The number of rats you should have is quite important. When I first started to think about getting pet rats, I’d find everywhere that you shouldn’t get only one. They’re very social and need company. Our company isn’t enough a lot of times.
So how many pet rats should you have? At least 2 rats. You might want more according to your lifestyle and work schedule. But if it’s the first time you’re getting pet rats, 2 is a good number to start with!
Pet rats need a good and big cage but always get a large one, according to the number of rats you own. Even if they’ll be free to roam around the house or room, they need space in their cage.
Choosing How Many Pet Rats To Get
It all comes down to your own experience with rats, your lifestyle and financial situation. All in all, I think two pet rats is a good way to start.
Pet rats won’t cost a lot of money. Their food and bedding are pretty cheap. As well as toys and you can actually make some of your own!
In truth, there’s a lot of stuff that you can make at home with materials that you probably have around. The bedding can be made from old clothes that you have at home and the same goes for hammocks! You can make your own hammocks from old clothes, for example, to put on your ratties cage.
The biggest cost you might have is if your pet rat needs to go to the vet. They’re small animals and very sensitive. Hopefully, everything will go super well with them! But, there’s always the possibility and you should be sure you have the money to treat your companion.
This goes for any kind of pet really. The advantage of animals like pet rats is that you don’t need the extra money for vaccines for example. Overall ratties are not an expensive pet to care for, but a visit to the vet might be needed at some point and you should keep that in mind!
As for experience. If you’ve never had pet rats before, it is still advisable to get two of them. They are very sociable and having another friend will help. Another thing to note is that you should try to get young rats. This way they can get used to you more easily and you to them.
Older rats already have their personality set and they can be more shy with new people. With young rats, they’ll meet you from almost the very beginning of their lives! Before bringing any rat home, try to meet your future ratties and handle them. It is important to have a feel of how they react to you and who’ll bond with you more easily.
Finally as for lifestyle, if you’re working at home, this means you’ll probably have time to pay attention and play with your pet rats. If so, you might manage just one at home, as long as you do give lots of attention to them and keep them busy. Otherwise, they’ll get bored very easily. Still, I would advise you to get a minimum of two pet rats, since they will miss a buddy.
If you’re not at home for a grand part of the day or you can’t spend the time necessary to interact with your rat, then, again, two pet rats is still the best choice.
Remember that rats are very sociable and like to live in communities. If they’re alone in the cage, chances are they’ll get bored and even depressed. Pet rats like do wander around and stay active and it’s important for them to have company to do so.
All in all, getting a pair is usually the perfect option. Whether you’re a beginner with pet rats or if you can spend a lot of time with them, two ratties is a good way to start with! Rats living in pairs will have more interesting and happier lives than a loner pet rat.
As you’re more experienced with rats and want more, you can try and start growing your pet rat family!
Number Of Rats Per Cage Size
Even though rats are small, they need a lot of space.
Like any other rodent or animal. Like us. We don’t like to live in a small space. The same goes for our ratties. They like to roam and explore around.
The general rule is for each rat, to give them at least 2 cubic feet of space. Explaining this easier: don’t get a hamster or guinea pig cage.
Hamster cages are too small, some of them are even too small for hamsters. Guinea pig cages don’t have enough space for your rat to exercise.
It is always better to give them a house that is big and roomier. This will encourage them to exercise more and if you want to get more ratties at some point you’ll have lots of space for them.
Remember that the cage is where they’ll spend most of their time and life, so it’s important that they’re happy in it. And for that, I highly recommend this Prevue Hendrix cage! Even if you’re getting only two rats, they have a lot of space to play and explore. It’s an amazingly big cage and it even has wheels, so you can easily move it from one place to the other.
You also won’t need to stuff everything they own on the same floor and space. You can add bedding to several floors, some hammocks, climbing toys, chewing toys, and at least two litters. It is perfect for your pet rats and you have enough space for more than 2 rats eventually!
Just keep in mind the space bars though. If they’re too open, your ratties might not only escape, but it might be harder for them to walk and climb around. You might need to get some net to put around the walls of the cage. Most bigger cages are not made for pet rats, even the smaller ones have too much space between the bars, so take this into consideration.
By getting a bigger cage you’ll also save some money. A cage of that quality will last for a long long time. Other than that, as I mentioned, even if you’re only getting two pet rats to begin with, later you can get more of them and not worry about getting a new place for them!
Can Two Male Rats Live Together?
Yes definitely. For obvious reasons, rats should be paired by the same sex.
If you’re worried that male rats are too territorial, you can rest. Compared to other male pets and animals, pet rats are not that territorial and will live happily with their companions.
You can have up to 6 male rats living in the same space, given you have a big cage like the one mentioned before. More than that isn’t advisable simply because they would not have enough space to live comfortably. So a bigger one or another cage would be the solution here.
Now, of course, it can happen that one of your male rats turn a bit more aggressive and territorial once they come of age. This can happen towards their companions and even you. But this situation is also very easily handled by neutering them.
Once neutered, your pet rat should be back to his friendly behavior in a few weeks. Again, this is very occasional and there’s a simple solution!
As for introducing male rats to each other, usually, it’s very easy. They accept each other very quickly. Neutered males will easily accept other male rats. Non-neutered rats can take some more time, but as long as they’re not aggressive you should have no problems.
Of course, you should always go slowly with introductions. First, let them meet through cages, so they can get used to the smell. Later some actual greet and meet in the same space and finally, when they know each other well enough, they can live happily together!
Can Two Female Rats Live Together?
Again, yes! My two girls always got along with each other perfectly.
Of course, it makes it easier if your pet rats were already from the same litter or were living in the same cage together already. This means they’re already bonded with each other and you don’t have to worry about that part anymore.
This works both with females and males really.
If you do have a lone rat at home and want to bring another to the cage, the first might feel a bit more territorial about having to share you and their home, since they’re too used at having all for themselves. Especially if your rattie is already an adult!
But, all in all, female rats can live together just like male rats can live happily together.
Can Male And Female Rats Live Together?
Yes and no. Even if you want to breed them, male and female rats shouldn’t live together at all times. If you do so, they’ll breed continuously.
This means that even if you want to breed them, you should join them occasionally and separately from the others unless you want a sudden battalion of pet rats!
If you’re not interested in breeding, you can just get pet rats of the same sex. There’s another option though, and this where the yes part of the answer comes on. A neutered rat can live with rats of the opposite sex!
Having male or female rats living together isn’t exactly a problem in terms of how friendly they are with each other. They’ll get along fine and with neutered pet rats, it’s even an easier introduction!
So, are your male rats neutered? If so, they can live among female rats. If they’re not neutered, then keep them apart!
Can a pet rat live alone? They can, but you’d have to give them a lot of attention. Pet rats are very sociable and get their energy and stimulation from other rats. If they don’t have a companion, they’ll become easily bored and even depressed.
Are rats expensive? A pet rat can cost between 10$ to 20$, depending on their age and the breeder. Buying a pair can have special prices, for example, around 25$ or 35$ for a pair. I don’t think it’s an expensive price, especially if you’re sure they come from a good breeder and are healthy!
Are rats clean? Very much so! They clean themselves frequently and will even choose a spot in the cage for their necessities, so they keep the rest of their home clean. Like any home, it should be clean from time to time. At least a full cage cleaning once a week or once every 10 days is more than enough! Here’s everything you need to know to keep your pet rats clean, and any potential risks!
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