30+ Rat Breeders Share Their Best Tips For First-Time Rat Owners

Are you thinking of getting a rat for yourself and your family but you do not really know where to start? As there is nothing better than asking professionals about their favorite topic, we’ve contacted dozens of rat breeders across the US and asked them a simple question:

What tips would you give anyone looking to buy a rat for the First time?

A big THANK YOU to all the rat breeders who were willing to share their in-depth knowledge in the sometimes ill-understood world of rats! You will find their contact and social media handles at the end of the article.

Enjoy!

1. Do Your Research

Before you buy, check out a few Facebook groups for rat owners. See common issues, cage types, food, toy types, hammocks, treats, and the expense of rats before you get them.  People think “oh fun a new pet for little Timmy would be great”. Rats are not like hamsters, they need daily interaction and time to explore out of their cagesNancy Pate, Monster’s Mischief Rattery

Never adopt without preparation. This means acquiring all the necessities for owning rats from housing, food, and a reputable veterinarian that specializes in rat care. Impulse buying is not the greatest choice and can affect the rats, especially at a moment when they might be nervous and scared. It will hinder their well-being if not given the proper preparation and care from the beginning […] If you are a parent please keep in mind that you will be in charge of their well-being so that means you – just as much as your child – should research Laiza, Trash Rats Rattery

A rat is not a starter pet and should not be sold as suchCarole Littlefield, Love a Squish Rattery

For any new pet rat owners who are looking to get into the hobby, it’s important that they do their research about the animal first. As simple as rats can be before you know it you have spent 300 dollars on your little friend. Just like dogs, they will have the same problems if not cared for properly Neal Rodriguez, Overload Reptiles & Rats

Your breeder will be able to guide you on this exciting journey, from the moment you start waiting for your new friends, to the day you bring them home. And, in most cases, a good breeder will be available anytime thereafter adoption has taken place. Speaking as a breeder myself, I urge everyone to ask as many questions as they can (both before and after adoption) and never hesitate with anything that may need further clarificationMadison, Rainy Zillow Rattery

My piece of advice would be to do research. Rats are not animals that you can adopt and leave in a cage, they’re like dogs and cats and require attention, a healthy diet, and sometimes vet care. They’re not an animal you don’t have to spend money onLeslie, Bleu Royale Rattery

The most important advice for any new rat owner is to research. After you do extensive research on what cages are going to be the best to house your new pets in, do research on breeders  […] Make sure you look through all of their reviews, not every breeder can make everyone happyBreanna Schultz, Bree’s Furry Friends Rattery

The first and foremost advice I will always give new pet owners is to research as much as possible. There are a lot of false stigmas that lead people to believe that rats are cheap pets and easy and that is not true. Rats are extremely intelligent and complex animals that can have behavioral problems and mental disorders if they are not provided the space and enrichment they need to thrive Summer Grimes, Intelligent Rats

2. Avoid Buying Rats From Pet Shops

Pet shop rats are rarely handled and socialized. They are also often mis-sexed so people end up with unwanted pregnancies. Feeder rats when gotten at a young age are usually friendly enough, but are often very inbreed as no selective breeding or record keeping is done. They can therefore pass away at a younger age from unknown issues and are often more prone to tumors/cancersLindsee, Nifty Nibblers Rattery

Getting rats from most pet stores or feeder breeders will give you a rat that is burdened with possible illness, lack of socialization, and often is afraid because they have not had good experiences with humans. A good, reputable breeder spends time with them daily, from birth, and ensures that they have only positive experiences with humans and are free from disease Crystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery

Pet Store rats are mainly there to be feeders for snakes or other reptiles [..]  As almost always they are sick with a URI ( Upper respiratory infection ) and if not seen by a vet quickly they can easily die from it – Breanna Schultz, Bree’s Furry Friends Rattery

Pet shop rats are basically a hit or miss type of thing. They are crowded in containers while being transported, and some become extremely ill. Their respiratory tract is very fragile, and they can get URI very easily. Also, URI is very contagious…once one catches it, the others will need to be treated to prevent reinfection Katie Pope, Silver Charm Rattery

