American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2011 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Kids Q & A

Wants To Get A Rat

By Karen Robbins

Chelsea Larkin, Ontario, Canada
QMy name is Chelsea and I’m thinking about getting a rat. And I’m concerned about what kind of cage to get—wire cage or aquarium? What kind of bedding? So I was just hoping the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association could help me out a little bit. Also, I want to make sure I get the correct vet so my rat is feeling good! Oh, also, if you have any suggestions on toys, chews, treats, or rollaway balls, that would be great. Hope you write back soon.

AWe have lots of flyers and information on our web site that will answer all of your questions. Just remember to always get two when you do get your pets as rats get lonely if they don’t have a buddy.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each kind of cage and it depends on what would work best for each rat owner as to the kind to get. We have several articles on caging on the web site you can read to learn more and help you decide which would be best for you and your pets (see also Housing For Rats—Solid Cages vs. Wire Cages; Plastic Bin For Housing/Single Rat).

There are many kinds of bedding on the market and again, what would work best for you as long as it is non-toxic to the pets (no cedar or pine). We have more information in the many articles at rmindexhealth.htm#beddings.

CrittersUSAmagazine has an extensive list of vets in each issue and includes several in Canada. Copies of the magazine should be available in your local pet shop or online.

There are many toys you can get your rat or make yourself including houses, tubes, hammocks, etc. Many items made for parrots work well for rats. They can be very happy with a cardboard box. Chew treats can be cooked bones, dog biscuits, wooden pieces, Nylabones, etc. Treats should only be healthy things so they don’t get sick. Rats don’t really like being stuck inside a large ball like a hamster when they would have more fun being out with you. However, female rats really like running on a wheel made just for their size. You can have fun making your rats a playground or maze. Check out the many fun projects you can make your rats.

Hope you decide to get a couple pet rats—they are a lot of fun! *

July 7, 2015