• Getting Your First Pet Rats: Parental Persuasion In Three Not-So-Easy Steps

    Posted on August 6, 2016 by in Care, Health, Housing, Pet Rat Supplies, Why rats?


    Some parents think cats and dogs are the only option. However, once you’ve completed all the preparatory work outlined in this article, there’s a good chance they’ll come around to viewing rats as the perfect pet. Here are three (not-so-easy) steps to convince your parents to allow you to have pet rats. Each section is designed to help you create a powerful presentation to demonstrate how much you know and how well prepared you are.

    If you’d like to download a worksheet you can fill out while following the three steps below, you can join About Pet Rats using this link. In addition to your Pet Rat Presentation for Parents worksheet, you’ll receive a free Guide to Essential Pet Rat Supplies, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in pet rat supply giveaways. about pet rats, pet rats, pet rat, rats, rat, fancy rats, fancy rat, ratties, rattie, pet rat care, pet rat info, best pet, cutest pet, cute pet, pet rat information, pet rat supplies, pet rat cage


    Assess where you stand in these three areas pertaining to responsible pet ownership:


    The following items need to be purchased:

    • Cage
    • Food
    • Toys
    • Hideouts (to save money, you can use  cardboard boxes)
    • Hammocks (if you sew, you can make your own)
    • Veterinary care: This is often the largest expense besides the cost of the cage. You’ll need to bring your rats to the vet for regular check-ups. Rats are prone to many illnesses and may often need medications and even surgeries.

    ASK YOURSELF: Do you have the money to cover these costs? If not, will your parents be willing to cover these expenses? Write down each item you’ll need to buy along with how much it costs.

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    The following tasks and responsibilities take time:

    • Cage cleaning
    • Playing
    • Cuddling
    • Enriching their lives by building mazes, creating a rat-proofed room for free roaming and more
    • Learning – There’s so much to learn about how to care for pet rats. Besides joining About Pet Rats, find a facebook group where you can easily ask questions and learn from other pet rat owners.

    ASK YOURSELF: Do you have time to do all of the above for your pet rats? If you’re in school, have lots of after-school activities and spend a lot of time away from home except for when you sleep, getting pets of any kind may not be the right choice for you. Write out a sample weekly schedule of the time you’ll be spending your rats as well as cleaning their cage.

    Other Considerations

    • Where will you place your pet rats’ cage? Do you have enough space in a room that has moderate temperature, adequate ventilation, relief from direct sunlight and where your rats can interact regularly with humans?
    • Who will take care of your rats when you go on vacation? Do you have a friend who’d be willing to take care of your rats when you’re out of town?
    • How will you get to the vet? Do you own your own car or will a parent need to drive you? If relying on a parent for transportation, what is their schedule like? Are they usually available to take you when and where you need to go?
    • Have you already had the opportunity to spend much time with pet rats? If the answer is yes, you can skip this point. If you haven’t had much experience, however, visit with a friend’s rats. Play with them, check out their cage and look at what’s inside. Ask your friend if they find it difficult to take care of their rats. Do they like cleaning the cage?…..or does their mother have to beg them?

    ASK YOURSELF: Do you have answers to all of the above questions? Once you do, write down your plans for cage placement, a rat sitter and transportation to and from the vet. Also include what experience you’ve had with rats as well as any plans to get more acquainted with pet rats before adopting.

    As long as you have all of the above figured out, let’s move on to Step Two and find out exactly WHY your parents may object to your having pet rats.


    Just what is it about pet rats that bothers your parents?about pet rats, pet rats, pet rat, rats, rat, fancy rats, fancy rat, ratties, rattie, pet rat care, pet rat info, pet rat information, convincing parents to get pet rats, showing parents pet rats are great pets, how to persuade my parents so I can have rats, help parents see pet rats are okay, convince parents to allow pet rats, pet rat tail, pet rat tails, pet rat tails help with balance and longevity, pet rat tails help rats stay cool by regulating body temperature

    Do your parents…

    …think you won’t take care of them? If so, let them know how thoroughly you’ve researched pet rats and create a presentation to show them exactly how you plan on taking care of them. (More on this below.)

    …not like their tails? Let them know rats’ tails are used for balance and sometimes even as an additional limb. Besides, the rest of rats’ bodies are so incredibly adorable, so who cares if there’s no fur on their tails?!

