Rats are often thought of as small disease-ridden creatures that are best avoided. However some people keep rats as pets and they can actually make very loving and affectionate companions. Rats come in many different sizes depending on the breed but some can grow quite large.
The biggest rat on record was a giant rat from Madagascar that weighed in at a whopping 4.1 kg (9 lb)! That’s almost twice the size of a house cat. The largest pet rat ever recorded was a mere 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) but that is still much bigger than the average wild rat which only weighs about 350 g (0.77 lb).
If you’re thinking of getting a rat as a pet be sure to do your research to find a reputable breeder and to learn about the different types of rats available. Some breeds such as the Fuzzy Wuzzy are known for being particularly large. Whatever type of rat you choose be prepared to provide it with a spacious cage plenty of toys and enrichment and lots of love.
How large can rats get?
Some rats can grow up to 16 inches.
How much can rats weigh?
Some rats can weigh up to 2 pounds.
How long do rats live?
Rats typically live 2-3 years but some may live up to 5 years.
Do all rats carry diseases?
No not all rats carry diseases.
Which diseases can rats carry?
Some of the diseases that rats can carry include the plague rat-bite fever and salmonellosis.
How can you tell if a rat is sick?
Some signs that a rat may be sick include weight loss lethargy and fur loss.
How do rats reproduce?
Rats reproduce by mating.
The female rat will have a litter of anywhere from 4-12 baby rats called kittens.
How often do rats reproduce?
Female rats can reproduce every 3-5 weeks.
How long is a rat pregnant for?
A rat is pregnant for 21-23 days.
Can rats swim?
Yes rats are good swimmers and can hold their breath for up to 3 minutes.
What do rats eat?
Rats are omnivorous and will eat both plant and animal matter.
In the wild their diet consists of things like insects grubs and small vertebrates.
What do pet rats eat?
A diet for a pet rat should consist of a high-quality rat pellets fresh fruits and vegetables and occasional treats.
Do rats like to be petted?
Some rats enjoy being petted while others do not.
It is best to let the rat come to you and avoid forcing contact.
How can you tell if a rat is happy?
Some signs that a rat is happy include purring grooming and socializing.
What are some things you should not do to a rat?
Some things you should not do to a rat include picking them up by the tail pulling their fur or disturbing their nest.