Raising Your Rat: A Guide to Radically Great Rat Care

Raising Your Rat: A Guide to Radically Great Rat Care

A Rat Is Not Just a Pet, It’s a Furry Companion and Family Member

Rats are not just pets; they are intelligent, affectionate family members and loyal friends. These little creatures add a unique and playful dynamic to your home. As a caring pet parent, your commitment to their well-being showcases the love and bond you share with these charming animals.

Brown’s 7 Factors for Exceptional Pet Rat Parenting

Embark on a journey through this guide, exploring seven essential factors to ensure your rat leads a joyous, healthy, and fulfilling life. From a nutritious diet to environmental enrichment, each element is vital in providing top-notch care for your rat.

1. The Well-Fed Factor

Ensuring your rats enjoy a balanced diet, proper hydration, and additional supplements to keep their bodies well-nourished and thriving.

  • Brown’s Approach to Feeding: What ratios are required for a healthy and happy rat?

    For optimal health, a rat’s diet should consist of about 80% high-quality lab blocks or pellets, providing all the necessary nutrients. The remaining 20% can include fresh fruits and vegetables, ensuring a variety of flavors and textures for your rat’s enjoyment. Avoid sugary or fatty treats, keeping them to less than 5% of the total diet to prevent obesity.

  • Key Watering Practices

    Always provide fresh, clean water daily. Rats drink approximately 10 ml of water per 100 grams of body weight daily. Use a water bottle with a metal sipper tube, and check it daily for leaks and blockages to ensure your rat stays well-hydrated.

  • Vitamins and Treats

    Supplemental vitamins are generally not necessary if your rat is on a balanced diet. However, occasional treats like small pieces of cooked egg, lean meat, or dog biscuits can be beneficial for extra protein. Treats should be given sparingly, making up no more than 5% of the total diet.

2. The Activity Factor

Providing playtime, exercise, and a safe place to keep your rats active, entertained, and happy.

  • Out-of-Cage Exercise Needs for Rats

    Rats need at least 1 hour of out-of-cage exercise daily. This is vital for their physical health and to prevent boredom.

  • Creating a Safe Play Environment

    Ensure the play area is rat-proofed, free from hazards, and contains interactive toys to stimulate their curious nature.

  • Mental Stimulation for Rats

    Provide puzzles, mazes, and new objects regularly to keep your rat’s mind engaged and sharp.

  • Physical Fitness for Rats

    Incorporate climbing structures and exercise wheels in their habitat for physical activity.

  • Delighting Your Rat

    Rats enjoy exploring new environments, solving puzzles, and interactive playtime with their human companions.

3. The Long-Loved Factor

Building a strong bond with your rats through love, affection, and positive interactions.

  • How Rats Receive Love

    Gentle handling, soft talking, and spending quality time together are ways rats feel loved and secure.

  • Large Gestures of Love for Rats

    Creating an engaging and comfortable habitat and regularly introducing new toys and activities show your love.

  • Simple Daily Bonding Ideas

    Offering treats by hand, gentle grooming, and talking to your rat daily can significantly strengthen your bond.

4. The Friend Factor

Encouraging socialization with other rats and humans to enhance their social well-being.

  • Social Needs of Rats

    Interaction with other rats or humans is essential for emotional well-being, as rats are highly social animals.

  • Safe Inter-Species Friendships

    Introduce new pets carefully, monitoring interactions to ensure safety and compatibility.

  • Introducing New Companions to Rats

    Begin with controlled, supervised meetings in neutral territory to allow gradual and stress-free introductions.

5. The Bonding Factor

Understanding and respecting your rats’ personalities and needs to ensure they feel cherished and understood.

  • Rat Temperaments

    Rats can range from being shy and reserved to curious and playful. Recognizing and catering to their personalities enhances care.

  • Lifestyle Considerations for Rat Care

    Consider your ability to provide consistent interaction, the space available for their habitat, and time for daily care.

  • Fun Ideas for Loving Your Rat

    1. Teaching simple tricks; 2.
    Interactive play sessions;
    3. Building maze-like structures for exploration;
    4. Cuddling sessions;
    5. Creating DIY toys.

  • When a Rat Passes Away

    Allow yourself time to grieve, create a small memorial, and remember the joy and companionship your rat brought into your life.

6. The Home Factor

Creating a rat-friendly and safe living space, including appropriate housing, cleanliness, and safety measures.

  • Natural Habitat of Rats

    Rats are natural explorers and like having multiple levels and hiding spots in their habitat to mimic their natural environment.

  • Creating a Rat-Friendly Home

    Include tunnels, nesting areas, and climbing opportunities to encourage natural behaviors and keep your rat engaged.

  • Essentials for a Healthy Rat Habitat

    1. Spacious cage; 2. Safe and comfortable bedding; 3. Areas for exercise, play, and rest.

  • Safety Considerations for Rat Habitats

    1. Ensure the enclosure is secure; 2. Use non-toxic materials; 3. Keep the habitat away from extreme temperatures; 4. Regularly check for wear and tear.

  • Cleaning a Rat’s Habitat

    Clean the cage weekly, change bedding frequently, and sanitize food and water containers to maintain hygiene and health.

7. The Money Factor

Budgeting for rat care expenses, including food, medical bills, and other necessities to ensure your rat’s comfort and security.

  • Food Budget for Rats

    Expect to spend around $10 to $15 per month on high-quality rat food, with occasional treats adding to the cost.

  • Recurring and Initial Costs for Rat Care

    Recurring costs include food and bedding. Initial costs can include the cage setup, toys, and initial veterinary visits.

  • Medical Costs for Rats

    Regular health check-ups and potential treatments for common ailments should be factored into the budget.

  • Managing Time Apart from Your Rat

    Consider the cost of pet-sitting or boarding facilities if you plan to be away, with prices varying based on the duration and level of care.


Join the nearly two-centuries-long Brown Family legacy of loving people & pets by keeping them well-fed.

As a rat parent, you’re part of a larger family – the Brown family. We’re here to guide you in providing the best possible care for your rat. Being an exceptional rat parent is about understanding, love, and dedication. With Brown’s, you’re not only caring for your rat; you’re fostering a lifelong bond. This guide aims to educate and transform rat parents into informed caregivers, ensuring your rats are long-loved and well-fed, in true Brown’s tradition.

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