Domesticated rats and mice are nothing like their wild counterparts! Domestic rats and mice are friendly, curious, clean and sociable creatures that make great pets. Rats and mice suffer from an image problem despite the fact that as pets, they have been domesticated for hundreds of years and do not carry disease.
Rats and mice make great low maintenance pets that don’t need to be walked or vaccinated and give their owners just as much companionship and enjoyment as cats and dogs. Rats in particular are highly intelligent, curious and friendly animals, and as domesticated pets both rats and mice are very tame.
Rats and mice are easy to care for and fun to play with. They bite very rarely and only when afraid, so a few simple precautions will ensure you have a happy, friendly pet with no safety concerns. However they are part of the gnawing rodent family and are prone to chewing your furniture and electrical wires, so it is important not to let them run loose in the home.
Rats and mice are sociable animals and will be happier when living with one of their own species. Do not house rats and mice together or with any other species of rodents—they need their own kind.
A simple cage is all that is needed for your rats or mice to call home. Look for cages with levels for climbing and a space for bedding. Rats and mice do best with hardwood shavings or shredded paper as bedding, which you’ll need to change every few days. Your pet rat or mouse will also need a water bottle they can visit anytime they get thirsty.
Rats and mice will enjoy a few toys like wheels—make sure you get a wheel that is the right size for your pet—rats won’t enjoy a too-small wheel that is sized for a mouse. Our vets can help you choose the right selection of toys for your pet mice or rat to enjoy.
Mice and rats are easy to feed—a simple diet of good quality rodent pellets plus lots of fresh vegetables is all they need. Our vets can advise you about the best foods to provide for your pet rat or pet mouse to thrive.
When it comes to health care, mice and rats are quite hardy, but they can suffer from digestive or respiratory problems, skin issues and other ailments. Having a checkup with a vet twice a year is a great way to maintain your pet’s health, and of course, visit the vet if you have any concerns or notice any differences with its behavior, diet or appearance.