A single rat living alone can become sad and lonely so it is best to keep rats in groups of two or more. A group of females or a group of males works well or one neutered male can live with females to prevent any unwanted baby rats.
Rats are very intelligent and clean animals and can live between three and four years old.
Rats can get breathing problems, a little like asthma in people, so living on shredded paper rather than wood shavings prevents their home being too dusty.
Rats can also catch colds from people and need to see the vet quickly if they do to prevent serious illness.
Two rats need to live in a cage at least 80 cms high and 80 cms wide – three rats will need an even bigger cage.
Cages will need cleaning out at least once a week and new toys added or moved around to stop the rats getting bored and overweight. Great toys include wooden wine racks, ropes made from old material and plastic and cardboard tubes.
Rats should be fed a complete dry mix food together with tasty treats such as vegetables, fruit, boiled eggs and cat and dog biscuits.