Rats can be amazing pets. The rat can teach a child compassion and responsibility. Caring for the creature can give the child a sense of confidence and self worth. The rat is very smart. While wild rats are known for carrying disease, The Fancy Rat is the most common domesticated rat and poses no greater health threat to the household than any other house pet.
I’ve cited a URL which provides in depth info on acquiring and caring for your rat.
Like djstam mentioned, I think that rats have a bad reputation due to what we are shown in the media. You often see people being scared of rats in movies, and they are associated with disease and filth. However, these are just stereotypes, and rats can be wonderful pets. Growing up one of my friends had a pet rat, and for the longest time I thought it was a giant hamster.
Apparently, rats can be great first pets, even for small kids. The article below recommends that kids are given very young rats or ones that are already used to humans and being handled. It also says that rats rarely bite, but that small kids should still be supervised when they handle them. All in all, rats are smart, gentle, and clean. As long as you teach a child to be gentle with them, there shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, I’ve known a couple of kids who had rats and loved them (I think I was more scared of them than the kids were). The kids I knew were about ten and took very good care of their pets, usually without help from their parents.
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