Even if you think you’re “saving” a rat from being food if you’re paying for it really all you’re doing is continuing to fund the feeder mills rather than supporting a local breeder who put time into ensuring the health and temperament of the animals. […] The prices may be higher but in the long run, they’ll be healthier and save you money on vet bills Shelby Murray, Mongo’s Mischief Rattery

3. Buying From a Reputable Breeder Makes a World of a Difference

cute rat

The more helpful the individual, the more time/thought they put into giving their animals a wonderful home. If they truly care about who they place their rats with, odds are they have given more time to their program – which will result in friendlier & healthier pets Ashley Rice, Little Plantation’s Rattery

[A good breeder]  should have the time to teach you about rat care. Ideally, they’ll have information or a website to direct you to […] Do not be alarmed if they do not let you in their rattery/home/rodent room. That is to protect their rats from any outside illnesses people may bring. It’s hard to guarantee the health of their rats if the rats were just in contact with several strangers Anya Bogdanovich, The Firefly Rattery

Listen to the breeder you adopt from. Breeders work hard to provide adopters with healthy, well-socialized rats, they love what they do and want the best for them. A good breeder will screen adopters and the adoption fee will be higher than a pet store but it’s worth it to have amazing pets Leslie, Bleu Royale Rattery

An ethical breeder focuses on health and temperament. Watch out for red flags: Selling rats before they are at least 6 weeks old, selling rats that are not temperamentally sound or healthyJasper, Fuzzy Peach Exotics

Breeders can answer your questions before and after your purchase. Contact the breeder for any questions after you bring your new furballs home, they are a great resource for information during your adventures living with a mischief Diane Kipnis, Furball Critters

Good questions to ask breeders are what they feed, the type of bedding they use, pictures of their setups, and animals. Any ethical breeder will be more than happy to supply answers and pictures. If they seem offended by these questions, typically they are hiding something Ginger Spoon, Garden of Tails

Well-bred rats not only live longer, but they have the best natural temperament of all rodents. As long as the rat owner does the research into these wonderful animals it will be easygoing and a wonderful experience overall! – Ridley, Wasteland Rattery

The breeder community focuses on temperament and health. Adopting or purchasing from chain pet stores and backyard breeders could put you in a situation with a pet that’s aggressive or prone to health issues. If the breeder you find will not show you where they house their rats or answer all your questions, look elsewhere. Also, be prepared […] good breeders have waitlists so get on them and be patient, as you will have a better experience with your future pet Allison, Ritchea Rats

Purchasing from a breeder that can tell you where her stock comes from is always a good choice. If you decide to adopt from a licensed 501(c) 3 rescue, make sure what they are charging isn’t to the extreme. […] From a rescue, prices will vary but you should never pay more than you would at a breeder Crystal, MorningStar Rattery 

Make sure you are getting rats from breeders who do temperament evaluations, you do not want a rat who has been “held since birth” that can mask negative temperaments, you want a breeder who is watching the babies from a young age evaluating them and then does some tests with the babies to try their best to make sure they are putting the best possible pets out into the worldDestiney Cook, Blue Rose Exotics

Always remember to support responsible breeders that breed with health and temperament in mindAtticus Osborne Jimenez, Osborne Exotics

You want a breeder that is open about their practices when asked, and that breeds with their primary goal of bettering the species. This means keeping health and temperament at the forefront of their goal, and fun colors and patterns after that. A reputable breeder will be happily forthcoming to show photos and videos of their set-ups, rats, etc. so asking to see their caging, asking what food they feed, and what enrichment they provide their rats is a great start!Elizabeth, CliffordSisters Rattery

A reputable breeder screens their adopters. Expect to fill out some type of questionnaire or form. They want to be sure their babies are well taken care of. They will also be there to answer any questions or concerns. And PLEASE give them updates! We appreciate knowing that our babies are being spoiled and loved. A simple message every once and a while is loved. Bonus if the message includes a photo!!! Our adopters are the eyes and ears once rats leave our Home. Updates (good and bad) help us see how our lines are doingMegan, Kinnibrook Rattery

