Rats are famously social creatures, which is really cute when you have more of them. But how does this trait in rats reflect on other rodents?
Will pet rats attract other rodents? The simple answer is no — they won’t. Rats are predators to smaller rodents like mice and hamsters and their smell doesn’t attract these creatures. They won’t even attract other rats. However, rodents could be attracted to readily available food in your rat’s cage, so it’s important to keep it clean.
If you want to keep your home free of unwanted rodents, your pet rat won’t be an obstacle. But, there are other things that attract rodents to your home and simple ways to prevent that. This article will show you exactly what to do.
Rats and Other Rodents
Rats will not attract mice and other rodents to your home. In fact, mice and other rodents are not attracted to the smell of your rat but rather free food. So, you are more likely to get a rodent infestation if your home is cluttered, there are many opening spaces for them to enter, and there’s plenty of food lying around.
For example, if you have a dog, a cat, or any other pet whose food is always out in the open or stored in your garage or if you leave your trash cans open. So, this would have nothing to do with your rat. Possibly with their cage if it’s not clean.
Rodents might come into your home and your rat’s cage to grab some of their food. It would definitely not be your pet rat since rodents of different species are not so good at getting along. They are territorial, and they won’t just invite each other over, either with their smell or by any other means of communication. In fact, rats are known to eat smaller rodents like mice and hamsters.
If you do find yourself having a rodent problem, protect your rat since other rodents might attack them to get some of their food. Your rat could end up seriously injured.
If you have other rodents in your home, especially hamsters, keep the two away from each other. Rats and hamsters don’t work well together since rats love company, and hamsters prefer being alone.
Rats will, for instance, love being surrounded by other rats, but hamsters don’t like their space invaded, and they will likely get aggressive if another rodent gets too close.
If you’re interested in how rats get along with other types of rodents, these articles should be of interest to you:
Preventing Other Rodents From Getting To Your Home
Pests can come to any home, and the reasons for this will vary. For example, they might come because they need a warm place to stay in during colder months of the year. They will also come because of the food, especially if you leave plenty of it out in the open. Most rodents will not go for big pieces of food, but rather the smaller ones like cereal, dog food, crumbs, etc.
They might also smell the food that you are giving to your rat. If you drop it on the floor or leave the bag open in a place they can reach, other rodents will be attracted by its smell. The food in the cage that’s prepared for your rat is also attractive.
If you want to keep the pests out of your home, you should close all food bags, make sure that your trash cans are sealed, and that there’s no food in spaces that are easily reachable by rodents. If your pet rat isn’t eating at the moment, remove the food from their cage. There are also special containers that are only reachable by your rat.
When you buy a new bag of food for your pet rat, you should pour it into a more durable container. Get a large jar or one made with stronger plastic. The bags that the food comes in are usually easy to chew through, so it won’t matter to other rodents even if it is a bit harder to reach. Placing it in a sturdier container will disable pests from taking the food.
This is just the first part of your battle against other rodents. The next thing you should do repeatedly is keeping the cage your pet rat lives in clean. If your pet rat’s cage is full of hidden food or if it’s dirty all the time, this will serve as an invitation to other rodents. Make sure that the food doesn’t get to some hidden corners of your home, somewhere that you may not even notice it.
Keep your rat inside of your home, and don’t let them into the garage or in your garden without supervision. Don’t keep them in outdoor conditions either since their food will be out in the open, and pests will reach it with ease.
They might not get into your house, but they will transfer parasites to your rat, and this could result in serious illness of your pet rat. Being close to other rodents that are not taken care of by vets or other pet owners could be a big risk for your pet rat, so try to keep them safe. When you keep your pet rat indoors and keep their environment free of food and clean, they will be safe, and no rodents will get into your home.
Busting Myths About Rats
Rats have a really bad reputation, especially as pests. People generally don’t like them, but they are actually sweet pets that will make your days shine a bit brighter. For example, other rodents like hamsters or bunnies are cherished and often kept as pets, but rats are ignored. There are also beliefs that rats are violent and that they spread diseases around.
However, these are just myths.
One of the biggest myths about rats is that they are dirty. While this is true for wild rats, you could say just about the same thing about any animal without someone to care for it. Pet rats are clean and friendly, as long as you keep their habitat clean too.
They will groom themselves, clean their fur, and you’ll be able to see it by the quality of their fur. It will be soft, shiny, and nice to pet. Pet rats also don’t have any diseases to transmit, especially if you take them to the vet often. Even if they have a disease, it isn’t the one that you or any other of your pets could catch.
Naturally, they will be able to get sick. Rats, just like any other pets, have their own set of troubles. But, a good vet will take care of that quickly. They won’t be able to catch any disease if you don’t expose them to it. This could happen if they eat something infectious or if they live in a dirty environment. Just like any pet, if you care for them properly, they will have a healthy life.
Some people think that pet rats are violent. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, wild rats are prone to being aggressive, but this is due to their lifestyle. Wild rats feel threatened, and they won’t hesitate to bite you or attack you.
But pet rats are actually very gentle, especially if you expose them to other people on time. If you treat them well, they won’t be scared of you or any other people, and they will be the sweetest pet you could have.
Pet rats biting is a rare occurrence, and even if they do, it means that they are sick or that you have done something to scare them or make them angry. If they bite, they are trying to show you that they are sick. Even in these cases, pet rat bites are extremely rare.
They will love you and show you their affection. They might lick your hands or your face to show you how much they love you. Rats are smart too. They’ll learn tricks and get used to an environment very quickly.
Of course, for all of this, you need to give them a lot of love and play with them. The more you play with them, the better a pet they will prove to be.
- Quora: Can you get a rat infestation, if you own one as a pet?
- Reader’s Digest: 13 Things in Your House That Are Attracting Pests Right Now
- Family Handyman: 12 Rat Myths You Need to Stop Believing
- ISDH: Rats And Mice
- Pest World: Disease-Carrying Rodents Invade Homes This Winter in Search of Shelter
- NCBI: Neurobiology of rodent self-grooming and its value for translational neuroscience
NCBI: High aggression in rats is associated with elevated stress, anxiety-like behavior, and altered catecholamine content in the brain
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Diseases in Rodents