Decorative Rat - The Pros And Cons Of Content. Selection Criteria And Care Features. Photo

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Decorative Rat - The Pros And Cons Of Content. Selection Criteria And Care Features. Photo
Decorative Rat - The Pros And Cons Of Content. Selection Criteria And Care Features. Photo

Video: Decorative Rat - The Pros And Cons Of Content. Selection Criteria And Care Features. Photo

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Most often, we associate rats with dangerous rodents or laboratory animals. But for many, they become real pets. Rats are quite intelligent and social animals. They are easy to tame, which makes rats especially attractive to those who enjoy a lot of interaction with their pets. They are quite unpretentious to care for. Nevertheless, there are some nuances in relation to rats. We will talk about all the pros and cons of keeping a decorative rat, about caring for it in this article.

Decorative rat - the pros and cons of content
Decorative rat - the pros and cons of content

Content:

  • Few facts about the decorative rat
  • Maintenance and care of a domestic rat
  • Where and how to choose a decorative rat?
  • Pros and cons of keeping decorative rats
  • Is it true that a rat leaves drops of urine everywhere?

Few facts about the decorative rat

Most ornamental domestic rats are a species of the gray rat (Rattus norvegicus). Its other names are: Norwegian rat, common rat, street rat, sewer rat or pasuk. The body of a gray rat is usually 20 to 30 centimeters long, with a tail up to 20 centimeters long.

Rats have a wide range of colors (including amber, agouti, sable). And also different types: standard (smooth), rex (curly), wavy, dumbo (eared), hairless and tailless.

The lifespan of a rat is 2-3 years. Domesticated gray rats are physiologically and psychologically different from their wild relatives and, as a rule, do not pose a great danger to human health in terms of carrying dangerous infections.

Domestic rats are more balanced than wild ones. They feel more comfortable around people and show love and affection for their master. Ornamental rats have decreased reactions to light and sound, are less cautious about new food, and better tolerate overpopulation.

The body structure of domesticated rats is also different from that of the wild rat. The body of a domesticated rat is smaller in size, with large ears, an expressive muzzle and a longer tail than that of its wild relatives. Rats have been domesticated relatively recently - over the past 200 years.

Rat rex
Rat rex
Rat dumbo
Rat dumbo
Hairless rat
Hairless rat

Maintenance and care of a domestic rat

Before deciding whether to start a rat as a pet, it is important to have an idea of ​​what caring for this animal involves.

What the rat owner should do regularly:

  • Clean the cage (1-2 times a week). The rat itself must also be wiped with a cotton pad, combed, cleaned its tail, and trimmed its claws.
  • Provide the rat with interesting toys and items for feeding and hygiene in the cage. A house with a soft bottom and a hammock must be installed there. Rats will love various bridges, tunnels, swings, wheels, balls and figurines to sharpen their teeth. Hanging bowls and nipple drinkers are preferred for feeding. The cage filler works best with corn. A special litter tray is used as a toilet.
  • Feed the rat. Specialized rat foods are available. Although rats are omnivorous, they must be given vegetables (almost everything, but only boiled potatoes and not often); protein products (boiled meat and eggs), flax or pumpkin seeds. Sometimes you can pour kefir. On average, a rat will need 30 grams of food per day.
  • Give your pet time out of the cage every day. Outdoor activities should be approximately one hour once a day. The walking area should be fenced off and isolated from other pets, remove all dangerous items such as wires, and keep a close eye on the animal.
  • Give your rat time and attention. It is important to play with the rat regularly. Better to do it at the same time. For example, hearing that you have come from work, the rat will happily scurry, waiting for your attention if you have taught it to play at this time. When approaching the cage, talk to the animal in an affectionate voice, do not make sudden movements, refer to the animal by the name. Rats are very pleased when they are scratched in the cheek area and scratched back. They sometimes respond to affection by lightly biting the hands of their owners or by grinding their teeth.
It is important for a pet rat to give time and attention
It is important for a pet rat to give time and attention

Where and how to choose a decorative rat?

Pet store rats are usually bred on large rodent farms (which often provide rats as food for predators such as snakes). Rats raised under these conditions tend to be more anxious and more difficult to tame.

Rats from breeders are generally well treated, so it will take less effort to establish contact with them. They are more relaxed about moving to a new home. Most rats, no matter where they were acquired, end up being tame and affectionate. But for some, it will take extra time and attention to approach them. And this must be taken into account, especially if children are involved in caring for rats.

