Rats may be one of the most feared and reviled creatures in history, but people sure are missing out on a lot of lovely things about PET RATS! For pet rat lovers like me, they are one of the coolest pets one can ever have. They’re bright, witty, and have adorable personalities unknown to most people. Please allow me to share some surprising revelations about pet rats.
Here’s a quick video of my wild rat Thoriel… See? Wild rats can be tamed, after all!
Did you know that I used to freak out whenever I saw a rat, even if it was a few meters away doing no harm to me? This is because I was full of misconceptions about them. By January of 2009, I saw a cute white rat in a shop with its head coated black (this marking is called ‘hooded‘) and for some reason, I was drawn to him out of adoration.
With my baby Husky girl, Estelle.
After dreaming about Fasolt (the name I gave him) for days, I finally ran back to the store and took him home. Three months later, my phobia was fully overcome. Rats are not vicious after all and this made me feel guilty for all the negative thoughts about them throughout the years! One more reason they made an impact in my life was that I became a blogger because of them. =)
There are myths surrounding pet rats, and as a proud pet rat lover, let me share some surprising facts about them.
10 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Own a Pet Rat
10. Rats are recruited to detect tuberculosis and landmines.
In Africa, rats are recruited to detect landmines and tuberculosis under the efforts of APOPO. They have been proven to be accurate and are considered to be the most affordable way of detecting TB. Imagine: countless lives were made better with the aid of rats. Rat is man’s best friend!
9. United Colors of ‘Rattus norvegicus’.
Pet rats, white lab rats and wild rats in the streets belong to a species called ‘Brown Rat‘ (Rattus norvegicus). In the wild, Brown Rats have a reddish brown coat color called ‘agouti’ (pron: a-goo-tee). The first record of wild rats being kept as pets were from 18th Century Europe. After generations of breeding, several genetic mutations have appeared — and now we have a wide range of rat colors and markings. Some of you may not have heard yet, but there are interesting colors like orange and blue rats! =)
7. After 8 centuries of persecution, rats are now being acquitted as the cause of the Black Plague.
A recent paper by Prof. Stenseth states that rats were not the cause of the Black Plague. To sum up his paper, it was not an ideal weather condition for rats to thrive and reproduce at that time, and they could not have been the cause of the outbreak. His theory is that it was spread by another rodent, the gerbil and has assembled a team to investigate further on this matter.
Nothing can be more awesome that a mother’s love.
6. Rats are a little OC (obsessive-compulsive) when it comes to cleanliness.
Rats love to keep themselves clean and would probably bat your favorite pets in the Cleanliness/Grooming Department. They spend hours, if not most of the day, keeping themselves clean. Unknown to many, they even have good toilet habits, choosing to allocate specific corners of their home for pee and poo.