This is going to be a little bit of a rant and I’m sorry for that. I usually try avoid these. This is something that has popped up on my feed lately and it is something I feel SO STRONGLY about! You cannot rescue a rat from a pet store. You are BUYING a rat from the pet store.

A pet store rat is no better than a pet store puppy. You have no idea its history, its family, what it was bred for, where it comes from, or its health. You are literally gambling on if you will get a rat that bites, is aggressive to other rats, has ever been handled with love, and what kind of care it got as a baby. Can you get an awesome rat at a pet store? Yes, but it is a gamble.

I cannot tell you how frequently I get messages from people who bought a rat at the pet store who is now biting them. A well-bred, cared for rat will not bite. For instance, I recently had one of my rats, Alice, at the vet for a prolapsed uterus. No matter how much pain she was in or how done she was with treatment she did not once try to bite. I had a rat with a pus filled cyst that had ruptured that I had to pack the wound repeatedly for a few days. He did not once try to bite.

Or they bought from the pet store and now their rats are sick and they have no support from the pet store.

Some rats will flip a switch when they hit puberty. They can become aggressive towards people, aggressive towards other rats, or simply nervous and unwilling to bond with a person. This means you could pick up a rat that seems perfectly nice at the store and changes at puberty! This is genetic, and breeders who care what animals they sell will raise up generations before they go to pet families to make sure they will not do this. You do not get that at a pet store.

If you want to save a rat, and you don’t care about its past, PLEASE find a rescue! These people spend their time and energy taking these rats and making sure they are safe and healthy for a home. They are ALWAYS looking for rescuers and they need your money to help save more rats, not buy more unknown rats to sell. Trust me there are rat rescues near you! You may even be able to get young rats from litters that are abandoned.