Rats are smart, social rodents that can be very tame. A rat used to people will be happy to sit next to you and won’t bite easily. Always house rats alongside their kind, because they are group animals that need social interaction. Please note, however, that they can reproduce fairly quickly. Rats are curious animals and love attention, so don’t forget this!

Rats are rodents that belong to the mice family. Rats are intelligent; for example, you can domesticate them and teach them to sit on your shoulder. Rats are generally friendly animals that do not bite their caregiver. On average, rats are between 21 and 29 cm long. Males weigh between 350 and 600 grams and female between 250 and 400 grams. Rats live to be 2 years old on average.



Rats are social animals who are used to living in groups. They like living in slightly damp, but not too warm, environments. Rats should be housed at least in pairs. Never mix males and females, this will significantly increase the chance of the female becoming pregnant very quickly.

Recommended cage: 80 x 40 cm and 70 cm high. Preferably with at least two floors.

Against boredom: sitting shelf, branches, toilet rolls, etc.

But never a treadmill.


Ground cover for the cage:

The health of your rat starts with the ground cover. The ground cover should primarily absorb urine, be dust-free, soft and comfortable.  

Joris recommends the following ground covers (in recommended order):

  • Cotton N Card bedding
  • Coconut Bedding
  • Card N Card Bedding
  • Cotton Bedding
  • Ground soft straw grain + soft nesting material
  • Soft fine little paper pellets + soft nesting material

Do not forget the following products: Branches, coconut cottages, hamster houses, stones etc. Never use materials of soft plastic. Clean the cage every 2 weeks, including the accessories.  Very important for hygiene.



Special rat food available from pet specialist shops. Rats are natural omnivores. You can also give them herbs, vegetables (no lettuce), flowers, bits of egg, potatoes, small bits of cat and dog food, etc.


A good ration:

  • High quality special rat food
  • Herbs, vegetables, flowers, egg, potato, etc.
  • Clean drinking water all day


Joris' checklist for your rat:

Large rat cage
Sleeping house or hammock
Dust-free and healthy ground cover
Special rat food
Dry vegetables, flowers, herbs, cat and dog food
Drinking bottle
Gnawing material
Transport box
Nail scissors

Joris No Smell fights for better living conditions, together with drdknaagdierwinkel (lots of information comes from them), Konino, Bunny Bunch, Gooise Dierensuper and many other clubs who want the best for your pet. They don't just want to sell you their products. No, they want to sell you the correct, necessary and responsible supplies.