A common myth about rats and mice as pets is that they are wild and carry diseases. Most of the domestic pet rats and mice that we have today have come from stock that was bred for scientific purposes. They were bred to be as disease free as possible.
Rats are intelligent and can learn tricks just like dogs. They can also be litter trained. They are very social and love company. The more you handle them and socialize your pet rat, the stronger your bond will become. You can keep several rats of the same gender together-they will not fight. Rats require a minimum amount of care. Aquariums with screen top make good cages. Cages need only be cleaned once a week. Cedar shavings should never be used because it has oil that can be toxic to your rat.
Rats can eat anything a health conscious human would eat. They are omnivorous. They groom themselves regularly and have naturally pleasing scent-like sandalwood incense.
Domesticated rats could not survive on their own and will return to their cages if they get loose. However, rats should always be supervised when out of their cage since they will find things to chew on or they could be stepped on. Mice should not be allowed on the floor as they are too easily frightened and will try and run to a safe place to hide.
For more information about mice and rats as pets, contact:
The North American Rat and Mouse Club Int