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Keeping rats as pets… why are they so popular?

Rats are popular pets

I went back and forth on this blog title because basically, I just kept thinking, "Well, because they're awesome. Seems like such an obvious answer." But for real… keeping rats as pets started over a hundred years (think the early 1900s). But even though they've been domesticated for quite some time, their popularity has massively spiked. Hundreds of thousands of families have welcomed rats as pets with open arms and into their homes as furry family members. So why are they so popular? Countless reasons, really, and I personally think they deserve a shout-out.

I have to address this first because I was simply amazed the first time I'd ever interacted with a rat. Like, flabbergasted. (And I rarely use the word flabbergasted.) A rat's intelligence is out of this world crazy.

Cute rat


Rats are so super bright, and most of 'em respond really quickly to training. Positive reinforcement goes a long way for these little guys. And because they're so smart, they're so darn interesting. Not that any rodents are boring (because honestly? We love them all.), but rats do far, far more than sleep and eat and go potty. If you're looking for a fun friend, they're gonna happily play. Free entertainment? Yes, please.

P.S. Some of the tricks they do are out of this world. Really… Check ‘em out. I bet you’ll be just as floored as I was. 

Rat in a sock

Fab with Kids

First, I want to say that all human family members should be taught how to appropriately interact with any animal. That's a total given, but I wanted to mention it anyway. This being said, most rats are great with children. They're cuddly and affectionate. And, unlike many other rodents (think hamster), they're semi-nocturnal, so they'll actually be up during the day to interact with. That's a win.

Relatively Inexpensive

Animals deserve loving people. And people deserve loving pets. It just makes sense, ya know? Unfortunately, not everyone can afford proper care for every species. Luckily, rats really aren't all that expensive to care for. You're going to make initial investments (cage), but maintaining proper care is financially reasonable. With any animal, it's wise to set aside some money for vet visits. But rat food is relatively affordable, and you can supplement your rat's diet with your own fruits and veggies. Pretty cool, right

We're all ears graphic

Awesome Affection

For some, a high I.Q. (intelligence quotient) doesn't always = a high E.Q. (emotional quotient). Just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you’re emotionally connected. However! Did you know that rats actually also have an elevated level of emotional intelligence? 

Rats can miss their friends. Their human moms and dads. Really anything or anyone they're connected to, as they're HIGHLY sociable animals. Many rats form really tight bonds with their people. They'll sit on your shoulder. Catch a ride in your pocket. Total #squadgoals.

Totes Adorbs

THEY’RE ADORABLE. I’m not writing anything about this because nothing else needs to be said.


Keeping rats as pets has become increasingly more popular, and it's obvious why. They're remarkable little rodents with some pretty extraordinary qualities, and I highly recommend them if you're looking to add to your family. 

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