4. Always Keep Several Rats Together

three small rats in cage

Although popular house pets such as dogs, cats, and reptiles are often adopted singularly, rats aren’t able to thrive in the same way. As such, it is imperative that anyone wishing to own rats must adopt them in same-sex pairs, or even trios, if space allows Madison, Rainy Zillow Rattery

Rats are social animals and need to be kept at a minimum of two. Three is better though. Make sure your rats are the same gender – you don’t want accidents!Jasper, Fuzzy Peach Exotics

I will not sell single rats. A single rat will be lonely and depressed and will suffer mentally. They have to have a friend as they are extremely social animalsSummer Grimes, Intelligent Rats

Rats are social animals and should always be kept with friends of the same sex whenever possible Lindsee, Nifty Nibblers Rattery

They are very social animals so if you buy them in pairs that is the best thing you can do especially if you have a 9-5 and can’t be with your animal all dayNeal Rodriguez, Overload Reptiles & Rats

Rats are intelligent both logically and emotionally; They live very complex social lives where past behavior determines who gets favors in the future and how much help they get when they are down and that includes you, once you are bonded. However, a human is a poor substitute for a rat, so they need at least 1 rat companion but the real magic starts in groups of 3Crystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery

First-time owners should look for older rats. If you are set on young rats, ask the breeder if there is a retired rat you can also adopt to teach the little ones how to be pets. Three is a good number. One older and two young. The older one can teach the youngsters to run, play, and sniff before you take something from mom/dad’s handJosie, Josephine’s Rattery & Small Pet Rescue

Better take two siblings from the same litter than two different rats who never met each other beforeLi Wexen, Wendy Rat Breeder

[Rats] are very social. They need friends to cuddle with and keep warm with. Rats have such strong relationships that when one dies its friends can go into a depression and die too – Nancy Pate, Monster’s Mischief Rattery

Rats are very social […] they are kinda like a wolf pack in a way they have a hierarchy where there will be a more dominant male or female in the cage and they will get into little wrestling matches as I like to call them. You don’t need to be alarmed about it unless they are trying to really hurt each other. In which then you would have to separate if they can not get alongBreanna Schultz, Bree’s Furry Friends Rattery

Rats are social animals and need to live in at least a pair but odd number groups tend to work out the best. Rats are really intelligent creatures and they love to have buddies to play with Ridley, Wasteland Rattery

Rats cannot live alone. You must adopt at least a pair, and know that if you want to continue to have rats as a pet, you will need to adopt more as yours get older. You do not want to be in a situation where you are left with one lone rat. Rats need to have buddies for mutual grooming and snuggles and we just don’t always fit the bill Allison, Ritchea Rats

Rats are extremely social animals, and no matter how much human interaction they are given they still need a friend.  On some occasions, I have actually seen lone rats become aggressive, skittish, depressed and even some have died Katie Pope, Silver Charm Rattery

Rats are extremely social creatures and thrive on companionship. A human cannot be there for them 24/7. They groom, sleep together, socialize, eat together, and play. They even seem to cope a lot easier with a change of home when they have a friend to lean on. AND the more the merrier!! If you have room in your cage, three is even better than two!Megan Burkhardt, Kinni Brook Rattery 

5. Get a Good Cage, Not a Tank 

cute rat in cage

I suggest spending the majority of your budget on the cage. Rather than buy several smaller cages throughout the rats’ life, spend the money on a good sturdy cage that is already the correct bar spacing as well as spaceJessica Wright – Raining Rats Rattery

Get the largest cage you can afford as they need 2 ft cubic space per ratStephanie Pulsifer, OC Steph’s Rattery

I use Midwest Critter Nation Double Units for my rats. It provides enough space for multiple rats of the same sex and if needed, you can close the top off and separate the 2 levels. It’s super easy to clean and maintain. No matter what cage you provide, bar spacing should be 1/2” or smaller to keep them from escaping. Trust me, they will escape if they want to! Crystal, MorningStar Rattery

