Sorry, but no a rat can't give you a cold....I have owned rats for years and have 17 of them now....you can in fact give them a cold but all you will see is the sneezing, they don't cough or anything, and rats cannot throw up, they are very clean animals and groom themselves more often than cats...they are so sweet, but remember they are social critters, getting 2 at a time would be best and you can teach them tricks, give them treats, they are not allergic to chocolate so you can treat them once in awhile...they are one of the best pets...I would definitely consider you getting a rat...none of my rats throughout all my years of owning them have ever made me sick...not ever...they rarely bite...like mice or hamsters they are more gentle like puppies...try to get a young one if possible, because there life is so short 1-4 years...and try to get one off Craigslist, not only are they cheaper, but they are not raised as feeders...feeder rats from pet stores such as pet smart and petco have a bad reputation...and die quicker....depending on where you live you should be able to find a rat under $10.00.... the bond between an owner and a rat is amazing....Generally speaking, male rats make better "lap" pets, preferring to sit and have their ears scratched by an attentive human friend. Female rats are very curious, and love to explore and play games. Both genders make great companions.Rats can also eat smaller pets. Rats are omnivores, and have enough predatory instinct left in them to consider birds, fish and even some smaller rodents as "snacks."....Rats don't have canine teeth....Rats don't have thumbs.....The oils in cedar and pine are toxic to rats, and should not be used in their bedding materials....A rat's temperature is regulated though its tail (assuming it has one). A really hot rat will lay on its back so that it can "sweat" through the soles of its feet....A happy rat will chatter or grind its teeth. Often, chattering teeth results in "vibrating" eyes, caused by the lower jawbone pressing the backs of the eyes. This is a good sign, regardless of how silly it looks.....Rats have bellybuttons.... Rats truly make wonderful pets! If you are looking for a fun, small pet, please don't rule out a rat. They are loyal, friendly and playful, and love human attention. Most pocket pets could care less about the attention you give them (ferrets excluded), but rats absolutely thrive on it! Rats can also be trained! They can learn their names and some commands, with some patience. Many rat lovers compare them to very small dogs, in terms of intelligence and love, including world-famous animal guy, Jack Hanna, who says, "Rats are the closest thing you will find to a dog in a small animal." Rats are extremely social animals, so they do best if you keep them in same-sex pairs or more (I currently have four males). I can't stress enough that rats need the companionship of other rats, as well as their human friends. They are happier, healthier, and even more social toward humans if they have other rats to interact with. I've done the hamster thing, and I find rats to be much more satifying caged pets. They are much smarter, far cleaner (virtually no smell, unless you're not keeping up with the cage!) and a whole lot quieter. They actually acknowledge your existence, and beg for your attention, unlike a hamster, who'd generally rather ignore you and get on with its life. They can also be litter box trained. ..Two rats will be entertaining to watch and will take some of the stress off of you in having to entertain them. If you keep more than one rat be sure to either have two males or two females or get your rats spayed and neutered to avoid any unwanted breeding...Toys and accessories can be provided for your rat such as tubes, hammocks, fruit tree branches, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, plant pots and anything else that does not have a sharp edge to it can be provided for your rat’s enjoyment. Keep in mind that they will chew what you give them... Rats can pretty much be found all over the world. They are mostly known as the most destructive pests in the world: spreading disease, damaging structures and contaminating food. This is true for rats living in the wild scavenging around for their next meal, however domesticated rats are very clean and intelligent, making wonderful pets. It is because of their intelligence and their easy handling that they have become one of the most popular animals used for laboratory research....I vote yes on getting a rat... or even two!!
Owned many many rats and currently have 17.....message me if you'd like pictures of mine....they are HAMS!!!