    …think they’re dirty? Let them know pet rats groom themselves just like cats. It’s us humans (when we don’t clean up after our pet rats) who are the dirty ones.

    Whatever your parents’ objections are, you can easily give them evidence to the contrary. To do this, it helps to create a presentation demonstrating how much you’ve researched pet rat care and how well-prepared you are to take care of your own pet rats. Your presentation will need to address anything your parents are fearful of or disapprove of as discussed above.


    Create Your Pet Rat Presentation

    Your presentation might be in the form a notebook filled with pages you’ve printed from your online research. Or maybe you’ll decide to bookmark different web pages before sitting down with your parents to show them just how great pet rats are and how well you’ve prepared yourself to be able to care for them. You can even create a PowerPoint presentation if you think that will be the most effective for your situation. Yet another alternative is to create a video.

    Here are some ideas on what to include in your proposal:

    • Start off with cute photos. There are so many wonderful sites with adorable pictures of rats. Besides many of the images found on About Pet Rats, check out pet rat photos on Pinterest and Tumblr.
    • Utilize the page Why Rats? to show your parents some things about pet rats they may not have known

    Then get down to the nitty gritty:

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    Showing your parents cute photos of pet rats helps them understand why they make great pets

    Finally, a “live” presentation is extremely helpful. Do you have any friends who can bring their rats over for a quick visit with your parents? A teen friend of mine reported “My mum was terrified by their tails too but when I gave her two cute baby girls to hold in her arms, she was in love instantly. Their little hands and noses, awww! Sometimes the live presentation really is the best 🙂 

    I have to agree that live presentations do create the best results. People who haven’t been around rats before are especially enchanted when they see rats eating. Their tiny hands holding their food are unbelievably cute and then there’s the way they groom their faces….

    Finally, if you’re living with your parents, (and they’re the ones who pay for the place in which you live,) you have to keep in mind that your parents do have the final word. Your chances are much improved, however, if you take the time to create a great, persuasive presentation showing off your preparation, research and just how cute pet rats are.

    Follow About Pet Rats:

44 Responses so far.

  1. I have 3 rats, and this is my first time owning them. They are such friendly loving little girls, awesome awesome pets!

    • Hi Jenna,

      That’s so exciting you’re a rat parent for the first time. Isn’t it amazing how much personality and intelligence they have? …..Especially since they’re so small. My rats blow my mind on a daily basis with how smart and personable they are.

      If you have any questions about pet rat care, don’t hesitate to let me know.

      Best Wishes to You & Your Girls,

      Jasmine | About Pet Rats

  2. Carol Bryant says:

    It does my heart such good to see more folks blogging about small pets. There are a lot of myths out there and thanks to posts like these, the myths are being busted.

  3. Kim says:

    Omg so much cuteness. Now I want a pet rat

  4. Kama says:

    I love this! I just got my first pet rat as an adult (I haven’t had one since I was a kid), and now I’m back researching all the things that have changed in owning a rat since then, and all the new ideas for enrichment and diet that I never knew about!

  5. Cathy Armato says:

    Great presentation for kids to convince a parent to let them have a pet rat.

  6. What a lovely informative post for anyone thats considering having a rat as a pet

  7. Robin says:

    I think rats are a great choice of pet for children (or adults). My husband’s best friend had them for his children for a long time. It is surprising how different a pet rat is from your image of a city street rat! They are clean, calm, and cute! The only reason my husband’s friend stopped getting them for his children was because they had a baby and that baby had a severe allergic reaction to them (as well as several other species of animal). I would definitely recommend rats as an option to families looking for a new pet.

  8. Beth says:

    These are great tips. It always helps to win your parents’ approval when you have a good strategy and research to back you up. My son always tells his friend, “if you want more privileges you have to be mature.”

    • Hi Beth!

      I love that your son tells his friend “if you want more privileges you have to be mature”. He sounds like a smart guy!

      Thanks for commenting. It’s very helpful to hear a parent’s viewpoint.

