Pigglz is supported by you. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

What Are Some of the Drawbacks to Keeping Rats as Pets?

downsides to pet rats

Rats are often considered to be dirty, disease-ridden creatures that are best avoided. However, there are many people who keep rats as pets and love them for their playful and affectionate nature. While rats can make excellent pets, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of before you decide to adopt one.

One of the biggest drawbacks of keeping rats as pets is that they are very prone to disease. Rats can carry a variety of diseases that can be passed on to humans, including salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat-bite fever. They can also be infested with fleas, mites, and other parasites. While most of these diseases can be treated, they can still be a hassle for you and your family.

Another thing to consider is that rats are very active creatures and need a lot of space to run around. If you live in a small apartment or house, you may not have enough room to provide for your rats. Additionally, rats like to chew on things, so you will need to give them plenty of chew toys to keep them from chewing on your furniture or walls.

Finally, you need to be prepared to deal with the smell of a rat. Rats produce a strong odor that some people find to be unpleasant. If you are not ready to deal with this odor, then a rat may not be the right pet for you.


Rats Are Social Creatures

Rats make great pets because they are social creatures. They are very active and love to play. However, there are some drawbacks to keeping rats as pets.

Rats are very active and require a lot of attention. They need to be played with frequently and given plenty of toys to keep them entertained. They may start to chew on things or become aggressive if they become bored.

Rats also need a lot of exercise. They should be given time to run and explore daily. If they are kept in a small cage, they may become frustrated and start to exhibit destructive behaviors.

Rats are also messy creatures. They will track food and bedding material all over their cage. They also have a strong urine scent that some people find unpleasant.

Despite these drawbacks, rats can make great pets for people who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly.

rat icon

Rats Are Also Very Intelligent

Rats are very intelligent creatures. They are able to learn their names and come when called. They also enjoy playing games and can be trained to do tricks. Rats are very social creatures and do their best when they have another rat to cuddle with.

While rats are generally clean creatures, they can carry diseases. Rat-bite fever, salmonella, and leptospirosis are just a few of the diseases that rats can transmit to humans. It is important to handle your rats gently and wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.

Rats also have a tendency to gnaw on things. This can be destructive to your belongings and dangerous to your rat if they chew on something that they shouldn’t. It is important to provide your rat with plenty of chew toys and to rodent-proof your home to prevent any damage.

Overall, rats can make great pets. They are intelligent, social creatures that will bond with their owners. However, you should be aware of the potential risks of owning a rat and keeping your pet and your family safe.


Financial Considerations

There are a few financial considerations to keep in mind if you’re thinking of getting a pet rat:

  1. They require a specialized diet that can be more expensive than food for other kinds of pets.
  2. They need a large cage with plenty of ventilation, which can be pricey.
  3. You’ll need to budget for regular vet check-ups, as rats are susceptible to a number of health problems.

Despite these costs, however, pet rats can be of great value. They are relatively low-maintenance pets that are affectionate and intelligent. They can live for two to three years with proper care, making them a relatively long-term investment.

If you’re considering getting a pet rat, be sure to do your research and budget accordingly. With a bit of planning, you can ensure that your new furry friend is healthy and happy for years to come.


Rats need exercise and interaction to keep them happy.

Rats are social creatures that need regular exercise and interaction to stay happy. Without these, they can become bored and even depressed, which can lead to health problems.

Rats need to be able to run and play, so a large cage is a must. They also need plenty of toys and enrichment activities to keep them amused.

If you cannot provide your rat with enough exercise and interaction, you might want to reconsider keeping one as a pet.

Rats are very territorial.

Rats are very territorial creatures, which can be one of the drawbacks of keeping them as pets. If you have more than one rat, they will often fight with each other for dominance. This can lead to serious injuries or even death. Additionally, if you have other pets in the home, your rat may also become aggressive towards them.


The life span of pet rats isn’t very long.

Rats can make great pets for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly. One of the biggest drawbacks to keeping rats as pets is their relatively short lifespan.

While wild rats typically only live for around two years, domestic rats can live for up to four years if they are well cared for. However, this is still much shorter than the average lifespan of other popular pets, such as dogs and cats. This means that those who choose to keep rats as pets will need to be prepared for the possibility of losing their furry friends relatively early on.

Another downside of rats as pets is that they can be quite high-maintenance. They need to be kept in a clean environment and given a healthy diet to thrive. Additionally, they require regular handling and socialization in order to stay tame and friendly. For those who are not willing to put in the extra effort, rats may not be the ideal pet choice.

Despite their drawbacks, rats can make wonderful companions for those who are willing to care for them properly. If you are considering adding a rat to your family, be sure to do your research and be prepared for the commitment. Your pet rat can bring you years of joy with the proper care.



Rats are often thought of as dirty, disease-ridden animals that are only good for one thing – spreading disease. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Rats are very clean creatures that are easy to care for and make great pets.

However, there are a few drawbacks to keeping rats as pets. One of the biggest drawbacks is that they have a relatively short lifespan. Rats typically only live for 2-3 years, so you will likely outlive your pet rat(we hope!)

Another drawback to owning a pet rat is that they are very active creatures and need a lot of space to run and play. If you live in a small home or apartment, you may not have enough space to accommodate a pet rat.

Finally, pet rats can be expensive to care for. While they don’t require as much care as some other pets, they still need a good quality diet, a spacious cage, and plenty of toys and enrichment items to keep them happy and healthy.

Overall, pet rats can make great companions. They are intelligent, affectionate, and relatively low-maintenance pets. However, they do have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before making the commitment to owning one.