When choosing a rat, you need to pay attention to many nuances. First, avoid being too quiet and calm, as this may be due to illness. A good choice is a rat that is active and curious enough to approach you.

The nose, eyes, ears and anus should be clean and free of discharge. The coat must be clean and well-groomed (healthy rats spend a lot of time grooming their fur). The skin on the ears and tail should be clean and pink. Red or brown is a bad sign. The skin should be free of sores, redness and severe dandruff.

Lice are very common in domestic rats, so check them for insects as well. The latter can be identified by the small white eggs on the hair, most noticeable behind the ears, where there is less hair.

Make sure the rat has no difficulty breathing or sneezes or discharge from the nose or eyes. All of these can be signs of a respiratory illness that is quite common in rats.

Pay attention to drooling and moisture around the mouth, which can be a sign of dental problems.

Rats raised for pet stores tend to be more anxious and harder to tame
Rats raised for pet stores tend to be more anxious and harder to tame

Pros and cons of keeping decorative rats

Positive aspects of decorative rats:

  • Rats are smart indeed. And they are easy to train: teach them how to respond to a name and teach them various tricks. These animals also have good emotional intelligence. It has been found that rats show empathy not only for their loved ones, but also for strangers in trouble.
  • Rats require less grooming than many other pets.
  • These pets are very clean and almost odorless. As long as you keep the cage clean, they will groom themselves as well. In good conditions, rats are constantly brushing themselves like little cats.
  • Rats know their master and show love and affection for him. They are very affectionate and will love you with all their heart if you treat them right.
  • Rats sleep a lot during the day, but unlike hamsters, rats are happy to be woken up at any moment during the day, and they quickly become involved in everything that happens.
  • Even in a cage, rats are interesting and funny. They are playful gymnasts who are very active when given plenty of cage entertainment.
  • Pedigree rats have an interesting and pleasant appearance.

Cons of decorative rats as pets:

  • Rats are predominantly nocturnal, so if you have light sleep it can create problems. First of all, of course, the rat should not be in your bedroom, but in some apartments you can hear very well, and this creates problems for the whole family.
  • Although rats are not as expensive as some other pets, they still need to be part of your budget. Sterilization is not a cheap procedure, while sterilizing a female is about twice as expensive as a male. You will also need a quality rat cage, specialized food, cage equipment, fresh fruits and vegetables, chew toys, and so on.
  • Rats have a short lifespan (2.5-3 years at best). They are prone to cancer and respiratory diseases. It follows that keeping rats is about dealing with frequent loss of a pet. It should be borne in mind that saying goodbye to your beloved rat can be a very sad event.
  • Rats need company to such an extent that keeping them alone increases stress levels and the risk of developing various diseases. It is better to keep the rats not one by one, but at the same time the female must be sterilized, otherwise her health will be undermined by constant birth.
  • If you are going on vacation, then you will need someone who is willing to look after the rat. But, unfortunately, many people are rather disgusted with them or even fear rats.
  • Rats are prone to shoots and can squeeze into such narrow crevices that it is difficult to imagine. Therefore, it is very important to restrict the rats wherever they are allowed to move freely.
Decorative rats play very actively if provided with plenty of entertainment in the cage
Decorative rats play very actively if provided with plenty of entertainment in the cage

Is it true that a rat leaves drops of urine everywhere?

This is a fairly common behavior of domestic rats, and tags are especially common among males. In fact, these small drops of urine contain a lot of information for relatives: age, puberty, and even the social status of the rat and the level of stress. These markers are used to mark the boundaries of the territory and as a message to other rats. Of course, this is a little unpleasant for the owners, but it is quite normal and typical behavior for animals.

Fortunately, these are usually quite small droplets that may not even be visible, but many owners choose to lay a special fabric to protect the floor or furniture when playing with their rats. It is also important to wash your hands after working with rats.

This type of behavior often peaks during adolescence, is mainly common in male rats (especially in leadership positions in group housing), and, as a rule, it decreases after castration.

If the rat is sick or nervous, it can urinate in large quantities, but this is a completely different situation than the mark in which small droplets or streaks remain when the rat moves.

Apart from these situations, in general, rats are fairly successful in litter habit.

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