Anonymous asked in PetsRodents · 1 month ago

Pet shop rats ?

I want to get a couple of rats soon. I wanted to get them from a good breeder as I’ve heard they are way more tame and healthy. I have been searching for a couple of weeks but I live in a small town and the closest breeder is an hour away from me. I don’t drive so I can’t there. So I was thinking about getting a pet shop rat but I’ve heard that they will never be as tame as a breeder rat. Is this true? I’d like to know your experiences with pet shop rats if you have any. Thanks. 


I can’t drive because I am 16. Pet shops will give animals if you are with your parents and I will be with mine. And I can take care of them. i have had other Pets before that I’ve taken good care of and they have live long life’s and I’ve done plenty of research on rats :)

8 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Best Answer

    First thing any rat lover will tell you-- keep the new rat away from others you may have for at least a week to ensure there isn't any infection, mites, and with so many new diseases, a minor sniffle in the morning could lead to a rat dead with pneumonia by the afternoon. When I bring new rats home, I give a rice sized dose of Ivermectin, a yogurt treat covered in Doxycycline, and ensure he or she is in a safe quiet environment.

    Most SPCA's will have rats. There are also some great rat rescues you can find through Rat & Mouse Club of America. I avoid people who rescue rats and then breed them immediately. To me that is saying, "I don't care what kind of history you have, I'm going to earn cash from you." Baby farming isn't cool with me. There are rat people all over. Some of us have petitions into large pet stores that have taken them so seriously they now separate male and females not only in the same stores.. but from store to store so no accidental litters happen. Veterinarian visits are given free to rats by some of these stores as well. I'd go with these companies -- only because they are actually listening to the pet owners and aren't catering to the people who want to torture snakes by feeding them live food.

    If you DO find a rat breeder, ask and do the following:

    1. If my rat is sick, or shows signs of sickness within the first 30 days, may I return her?

    2. If my rat is pregnant may I return her?

    3. Have you bred these rats for more than one generation? (I only get rats from breeders who have at least 5 generations worth of knowledge of a line-- my hoodeds are hoodeds, my rex, dumbos and Irish are all genetically proven.)

    4, Ask if your breeder has a medical handbook or a tips sheet to give you before you get the pet from him or her. If they haven't spent time to ensure you will be able to care for your pet, avoid the breeder.

    5. Ask if you can see the area where their rats are kept. See how clean the litter is, if the cages are clean, and the water is clean. If you see any signs of dirt or lack of care, avoid that breeder. ALSO ensure those rats are getting exercise and aren't stuffed in small boxes or should be present, and wire floors should be covered in any cage.

    6. If you plan to breed a pair of rats from this breeder, will he or she be willing to look at the kits and take first option on having any of them? Believe this rescuer-- I've had over 100 kits in my care because someone swore she'd know where to place new rat babies.. and never did.

    7. Ask for vet information. Where does this breeder go? Does she have an idea of where to get medication, food, or bedding?

    8. When selecting a rat look for three things -- is there any redness around urinary tract? Is his ears clean, or does there seem to be mites or wax? Do both his eyes and nose seem clear of any red gooey substance? Cleaner rats are healthier rats and rats LOVE to clean themselves. If you are given a "relaxed" rat, ensure he wants to move.. there's no such thing as a lazy rat when they meet new people. All of this is sign of illness.

    9. Does the breeder make you wash your hands before touching the litters? If not, go away. YOU can kill that litter. Humans carry more illnesses to animals than the other way around.

    10. Before you leave that breeder, ensure you can hold your new pet, and that at some point he either nuzzles, snores, or bruxes. Bruxing is especially great- it means he really likes you-- watch those buggy eyes and hear that chatter. It's bliss to rat owners.

    Hope that helps.

  • 1 month ago


  • Nathan
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Please make sure your cage meets the minimum requirement of 4 cubic feet of space per pair. All rats will need to go through a taking process after settling into their new home as they do not know you, but they are equally tameable (breeders usually get them used to humans from a young age so it does not take as long for them to feel comfortable around you, unless they are a shy rat )

    Pet shop rats are inbred in mills, so have many health issues. An ethical breeder will show you their living conditions, as well as the condition of both parents, and give you get papers to show that they have been tested to show that there is no relation between them (rules out inbreeding).

    whatever you go for, you will want at least £/$/€100 saved for vet bills. Most rats require veterinary attention due to being prone to tumours and respiratory infections (especially when over a year old)

  • 1 month ago

    How do you know the rats at your pet store aren't from a good breeder? Just go to the store and ASK where they come from.

    But if you don't drive does that mean you're a teenager and/or don't have a job? Pet stores won't sell animals to minors. And you shouldn't be betting a pet if you likely have no income.

    • Nathan
      Lv 4
      1 month agoReport

      Per shops get their rats from mills, where they are inbred, or breed them at the back of the store (if it's not a popular shop), where they are inbred. Licenced and ethical breeders can show veterinary documents proving the genetics and health of these animals, and will show you the parents and home

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 month ago

    In the great majority of cases, pet shop rats can be tamed just the same as rats from other breeders.

    The problem is that some pet stores sell rats mainly as food for snakes; therefore, they do not concern themselves about the temperament or long-term health of the rats.  So in these cases, some of the rats show the wilder temperament derived from their wild ancestors.  I have never encountered one as wild as a wild rat, but I have found some that bite now and then.  Before snakes became popular, I never encountered a pet store rat that would bite.  The only exception was if the rats had never been handled, but knew that the hand came into the cage to feed them; and so, the first time being picked up, they might bite thinking the hand was food.  They would learn the difference in only a few minutes though.  And they would be absolute angels once they found out people could be their friends.  

    I simply recommend that, before you pay for a rat, you handle it.  If it doesn't bite you, it should be fine.  Handle it a lot and it will become very friendly.  If the pet store won't let me handle an animal, I won't buy it.  

  • 1 month ago

    Well, they all come from breeders, pet stores just the middle man.

    Now the larger breeders don't often socialize their pups which only means you have to take a taming step from the beginning. It is easier with younger ones, once 2 months old, just takes more work, patience and time, but they are all smart buggers and do come around.

    I sometimes rescue two or three week old ratties from reptile shops breeding for snake food, same rat and usually very easy to tame. They only have to be old enough they are weaned and their eyes open, but make for great pet rats.

  • Laura
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I have only gotten rats from big name pet stores, mainly because I wasn't aware of rat breeders.

    If you get a young rat, or pair of rats, and you work with them to get used to you, they will be just as tame and trainable as any breeder rat.

    Also, keep in mind that if a breeder has a ton of rats, they won't have the time to properly socialize every rat pup, so they might end up just as mean as pet shop rats. As long as you come home with a young rat, and you work hard to socialize them and get them used to you, they will be just as tame.

  • Tony
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Be wary of pet shop rats or rats from 'breeders'. My friend (who I can't name) is nationally regarded as a top breeder however she simply catches sewer rats, shampoos and blow dries them, cleans their teeth, sprays them with pet-perfume then sells them for ridiculous money via her online and physical shops. Sometimes she bleaches them white or dyes them unusual colors to make them more expensive.

    One time I even saw her put make up on a rat then doubled the price.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.