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Rats: Pet vs. Wild.

Terrance Powell: "They're more of the dark grey, off-brown, fairly dirty, will bite you kind of animal."

  • "Dark grey, off-brown:" OK.
  • "Fairly dirty:" Only because we are. It's really hard to get away from our filth.
  • "Will bite you:" ...IF the rat perceives that he is cornered, and thus threatened. Terrance gets around to this but I think the skewed editors cut this bit off so I thought I'd just mention this just in case...

picture of a genuine wild rat

Helen Pembrook: "Wild rats are very destructive. They carry diseases. They chew into your home. They destroy things. They pee and poop all over the place."

    *sigh* I really hate shocking the pet-rat keeping population like this, but, folks, your pet rats are descendents of the "wild [Norway] rat." They are genetically one and the same. Yes, ours come in colors, but they are one and the same. (Actually, while I'm covering the subject, there is absolutely no difference between a "feeder" rat and a "pet" rat: The difference is in selection. Some store employee said "Yer cute, yer food, yer food, yer cute. Eenie, meanie, miney, mo!")
    The difference is in the rat's exposure to, and experience with, human beings. You see, we humans are a varied bunch. Some of us are real rat-friendly. Others of us are not. I think rats are pretty nice given how mean we've always been to them as a general whole.
    But even wild rats have been known to have a soft side (despite their tough outer appearance): If you hand raise a "wild" rat from birth, as many very kind people have done when rehabbing some homeless or motherless litters (of rats), they become very nice, very docile, pets. As a matter of fact, it's very hard to rehab them and send them back out into the wild because they learn to trust us that quickly!
    • Destructive: Rats are only as destructive as we allow them to be. Pet or wild, it doesn't matter.
    • Diseases: If our rats were exposed to other wilderbeasts, our rats would be just as likely to carry diseases as their wild cousins, and for that matter, just as likely to acquire disease as people's wandering cats and dogs.
    • Chewing Homes: Only if there is already a hole. Only if there is a reward (a reward grand enough to warrant the extra chewing effort) on the other side.
    • Destroying things: Please don't tell me your pet rat, during play time, has never chewed on your shoes, furniture, fingernails, food... That's what they do. That's why they're called RODENTS.
    • Peeing and Pooping: When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. I don't know about your rats, but for mine, what goes in must come out. That's a fact of life.


Rats: Scary.

Rats: Loathsome Pests.

Rats: In Our Buildings.

Rats: Attacking People.

Rats: What They Chew (And Don't Chew).

Rats: Favorite Pasttimes.

Rats: Intelligence.

Rats: Cannibals.

Rats: Personal Hygeine.

Rats: Pet vs. Wild.

Rats: History.

Rats: Adaptive.

Rats: Reproduction.

Rats: The People Who Love Them.

Animal Hoarders

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