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Embracing a Rat as a Pet

I was now the owner of an, albeit unusual, young pet rat. Because she was technically a “wild” rat, it would be ill advised to pass her off to a young child looking for a rat pet. It was unknown whether her behavior would radically change as she became an adult.

Young Eek asleep in a handLittle Eek was put on a course of doxycycline to address any possible parasites that she might have, as well as a course of Revolution to address possible mites. Eek's home had been a large Roughneck bin with a cooking cooling rack bungied over the top. A real cage was selected and purchased, along with appropriate rattie accoutrements. She began litter box training. And, at the recommendation of the vet, I began searching for a suitable rat companion.

Rats are very social creatures. They thrive on interaction, and can become depressed and ill if isolated. Given that Eek would be home alone most workdays, another rat needed to be found to keep her company. From reading about pet rats, the introduction of non-litter mates is most likely to be successful when the rats are young. The search for a companion began.

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Blog_post | by Dr. Radut