This is pretty much the furthest thing from a sex topic, but I’m compelled to talk about it anyway, because it’s still a topic near and dear to my heart: rats as pets.
That’s my chubby cuddly thing, Ewan. Not all rats are the size of Chipotle burritos, but I have this tendency to adopt really large boy rats. I like big ole cuddle monsters.
The tails squick a lot of people out, and I can sort of understand that. They’re scaly, kind of weird, but you get used to them. Did you know their tails are actually covered in fuzz? They’re really not so unpleasant after all, and they help rats balance when they’re busy doing things like climbing all over their cage, sitting on your shoulders, or getting into trouble (like my laundry basket – always, ALWAYS a rat in the laundry basket!).
“Why rats?” I get that a lot! Did you know that rats have some of the best qualities of cats and dogs? Some rats are very playful and will even play fetch with you, while some are super cuddly and want nothing more than to lie on your lap while you browse Marvelous-Darling.com. Rats even potty-train themselves, and are able to hold their bladders while they’re out with you. And generally, rats keep themselves very clean – some rats will even try to clean their owners.
What does it take to keep rats? A nice, big coated wire cage (I like CritterNation cages or Martin’s Cages), 2+ rats of the same sex, quality food like a special lab block or a low-protein dog food mixed with non-sugary cereals, lots of toys, and at least 1-2 hours per day of play and physical exercise. Rats can be pricey, especially their vet care, but they’re hands down the most loving and personable “pocket pets” you can have. If you’re really interested in rat care, leave me a comment or get at me on Twitter!
Where are your rats from? A pet store? Nah. I adopted my boy, along with his now-deceased brother, from the Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Club rescue. Buying from petstores really unleashes a whole world of problems, including health and temperament issues, and funding irresponsible practices. You’d probably be surprised by the number of good breeders and rescues there are for rats, particularly in the US and Britain!
I know a couple of other bloggers out there keep rats. Anyone else? Have I changed anyone’s mind on the furry little vermin? Anyone want to come play with Ewan? I’m sure he’d love the company!