Rats & Mice Care
Despite their bad reputation, rats and mice are actually very sweet, affectionate, and intelligent animals. Their dog-like personalities make them beloved family pets.
- -Rats are especially intelligent, and can learn to recognize their name. Some are even litter box trainable!
- -Both creatures are highly sociable, and love to be kept in pairs. They will snuggle and groom each other.
- -The first mice and rats in the USA arrived by stowing away on European ships!
- -Large cage with narrow bars to prevent escape
- -Litter, such as Carefresh, Cellsorb, or aspen wood shavings
- -Pelleted or seed mix rat/mouse food
- -Food bowl
- -Water bottle with fresh water provided daily
- -Exercise wheel
- -Chew toys to satisfy gnawing instinct
- -Exercise ball -Snuggle bed/blanket to sleep in
- -Hide-away house or igloo
- -Fruit/yogurt treats, to be fed sparingly
- -Small premium dog biscuits (such as SOJOS) to wear teeth down
- -Do not handle your new pet for the first 48 hours in its new home. This will give it time to acclimate to its new surroundings, new sounds and new smells.
- -Mice and rats are very similar in behavior, care, and personality. However, sometimes rats are a little bit friendlier. Since rats get much bigger than mice, they require much more living space.
- -Mice and rats are naturally nocturnal, but most of the time they will adjust to your schedule and be active whenever you’re interacting with them.
- -These animals are highly sociable. When kept with other mice or rats, they will be happier and live longer. It is highly recommended that you keep a pair of the same gender.
- -Your pet’s cage should be cleaned weekly, to keep it sanitary and smelling clean.
- -Although rats and mice will eat just about anything, human food and treats should be kept to a minimum.
- -Like other rodents, their teeth are constantly growing and need to be worn down. Wooden chew toys will help to file down your pet’s teeth.
- -Since these animals are very intelligent, they need a lot of stimulation and attention. Plenty of toys should be provided for them, and frequent handling is recommended.
Possible health problems:
- -Rats, especially males, are very prone to obesity. If you notice your rat is becoming overweight, decrease the amount of food you give them or switch to a standardized pelleted food such as Oxbow Regal Rat. That way, they don’t pick out the fatty nuts and treat-like morsels from their mixed food.
- -“Wet tail” is dysentery for small animals, and is often caused by a poor diet, unsanitary cage conditions, or stress. If your mouse or rat’s bottom appears wet or dirty, you should immediately clean the cage and add the treatment “Dri-Tail” to their water supply. If you notice the condition early enough, your pet can recover completely. Try not to give many sugary treats, as this can cause wet-tail.