A proper cage for a rat can cost anywhere between $50-$300 depending on the cage. My favorite cages will always be the Critter Nation. You can take out the shelves and ramps and make it basically into a huge jungle gym that will provide them with plenty of stimulationSummer Grimes, Intelligent Rats

Avoid cages made for birds or rabbits as rats will often chew on things that other animals won’t and can squeeze through small gaps than larger pets. Baby rats are especially good at escaping. If you plan to start with baby rats, you may also want to start them in a smaller cage that is easily transportable, so you can bring them to a “rat safe” play area for socializing without fear of them jumping down and getting lost. Once you and your pets have developed mutual trust and affection, the babies can graduate to their permanent, larger cageBrian Star, OC Dumbos

Rats are fossorial, floor space and digging space is better for rats than height. Tanks are dangerous and should never be used. But a properly sized bin cage with a minimum of 3 wire windows is safe and okay. Use a rat cage calculator online to assure a cage is large enough Jasper, Fuzzy Peach Exotics

They need a solid floor covered in fleece or a bin of bedding to use so that they don’t develop sores on their feet, a condition called bumblefoot, and to prevent their feet from being caught between the bars, causing fractures or broken bonesCrystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery

Try not to put them in a huge environment immediately. A smaller environment will give you an easier time to socialize them.  Rats will require large space eventually so make sure you’re prepared Li Wexen, Wendy Rat Breeder

1/2″ bar spacing is best due to younger/smaller rats being able to fit out of larger bar spacing. Rats are fossorial by nature, so having wider cages is better than height. However, a healthy mix of both is great because they do enjoy climbingGinger Spoon, Garden of Tails

They can’t be kept in tanks and need to be […] in a cage they can climb and that has airflow. When cleaning cages make sure to leave a tiny bit of a smell as they will then go overboard re-marking their territory Carole Littlefield, Love a Squish Rattery

The more ventilation an enclosure has the better, glass tanks do not provide enough ventilation for rats. There are many alternatives to getting good enclosures for a decent price, yard sale sites/Facebook pages or marketplace, craigslist, or even looking up (or discussing with your breeder) DIY housing are great optionsDestiny Cook, Blue Rose Exotics

Tanks are not appropriate housing for rats, but there are a lot of creative things you can do with DIY bin cages for a cheaper option than some of the more expensive barred cagesHailey, Beryl Rattery

6. Good Cage Setup and Accessories Make For Happy Rats

Two rats in a hammock

Having plenty of mental stimulation is key to happy, healthy rats. Pumice stone, wood, rawhide, pretty much anything they can chew on and not be harmed is a good thing for them to have Crystal, MorningStar Rattery

Rats love hiding places or places to burrow and dig, they also love nest building and places to climb – just be careful not to make them too high as a high enough fall could injure or kill a rat. There are lots of DIY things you can do and make for your rat Destiny Cook, Blue Rose Exotics

They need places to hide themselves and hoards of food. They need wooden (non-toxic, unpainted) things to chew, lava ledges to grind their nails and teeth on, and cardboard boxes to shred. Make toys out of toilet paper and paper towel rolls, cut a door into your Amazon box to use as a hide, string Cheerios on a pipe cleaner, hang a bamboo skewer of grapes and watermelon, and apple once in a while. Change out the toys they have; Rats love new thingsCrystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery

Always get extra equipment, like water bottles and food dishes Li Wexen, Wendy Rat Breeder

Avoid paper bedding. Aspen, kiln-dried pine, and hemp are better and safer. Paper is dusty and doesn’t absorb ammonia. Ammonia causes URIsJasper, Fuzzy Peach Exotics

I would always suggest using Aspen or Kiln dried pine for bedding. Also, Lots of enrichment in the cage be it hides or toys, I like to give mine lots of boxes to chew and hide in as well as cloth hammocksAlicia, Dark Lotus Rattery 

