The BIGGEST rule when picking out a home for your rat (or any rodent for that matter) is to NOT get an aquarium! Be 100% sure you get a cage! An aquarium has solid walls which doesn’t allow for ventilation. This allows ammonia to build up from the urine which, in turn, is detrimental to your rat’s health. It also doesn’t let the aquarium’s air circulate which, on warmer days, can make your little buddy quite hot. Buy a nice cage from either your local pet store or from an online pet retailer. Make sure it’s not too small. You want your rat to have enough room to move around and to have toys to play with. It’s going to be very hard for your rat to have a wheel in a tiny cage.
If you’re like most starting out rat owners, you’ll opt for the cheap pine bedding. However, this should be AVOIDED! The fibers in the pine that float around your rat’s cage are inhaled and can cause respiratory distress. It’s kind of like what smoking is to humans. But don’t think there aren’t other bedding materials. The best option, and the only one I use in my cages, is newspaper bedding. This can easily be purchased from your local pet store. While it does cost a little bit more than cedar ($9-$10), it is well worth your pet’s health!
Get Friends! Probably the biggest overall rule when owning a rat is to never have only one. Rats are highly gregarious animals. Meaning they like to live in groups. They need somebody to socialize with, whether this be for breeding or just for playing. Having a lonely rat is very bad. They will visibly have less energy and be stressed.
Source by Phil DeLobbe