4 Small Pets that are Big on Love

2. Rats

Rats get a bad rap, but are actually some of the smartest and friendliest pets you can have outside of dogs. Rat owners love that each one has a distinct personality, with most clamoring for attention from their owners. Of course, some rats, like some people, are a bit crusty and standoffish.

Rats are interactive and can learn tricks. They are generally laid back, too, and can be safely handled. Larger than hamsters, they move a bit slower and are less likely to skitter away under the refrigerator. Still, juvenile rats can squeeze between cage bars and should be in an enclosure with ½ in spacing until fully grown.

Keep your rats entertained with a variety of things to climb and explore. Because they are social creatures, it is best to keep them in same sex pairs (unless you are very prepared for them to breed). Rats can eat anything that humans can, but keep the table scraps to a minimum and feed mostly commercial rat food.

You also need to be prepared for your rat to break your heart. They are prone to tumors and respiratory illnesses that can shorten their already meager lifespan of 2-3 years.

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