7. Make Sure You Get Your Rats’ Diet Right

grey rat eating sausage

Seed mixes can quickly cause an imbalance in nutrients and also lead to obesity due to the nuts and seeds being high in fat. Some great main diet options are lab blocks such as Oxbow Essentials Adult Rat Food, Mazuri 6f, Science Selective, Envigo 2018, and Kalmbach 18% protein. It’s best to avoid foods that say they are good for multiple species as those are typically imbalanced since each species has its own nutritional needs Ginger Spoon, Garden of Tails

Rat pellets are tasty enough and very nutritious, but also boring, so keep some healthy snacks around for socializing and bonding.  Unsalted nuts, seeds, and seedless fruits are good.  Avoid citrus as it can cause cancer in rats.  Avoid foods high in sugar, salt, fat or artificial flavors […] Healthy snacks high in omega 3 fats, zinc, and vitamin e are also good (pumpkin seeds and almonds, for example) Brian Star, OC Dumbos

Make sure you have the correct food that will improve the longevity of the animal and overall health. Brands like Oxbow or other science blocksDrea Linberg, Victory Rats Rattery and Rescue

I suggest Mazuri or Oxbow for main food, with fun snacks like dark chocolate, dried bananas, unsalted sunflower seeds, and other sorts of fun treats for the rats… I recommend getting some of the same [breeder’s] food to help with the transition to a new home, and to mix with whatever food the new owner wants to feed so it isn’t a sudden changeAlicia, Dark Lotus Rattery

For food, I highly recommend Kalmbach rodents food 18% or 23%, with fresh kale, veggies, and some fruits Nickole Eddleman, Crimson Exotic Rattery

Food-wise I always will recommend Mazuri 6F for rats and mice. It is within their protein and fat range and meets all their nutritional needs. If Mazuri is too pricey, pellet food for rodents will do nicely, as long as the protein is under 18%. Anything over that can cause rats to experience hair loss and itchy skin Summer Grimes, Intelligent Rats

Whole grains, such as oats, barley, and cooked rice add some healthy variety, too. Dried corn can mold quickly, so it should be avoided, but fresh corn on the cob is one of my rats’ favorite treats. Spoon or syringe feed them special treats daily. This will make it a positively associated habit just in case you ever need to give them medicine later down the lineEliza, Squeakin’ Pups

8. Remember That Rats Have Specific Health Requirements 

rat getting jab at the vet

Be prepared for vet bills. Rats are considered exotic and are usually more expensive to treat than cats or dogs. Always look at the health of the rat you are buying. Make sure their coat is clean and smooth (sometimes curly or patchy depending on genetics), their eyes are bright, feet are nice and pink and moving easily. The rat moves sleek and freely, and does not appear hunched over or lethargic. Also, steer clear of any with red around their eyes and nose. This is called porphyrin (red tears) and can be a sign of stress or illness – Summer Grimes, Intelligent Rats

Make sure you have an exotic vet nearby and an emergency vet just in case. I recommend also researching treats they can and cannot have, and also the illnesses associated with the species because there are many and it is important to catch them relatively early. – Drea Linberg, Victory Rats Rattery and Rescue

Most veterinarians either won’t treat or just don’t know enough about rats. You need to locate an exotic animal veterinarian and an animal hospital that will treat your rat for emergencies after hours. Having some first aid medicines on hand and knowing what dose to give your rat is important and could save their lives. Ask your breeder for help gathering these things and knowing when and how to give themCrystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery

Rats are Prone To Tumors that can pop up at any time […] How big one gets and of course the age of the rats plays a role if it can be removed or notBreanna Schultz, Bree’s Furry Friends Rattery

If your rat does start obviously sneezing, wheezing, or coughing then it will probably need antibiotics to get better. Exotic vets can be hard to find when you need them, so take the time now to call around and find out who is available and what their hours are […] Vets can be expensive, and getting appointments may take a while, so many rat owners keep supplies of common antibiotics at home in case they will ever need themBrian Star, OC Dumbos

Do a daily mini health check. Hold your rat up to your ear to listen for abnormal sounds (heart or breathing). Give them a gentle massage all over along with a visual survey to check for lumps, bumps, scratches, or any missing fur. Check feet, tail, and ears, too. Anything out of the ordinary should be noted and possibly followed up with a vet. If you do a daily mini check on your rat, you can spot any newly developing ailment before it becomes serious or life-threateningEliza, Squeakin’ Pups Rattery

