Shopping List for Your Pet Rat

by Catherine Smith

Contrary to popular belief pet rats are not pets that you can just keep in a cage and forget about. They are highly intelligent, active, fun and very cute little critters. They plenty of things to keep them occupied when you are not around. They enjoy playing with toys with you and on their own. It is also very important to have more than one rat, so that they can keep each other during the day.

So here is your ratty shopping list. First of all we have the basics:

* Large rat cage. Make sure the gaps are not too wide, or your rat may decide to go walkabout.

* water

* Food bowl and snack bowl (so you can separate sweet and savoury)

* Bedding (I use old newspapers and shredded paper from work).

* Rat Food – a basic cereal/block which you can then add tasty snacks to, to spice things up.

But here are some more exciting things for your rat:

* Rat hammock – Rats love to snuggle up in a bright, fleecy hammock. You can make one, or buy one.

* Igloo – Rats must have somewhere to hide away when the world gets a bit too much. Put some comfy inside to make a little sanctuary for ratty.

* Kong Toy – Just use the ferret Kong toy. Fill it with some yummy rat friendly food and it is a great way to keep your rat entertained when you are out.

* Rat litter tray – yes rats can be toilet trained and quite easily. You can get a little corner tray to go in the corner of the cage, or just use a shoe box. Put some of your rat’s poop on the tray and place him in there. He will soon get the message. It will make cleaning out a lot easier.

* Chew toys – Rats love to chew and it is very good for their teeth. You can buy fruit flavoured chew toys that rats love.

* Delicious food – Rats love all kinds of food. You can try various fruits, as well as cooked pasta and rice and even eggs.

* Rat training – You can add variety to your rat’s day by training him for 10 minutes a day. You can teach your rat to come when called, clap and even roll over. All it takes is kindness and patience.

* Rat harness and lead – An interesting idea if your rat wants to see the outside world.

* Love. Yup that is the thing. Give your rat a whole lot of love and he will be a very happy ratty.

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