have a balanced eating plan loaded in whole grains and veggies and with an ideal amount of protein and unsaturated fat to be healthful and in excellent problem. Too significantly foods, or an unbalanced diet plan can trigger well being issues like obesity, heart challenges, fatty livers, and dietary deficiencies. 

Myth 7: Trying to keep Rats Is the Same as Preserving Mice / Rabbits / Hamsters And so forth. – Phony

Keeping rats vs other small pets

All animal species have their possess specialised needs and make various varieties of pet.

There isn’t a lot in typical amongst say, rats and rabbits, besides that they are both equally smallish and furry, have massive enamel and like to wipe out items. Even rats and mice, who are pretty intently relevant biologically, are a various practical experience for a pet operator.

Myth 8: Rats Stay to Be 5-7 Decades – Unlikely

And Myth 8a: Dumbo Rats Stay For a longer time Than Normal Rats – Phony

The normal everyday living-span of a pet rat is close to 2-2.5 decades. I personally feel that with superior breeding and good husbandry, we really should be capable to elevate that to 3 many years, as quite a few of the wellness complications that pet rats die from come about before the rats definitely start getting old. Nevertheless, just as we really don’t see the greater part of humans dwelling to a good deal over 100, I imagine it is fairly not likely to see rats residing to 5 several years and earlier mentioned as something other than uncommon exceptions. 

The greatest lifespans I have seasoned in rats are 4 yrs for a pet extravagant rat, and 4 several years 7 months for a wild born Rattus rattus. Even so, whilst species of rat does have an influence on daily life span, range of pet rat does not: all the colours, ear varieties, coat forms and so forth. stay around the similar duration of time, with any differences coming from the line they have been bred in, rather than the range by itself.

Myth 9: Rats Are Affordable Animals – Phony

It’s quick to oversight rats for inexpensive animals – just after all toddler rats can offer for as little as $5 in some pet suppliers or on the net. Occasionally they even get offered absent for free of charge.

Having said that, the value of a pet is not the greenback price tag of its order. We also have to get into account its:

Whilst buying items like a good cage it’s possible a a person off, food, substrate and health care care will be ongoing costs throughout a rat’s life.

Whilst pet rats really don’t typically have health conditions that we can capture, they do get unwell them selves, particularly if they are not from lines that have been vigorously bred for health. Respiratory bacterial infections can occur at any age, and more mature rats can also experience cancer, coronary heart sickness, and a variety of significantly less usually noticed troubles. Rats are also extremely excellent at hiding pain and indications of sickness, so if you notice your rat is unwell, they have to have to see a vet urgently.

Vet’s fees are not inexpensive, specially in an crisis, and they are likely to enhance with new rises in the charge of dwelling – so it is actually important to be ready for that before adopting any new animals.

Fantasy 10: You Can Make Dollars From Breeding Rats – Quite Certainly Phony!

Breeding rats responsibly is not profitable

Breeding rats is not one thing to be entered into frivolously, and it is surely not some thing to do to consider and make funds. As we proven above, rats are not low-priced animals and breeding just pushes these fees up much more: much more cages, much more food, a lot more substrate and extra vet’s costs.

Breeding responsibly and ethically (which is the only style of breeding I can assist) has specialised costs of its own – for example, necropsies to build the induce of death of breeding animals are necessary to make sure that the well being records are right, and they cost around $100 a time, with an added $250+ necessary on top rated if there are tumours that need to have investigation by a pathologist.

In my practical experience, the revenue from offering the non-keeper infants in a litter just about addresses the meals and servicing expenditures for rearing that litter (for the reason that equally nursing mothers and weaned baby rats take in massive quantities and need to have excellent diet). Every little thing else arrives out my pocket.

Want a point-look at on any myths about pet rats you have listened to? Check with us in the opinions below.