Rat owners, new and seasoned, [should] always know what vets in their areas will see and treat rats. Rats are considered an exotic pet for vets so it can be hard to find one willing to see them. This should be researched and a vet found prior to getting these sweet creatures. They can be prone to upper respiratory infections due to their sensitive respiratory systems and as such may need quick access to a vet at a moment’s notice. So it’s best to be prepared ahead of that possible situationElizabeth, CliffordSisters Rattery

9. Expect a Lovable, Intelligent, and Trainable Pet

baby rat nibbling at finger

Rats make great pets and friends. They are very intelligent. They are very interactive and loving […] Rats are addictive once you have some you want more and more! Rats make great pets for kids of all ages. They are easy to handle, enjoy treats and cuddles, and are always happy to see youNikki, Disco’s Rats & Critters

Rats are basically mini puppies. They are intelligent, clean, crazy sweet, and extremely rewarding pets when given the proper care and loveAtticus Osborne Jimenez, Osborne Exotics

Rats actually experience empathy and consider you their dominant companion. They respect you but care about you […] I have seen it myself too, when a rat passes, the ones that were close to it will actually hit a stage of depression. It is heartbreaking to see them go through. They are very intelligent as well! They can be taught tricks (check out Shadow the rat on YouTube) and they can be taught to identify colors – Summer Grimes, Intelligent Rats

They are extremely loving (most anyway) and they’re the best mix of a dog’s loyalty/intelligence/need for love with the attitude of cats when not happy and a toddler who gets into everything. They are super smart and can be taught tricks, their name, to use a litter box, etc. They can even free roam in some casesCarole Littlefield, Love a Squish Rattery

Keep in mind that just like people, each rat can and will have their own personality. Some will be super cuddly, while others just want to be fed and left alone. Learn their behaviors and body language. This will help you build a bond with them and they will learn to trust you – Crystal, MorningStar Rattery

Be open to who picks you. The best pet is one that settles on you, cleans themselves, bruxes, and perhaps falls asleep. You should not have to tame a rat or socialize it. Rats are naturally social, just like humans. They are here to provide emotional support and empathy. – Josie, Josephine’s Rattery & Small Pet Rescue

 

Getting to know your rat and letting them get to know you are really important first steps. The way I do it is to lay down with them and let them see me as a whole creature, not just a big face and hands. Let them snuffle your hair, ears, and face. Let them hang out on your shoulder or in the hood of your sweatshirt. With practice, they get to be very good at balancing on your shoulder and will enjoy seeing the world this way. In fact, my rat KitKat often falls asleep while on my shoulder Crystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery

Whatever you want to be able to do with them, you should do it from day one. Some ways to implement this are: Play with your rats as much as you can immediately after getting them. Playtime should be away from their cage and as often as possible. Save all the treats for this time with you. The goal is to associate all the best things with being with you and not in the cage. […] If they associate being out and with you when they have fun and get the best foods, then they will be waiting at the cage doors all the time for you to spend time with themEliza, Squeakin’ Pups

They need time to adjust to a new human companion so let them settle and offer treats by hand in their cage until they get more comfortableStephanie Pulsifer, OC Steph’s Rattery

Keep them away from mice, chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and other small animals as they will hunt and possibly kill them. Also never leave a rat unattended with bigger pets, or small children, it only takes a blink of an eye for an accident to happen Carole Littlefield, Love a Squish Rattery

Rats have very poor eyesight. They sometimes can’t tell the difference between your fingertip and a piece of food until their sensitive teeth touch your skin.[…] Sometimes new rat owners mistake these as nips or even call them bites and prematurely give up on their rats. The best way to prevent confusion is to never feed food through the bars of their cage, present food from the flattened palm of your hand, and for lickable treats (like those you use for training) start with giving it to them on a spoon until they learn that particular food and consistently lick it off of the spoon without attempting to bite itCrystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery

