Life With Pet Rats

When we tell people that we have pet rats, there seems to be only two types of reactions: “OH MY GOD GROSS!” or “Ah, rats make the best pets EVER!”  There doesn’t seem to be any in between feelings on them. I’d always wanted a rodent pet as a kid, but my mom refused, saying they are stinky and they bite and are gross. Well, she was very wrong.

We ended up with ours after seeing a Facebook post looking for a home for them.  Shae had been begging to get pet rats the day before and for some reason Cliff was the one that suggested we go for it. He’s usually the voice of reason while I want to adopt every sad furry. We were very lucky that these rats came from a loving home (asshole landlord wouldn’t let them stay there) and were already very tame.

I was very nervous about getting rats… I’d only ever had dogs and cat before so I was quite worried that I would kill these things by mistake. Shae and I spent the entire weekend before we picked them up googling EVERYTHING. By the time we were done we were super excited. Turns out, rats are WAY more interesting and smart than you’d think.

So enter Lolly and Sparkles (They’re white rats that have markings like siamese cats); Brittney (normal black rat) and Nightshade (a black dumbo rat). I’d love to post a photo of the whole ratty family, but they are so active that it’s a bit difficult! They’re really just lovely. They come when you call them and love being cuddled and having their bellies tickled. I often walk around the house with one or two perched on my shoulder and their favourite thing is to cuddle in my pink fluffy gown on cold evenings

The kids totally adore them. Emma was a little cautious at first, because they have quite sharp claws, but now she loves them. Shae brings bits of boxes home to hide treats in and make obstacle courses with.

Rats are super smart so we change their cage set up every week to stop them from getting bored. It’s quite fun finding different boxes and things to put in the cage and keep interested. We make tunnels for them out of Emma’s old tights or my old jeans. They love running along the legs and making nests in the seat of the pants. We spent ages watching them trying to get treats out of an egg box once. The cool thing is you can use pretty much anything in their cage… branches from the garden, toilet roll inners etc etc. There’s loads of tutorials online showing you how to sew hammocks and tunnels for them, but I lack talent and have a pile of clothing that’s too stuffed to donate, so decided to use that first. Besides, rats chew EVERYTHING, so I am not sure I want to go to the effort of actually learning to sew only to have my hard work chewed.

Here’s our set up from 2 weeks ago, with a pair of Cliff’s torn pants as their main nest and some of Emma’s leggings as another sleeping spot.


So, life with rats. Without a doubt it is AWESOME. I am so happy we took the plunge and added rats to the family. I cannot imagine life without them now!


Have you had rats or do you have rats now? Would you? If you are thinking of adopting rats, why not check out Mischief Rat Rescue?

Thanks for reading!



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