Rats are growing in popularity as pets

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Rats are increasingly popular pets, according to Kenneth Miller, writing in this week’s Parade. His daughter has allergies to other pets, but it turns out, not to rats. The author was reluctant at first to get a rodent, because he associated them with things like the Black Death, but his daughter prevailed. She wanted a pet!

Bear, an adoptable rat

Bear is at Rattie Tattie Rescue in Cincinnati.

There are plenty of adoptable rats listed on Petfinder in the small and furry category. Before making a decision to adopt, though, read about their care.

You may also wonder if your other pets, particularly cats, can tolerate living with a rat in the house. According to blogger Jelena Woehr, they can, but it all depends upon the cat’s personality. Her cats were raised around rats from a very young age and handled the situation well, even to the point of being with the rats uncaged when closely supervised. “Most cats can achieve this level of tolerance of rats through patient, persistent training,” she says, “but no cat or other predator, like a dog or ferret, should ever be left unsupervised with free roaming rats.” She gives some tips on introducing the two.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence that some cats and rat can live together is the following video. But always keep in mind that if an apparently rat-friendly cat decides to “play” with a rat, or any small critter, for that matter, the results can be heartbreaking. As Woehr says, supervision is required.