Potty training […] gives a benefit of a cleaner environment for their pet rats as long as they wash their hammock weekly […] This helps prevent URI Nickole Eddleman, Crimson Exotic Rattery

Once you bring your new babies home, give them love! Start that bonding right away! They don’t need time to “settle in” and that can actually make bonding tougher. Grab them out of their cage and sit with them in the bathtub. Bring irresistible yummies, like chicken pieces. Bonding pouches are really useful too!Megan Burkhardt, Kinni Brook Rattery 

10. Keep in Mind That Rats Don’t Live Very Long

They mature quickly and have short lifespans so folks need to be prepared for that.  If you can handle this short turnaround, rats are easy to care for and just as loving as any dog or cat but are less expensive to care for since they don’t require licensing or vaccinationsLindsee, Nifty Nibblers Rattery

A rat’s life span is short, so to you, it’s a few years but to them, it’s forever. Keep that in mind and make it count. Spoil them, love them and they will truly appreciate it. They are amazing creatures that are one of the best pets to own – Laiza, Trash Rats Rattery

There are a few exceptions where rats have lived to be 4, but in all the 7 years I’ve had rats I’ve only had a select few make it to 3.5. […] A lot of times, people will rescue rats and get told they’re already 1-2 years old when they’re actually only a few months old. Then people end up thinking their rat lived to be 4-5 when they were actually right in the 2-3 year rangeGinger Spoon, Garden of Tails

Rat Breeders’ Contact Details

ARIZONA
Jessica Wright, Raining Rats Rattery
San Tan Valley, AZ
Facebook: Raining Rats Rattery
Website: rainingratsrattery.com 
Email: [email protected]

CALIFORNIA
Diane Kipnis, Furball Critters
Santa Cruz, CA
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (831) 428-3031
Website: furballcritters.com
Facebook: Furball Critters

Eliza Porter, Squeakin’ Pups Rattery
El Cajon, CA
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Squeakin’ Pups Rattery
Instagram: @SqueakinPups
Website: squeakinpups.weebly.com (check Eliza’s article “The Two Rat Dynamic” to understand the social structure in rats)


Leslie, Bleu Royale Rattery
Sacramento, CA
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Bleu Royale
Website: bleuroyalerattery.com 

Ridley, Wasteland Rattery
Menifee, CA
Phone: 951-553-0148
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: ​Wasteland Rattery
Instagram: @WastelandRattery
Website: bethphantomhive3.wixsite.com/wastelandrattery

Li Wexen, Wendy Rat Breeder
Diamond Bar CA
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (626) 200-7494
Facebook: Wendy Rat Breeder


Stephanie Pulsifer, OC Steph’s Rattery
Anaheim, CA
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 714-931-1739
Facebook: OC Steph’s Rattery

Crystal, Wrinkle Bean Rattery
Los Angeles, CA
Email: ​[email protected]
Phone: 818-288-4857
Facebook: Wrinkle Bean
Instagram: @WrinkleBean
Website: wrinklebeanrattery.wixsite.com/rats

Atticus Osborne Jimenez, Osborne Exotics
Los Banos, CA
Email: [email protected]
Phone Number: (209) 752-2229
Facebook: Osborne Exotics

CONNECTICUT
Laiza, Trash Rats Rattery
Bridgeport, CT
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: ​Trash Rats Rattery
Instagram: @TrashRatsRattery
Website: ​trashratsrattery.weebly.com

FLORIDA
Lindsee, Nifty Nibblers Rattery
Brooksville, FL
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: ​Nifty Nibblers

Madison, Rainy Zillow Rattery
Ocklawaha, FL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (239) 634-0838
Facebook: Rainy Zillow Rattery
Website: rainyzillowrattery.weebly.com

Brian Star, OC Dumbos
Osceola County, FL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (407) 534-3352
Facebook: Pet Roof Rats
Instagram: @OCDumbos
Website: ocdumbos.com
Youtube: OC Dumbos Pet Rat Breeder

Nancy Pate, Monster’s Mischief Rattery
Cape Coral, FL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (215) 528-2118
Facebook: Monster’s Mischief Rattery

