Kids Want a Pet? Get a Rat!

Cynthia Dermody
17
cat and rat nose-to-nose

Photo by mystica97

After reading what CafeMoms in the Advice for Moms group said, I'm seriously thinking of getting my children a rat for a pet. They really want a dog, but I only like big outdoor pooches like huskies or sheepdogs and we're not set up for that.

Plus, we are right in the middle of reading Charlotte's Web, and we all think Templeton is so cool.

I never in a million years would have considered a rat until I read this post, in which moms give reasons why rats are the ideal pet:

  • Rats are the best especially if you get them as a baby, and hand raise them. You can train them, and they are self sufficient.

  • I trained my rat to go potty only in her cage only, to come, eat out of my hand, and not to bite. She also knew how to go in and out of her cage.

  •  Easy to care for, sociable, and smart. They also have good balance and eyesight, which hamsters don't. A dropped hamster can be seriously injured, while a rat is tough to drop.

  • Rats will adjust to your schedule, unlike a hamster, which is nocturnal.

Growing up I had a hamster named Spices. He was the best; he'd sleep in the crook of my arm, crawl over my head, trusted me so much that he even took food out of my mouth (TMI). I could have done without the munching and running wheel all night long, however.

He didn't live very long and I was heartbroken for months. On the day he died, "Hello, Again," by Neil Diamond was playing on the radio. I still get all misty when I hear it.

So hamsters are a no go. Too many memories.

Many moms swear by guinea pigs, though some say they can be loud, tough to tame, and skittish.

They also like gerbils, because you only have to clean their cages every couple of weeks.

As for rabbits ... even the country girl in me still cannot forgive my pet rabbits as a kid, named Salt and Pepper, for eating their babies.

Would you ever consider getting your kids a rat for a pet is the stigma just too much for you?

 

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