I Love My Pet Rats


Sidney Moyers, Reporter

What is the first thing you picture when someone says the word “rat”? If you’re in the mafia, you probably associate the word with “snitch”. Most other people think of a filthy creature that carries diseases, attacks innocent sleeping babies, and has one of those dreaded, long tails.  Already knowing this, I’m not really surprised that whenever I tell someone I have pet rats, they freak out and say something like, “Oh my God, gross!” or even just a simple, “Ew.” But, little do they know, they’re actually missing out on a pretty cool pet.

Contrary to popular opinion, rats are not nasty and evil, they’re one of the sweetest rodents you can own since they are the least-likely to bite. The closest you will probably get to being bitten is if a rat nibbles on your finger since this is how they groom other rats or people. That being said, I have owned seven rats and I haven’t been bitten once. Oddly enough, even after hearing this, most people would still choose to own a hamster over a rat.

A stereotype I often hear is that rats are dirty and carry the plague. Those who agree with this statement probably don’t realize that the rats who had the plague were an entirely different species of rat. The black rat, or rattus rattus, were the ones who carried the plague and spread it from person to person, while your common pet store rat is called a fancy rat or rattus norvegicus. Aside from all of that, believe it or not, you, yes YOU, are actually dirtier than a rat. This is because they don’t come into contact with as many germs, like playgrounds, shopping carts, etc.

One of the last people who I come into contact with are the people who only hate rats for one, simple reason. Their tails. I don’t think I will never understand why people think this, since their tails are just skin and in case you haven’t noticed, humans have skin all over their body. So, by thinking that skin is somehow gross, doesn’t that kind of make us the weird-looking ones?

All jokes aside, rats are some of the greatest animals I’ve ever been around (after dogs of course). They are so sweet and are able to form a strong bond with their owners. I’ve currently had my three females, Daisy, Evie, and Nibbles for almost a year and they still greet me from their cage every morning when I wake up.

So the next time someone mentions an unusual pet that they have, don’t judge them for it!