When Can I Let My 18 Month Old Play With Are New Pet Rats.?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 13, 2010 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

We just got two 9 week old pet rats (males) very friendly, friendliest two in the pet shop had them a week now still settling in, but i have handled them and had them out in there pen, still jump if a bit spooked. We got the rats as a first pet for my 18 month old to play with, how long should we wait for her to play with them, without them getting scared, as kids can be loud.

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  • Robert says:

    A couple days / a couple weeks depends on how nice your rat is i have a real nice older one and i put a 1 1/2 month old in with her after 2 days they get along fine

  • RattyWarrior says:

    I wouldn’t recommend ANY small animal with todlers. In my opinion, its a bad idea to purchase a animal when you have a todler. Just let her mature a bit. Maybe when the rats are about a year and a half, and more likely to cuddle and are calmer. By then, your baby would be ABOUT 3-4 and able to undertsand human speech. I may not be much help, but hey, at least I tried

  • Colubrid says:

    I think a child that young shouldn’t handle a rat at all. You also want the rats to learn to trust you later on, so a bad experience now would be pretty bad.

  • whitetig says:

    I would not unless you watched them carefully in a cage.just in case,of course

  • Courtney says:

    Personally, I think an 18 month old is quite young to be playing with small pets like rats. They’re easily injured and children (especially very young ones) tend not to realize that squeezing and hitting hard can really harm an animal. They also have large teeth, so if your child does accidentally hurt them and they lash out, the bite would be deep. (Most rats do not bite, but in a situation where they’re being hurt, you can never tell). They also tend to have sharp little nails that can scratch and hurt. Just ask all the rat owners whose shoulders are covered in them! 😛
    Due to that, I wouldn’t let your child hold them herself, but you can let her pet them nicely and watch them play. There isn’t really a specific time frame, but I’d wait a few more weeks until they stop getting nervous when out of the cage and get more comfortable before introducing a new stressor like a child to them.

  • xallyxx1 says:

    I would be more worried about the safety of the rats to be honest! If you child is playing with it, make sure she doesn’t squeeze them too hard, this can make the rats vicious. Introduce them slowly!

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