Domesticated Rats: Smart Critters That Make Great Pets

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 19, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

When encountering a mouse or rat–even if they are domesticated–some folks become terrified and let out a blood-curdling scream. Personally, I don’t understand this panicky reaction, because these little critters are not only downright adorable, they are affectionate, highly intelligent animals who delight in being handled once they have learned that their guardian is trustworthy. Although they can be somewhat skittish around strangers or in unfamiliar surroundings, rat aficionados will concur that these fascinating rodents make incredibly loving and loyal pets.

One of the most ardent rat lovers is sixteen-year-old Abby Roeser. In fact, according to a recent interview with the New York Post, Abby actually turned down an invitation to star with her rats on the TV show America’s Got Talent because she loves them so deeply and didn’t want to stress them out in a strange environment

During her elementary school years, Abby owned a veritable menagerie of critters that included fish, hermit crabs, lizards, hamsters, guinea pigs, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and a giant African millipede. At the present time her animal companions are a bit more conventional. They include a fish, a dog, two frogs (who have been sharing her home for over 12 years); and of course, her bevvy of brilliant rats.

During the interview, the New York Post interviewer asked Abby what made her decide to buy rats. She explained, “I wanted to buy a guinea pig; however, I needed a pet with a shorter life span because I’m leaving for college in just a few short years. I decided to try rats, since I’ve never had them before.” It was then that her love affair with these small rodents was ignited.

Abby spends considerable time clicker-training her rats. She works with them approximately 15-20 minutes a day. Her rodent buddies get to spend at least an hour a day out of their cages and are free to climb up on her shoulder while she’s doing her homework or on the computer. Sadly however, all of her human buddies are disgusted by the idea of keeping rats.

The good news is that Abby has a huge following on her YouTube presence, where she posts her highly entertaining videos featuring some of the unique tricks her rats have learned.

 For an “awwwwesome” experience, take a moment to watch her video, “15 Incredible Rat Tricks.”  It has already received over 225,000 hits since it was uploaded this past March.

I was so thoroughly enchanted with this video I could hardly wait to share it. What was your reaction? Tell us in a comment.

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