Taking Back America

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Pet Rats


Rat Basics: A Primer on Rat Ownership

If you are considering owning pet rats or have decided to add pet rats to your life, you may be wondering where to start. Our primer on rat ownership covers the basics of how to choose the right pet rats, quarantine, accessories that you need and daily care.
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A Guide to Pet Rat Cages

Purchasing a safe and appropriate habitat for your pet rats is one of the biggest decisions you will make for their well being, and it is often the largest expense when you are first starting out with rats. In this article, we will discuss basic cage safety, general habitat requirements, and show you some of the best options on the market for your pet rats.

General Cage Size Requirements

You will need a cage that provides at least two cubic feet of space per rat, with an additional 2 cubic feet for each additional rat in the habitat. This means for two rats, you should ideally be looking for a cage that provides four cubic feet of space. While this is a good rule of thumb for most rats, there are some situations where rats will require more space for rats who are very large, or who are very sensitive about sharing elbow room in their cage with other rats (such as many intact male rats). Keep in mind that your rat is going to spend the majority of their life in their cage, giving them a spacious environment will help keep them happier when you are not able to take them out and play with them.

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As a rat owner it is important to embrace all aspects of rat care. Included in this section of the Rat Guide are many topics that will help you to provide your rat with its entire husbandry needs. Most of the information in this section is from firsthand experience coupled with research to give you the best possible information.

You will find some links throughout individual sections when referring to a specific brand, type, or site, listed for your convenience.

When you have finished reading the basic care provided here, and you would still like more facts about rat care, visit: “The Wererat’s Lair” at http://wererat.net/rathelp/. Many of the answers given out to Rat-Help questions over the years are listed there.

Still have a rat related question that you are unable to find an answer to? email: Rat-Info. If your question is of a more urgent nature and requires an immediate response email: Rat-Help.

The information and links provided here are by no means meant to replace that of a qualified veterinarian trained in the care of pet rats. Please consult with a vet if you think your rat shows signs of illness or injury.


This guide contains in-depth articles on illnesses seen in pet rats, along with signs, symptoms, case histories, and treatment modalities that your veterinarian may follow. Here you will also find nursing care essential to treating illness and injuries.

These articles are designed to help rat lovers become more knowledgeable in their physical assessment of their pet rats and aid them in seeking care from their veterinarians sooner.

It is important to learn what your rat’s normal behavior and appearance is like so that you can spot the signs of illness should they appear. Rats have a high metabolism and illnesses can overtake them quickly. Please don’t delay in taking an ill or injured rat to the vet.



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