Hailey, Beryl Rattery
Deland, FL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (941) 705-4201
Facebook: Beryl Rattery

Shelby Murray, Mongo’s Mischief Rattery
West Palm Beach, FL
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @mongos_mischief 
Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mongos_mischief_rattery

Josie, Josephine’s Rattery
West Plam Beach, FL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (561) 510-3728
Facebook: Josephine’s Rattery – Josie’s
Instagram: @JosiesRattery
Websites: https://josiesrattery.com and https://smallpetstore.com/


GEORGIA
Ashley, Little Plantation’s Rattery
McDonough, GA
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Little Plantation’s Rattery

Katie Pope, Silver Charm Rattery
Rome, GA
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (706) 936-7625
Facebook: Silver Charm Rattery
Website: silvercharmrattery.wixsite.com/silvercharmrattery

ILLINOIS
Crystal Smith, Morningstar Rattery
Farmer City, IL
Email: [email protected]
Phone Number: (309) 530-4206
Facebook: Morningstar Rattery
Instagram: @MorningstarRattery
Website: cherokeeflats.com/morningstar-rattery

Jasper, Fuzzy Peach Exotics 
Dekalb, IL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (815) 421-1133
Facebook: ​Fuzzy Peach


Drea Linberg, Victory Rats Rattery and Rescue
Kankakee, IL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 815-651-8008
Facebook: ​Victory Rats Rattery and Rescue
Website: drealinberg.wixsite.com/victoryrats

Neal Rodriguez, Overload Reptiles & Rats
Western Springs, IL
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (630) 258-5285
Facebook: Overload Reptiles
Instagram: @OverloadReptiles

INDIANA
Ginger Spoon, Garden of Tails

Alexandria, IN
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (317) 610-1519
Website: gardenoftails.com
Facebook: Garden of Tails

Breanna Schultz, Bree’s Furry Friends Rattery
South Bend, IN
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (574) 514-9162
Facebook: Bree’s Furry Friends Rattery
Instagram: @breesfurryfreindsrattery

Allison, Ritchea Rats
Valparaiso IN
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Ritchea Rats
Instagram: @ritchearats 
Website: ritchearats.com

IOWA
Elizabeth, CliffordSisters Rattery & Exotics

Winterset, IA
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Clifford Sisters Rattery & Exotics
Instagram: ​@cliffordsisters.rattery1
Website: cliffordsistersrattery.weebly.com

KENTUCKY
Destiney Cook, Blue Rose Exotics
Oldham, KY
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Blue Rose Exotics

MAINE
Carole Littlefield, Love a Squish Rattery
New Port, ME
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (702) 374-7901
Facebook: Love a Squish Rattery

MASSACHUSETTS
Anya Bogdanovich, The Firefly Rattery
Chicopee, MA
Email: [email protected]
Website: the-firefly-rattery.webs.com/index.html
Facebook: The Firefly Rattery

MICHIGAN
Summer Grimes, Intelligent Rats
Three Rivers, MI
Phone: (269) 221-8717
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Intelligent Rats

MINNESOTA
Nikki, Disco’s Rats & Critters

Chaska, MN
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (952) 212-4076
Facebook: ​Disco’s Critters
Website: 80stoysale.com/ratadoption.html

Megan Burkhardt, Kinni Brook Rattery
Oakdale, MN
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Kinni Brook Rattery
Website: ​kinnibrookrattery.weebly.com

MISSISSIPPI
Alicia, Dark Lotus Rattery

Desoto, MS
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Dark Lotus Rattery
Instagram: @DarkLotusRattery

MISSOURI
Nickole Eddleman, Crimson Exotic Rattery
House Springs, MO
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (314) 717-9099
Facebook: ​Crimson Exotic Rodentry
Website: nickole7800.wixsite.com/crimsonexotic

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Eddie Chevrel

I am Eddie, animal journalist and founder of ThePetSavvy. I am passionate about exotic pets and I dedicate my time doing research, meeting, and interviewing people working with animals.

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