How Long Do Rats Live As Pets – Petsfoodspro

How Long Do Rats Live As Pets? Rats make wonderful and attractive pets. They’re quite intelligent, inquisitive, interactive, and social. Rats can be easily trained to come when called and to perform tricks on command with enough mental stimulation.

Usually, gentle creatures that only bite if threatened or hurt – rats make excellent family pets so long as they’re watched over by toddlers who might unintentionally provoke them.

As nocturnal creatures most of the time but also active during daylight hours, rats may not always co-operate with humans’ schedules – yet nonetheless remain manageable animals who are fairly easy to keep happy and healthy provided you know what you’re doing.

Rat with the oldest age ever  

Rodney was the name of one of the oldest rats documented.   He lived to be 7 years and 4 months – three-and-a-half times longer than his typical lifespan in the wild.

Believe it or not, some rodents such as naked mole rats can live extraordinarily long lives too – one example being 28 years old! Starting from infancy, a rat’s life cycle is worth studying for just how interesting this common rodent species really is.


Rats rely heavily on their mothers from birth, as do many newborn mammals. For the first few weeks of life, they depend entirely on her to feed them and protect them from predators. Within one week of being born, rats are able to walk around.

They develop eyesight within two to three weeks and begin leaving their mother at three to five weeks old—providing for themselves from then onwards.

Juvenile Rats

The comfort of their siblings and friends may still be needed by young rats. Wild rats likely venture out on their own much more quickly than pet rats, even if they’re raised for pet stores or homes.  

Rat juveniles grow from six months to about one year old—eating rapidly and chewing on things to make sure their teeth don’t grow too long. As such, young pets are active and friendly—capable of accompanying you in many places both near and far.


Rats are considered adults after one year of living. If a wild rat makes it past that milestone, they might be nearing death’s door because their enemies will find them more easily and prey on them.

However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t live every day to the fullest – feeding and breeding until their heart’s content – even if it means aging too quickly for some people’s comfort level or what might actually make sense for rats who exist outside of captivity.

A pet rat is generally easy to care for and friendly after spending a year with its owner. If your pet begins to show signs of age – slowing down or developing mobility problems such as arthritis – you may want to put off euthanasia so he/she can continue enjoying his/her years with you.

How to Keep Your Pet Rat Healthy and Long-Lived  

Watch for signs of hair loss: A sure way to know if your rat is sick or old is from its hair. When there are signs of balding, that could be a signal for something worse. Watch out for how they eat too- when they stop eating altogether, it could mean illness. Infections and illnesses can lead to hair loss in rats, so contact your vet right away if you notice anything abnormal with them.

Keep your rat’s teeth healthy: All rodents have teeth that continuously grow; this includes rats. With this in mind, you should know that your rat’s teeth will need to be maintained one way or another – whether it be through routine trips to the vet for dental work or through toys and chews designed for pets. Giving your rat appropriate items to chew on can ensure their wellness; this could mean wood blocks, a toy made specifically for chewing, etcetera.

More Tips for Your Pet Rat

Clean your rat’s cage regularly: If you don’t clean your rat’s cage weekly, you will be more likely to get sick and have injuries. Cleaning every week can extend its life easily and simply by removing old bedding, checking for signs of damage, and disposing of any food left in the enclosure.

Feed your rat a balanced diet: While rats are known to scavenge or steal anything they can find, if you give your pet rat a proper diet of food made just for them and enough exercise then they can lead a healthy life. Pets cannot eat human food because it isn’t good for them so make sure you don’t feed your furry friend something they aren’t supposed to have.

Handle your pet rat frequently: Rats are sociable creatures, even those who were originally bred as pets. If you train your rat to do tricks or spend time with you in exchange for treats, it will quickly grow attached to you and thrive under your care. Rats love spending time together; they’re just wonderful companions if they’re hand-raised and well-trained.


Whether it was intentional or not, knowing that you were going to lose your rat eventually didn’t take away any of the pain when watching them age. To love and care for your rat in the best way possible will give you a couple of good years with them; which isn’t too bad considering how short their lifespan can be.

But even if they are going to pass away sooner than expected – this is natural and should make you feel proud because, without care from people like yourself, these creatures would never have lived such a long time without worry or stress.

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