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Do rats make good pets?

My 6 year old son has been begging us for a pet of his own. We considered getting him a hamster, but PetSmart said that hamsters are recommended for ages 9 and up, and rats are recommended for ages 5 and up. I have researched rats on the internet and read that they make good pets. I would like some answers from someone who has actually owned one. Do they make good pets? Would it be a good pet for a 6 year old? He loves animals, and I have no doubt that he would give it a lot of attention.

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4boysmom32

Asked by 4boysmom32 at 1:32 PM on Dec. 26, 2008 in Pets

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Answers (15)
  • I'd stick with a hamster, and YOU help/teach him how to care for it! I've known several families with children as young as 3 having pet hamsters, gerbils, turtles (messy and somewhat stinky but low maintenance!) We're more of a fish family--just flush the ones that don't make it!

    We'd get a dog, but we're finally able to travel with the kids (youngest is fully potty trained) and do stuff as a family, so WE need pets that can survive without daily care for a week or two a time! LOL
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 1:40 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • I have had a rat and they are the best rodent ever. He was such a loving little guy and never did bite anyone.Plus he lived for about five years and our hamsters only lived for two to three years. Hamsters also dont like to be held as much and bite more often. Rats are very loving. I would buy another one if I had time to care for another animal right now.
    YoungMomtoGirls

    Answer by YoungMomtoGirls at 1:44 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • i also had a rat, he was a good pet.i had lots of hampsters and they kept dying, i had my rat for a lomg time.
    jbirchard

    Answer by jbirchard at 3:06 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • Rats are very very good pets. Better than a hamster or gerbil I think. Mice are very good pets too. Some rats are even trainable. I would go with a rat over a hamster anyday.
    vickwu

    Answer by vickwu at 4:26 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • Eww..whatever floats your boat lol

    here is a good link though for you

    http://www.wisegeek.com/do-rats-make-good-pets.htm
    LexsiesMommy

    Answer by LexsiesMommy at 6:34 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • Rats are the pitbull in the small pet world!! ppl hear "rat" and think of New York wharf rats that are the size of a small dog. Rats are great pets. They are smart, surprisingly clean and can be very loving pets.
    .
    WAganma56

    Answer by WAganma56 at 9:18 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • I also have a rat. I've had 5 altogether and have never had any issues with them being aggressive or biting. They are great pets for younger kids.

    Make sure if you DO get a pet rat, that you teach him how to handle them. It is SO tempting for little ones to grab them by their tails. Their tails are not meant for that kind of thing and can break or tear. They really only use their tails for controlling their body temp and balance.

    Rats are a very social animal and CRAVE attention. I've always heard from other rat owners that it's best to get them in pairs so they can keep each other company. They love to snuggle with each other and play!

    Also, if you get one, read up on the things that can be poisonous to them. I can send a link if you want :)
    ReneeK3

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 11:54 PM on Dec. 26, 2008

  • Rats make wonderful pets. It's probably the only rodent I would consider owning again. They are intelligent and very personable. As long as he is supervised in its care, I think it would make a great pet, as I think that 6 is a little young for any child to be 100% responsible for care and upkeep of any animal.
    ElderGothMom

    Answer by ElderGothMom at 7:40 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • I think rats make better pets than hampsters! Rats are friendly and they don't sleep all day like Hampsters do. Hampsters nip/bit. I had a rat and he made a wonderful pet.
    bookay

    Answer by bookay at 11:50 AM on Dec. 28, 2008

  • I actually heard that rats are really smart and clean animals! I wouldn't mind having one myself! I think they are kind of neat! I had a friend that would just let her rat hang outside of his cage.. and he would just walk with her where ever she went it was pretty amuzing!
    ali_1107

    Answer by ali_1107 at 2:58 PM on Dec. 28, 2008

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