They're far better than any hamster/mouse/gerbil I've ever had! I have had 5 now. They have such great personalities and they become really tame and affectionate but they do need space and a lot of mental stimulation. The other downfall is that they can get ill quite easily - 3 of mine died of colds whcih they can catch from us :-\
My first one was called Richard after my best friend and he used to run to the side of the cage afetr school and I would take him out and he would curl up in my hoodie while I was doing homework and sit and munch my hair sitting on my shoulder etc I even used to walk my dog with Richard sitting on my shoulder!
I don't know about pets really, but when I was in nursing school, we had 6 of them we kept in the class to observe their reactions to things. (No we didn't do any mean experiments to them) Mainly they just ran through mazes and ate different foods. and got checked for weight gain and loss. then we watched them have little ones and found homes for them. They were very spoiled and very smart. But I agrre with Emma, it is hard to get around the tail.
No experience with raising Rats. Once, when I lived in NYC years ago and late one night, while waiting for a subway, I saw a couple of HUGH rats alongside the tracks. And earlier, while in college I had to dissect one in a Biology lab. I had friends who had mice and I always found them cute. Craig, aren't you missing tropical fish? I bet there's a tankfull near you, looking for a good home, fresh water, warm temperatures. My Gouramies blow bubbles! But you can't pet them.
I have two baby female hooded rats at the moment and I would definitely recommend it. I have grown up with rats and they are much better than other rodents as they interact a lot more with you and they are so intelligent. The only thing I would say is that if you spend a lot of day out then get two rats(single sex pairs and females are better as males may fight) as they are very social animals.
I agree with Miss Mouse - rats indeed are very smart and can become very affectionate, with great personalities. I don't like the fact that they have become merely the objects of scientific research and often ruthless testing and experimenting. But I won't be getting on that subject, as any experimenting on any animal whatsoever always makes me angry and it even makes me cry !!! Just love animals too much I guess.
Emma, yes, many people cannot get past the tail, lol. It looked weird to me too in the beginning when my sister got a rat. But after a while I got used to it and realized it's nothing more than a tail, lol. As simple as that. That's a rat's nature and a tail itself is harmless. It's all in our minds ...
Yeah its really hard hair but of you stroke it the right way its very silky and smooth! Talking of stumpy tailed rats - I don't thinkn they would be able to balance very well without their tail! They wrap it around things and use it to manouever a lot.. ver clever little things! I really want another rat but my dog is just so set on killing anything that moves and I just dread her getting into the rats cage or something awful so I don't want to take that risk - she got one of my guinea pigs - not a pretty sight and so so awfully sad :'(
Omorrokh, my sister has a rat. I do take it in my hands quite often. It's the most gentle rodent I've ever held (besides hamsters that I've had in the past). It loves to sit on my sister's neck, tangled in her hair, lol (she likes to walk around the house like that and freak my parents out, haha). He also loves just being held and getting attention. He is very smart - he knows exactly when we're calling him to come out of his cage - he gets up immediately and tries to come out, lol. He recognizes many sounds. When he's very hungry, I sometimes hold food higher above him, and he will jump quite high to get the food, lol. Rats are very smart - I never knew that before.
Yup, rats are smart--some say as intelligent as dogs, and they can be trained to do tons of tricks. Your sister's rat reminds me of my mice...they used to crawl all over me and snuggle up in my hair. I used to walk around with one perched on my shoulder. I miss having mice...maybe I should get them again.