Cuddly Rats

Some of you already know rats make good pets–affectionate, playful, very smart… and really quite clean. We had our two little rat-girls here, and they were as good as gold until the lights went out. Then they resolved their disputes. Featuring very loud squeaks.

Rats & Eggs (Not Quite Perfect Together)

Rats don’t have a lot of history with hard-boiled eggs; so as you can see, they approach the new treat somewhat gingerly. Rats won’t eat anything that’s bad for them. I wish I could say the same for dogs.

It is said that Barney Rubble used to sing to rats, but they never sang back.

Sleepy Baby Rats

(Come to think of it, I feel quite sleepy myself, just now…)

Our pet rats were affectionate, smart, and playful. People tended to fall in love with them after about five minutes. Cuddling with the humans was high on their list of favorite things.

Pet Rats? Of Course!

This video reminds me of our pet rats. They were smart, affectionate, and playful–really nice pets. Very well behaved in the car, too.

They had only one flaw. When you turned out the lights for bedtime, you would hear from the rats’ tank Whack-whack-whack-thump-thud–SQUEEEEEAK! So you turn the light back on and they’re both just sitting there, totally innocent: they’d whistle nonchalantly, if they could. Then you turn out the light again and they’d fight again. Sibling rivalry. Cats have it, too. *sigh*

Nice Rats

Anyone who’s ever had domestic rats for pets soon learned three things about them: they’re cute, they’re affectionate–and they’re smart. If they had longer lifespans, they’d be running successful businesses.

We had two rats. And whenever I had to bring one in to see the vet, it didn’t take long for the other people in the waiting room to make a fuss over her. Both of them very obligingly stayed on Daddy’s shoulder and didn’t need a carrier.

Rats Are Nicer than You Think

Our pet rats were affectionate, playful, cuddly, and just about as smart as animals can be without going to law school.

If you have more than one rat, they will compete for your affection: they pretty much have to have it. You can teach them to do all sorts of tricks, not counting the ones they teach themselves.

I’ve seen people who shuddered at rats wind up, 15 minutes later, petting them and doing cozy-talk. They can have that effect on you.

Kitten’s Baby-Sitter is a Rat

Don’t worry about the cute little kitten: he has nothing to fear from the pet rat, other than a rather vigorous grooming. He would like to catch hold of the rat’s tail.

Our rats were rough on each other but gentle and playful with us. This rat seems preoccupied with getting down from the chair without having to jump.

I think these two will still be friends after the kitten grows up to be a cat. It’s weird, but that’s domestication for you.

The Three Amigos (Cat, Rat, & Dog)

Here’s something you don’t see every day–a cat, a rat, and a dog all playing together. Like, isn’t the rat supposed to get eaten?

But our pets are marvelously adaptable, and learn to do a lot of things at home that they would never do in the wild. Our rats were smart as whips, affectionate, and playful. But they only had humans to play with. This rat has got it made.

What’s with This Cat?

Watch the rat’s M.O. He makes a beeline for the cat’s food, which suggests he’s done this many times before. Someone he knows the cat won’t try to stop him: if anything, the cat acts like he’s been completely buffaloed. How does the rat know that cat won’t suddenly run out of patience?

I’ve had cats who would run away from a rat. I’ve also had cats who’d play with one. They’re all different–just like people.

Rats Can Be Sweet

A lot of people don’t know this, but rats can be wonderful pets. They’re intelligent and affectionate–a good combination. Playful, too. And not hard to care for. What’s not to like?

When I had to bring one of our rats to the vet, she would ride on my shoulder and never jump off. People in the waiting room shied away at first, some with horrified expressions on their faces; but those sessions usually culminated in those very same people petting the rat and saying “kitchy-koo!” and other witticisms.

Be careful! They’ll win you over if you give them half a chance.