Pets are considered family members by a lot of pet owners. Treat them right and they will give you unconditional love. They will be your faithful companions for as long as they live. They will comfort you when you are down. They will protect you. Most of all, they will brighten your home and make life more meaningful.
When it comes to choosing a pet, you have many options to choose from. If you want something furry or cuddly, you can have a dog, a cat, a monkey or even a sloth. For feathery creatures, you can choose a parakeet, a cockatoo, a pair of lovebirds, a parrot, a canary, a myna or a macaw. Then, there are slimy creatures for those who want something exotic, like snakes, frogs, turtles and more. But have you ever considered having rats for pets?
Some people might cringe at the mere thought of letting rants in, as they have always been viewed as pests. But there are those who have welcomed their homes for these rodents. Although rat ownership may not be for everyone, it’s worth considering giving these creatures a place in your home. After all, they, too, have lives that are worth saving.
To help you determine whether you can consider having rats as pets, here are some pros and cons you can ponder:
List of Pros of Having Rats as Pets
1. They are intelligent creatures.
Do you ever wonder how rats get access to your home even if you’ve virtually sealed everything? Yes, that’s right. Rats are smart like that. They can find stuff that you have forgotten in a long time and leave you wondering how they did it. Rats may be stereotyped as dirty creatures with very tiny brains, but the truth is these rodents can be much easier to train than other animals. Read: scientists use these animals in their experiments because they are aware of the level of intelligence that they have. Although they might not be the most attractive creatures to have in your home, they can be as fun to have as dogs or cats.
2. They can be surprisingly affectionate.
Rats have always been portrayed as ruthless creatures that care about nothing except to destroy your most prized belongings. But that perception is actually far from the truth. These ruffians can be the most caring animals you’ll ever encounter, once they become accustomed to their new home and owner. Once they get used to having humans around, they will begin to build a close relationship with their owner. This attachment will be difficult to break. What’s more, rats are uncommonly appreciative animals.
3. They are easy to take care of.
Unlike dogs and cats, rats are quite small and do not require a lot of space or food to be happy and contented. This means that these creatures are perfect for those who live in a small apartment or home.
Rats also don’t need a great deal of attention. You won’t need to walk them every day. You also don’t need to worry about their droppings because you can easily get rid of the smell by cleaning their cage with a mixture of water and bleach.
4. They are inexpensive.
Dogs, cats and even birds can be very expensive. Plus, some of the traditional pets require a lot of accessories for them to be happy in their new environment. For fish to thrive in their new tank, for example, you need to have an aquarium big enough for all of them. Aside from that, you’ll need an aerator to keep the water fresh and keep the fish alive. But with rats, you won’t have to spend a lot, from when you buy them from a local pet shop to when you bring them to your home.
List of Cons of Having Rats as Pets
1. They have a short lifespan.
If you decide to have rats as pets, you should be prepared to say good-bye to them after a few years. Like any rodents, these animals have expectedly short lifespan. But taking care of your pet and ensuring they have a safe, clean and happy hope will help you and your animals make the most of the time you have together.
2. They easily get sick.
With their tiny bodies, rats are highly susceptible to numerous health issues, cutting down their life expectancy even more. Female rats, in particular, are especially at risk. They are more likely to develop tumors than the males. Aside from that, these animals can also be at greater risk of respiratory infections. What you can do to keep your pet rats healthy is to consult a veterinarian so he or she can tell you what vitamins and supplements to give. That way, you can stretch your pet’s life a bit more.
3. They can cause allergies.
Some people may be allergic to rats, which means that they can’t be great especially for those with smaller children. So, make sure you don’t have family members with chronic allergies before you purchase a pet rat.
4. They can cause lot of damage to your home.
Rats are scavengers by nature. They also like to roam around the place and search for something they can chew on. But if you keep your animal happy, contented and properly contained, you can prevent them from wreaking havoc in your home.
5. They might not have a professional look at them.
Remember: the more exotic the pet, the harder it will be for you to find a qualified vet to check on them. There are not too many vets who are experienced in taking care of rats. This is why it’s important to check your local area before you buy a pet rat. Time is of the essence when your beloved animal gets sick, and you could be wasting precious minutes searching for a vet who can make it well.
As you can see, rats can be considered pets, too. They can be loved, and they will love you in return.