Caring for Your Pet Rat

September 4, 2015 - 3 min read

Before you shriek, rats are actually a perfect pet. They provide endless hours of entertainment, love and affection, and can even be taught to use a litter tray or run an obstacle course. Learn how to treat your rat a few tricks as well as how to properly care for your companion in our total rat care guide.

Caring For Your Rat


Keep your rat healthy and happy by feeding it a combination of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as small amounts of good quality rat pellets. Generally, rats love apples, pears, broccoli, fresh corn and carrots.
Make sure you ​don’t ​give them mangoes, peanuts, avocado and sticky foods, such as peanut butter or dried fruits as they may choke or upset their stomach.
A healthy diet with fresh water will ensure you are giving your rat the best chance at a healthy long life.

Rat Food


2-square feet is the minimum size for housing 2 small rats. Look for cages with different levels, a closed base, and good ventilation.
Bedding in the base of the enclosure is important for warmth and absorption of urine. Stay away from cedar and pine shavings, but other hardwood shavings, recycled paper pellets and no-ink shredded paper is fine to use. You will need to change the bedding at least 1-2 times a week.

Rat housing.


Rats love to climb; so wooden ladders and ropes are perfect toys to keep them occupied while they are in their cage. Rats are intelligent, so it is a good idea to regularly update their toys to keep them stimulated and free from boredom.

Cute rat sitting on shoulder


You will need to gain the trust of your rat before trying any training or tricks. When you first bring your rat home, they may seem timid. Encourage your rat to walk onto your hand by offering food. As they become used to you, they will begin climbing your arms and sitting on your shoulder as you walk around.
Rats learn quickly. A reward after completing a new trick or handling will encourage them to continue positive interaction and form a stronger bond with you.

Rat Trick

Domestic Rat Breeds

To ensure you are getting a healthy rat, it’s recommended you purchase your new companion from a rat breeder or your local animal adoption centre.
Rats come in a variety of colours and breeds, which include:

  • Rex Rat
  • Dumbo Rat
  • Hairless Rat
  • Satin Rat
  • Standard Rat
  • Mock Hairless Rat

Hairless rat

Before you bring home your new companion, ensure you have its home already prepared. Check out these Mackay pet-supply stores for all your rat accessories.

Mackay Pet Super Store
Phone: (07) 4942 2566
Address: 22 Grandview Drive, Greensfield QLD 4740
Offering a range of pet food, accessories and toys, Mackay Pet Super Store has all your pet needs covered.
Services include:

  • Pet sales and dog washing
  • Aquarium, bird cage and pet accessories
  • Phone orders for most locations including Mackay, Whitsundays, and surrounding mining areas

Mackay Pet Super Store pride themselves on offering quality service and knowledge for a range of pet needs. For all your pet care products and advice on how to keep your pet happy and healthy, visit the team at Mackay Pet Super Store today!

Animal Obsession
Phone: (07) 4955 5252
Address: 50 Oak Street, Andergrove QLD 4740
Open 7 days, Animal Obsession covers the needs of all types of pets including dogs, cats, birds, fish and rodents.
Services include:

  • Pet food and accessories
  • Aquarium product advice
  • Pet sales

​For exceptional customer service and top-quality products, Animal Obsession is your one-stop pet shop. Whether you are searching for a new family pet or are looking for a wide range of pet products, the team has what you need. Come down and see what Pet Obsession can do for you today!