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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

There’s no getting around it—rats get a bad wrap. They are often misunderstood, but they are social and intelligent creatures. In fact, we think they make the perfect pet for the right person. Who could that be, you ask? Well, we think it just might be you. Here are five ways to tell that you just might be into rats.

1. You are on a budget.

Rats are budget-friendly companions. Cats and dogs can come with some pretty high costs when it comes to food, supplies, and veterinary services. Rats, on the other hand, rarely get sick and their daily needs are affordable. Once you factor the initial investment in a cage, food, toys, accessories, and the occasional health check-up, you are pretty much good to go. Rats are social, intelligent, and won’t make a huge dent in your wallet. Sounds like the perfect pet!

2. You enjoy a clean home.

Rats are VERY clean animals. Just like cats, these furry friends groom themselves throughout the day. They are also prone to only “do their business” in one area of the cage making it fairly easy to litter train rats.

While rats enjoy time to come out and socialize and play with you, they also enjoy a large cage with lots of toys for enrichment. So they are contained while you are away, and food and poop remain inside the cage.

Cute Rat Noses
Rats are smart, intelligent, clean, and have the sweetest little noses. What’s not to love?!

3. You like a pet who is social, but not high maintenance.

Rats are very low maintenance. As much as they love their humans, they are also very comfortable in their own environment and can go long periods of the day entertaining themselves. That being said, they are excited to see their human friends! They can learn their name, love to snuggle, will learn tricks, and generally love hanging out with you. In fact, many of the rat friends we know love riding around on their human friend’s shoulder while they conduct everyday tasks. Just like Ratatouille!

Rat Love
We just love the bond between this Jr. Foster Care Volunteer and her tiny “foster fail.” There is so much love in this snuggle.

4. You enjoy a friend on the same schedule.

OK, so hamsters are really cute! So are gerbils. But guess what? They are also naturally nocturnal. Rats follow a similar schedule to humans, meaning they are ready to hang out when you are and don’t keep you awake running in their wheel all night.

5. You have kids.

For all of the above reasons, rats actually make great pets for kids! You don’t have to worry about walking them in between school and soccer practice, but your rat will love your child just like a dog would. These social and intelligent animals are able to connect with children, but offer advantages of low maintenance and fewer paw prints.

Convinced you need a new friend? Head over to to learn more about these furry, little pocket pals.