Pet Rats and Mice Information

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
Description: Children have always been fond of keeping mice and rats as pets, especially young boys. Intensive breeding over hundreds of generations has resulted in many colorful and interesting species. Rats and mice are generally inexpensive and easy to care for. With regular handing, they are easy to tame and even grow to enjoy human interaction. Because of their size, these pets require delicate handling and are not suitable for small children.

Size: Mice (1.1 oz); Rats (10.0-17.0 oz). In both species, the males are larger than females.

Compatibility: Mice and rats are social. With enough space, rats can be kept in same-sex groups of pairs or trios. Mice can be kept in larger groups of the same sex, although the bucks (males) have a tendency to fight. Rats and mice are prolific breeders. Different sexes should not be combined unless you are intentionally trying to breed them.

Appeal: Rats and mice are the least expensive "pocket-pets" to keep and need the smallest amount of room. They are generally lively and interesting to watch. Most can be easily tamed and are easy to care for.

Drawbacks: Mice and rats have short life-spans. They are prolific breeders. When frightened, mice and rats can bite. They can be easily injured and are not suited to small children.


Diet: Rats and mice should be fed a balanced or "complete" seed mix or specially formulated pellets.

Problems & Health Issues: These rodents are more susceptible to respiratory infections and tumors.

Lifespan: Mice and rats have short life-spans. Mice typically only live 2-5 years and rats from 3-4 years.

Interesting Facts: A female mouse can be biologically ready to breed within an hour of giving birth.

Pet Mice and Rats

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By .... (Guest Post)
July 19, 20070 found this helpful

If your mice has babies,Do you have to go give them shots? How much are the shots?

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By Little Joey (Guest Post)
March 19, 20080 found this helpful

Whats the word for when a mice pees always? Its for my homeworks, please help me

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By BELZIE BOO (Guest Post)
March 29, 20080 found this helpful


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By Cait (Guest Post)
April 13, 20081 found this helpful

Rats and mice may be inexpensive to acquire, but they do still require vet care. Male mice should NOT be kept together, at least here in the US- in Europe where they are more popular pets, they have been selectively bred for more docile temperament.


Of the two, rats are much more sociable and a better choice for children who actually want to interact with them. Mice tend to be a 'watching' pet rather than a 'holding' pet.

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By enominis (Guest Post)
January 2, 20090 found this helpful

It's cool all the stuff you have about rats. When I got my rat Oreo, my mom flipped she let me keep it but was not happy. So I am not allowed to get two. All the websites I have been on, said that if you are to get a rat remember to get more then one. What should I do?
by :enomamise

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By (Guest Post)
January 7, 20090 found this helpful

I like my rat.

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By RatGirl12 (Guest Post)
February 3, 20090 found this helpful

I love rats! I had one named Oreo, and my family fell in love with her. She died and now I have 2 more, Cocoa and Cutie. I luv them! :)

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By a_so_called_disaster (Guest Post)
February 8, 20090 found this helpful

I just love my little girl Panda Bear. She stole my heart from the moment I saw her.^^ She's so loving and affectionate, and in love with my shoes!^^......and bananas. Bananas are ok for them right?

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
April 17, 20120 found this helpful

You do not have to have more than one mouse or rat together. Just keep them where you can see them and they can see what is going on.

The reason that you read that mice and rats are social animals is that they like to be together but they do not have to be together. Talk to you pet a lot, and give it treats a lot.


I like the wire cages for rats. Mice can get through these a lot of times.
As long as you are able to take care of your rat by talking to it and being around it and cleaning the cage and providing food, there is no reason why you have to have more than one.

The rat or mouse will be more involved with you if there is just one. If you put a male and a female together, they will start a family and have bunches of baby rats and mice. Rats and mice do not need to have shots like dogs get.

If they seem to get sick, I would have the vet look at them. I am working on an article on how to treat rats and mice with fish antibiotics. I will have to look up the dosage on them first. I will post it here when I am done.

The last two rats I had, were adopted from the shelter, and they died quickly after I brought them home. I would raise them from babies so I would know how they were treated and what their personality is.


If you are bitten, which happens from time to time, soak, the finger in betadine for 5 minutes three times a day. Do this for a week.

On an additional note, do not give male rats oranges if you can help it, it is not good for them.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
April 17, 20120 found this helpful

Here is a cute article from on how to teach some sweet tricks using a little bell.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
April 17, 20120 found this helpful

How to make a Rat Nicer

This is a sweet article on why some rats, are not so nice...

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
April 17, 20120 found this helpful

Here is a series of Rat Care Videos for you to look at.

I want to remind people out there, that when they go to the pet store and see a bunch of rats all together, and they are next to the snake cages, they are probably feeder rats.


It is not impossible to socialize them but I would suggest you find someone who raises them for pets or find a breeder.

Feeder rats are not taught to interact with humans at all, and it would take a good while to teach them to be socialized, and to stop biting. I have had this experience myself. I have bred pet mice, years ago, and when they are bred to be pets and be around people you are much more likely to form a beautiful bond with them, and interact with them successfully.

Ok, here are the video series:

Click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser and watch the videos.

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April 17, 20120 found this helpful

Choose Petsmart over Petco when it comes to picking out a rat for a pet, as Petco only sells pet rats for food and not pets. You can get pet rats at pet smart that are usually hand trained and sociable.

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April 22, 20120 found this helpful

Hi Guys! What is your opinion on Guinea Pigs or Hampsters? We had 2 when my kids were growing up and they were adorable. One hampster was a teddybear one with long hair and the other guinea pig was short haired. They were so much fun to watch. Please let me know your opinion. Nikki

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