Where to Get a Pet Rat

Pet rats are intelligent, affectionate, and social animals that make great companions for those who are looking for a low-maintenance pet. However, before getting a pet rat, it is important to know where to get one. In this article, we will discuss the different options available for getting a pet rat.

Pet Stores

Pet stores are the most common place to buy a pet rat. Many pet stores carry a variety of rat breeds, colors, and sizes. However, it is important to note that pet store rats often come from rat mills, which are large breeding facilities that prioritize profit over the health and well-being of the animals. As a result, pet store rats are often prone to health issues and behavioral problems. It is important to do research on the pet store and the breeder they work with to ensure that the rats are healthy and have been ethically bred.


Buying a rat from a reputable breeder is a great way to ensure that the rat is healthy and has been well-cared for. Reputable breeders are knowledgeable about rat genetics, health, and behavior, and they prioritize the well-being of their rats over profit. When choosing a breeder, look for one who raises rats in a clean and healthy environment, who provides proper nutrition, and who socializes the rats from an early age.

Rescues and Shelters

There are many rat rescues and shelters that have rats available for adoption. These organizations often take in rats that have been abandoned, surrendered, or rescued from neglectful or abusive situations. Adopting from a rescue or shelter not only provides a loving home for a rat in need, but it also helps to reduce the number of rats in shelters and rescues.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces, such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, can be a convenient option for finding a pet rat. However, it is important to exercise caution when using online marketplaces to purchase pets. Many people who sell rats online are not knowledgeable about rat care and may have bred their rats irresponsibly. It is important to research the seller and ask for references before purchasing a rat from an online marketplace.

Tips for Choosing a Pet Rat

Once you have decided where to get a pet rat, it is important to choose the right rat for you. Here are some tips for choosing a pet rat:

  • Look for a rat that is active and curious. Rats that are alert and active are often healthier and more social than rats that are lethargic or uninterested in their surroundings.
  • Choose a rat that is not afraid of human interaction. Rats that are friendly and approachable are more likely to bond with their owners and enjoy being handled.
  • Check for signs of illness or injury. Look for rats with bright, clear eyes, clean ears and noses, and shiny fur. Avoid rats that have discharge from their eyes or nose, lethargy, or wounds.
  • Choose a rat that is the right age. Rats are social animals and thrive on companionship. If you are only getting one rat, choose a young rat (less than six months old) that has not yet bonded with another rat. If you plan to get multiple rats, choose rats that are around the same age and have been socialized together.

Choosing the right place to get a pet rat is important for ensuring that the rat is healthy, well-cared for, and suitable for your lifestyle. Whether you choose to get a pet rat from a pet store, breeder, rescue or shelter, or online marketplace, it is important to do your research and choose a rat that is healthy, social, and well-suited to your needs.

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