How to keep a domestic white rat

Taking care of your white rat is a simple process that consists of putting in adequate shelter and feeding is the correct diet. When buying a rat, it is recommended to obtain it from a responsible breeder, as it is more likely to already be socialized and well cared for. It is important to keep the rat’s cage clean and give it various toys for entertainment. Rat nails also need to be trimmed regularly.


Buy a wire cage with at least 2 square feet of floor space. Avoid wire floor cages as it can lead to bumblefoot. If you buy a cage with a wire on the floor, put a solid surface, such as a sheet of plywood or plastic.

• Place a nest box inside the cage. The next box can be anything that fits inside the cage and is semi-closed, as the rat has plenty of room to move outside of it. Examples include a piece of PVC tubing to a given jar turned on its side. The type of material is, however, determines how often they need to be cleaned. Cardboard boxes will absorb urine and need to be changed every week, for example.

• Add a layer of litter to the bottom of the cage, followed by bedding to the top. There are several pet store options such as litter shavings and specific rat cedar for bedding. Change the bed and bedding every two weeks, or when they begin to maintain a foul odor.

• Provide nesting material for the rat. This can tear up paper without printing or shredded paper towels. The rat will add this to his nest to make himself comfortable.

• Add toys to the cage for the rat to play with. This can include anything from an exercise wheel to paper towel tubes. Rotate the toys weekly to keep the rat challenged. They also include a block of wood for you to bite into and prevent your teeth from growing excessively.

• Feed the rat pellets and blocks specifically for rats. Supplement your diet with fresh foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Keep the diet low in fat. Avoid sugary foods.

• Check the rat’s nails every two weeks to see if they need to be trimmed. Use human nail trimmer to remove the white part of the nail on the quick.

Tips and Warnings

  • Aquariums can be used as cages, but they tend to have poor ventilation.

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