Oftentimes, we cannot blame people for thinking rats are unclean creatures that lunge at us without provocation. Even the slightest mention of the word “rat” denotes such negative connotation that it’s enough to send one cringing away in disgust. It’s quite unfair to portray them that way, since people like me who have been taking care of pet rats (including wild rats), for many years, see a different side to the story.
In case you haven’t heard before, rats have been popularly kept as pets since the 18th century. The easiest way to introduce them is to say that: “Their personalities are like that of a dog…loyal, intelligent, sensitive, playful, and fun-loving. The difference is that they are pocket-sized little critters.” They not only come in white, black, orange, or brown because in other countries they even have blues, chocolate, silver, and lilac.
Some of the most frequently asked questions about pet rats are “don’t they carry leptospirosis or rabies?”, “won’t they bite?”, or “aren’t they filthy animals?” If you speak to any pet rat owner like me, they will testify how obsessive-compulsive rats are when it comes to cleanliness—they dedicate at least 30 minutes of cleaning everyday, and they clean themselves at least 3 times per day. That’s more than 5 times the amount of time humans spend cleaning themselves, and a lot of us don’t even take a shower everyday!
For educational purposes, we have made a short clip showing my female wild rat, Milan, grooming herself. The next video after that shows my pet rats fishing for food in water. That’s also how they bathe themselves. This is just one way to show you that not all you see and hear about rats in the media are true. Now you’re one step closer to love pet rats! =)
This second video shows my pet rats fishing for food, which is, at the same time, a form of bathing for them since it was a hot summer day that time.
My name is Rattus Yu. I founded Pet Rats Philippines in September 2009 as an advocacy to counteract the negative image that pet rats face here in the Philippines. We hope you could join our cause by simply sharing this article. Please also see more Ratzilla videos over at our YouTube channel. Salamuch! =)