When people hear the word rat, they often get the heebie-jeebies. They think of rats as vermin. They think they are dirty, disease spreading pests that should be exterminated. However, I am not one of those people. When I hear the word rat, I think back on some of the best pets I’ve ever owned. When I was 18 years old I decided to adopt a rat and I named her Phillis. She was absolutely my favorite pet. I grew up with hamsters and gerbils and was bitten often by both species. If I didn’t handle them every day they would become almost feral, especially the hamsters which are particularly dangerous. Also, if they ever happened to escape their cages they were almost impossible to catch again because they didn’t want to be handled. However, Phillis would come looking for me when she got out of her cage. In fact, I often left her cage door open because I knew she would willingly stay in her house unless she wanted to come out and socialize with people in the house. People say they don’t like their tails, but their personalities and friendliness absolutely make up for their tails, in my opinion. Phillis was only the first of many amazing pet rats that have been in my life and when my kids are older and want a pocket pet of their own, I won’t hesitate to buy them rats. If you still think rats are gross, then check out these pictures and you may change your mind!
1. Rats really are super lovable. They absolutely love to cuddle!
2. Rats make great pets, especially if you are in an apartment because they don’t need a big yard or lots of exercise. Or any exercise!
3. Rats can be smarter than dogs and cats. They can be taught to come to their names and do tricks.
4. Rats love to eat treats. My rat Marty really enjoyed roast beef!
5. Rats like to play games, like hide and seek and tug-of-war. They will also wrestle with your hand
6. Rats are nocturnal so they will sleep while you are away at work or school and play in the mornings and evenings.
7. Rats are incredibly clean animals and bathe themselves several times a day.
8. Rats can grow very strong bonds with their owners and can be extremely affectionate.
9. Unlike wild rats, which do not make good pets, domesticated rats have been selectively bred to be affectionate and gentle.
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