Rat – Red-Eye

Growth Size

Rats grow to a length of 15 – 20cm (not including the tail), and a weight of 200 – 500g.

Lifespan

2 – 3 years.

Temperament

Contrary to popular belief, rats make affectionate and loving pets. They form bonds with their owners and may even 'purr' in delight when being scratched in the right spot!

Training Difficulty

Rats are incredibly intelligent and can be trained to do a number of tasks. Most commonly they are trained to complete mazes as part of scientific studies. At home though, they can easily be trained to use a litter tray, among other things. Rats are treat motivated, so food is the key to getting them to learn new tricks.

Recommended Owners

Rats are a great pet for responsible children over the age of 10. Younger kids may be too rough and unintentionally hurt the rat, or get bitten.

Origin

In the 18th and 19th centuries, rats were originally used in bloodsports. Sportsmen would fill a pit with several Rats and place bets on how long it took for a terrier to kill them all. However, as the sport continued, different and unusually coloured Rats emerged. These were soon tamed, selectively bred, and sold as pets. Red-Eye Rats were likely among these species. They gained popularity amongst the scientific community due to their usefulness in scientific research.

Diet

Many different types of fresh fruit and vegetables can be fed to Rats. These can include: apple, banana, beans, melon, stone and citrus fruit, broccoli, carrot, Asian greens, celery, tomato, and peas. In addition, commercial Rat or Mouse pellets can be fed.

Please note! The dietary guidelines specified above are only a guide and feeding may vary based on your pet's size, activity level, and metabolism.

Grooming

Rats are very clean animals, and are happy to self-groom. They may need their nails trimmed occasionally.

Comments

Rats with white fur and red eyes are often used in scientific studies. A recent study determined that Rats may show empathy towards members of their own species. One Rat was put in a trap (which could be opened from the outside) while the other was allowed to roam free. The free Rats would circle the trapped Rat and eventually learned how to rescue them. Even when offered chocolate, the free Rat would rescue their trapped companion before sharing the treats.