      Best Wishes,

      Jasmine | About Pet Rats

  9. That was a pretty cool post for kids! I really love that idea. Great thought and really helping prepare the child for a pet.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tonya. It’s hard to be the bearer of the news that pets aren’t easy or cheap. Kids look at pets as being another “toy” without realizing all of the responsibilities involved. I think that, ideally, parents should want the pets and shoulder the care for them while the children can learn by example how wonderful it is to live with animals. Unfortunately, not all parents want pets…

  10. First I love that you included a worksheet for children (anyone really) to help make the case – AND this is a cool 101 post so I will share. I have a friend with a daughter with anxiety and she has therapy rats that really help her with her condition.

    • I’m glad you think the worksheet is helpful, Christine. I wanted to figure out a way kids could make their own plans to show they’re ready for the responsibility.

      I love hearing that your friend has a daughter who benefits from having therapy rats. That’s fantastic!

  11. Theses are some great tips! They are so adorable and I’m surprised my girls haven’t asked for one yet!

    • Thanks for your comment. I have to say that I hesitate to suggest rats as pets for kids. Pet rats have a multitude of health problems and aren’t half as hearty (or as easy to care for) as a dog or cat. That said, once you’ve gotten your first rat, you’re usually hooked! 🙂

  12. The perfect step by step for rat beginners! This is also a good discussion point for children and pets – a parent can discuss what is involved and judge if their child is up to the challenges of keeping a small animal.

    • Thank you for weighing in on this important topic. I like the idea of using this post as a source for discussion points for children and their parents. The ideal situation would be if both parents and children want the pets and can take care of the pets together. I think it’s unrealistic to expect young children to be completely responsible for caring for an animal. That said, not every parent wants pets and I wouldn’t want that to get in the way of children learning about and enjoying the benefits of living with a non-human animal.

  13. These are awesome tips and an incredible outline for approaching almost any new pet request. Or, really almost any request. Your three-step approach culminating in a “live” presentation is fantastic!

    • Thank you so much for your feedback. I’ve been asked by young people many times how they can convince their parents to allow them to have pet rats. My main concern is that pet owners (of any age) are realistic about the responsibilities, especially when it comes to their time and money.

  14. Ruth Epstein says:

    I have never had rats as pets but did have white mice as a kid, great tips thanks

    • Glad to hear you had pets as a kid. I think it makes a huge difference for children to have the opportunity to live with animals. It gives them a bigger sense of the world and the meaning of the word compassion. Thanks for your comment.

  15. Rats make great first pets for kids, although I had guinea pigs.

  16. Jane says:

    This is a great article for any child considering a rat or any other small critter. My children had either a guinea pig or hamster. It teaches children great responsibility and compassion for all living creatures ❤

    • I wholeheartedly agree how wonderful it is for children to have pets. Not only does it teach kids responsibility and compassion as you mentioned, but I also love that pets offer unconditional love.

  17. Carleen says:

    Lots of good advice here. I had mice and rats when I was younger. They make great pets.

  18. Love the title of this post, and love the content! You have certainly saved a lot of people lots of time wracking their brains for good arguments to present. Great advice.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Hindy. I hope this post does help young people present to their parents why they should be allowed to have pet rats.

  19. This is truly amazing and I’d hope any child who put this kind of thought and research into adopting a rat (or other animal) would have parents who would be impressed and respond positively.

    My daughter fell in love with a little mouse at her camp this summer. She went back and forth about whether she wanted to adopt the mouse or not. She finally decided that she would spend the year researching mice to determine if they were the right pet for her. Next summer she will then be more prepared to make an informed decision.

    • Wow, Kristen. I’m very impressed by your daughter’s sense of responsibility. How wonderful she decided to spend the year researching mice to see if they were the right pet for her before she adopts. You sound like an excellent mom to have raised such a thoughtful daughter.

  20. Great advice! I think it’s also worth mentioning too that you usually have to find special vets who take “exotics” for rats and care is more expensive. Most places won’t take them.

    • Thank you for reinforcing that care for exotic pets is often more expensive and that it’s not always easy to find a vet who’s knowledgeable and experienced. These are things most people wouldn’t think about ahead of time. I appreciate your comment.

  21. Rachel says:

    This is a wonderful post and sure to be of help for those who want a pet rat! I really like your “Other Considerations” section. A lot of this can actually apply to other species as well!

  22. Nichole says:

    Great info resource! We’re not getting rats anytime soon, but we loved the tips.